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Georgia’s Gamble Revisited

South Ossetia's war victims, 10 years later of trying to heal

It’s ten years since Georgian tanks rumbled into Tskhinval, South Ossetia's capital, under cover of night on August, 8. Decades of smouldering tension between Tbilisi and the breakaway republic finally exploded in a military action launched to retake the region.

Rockets and artillery fire rained down on residential districts and a Russian peacekeeper base. Moscow was quick to respond, and the war ended in five days. Hundreds of civilians lost their lives.

RELATED: A city of desolate mothers. The aftermath of the conflict in South Ossetia 

Since that time, rebuilding has taken place, and South Ossetians who fled to safety have returned. Finally, peace seems to have broken out, but the pain still lingers.

RELATED: Act of War 

RTD returns to South Ossetia to talk to war witnesses first encountered in 2008: Soslan Kvezerov, was 9 when he and his family fled the village before the Georgian army arrived, Shorena Kachmazova, gave birth to the sound of heavy artillery shells falling. American, Joe Mestas was on holiday with his family in South Ossetia when hostilities began.

We also visit displaced South Ossetians in one of the refugee settlements in Georgia, as well as villagers left stranded in a no man’s land after a border fence appeared.

They all look back on those tragic events and describe how their lives have changed.