Friday, August 22, 2008

Under Smoking Ruins Of Ethnically Cleansed Town, Russian Kirov Orchestra, Under Gergiev, Offers Televised Concert Dedicated To Victims Of 'Aggression'

... "The concert, dedicated to victims of the war, was held in front of the ruins of the South Ossetian Parliament. “We are here to remember those who died in the tragic days of aggression,” said Valery Gergiev, the conductor and artistic director of the Maryinsky Theater and the principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Mr. Gergiev is Ossetian. He spoke and the orchestra played while Kekhvi, a Georgian village inside South Ossetia, burned on a ridge overlooking the town. Throughout the territory in and near South Ossetia, Georgian villages have been looted and many buildings were set on fire. In a few places, entire villages were burned....

Together, the looting and the fires have chased away almost all of the Georgian population from South Ossetia and the territory reaching to the city of Gori, about 25 miles from Tskhinvali. The Georgian government has called this a program of “ethnic cleansing,” though Russia disputes that claim. Nevertheless, Mr. Kokoity [Acting President of South Ossetia] has said that Georgians will not be allowed to return.

The concert, which began at nightfall, was clearly a Kremlin priority, and it aimed to show that the war was over, Russia had won and order was returning.

It was a televised spectacle ..."

Andrew E. Kramer and Graham Bowley "Russian Says It Is Pulling Out of Georgia, but Troops Remain" New York Times August 22, 2008

Not invited to yesterday's Russian Kremlin Celebration in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia? Villagers of Khurvaleti in the currently Russian-occupied Gori district of the Republic of Georgia.

Architectual detail, Republic of Georgia.

Photo credits: (c), and With thanks.


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