SOUTH OSSETIA: VISOCOUS SEPTEMBER 2020
ABOUT THE REASONS AND POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE GROWING SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONFLICT INSIDE THE REPUBLIC WE SPEAK WITH PUBLIC ACTOR ALAN MAMIEV
INTRODUCTORY FOREWORD FROM RESISTENTIAM.COM TO THE INTERNATIONAL READING AUDIENCE: Perhaps, for our readers, the tragic and disturbing events that occurred twelve years ago and marked the first days of this September 2020, still remain unnoticed and simply closed. They developed in the heart of Eastern Europe and Western Asia – in the Republic of South Ossetia, where free descendants of Alanian tribes have lived since ancient times, living according to the laws of community, communitarianism and early military-democratic foundations, by the will of fate separated from the brotherly people of North Ossetia. In September 2008, it became a “hot spot” Tskhinval, which was trying in vain to break the military might of neighboring Georgia. Then the whole world watched (unfortunately, from different, sometimes polar opposite, angles imposed by custom-made media) the heroic resistance of the people of South Ossetia against the Georgian military armada, reinforced with modern weapons and NATO tanks. South Ossetian boys-students, men of different ages and professions, all, as one, joined the militia. Tskhinvali remained free, having won a sacrificial victory in a 5-day war with the Georgian armed armada. For a long time, it was customary to attribute this war in the US and the EU to the Kremlin Commander-in-Chief, but this, both globally and in detail, does not quite correspond to the truth.
Today South Ossetia is again becoming, unfortunately, an increasingly “warming” part of our Planet. This ancient land of free Alanian communities, at all times able to defend their homeland from the conquerors, tempered by decades of people’s liberation struggle against a neighbor – the nationalist pro-capitalist dominion. Unfortunately, in the 20th and 21st centuries, they became the people earlier, under the USSR, good-neighborly Georgia. Since then, official Tbilisi has chosen the path of fascized neoliberal development, with an ever-growing military-industrial complex, choosing South Ossetia and Abkhazia for its militaristic goals, declaring its rights to the two republics that have chosen the path of self-determination. For 20 years, Georgia, led by the policy of puppet elites and vainly dreaming of becoming a NATO member, has failed to conquer the people of South Ossetia, numbering only 40 thousand people. Official Tbilisi, with different governments and presidents, all these 35 years, turning its population against the South Ossetians with the help of the media, he could not deprive the freedom and rights of the South Ossetians on the sovereign path of unique ethno-cultural and historical development.
No wonder in 2008: the unrecognized South Ossetia, the State of Alania, which defended the Georgian aggression, was understood and officially recognized on another continent – in a country like socialist Nicaragua, the heroic resistance of which, lasting for many decades, the whole world has heard. Naturally, the countries of the capitalist world have left the Republic of South Ossetia with the status of “an unrecognized piece of Georgia that was torn off by the separatists.” But everyone remembers how historically characteristic was the official recognition of the sovereign Republic of South Ossetia – not only Sandinista Nicaragua, but also the revolutionary Bolivarian Venezuela. Across the ocean, these peoples felt that they were related by such common features as desperate courageous love of freedom, as well as – unique for our atomized era, alienated by the power of Capital and reached the highest point of alienation of man from man, as well as ruthless social stratification – epic mental inner cohesion …
However, now, by the middle of 2020, new risks and threats have come for South Ossetia – and not only constant ones, to which they have long been accustomed to and are always ready to defend their borders, – the revanchist ambitions of Georgian politicians and military, who are increasingly closing the militaristic loop with military bases. NATO around the borders of the Freedom-loving Republic. South Ossetia, by the will of a number of contradictory internal circumstances, is taking an extremely dangerous path for itself – the path of demarcation of the people, the cause of which may be a fatal change in the social structure, which has not yet acquired the basic program form of its further development. The worst thing, as history knows, is the emergence of internal contradictions in one, whole people. Today, on the one hand, it is necessary to continue to follow the correct, old way of rallying in front of any external threat of the South Ossetians. But the reality is that the popular majority of South Ossetians have now had to come into conflict with the ruling minority in the Republic, apparently reborn by the temptation to power to such an extent that they ceased to recognize themselves as part of one people. The ruling power elite of the Republic, which to such an extent has never happened before in South Ossetia, seems to be so carried away by unscrupulous political games for their own benefit that they forgot about everything. The taste of these political games is familiar to everyone living on the planet with a dominant capitalist socio-political formation – this is the growing repressive anti-humanity, which, together with the increasing distancing of the ruling and business elites themselves, their privileges and wealth, from the vast majority of the people, creates a terrible picture of political authoritarian regime: in the complete absence of social lifts for the worthy, and an increasingly impoverished people, increasingly experiencing the lack of elementary freedoms inherent in man. And yet these political games of the top are accompanied by extreme deceit, manipulation of the interests of various social groups, the use of official media to substitute concepts and the state of political entanglement of the majority. But in Ossetia it is difficult to confuse the people, as well as to intimidate.
