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19 years on the way to freedom2009-09-22 14:18
South Ossetia has two calendar dates of its independence. So far the world remembers the war of 2008 and Russia's recognition on August 26 (Independence Day) that followed. The events of 19 years ago when Ossetians decided to secede from Georgia are not remembered so well. The Western press tried to avoid mention of the autonomous region declared the South Ossetian Soviet Democratic Republic on September 20 1990 since this would entirely contradict propaganda slogans on Georgia's right to breakaway territories.
South Ossetia celebrated 19 years of its independence with a parade, fireworks show, a super-long barbecue and a pompous reception for foreign guests. The president of the republic struck the balance of the long-term struggle: "United in the face of mortal danger our people were sturdy to overcome challenges that befell them, restored their territorial integrity acquiring long-expected freedom and international recognition". Before the holiday South Ossetia was recognized by Venezuela in support of similar decisions by Nicaragua and Russia.
The present from Caracas was perfectly timed. The experts believed that the Latin American leading country would be followed suit by other states that oppose US hegemony. President Edward Kokoyty inspired by another recognition decided to be more focused on foreign ties. "Aware of real value of peace and freedom we will develop equal and mutually beneficial relations with near and far abroad countries, favoring any steps aimed at international security reinforcement", - he stated. Kokoyty called on the Georgian leaders to stop raging and recognize South Ossetia's independence.
The people of South Ossetia have been struggling for the right to be free choosing their fate for 19 years since the Council of People's Deputies of South Ossetian Autonomous Region declared break-away from Georgia. Tbilisi wanted to quit the USSR, Tskhinval tended to stay. Ossetian deputies issued the declaration on formation of the South Ossetian Soviet Democratic Republic (SOSDR) as part of the Soviet Union.
This decision was preceded by hostilities late in 1989. On November 10 Ossetian deputies transformed the autonomy within the Georgian SSR into an autonomous republic. The Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR declared this decision as unconstitutional sending nearly 15 thousand Georgians in a march on Tskhinval to show "who's the boss here" as South Ossetians say. After clashes between participants of the action, Ossetians and police force six people died and 140 were taken to hospitals.