War in Persons: A Chain of Memories

Mon, 22/06/2020 - 11:57

“Many years have passed, but every day before the eyes - the brutal faces of the women and men of the village of Ered, who, like real predators, tore out the innocent citizens alive,” is recalling Zarina Gagieva, who, together with her family, fell into the hands of these nonhumans on March 18, 1991.

The tragic "luck"

It was a cold spring morning. The latest news for the villagers is again not comforting - one more villager was killed. This news excited the residents of the village of Korkula. Everyone decided for himself, at the first opportunity, to leave and save his relatives. Many were ready to leave, but how? This question arose in front of almost every resident of not only Korkula, but also of nearby settlements. The only road that connected the capital of the Republic with the villages of the Tskhinval district of the eastern direction ran through the villages with the predominant Georgian population, which periodically blocked it. And when the road was open for travel, it was practically impossible to get to Tskhinval alive. Georgians always used the “successful” location of villages in the implementation of plans to detain and kill Ossetians. Moreover, this was also observed northward from the capital of the Republic.

Our villages were periodically fired upon; there were cases of murders of local residents. And what a good luck! A military vehicle “Ural” of the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR arrived in Korkula. In the car there were a driver and two servicemen.

“Dad was delighted and quickly began to prepare for a journey. My father’s brother also decided to leave. Grandparents were categorically against it, persuaded their sons so that at least one of them stayed. They were afraid that something irreparable would happen. At that time, Ossetians were often taken hostage, beaten, and killed. But everyone decided to go,” said Zarina.

On the way, the car drove into neighboring villages, the number of passengers increased. My aunt was living in Dmenis. When she saw her nephews and their families in the car, she also asked one of them to stay. But alas ... The car started off with 25 passengers, including women and children. Zarina at that time was five years old, her sister was six, and her brother was four. There were other children.

Scream of the baby

We drove several kilometers in the village of Ered, where mostly Georgians lived compactly, a crowd of armed people blocked the road to the car. There were even women and men with sticks and iron pipes in their hands.

“We did not have time to understand and evaluate the situation, as the crowd in a matter of seconds was on the back of the Ural and began to pound everyone - women, men and children. They threw us to the ground and were beating us with iron pipes. Moreover, men were beaten by men, and women - by women. Everything went as if in a pre-written script, and each Georgian extremist performed his role perfectly. It was possible to make a film in one take,” said Zarina nervously.

Suddenly they pounced on one of the women and dragged her hair across the ground through a ditch of water. The men were immediately separated, and as Zarina noted, she did not even have time to notice where they were taken.

“My sister was in the hands of dad, when suddenly they threw her to the ground, and dad was taken away ... She started calling dad, crying when suddenly one of these fascists hit her on the temple with a dirty pipe, and blood poured over her face. Her cry abruptly turned into a loud and heartbreaking scream of pain. My mother rushed to her, but could not calm her down. Suddenly, women and children began to be pushed back into the back of the car, accompanying each step with loud obscene language in Georgian. I myself did not understand them, but the adults afterwards told me,” she said.

Cries, curses, they addressed all these to people who wanted to run away from the Georgian extremists, but fate decreed otherwise, and on the contrary they ended up in a cage of predators. Zarina does not remember how long the bullying lasted, every second in the hands of beasts in human form seemed like an eternity. My only thought was to be near my mother. The car started off towards the city. “From horror, no one even managed to understand how during this time the Georgians managed to completely tear up the tent of the car body, and we had to go back, as they say“with the breeze ”, - she continued with the tears in her eyes.

We arrived in Tskhinval, started phoning, searching ... Years of searching lasted a long 36 months, every day of which turned into eternity. And we found only the burnt remains.

The heart could not stand

Parents of Taimuraz and Givi Gagiev were categorically against their sons and families leaving in the same car. They felt the impending tragedy with their hearts, because the news of the atrocities of the Georgians reached them every day. They were afraid for relatives. And not in vain ...

On the second day, March 19, on the Russian channel broadcast about the detention of the Ural car in the village of Ered. TV was watched by the father of Taimuraz and Givi, while his wife was in the courtyard at that time. “Oh, woe to us, Siukian!” The grandfather shouted. These words were the last in the life of Dmitry Gagiev. He could not survive the loss of two sons and died suddenly on the spot

Grandma turned out to be stronger, and lived a few more years, and saw the remains of the burnt sons, by which we could recognize them in September 1993,” Zarina barely said.

Fates Crossing

It just so happened that on March 18, 1991, in the village of Vanat, the Georgians detained two more Ossetians - Pavel Kabulov and Aron Gogichaev. In those years, the Kabulov and Gagiev families were united by a common tragedy. And many years later they became related: the son of Pavel Kabulov - Renat married the daughter of Taimuraz Gagiev - Zarina. The remains of Zarina’s father were discovered, but Pavel Kabulov and Aron Gogichaev are still missing. But every year on March 18, the Gagiev and Kabulov families come to the graves of their fathers to once again recall the relatives whom Georgian fascism took away.

Kabulov’s wife, Lydia Kudzieva, for many years is the head of the public organization for families of missing people “Memory and Hope”. The issue of searching for the missing is the main thing for her in life. Around her gathered those who, like Lida, are waiting for their relatives, and every day they are waiting for at least some information about the missing. They hope and wait ...

South Ossetia has repeatedly shown an act of goodwill, and handed over the bodies of the dead Georgian citizens to their families. Each time, families of the missing citizens of South Ossetia expected Georgia to appreciate the humanitarian action and take a return step. “Families of the missing citizens of South Ossetia are waiting for information about their relatives every day, we dream of at least burying them in their native land,” said Lidia Kudzieva with tears in her eyes.

Alena Dzhioty
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