None of us, probably, can yet put an end to it, draw final conclusions and talk about specific recipes or the most correct scenarios in such a difficult situation in which our brothers, the South Ossetian people, find themselves today. We are just groping to reveal to our readers and ourselves those key starting points and to draw cautious conclusions about the present and future of the small mountain republic, on which the future turns of our occupied planet may also depend today, which should be clear to any not indifferent sober-minded internationalist.
We preceded our short and first dialogue with an active public figure and a prominent blogger of the Caucasus – Alan Mamiev, which turned out to be a common question for us, a preamble, to which our interlocutor was able to find an answer so far: The processes of radicalization of the conflict between the South Ossetian society and the current republican ones are symmetric spring-summer 2020. However, only thanks to independent information units from places in social networks, in telegram channels, it was mainly possible to learn about him. Large public media outlets with Russian-language content were of interest to the Republic of South Ossetia only in the context of Georgia’s border “body movements”. At the same time, any internal conflict situations of the same Republic of Abkhazia popped up above the search line in the Yandex news feed. And until now: in order for a person to take an interest in what is happening these days in South Ossetia, one has to deliberately “rummage”. And the same regional “Sputnik” gives out very concise, “smoothed” information, often distorting the facts. Who and what is behind the “vacuumization” of news from the Republic of South Ossetia in the big Runet – it is too early to draw conclusions.
– So, the first question, Alan: how long did the current conflict between the people of South Ossetia and the authorities of the Republic ripen, the detonation of a public, open explosion of which was the death of a peaceful citizen Inal Dzhabiev?
Alan Mamiev: – This process of social radicalization and destabilization in the Republic developed exponentially. The popular dissatisfaction with the republican authorities began to intensify about a year ago, when they canceled driving in South Ossetian cars, that is, there was a long history of import, some conditions of the so-called “import” were tightened. They banned the presence of the citizens of South Ossetia in their cars with South Ossetian numbers on the territory of Russia. Because of this, there were a large number of rallies, protests, there was a lot of noise, do you understand? Those, the citizens of South Ossetia, could freely move around Russia in their cars, and then, as it were, this permission was withdrawn. And they demanded that those who stay on the territory of Russia for a long time have the car cleared, which is unrealistic, because customs clearance is often more expensive than the car itself. In general, it all started with this, with the import problem.
And then it all began to develop, then a pandemic began, an interruption in the supply of food … Before that, there were still six months of conflicts in the Ossetian point of Tsnelis (Uista village) bordering Georgia, which was hardly ever blessed with informational information. And the result of the conflict is the actual loss of part of the original Ossetian territory in favor of the Georgian sabotage forces, which is also blamed on President Bibilov.
