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I am witness

Genocide: I am witness - Her life was cut short in an instant

Among thousands of civilians, victims of the monstrous artillery shelling of Tskhinvali, undertaken by the Georgian army in August 2008, were many elders, who couldn't find a safe place quickly. The terrible death overtook Kumaritovu Tamara Tugievnu the 85-year-old resident of Tskhinvali.

Tamara Kumaritova was born in village Kohat Tskhinvali region. For a long time she worked as a teacher in secondary educational institutions. Together with her son and his family she lived in the house № 183 in A. Dzhioeva street.

Her son Hamlet Hubezhov tells, that when the attack on Tskhinvali began on the night of Aug. 8, he and his mother were in her apartment on the seventh floor. Hamlet's wife after night shelling of Tskhinvali August 5 from Nikozi and Ergneti side where the firing positions of the Georgian armed forces were located, with their two children moved to her mother in the other end of town (district BAM).

 "When in the night of August 8, massive bombardment of heavy artillery started, and many people hid in the basement, but my mother had bad legs and she couldn't to get down from the seventh floor, - says Hamlet. - Our apartment faces village Nikozi, and heavy fire also was carring from that place. We have moved to an empty apartment next door, our neighbors left me  the keys before departure. I thought it would be safer there. "

Hamlet periodically descended to the ground floor, where some neighbors were hiding from the fire. He tried to find out any news, because the electricity in that ill-fated night immediately turned off. People were getting news from friends and relatives calling them on mobile phones, who was outside the country and had a chance to watch TV. "I was on the ground floor, when about six in the morning when several rounds hit our house. The strikes shook the house so that it seemed to collapse now. I realized that the rounds ended up in apartments on the upper floors, "- says Hamlet.

 When he nervously run into the flat, he saw a horrible scene: his mother lay dead on the floor. Her body was wounded by shrapnel, and half-burned.

Trapped in the house a few shells destroyed all the apartments from the fourth to eighth floors, some of them burned out. Hamlet flat was also destroyed.

Mutilated body of Tamara Kumaritova was buried 11 August at the cemetery in the village Tbet.

Sergei Ghazzali



Genocide: I am Witness - Grandmother has never seen her grandchild as well as her son any more…

Georgian nonhumans didn’t spare even innocent civilians, pelting them with grenades or shooting at close range women and children which found shelter from heavy fire in the basements and cellars. A lot of people trying to leave the burning city, died on the slope leading to the bypass road, which was mercilessly fired from the Georgian positions.

Among many others 49 years old Gagloyeva Taimuraz  and his son Azamat, 18 years old were killed here. Rima Puhaeva the eyewitness of this terrible tragedy and a relative of the dead tells that in the open section of the Zar road, their car came under adjusted fire. All passengers of the car, including Azamat’s grandmother Zaire Puhaeva, jumped out and hid in a ravine. Then the 18-year-old Azamat decided to bring all the passengers to a safety place. When everybody was in the shelter, Azamat took grandmother’s hand and said:

- Sit down here, my grandmother, I'll be right back, just bring my father here.

Grandmother has never seen grandchild as well as her son any more…

- This horror will stay in my memory until I die - says Rima Puhaeva. - Father and son were running towards us. They were almost in the shelter when it suddenly thundered. A moment later, we couldn’t see anything because of the smoke.

Some time later, when the fire had stopped, the grandmother returned to the road and saw the mutilated bodies of her relatives. Arms and legs and other body parts were cut off. I almost fainted. All night Zaire Puhaeva sat on the road with the disfigured bodies of her son and grandson. In the morning she went to a nearby village and brought sheets. Together with her  Ossetian friends, she picked up the bodies. She buried her son and grandson in the garden of her house in Koblov street, 101. Only a week later the bodies of Taimuraz and Azamat were reburied in a cemetery in the village Tbet ...



               Genocide: I am Witness -"The road of life" for hundreds of refugees was the last


When the Georgian infantry entered Tskhinval on August 8, shooting everyone and everything in its way, south-western outskirts of the city got the brunt of the attack. Eyewitnesses tell about the tragedy that occurred here, and about the heroism of volunteers embarked on the path of the uninvited guests.

Civilians were the most vulnerable in these circumstances. They had to hide in the basements of houses, where they were caught by an unexpected assault on the town. Diane Kadzhaeva a teacher of junior school № 5 together with her neighbors was hiding in the basement of house number 118 on the street October, where she lived with her family.

Recent years, Diane was working on a special program, called "Harmony." It should be noted that, thanks to her tireless work, her high commitment in her class were no underachieving  and weak children. Above the entrance to the fifth school  there was a placard: "At school number 5, all should be on the "5", and Diana’s work really corresponded this motto.

Her school colleague Hughes Bekoeva recalls: "She always came to school long before the first lesson. If someone of the students did not reach the "Good mark", She remained after classes and explained individually to each child passed material. Both children and parents loved and honored their teacher. "

She had a lot of certificates and prizes from the Ministry of Education of South Ossetia, and Education Department. In addition, Diana Kadzhaeva itself has developed and successfully implemented a new methodology in studying of the multiplication table and writing essays on a given topic. All these developments are used by her colleagues now.  Hardly any of them, closing the school door at the end of school year 2008, could suggest that it would be the last school year in the fate of so many people ... 

A terrible confusion that has settled in South Ossetia on 8-9 August, became a tragic historical event, which has divided our life into before and after the August 2008. Thousands of civilians, faced with imminent death, under thundering shells in search of salvation rushed to the Rescue Zar Road. Alas, for hundreds of them it was the last road…

Every day the situation was getting worse and it seemed unpredictable: Georgian military forces seized the 12-th school, which was located directly in front of the house where Diana Kadzhaeva lived.

Seeing this picture, she and her neighbors decided to leave. How could they have known this decision would be the road of death for them? Hoping to escape from hell, reigned in those days all over the city, she, along with her neighbor Edward Gagloyev and his wife Zalina bumped right on the Georgian non-humans, who stopped the car and seeing there defenseless refugees, coolly shot them and threw a grenade into the car. The car immediately burst and turned into a fiery torch. Only a pile of metal left from this machine. I myself saw what was left of it, and it is difficult to believe that there were real people in the car.

The witnesses gathered ashes of the dead in small bags and handed over to their relatives so that they could bury what was left of the dead.

Then Diana's sister, Ina said her father, a veteran of the Great Patriotic War, Sergei Vladimirovich, who a few years ago, completely lost his sight: 

- Dad, how I envy you that you do not see what left of our Diana.

Zalina Tskhovrebova