War in August, 2008. The eyewitnesses are telling. Venera Gabaraeva

Mon, 05/09/2011 - 10:48

Gabaraeva Venera Akhsarovna, born in 1973, an inhabitant of Tskhinva
We`ll never forget that damp horrible cellar where we spent those unforgettable days of August war in 2008 full of horror though we can confidently say that just that war turned out to be our salvation . Before that nightmare our husbands had served in voluntary military forces and had been at their posts on the border with Georgia. We had not practically seen them for twenty-four hours, but that evening my husband returned at 12 in night, having calmed us that we should not expect the war.

That evening even the President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili promised to cease fire and called the parties to sit down at the negotiating table. My daughter Vicki was two years old at that time. Though she did not realize the situation, nevertheless, she was frightened very much. We were so happy, congratulating each other and for the first time over a long period we went to bed with no worry. Suddenly terrible explosion forced us to jump. The awful roar resounded; we seized our children and ran through the court yard into the cellar of the next house. Soon the cellar was filled with people. We spent some days and nights there. Hungry, in dampness and cold, without light, we were afraid to light a candle. There were great stray dogs with us in the cellar. Some of us stumbled over them, treaded upon them, but they did not snarl at all; till now I wonder, how they have not bitten anybody. My daughter had a fever, she was weak and was sleeping much, but when she woke up she began crying and wanted to go to the street. But it was absolutely impossible to leave the cellar. It was a miracle that I managed to bring some medicine and a little food out of my house. It was very terrible. It is impossible to forget that awful roar which made the five-floor house shake, those sounds of "hailstones" which made our blood freeze. We were afraid that at once the walls would ruin and we would be buried alive under the concrete plates. The whole city was burning, there was no house which was not enveloped in flames, and we were choking with a smell of burning and smoke. The guys, who tried to hold the line, informed us that the Georgians had entered into the town. The panic began; we did not know where to escape. I`ll never forget those terrible moments. I hear the shrill shouts hitherto. Vicki was so frightened that I could not calm her. At last, my husband drove up in the old car and by a miracle we could reach the settlement Dzau, which is in the north of the Republic. From here it was more real to reach North Ossetia. My husband led us to Vladikavkaz to our relatives, and he, himself, returned back to Tskhinval. Absolutely strangers offered us habitation and food, calming and supporting us - thank them muchly. Further we were led to Adygei and were lodged in a hotel complex. Two buildings of the hotel were overflowed with us, inhabitants of the blazing South Ossetia. Psychologists were supporting us, everybody was very attentive. We couldn't get over the endured horror for a long time. Vicki could sleep neither in the afternoon, nor at night, she woke up and cried all the time. Time heals wounds. We hope that there will never be war on the Ossetian land. We`ll never see fear in our children's eyes, and the young boys will never perish.