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Good Root Neighbors |Nukri Javakhishvili, Ksuisi [ENG]

Nukri Javakhishvili, 41 years old, Ksuisi. Currently lives in Khurvaleti

I was a fifth or sixth or seventh grader when the first war started. 

Irregulars were walking around Ksuisi, plus the Tianeti battalion was stationed near us towards the end. They had a kind of picketing headquarters opened there.

My worst memories are of when we had to go to the neighboring village to sleep at night. It was especially hard because it was winter. At night there were shootings, and to tell you the truth, I can’t say anyone attacked us directly. We lived in such a place that only the road divided us from an Ossetian village. This walking path only. At night, either they were shooting, or we were shooting, and it became impossible to stay there anymore, even to not hear the shootings anymore for the kids. I also remember what I saw with my own eyes. When we were standing around and our irregulars brought down the Ossetian men. They executed all of them right there. Right there in the daylight. These men were the same age as my father. 

People took up arms. Everyone wanted to rob and be thugs. Or whatever, what was the purpose of that, it was just a way to embitter Ossetians, what was the purpose of burning down their homes. Now, you think the Ossetians want us? When our people did things like that, they did things back. Then when they talk about the wars, what we did to them, we got paid back ten times worse. Ten times worse. 

I had good next-door Ossetian neighbors. The man was a teacher. He taught in our village. Our houses faced each other. He had a wife, Lomsadze, she was also the teacher of our school. When the unrest began, this man left. What was he supposed to do, they were going after Ossetians, so he left with his wife. He would still come back from Tskhinvali. He was very attentive. We were taking care of his house. The whole family protected it with all their might so no one would burn it or do anything to it. Father was always warning everyone, I don’t wanna see any of you light a fire to this house. I have little kids and I don’t want them to watch the house burn. He protected it, protected but still they didn’t let him succeed. A few years later, they found a time he wasn’t home. It was winter. He had apples to sell in Tbilisi. They came then and burned it anyway. 

This kind of lawlessness existed. Then Ossetians killed our neighbor, Ronald Toliashvili. They caught him on the road and tortured him mercilessly. And they made us bury an empty coffin. When we learned he wasn’t alive anymore, we had to have a wake for him. We buried it and the next day they gave us the corpse. If we really troubled ourselves, we could’ve dug up the coffin and buried it again. I was 13 years old then. 

From the series “Rebuilding Memories for future- South Ossetia 1991/2008” 
Transcription: Nata Machaladze
The name has been changed at the request of the respondent.

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