Republic of South Ossetia is located оn the southern slopes of the Main Caucasus Range in the area of 3900 square meters. Тhe capital is the city of Tskhinval.
One-tenth of the surface occupied by the Republic of the foothills.
The rest of the territory - the mountainous terrain height from 850 to 3938 meters above sea level.
The highest point - Mount Halatsa (3938 m).

South Ossetia Foreign Minister Kazbulat Tskhovrebov Interview to Res IA

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- Four citizens of the Republic of South Ossetia returned to their homes after 11-year imprisonment in Georgia. What work has been done these 11 years and what attempts has been made to release our citizens?


- Indeed, difficult 11 years have our citizens spent in Georgian prisons. All these years we in South Ossetia were claiming that those detentions and imprisonments had been unlawful and insisted on release. This issue was regularly raised by South Ossetia representatives within the Joint Control Committee (JCC) and at other levels. However due to the unconstructive position of Georgian party and non-availability to solute even those problems that are humanitarian, non-political, there were no serious progress on this front. Therefore I would like to express gratitude for the efforts made by our public representatives in general and by Lira Kozeva in particular. They were engaged in this case and sometimes have gained even better results than those achieved by officials of the Republic due to the non-governmental character of activity. In particular, they helped in organizing meetings between relatives of the detainees and officials and in transmitting applications to Georgian governmental agencies.

- The question of arbitrary detention of South Ossetia citizens, who had been serving sentence in Georgian prisons, was repeatedly raised by South Ossetia representatives at different international forums such as the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia or at meetings organized within the IPRM. How did this work influence the development of the affairs?

- It’s true that South Ossetia delegates regularly put the detainees’ question at the Geneva Discussions. It is important to use precisely international formats to deal with such issues, as it would emphasize their importance and relevance to the Republic of South Ossetia. It happened in backroom meeting in Geneva, where we found possible solution to the problem for the first time that further was implemented. With this background, I would like to deliver words of gratitude to all our colleagues at the Geneva discussions and praise highly the work conducted by Oleg Botsiev, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Republic of South Ossetia in Republic of Abkhazia.

- Mr. Tskhovrebov, you participated in truly historic moment, when South Ossetia citizens were exchanged in Abkhazia. What did you feel at that time?

- It was an unforgettable experience. When I opened the door of the minibus that brought our compatriots from Georgia, welcomed them and told them they were free, they didn’t say a word and even didn’t move, as they didn’t believe in what was happening. I had to say that one more time, but in all sincerity, my heart was bleeding at that moment. Definitely, their excitement transferred to me. And it is absolutely impossible to describe the feeling when you are in arms of a mother grateful for her son’s salvation. Those feelings I will always remember.

- The main work on releasing the detained citizens of South Ossetia has been done – our compatriots have returned to their motherland. What help would be given to these men?

- Presidential and Governmental Funds have already allocated money for basic needs of the released men. They are among relatives now and I believe rehabilitation would pass faster in supportive environment. Besides, I’m sure they can rely on any support from the President or the Government, provided it is needed in dealing with ether challenge they can face. Each of them has my personal contacts and I suggested not hesitate to contact me if they have any queries.

- How many citizens of South Ossetia are still in Georgian prisons?

- By the time of the exchange we had no information on any other citizens of our Republic who had been imprisoned in Georgia. However, mass media has unveiled that our list might not be complete. This data should be checked. For the time being we had received no information of that kind neither from relatives nor from Georgian officials. Our several compatriots are missing, but this is a completely different scope of work.