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Georgia's breakaway region looks to Russia for security, economic development

on Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:39 pm
Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty with the South Ossetian leader Leonid Tibilov, also a former KGB agent, to strengthen security, military and economic integration between Russia and the rebel region.

Leonid Tibilov, self-proclaimed South Ossetia leader: "We, the leadership of the republic, took a decision and signed a very serious treaty with our strategic partner, Russian Federation on alliance and integration, where the creation of the united defence outline is at the core of the treaty."

Bullet holes still scar the facades of apartment blocks in the regional capital Tskhinvali. It's an improverished area, home to some 30,000 people - their disputed territories treaty is not recognised by the EU or US - a treaty dubbed as a threat to regional security and stability. One local resident insisted that they feel safe here.

Read also Russia's Putin meets leader of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia republic in Kremlin

Tamerlan Dzudtsov, South Ossetia resident: "We live in total security. First, because Russia signed the (integration) treaty, and we have a [Russian military] base here and a border department of the [Russia's] Federal Security Service which defends our border. I do not think that anything particularly unexpected can happen."

But away from the cameras, many South Ossetians tell a different tale. People saw Russia as a savior at first after the 2008 war but the region is poor, roads are bad and unemployment is widespread - and dependent on Russia - something that appears will continue for sometime yet.

24today.net


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