Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia

Passions related to the death of a Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, who died in the State hospital in Tskhinval, are being inflamed in Georgia. On February 22, 2018 Archil Tatunashvili was detained by law enforcement agencies of South Ossetia in Leningor on suspicion of reconnaissance and sabotage activities and involvement in murders of civilians during military aggression of Georgia against South Ossetia in August 2008.

An important fact, which numerous commentators remain silent about, draws attention. While being transferred in the pretrial detention center, the detainee assaulted the guards and grabbed the service weapon of one of the guards, trying to shoot. This attempt was stopped by law enforcement officials who neutralized the attacker, having appealed to force.

Common sense suggests a very important detail – nobody in South Ossetia could be interested in such an outcome of events, since the attempt to escape before the beginning of actual inquisition is rightfully taken as a confirmation of the suspicions on the basis of which he had been detained and had to bear legal responsibility for.
Nevertheless, relevant authorities of South Ossetia carry out all measures, necessary in such cases, which will give the full picture of the incident and determine the exact cause of death of Archil Tatunashvili, and after that the remains will be transferred to the family.

However, it is necessary to pay attention to the contradictory and disproportionate reaction this incident has caused in Georgia, as it has revealed the real state, in which current Georgian internal and foreign policy, as well as the state’s ideology reside.

While one part of Georgian society appeals to stay calm and assess the situation soberly, the other shamelessly uses this very sensitive topic, related to the death of Tatunashvili, to improve its own rating in the internal conjunctural political struggle.

The return of the seemingly forgotten extremist appeals to the Geogrian political lexicon is particularly indicative, as it confirms that the aggressive revanchism towards South Ossetia has never left the political agenda.

We perceive the things happening as an objective index of the current state of Georgian society and its real attitude towards South Ossetia and its inhabitants. The unleashed anti-Ossetian activity hit a record high.

The position of Georgia in the existing international formats, including at the Geneva Discussions, has never been characterized by constructivism and treaties. However, the Georgian extremism, revanchism and aggression against the neighboring states have successfully, especially in the eyes of the international community, been hidden behind a mass of empty statements about the desire for peace until quite recently.

Against this background leaders of a number of states and international organizations, including the participants of the GID, provoke further escalation of the situation, since they are keeping on expressing their “concern” over the death of Mr. Tatunashvili. Their position could be understood - the huge amount of money spent by Georgian donors on various “reconciliatory” projects has not yielded results.

The reaction to the incident with Tatunashvili put everything in its place. Today in Georgia roads are being blocked, open threats are being made against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, absolutely absurd accusations of Russia in “occupation” are imposed, and, furthermore, there still are urges made to apply economic sanctions against other neighboring states.

With this negative development, the peaceful declarations made by Georgian authorities including those about readiness to raise the level of representation at international platforms in order to achieve positive results at negotiations became pointless.

Here, the complete failure of the concept of “reconciliation” and good neighbourliness that has been replicated by Georgia over the years is undisguised.


Tskhinval, March 1, 2018