Residents to be Evicted from Contact Line, Says S. Ossetia’s Media

TSKHINVALI, South Ossetia - Residents living near the contact line separating Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia region with territory under Tbilisi’s control will be evicted from the area by Tskhinvali’s security services and border guards, Russian-backed news agency Sputnik Ossetia reported Tuesday.

South Ossetia’s state security services, still known by their Soviet KGB moniker, claim to have met with locals and denied in an official statement that a decision on their removal had been made.

The South Ossetian KGB also reportedly informed the angry residents that the Soviet-era practice of requiring advance permits and registration for all guests or relatives would now be needed.

Locals will also be required to notify the security services about all public gatherings, including weddings, birthdays and funerals. Georgian government forces fought two wars against Russian and separatist forces in South Ossetia between 1991-2008.

The wars left hundreds dead and led to the ethnic cleansing of thousands of ethnic Georgians. Moscow recognized South Ossetia as an independent state following the 2008 war.

16 February 2016 14:35