In the context of this conflict around Tsnelis, there is a very strange behavior of Russian border guards, who, in fact, did not react in any way to the fact that the Georgians seized part of the territory of South Ossetia during the summer pandemic, on these lands they began to build these paramilitary fortifications in fact. That is, at the beginning it was said that there would be such dugouts, but now it is already clear that this whole chain of fortified areas is being built along the borders, moreover, on the territory of South Ossetia. The forces of the Army of South Ossetia do not have enough to react to this, because the army, by this time, on the initiative of the same Bibilov, was already disbanded, one might say. And the Russian border guards did not react in any way, which, of course, also hit the image of the President of the Republic of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov very strongly in the eyes of the people …
– Can you tell more about the personality of Inal Dzhabiev, his biography and the circumstances of his death?
A.M. – Inal Dzhabiev, a 28-year-old guy, I personally did not know him, so it’s hard for me to tell about the details of his life. There was a criminal case on the attempted assassination of Minister Naniev, that is, someone, someone shot, – they wrote down, – from a Makarov pistol into the car of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Naniev. Who shot? Why did you shoot? When he fired, it’s generally not clear, but they began to take suspects. And the officers of the republican power structures simply began to beat out testimonies by police methods, including from Inal Dzhabiev, Tskhovrebov, Kunaev – these guys, civilians, were taken. They were subjected to severe beatings during interrogation. There is information that about ten people took and knocked out testimonies, respectively. Well, when Inal was interrogated, they were “pounded” to the point that he died … He has three children left … A good guy, he served, in 2008 he fought, he served in the Ministry of Defense itself before that. I do not know, now, at the moment, to death. But in 2008 he served, took part in the defense of South Ossetia from Georgian aggression.
– For our audience, which is aware of the fate of South Ossetia, its place in modern history, today there is a certain above information vacuum … Alan, at least briefly; a chronological process from the funeral of Inal Dzhabiev on Teatralnaya Square to the massive open demands of the people – about the resignation of the incumbent President A. Bibilov?
A.M. – Well, there was no special chronology, – they were buried on the third day. There, when it became known that Inal Dzhabiev had been killed, the body was not given to relatives at first, because of this, spontaneous mass gatherings around the building had already begun – the people demanded that the mutilated body be handed over. The officers did not want to hand over the body, well, for obvious reasons, because it was obvious that it was beaten. Then the body was handed over, a large number of photographs with the beaten Inal Dzhabiev appeared on the network, and it seemed as if it became clear that he was tortured to death. Well, since we usually bury on the third day, on the third day, during the funeral, a political rally began, spontaneous demands for the resignation of the government appeared … they were dismissed. And they began to demand thousands of people in the city square – first the resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs Naniev and the Prosecutor of the Republic … Then the popular demands grew into open manifestations – about the resignation of the current President of South Ossetia A. Bibilov. Well, somehow, then in the first days it was temporarily possible to bring down the passions of the mass popular anti-presidential protest, but only because the protesters did not have a leader in fact.
– Do you not find some similarity in the story with George Floyd and Inal Dzhabiev, who died from the arbitrariness of the security forces, whose death became the point of account of the processes – very different in the political science perspective, but still very similar in the sociological perspective?
A.M. – Well, this scheme, regarding this issue – there is a similarity, but rather similarity with the recent Abkhaz events. If you followed the events in Abkhazia, there, too, two local residents were shot in a restaurant, then, against the background of this, popular unrest began, which led to the overthrow of the then President of Abkhazia, Raul Khadzhimba. It was a few months ago. And the scheme of events in the Republic of South Ossetia is very similar to that of Abkhazia: here, too, two guys had to die – the second detained on this charge, Tskhovrebov, was also in a very serious condition, but survived. So I assure you that if two people died, no one would have kept the current system of power from overthrowing it in South Ossetia, and there would definitely be a social explosion. But, thank God, the guy survived, and somehow … The situation is very alarming, but more or less within the law. It didn’t come to bloodshed, to a coup d’état, as in Abkhazia. I think this is an Abkhazian scenario than an American one. Although they all work as a blueprint, of course.
– Didn’t you find it wildly strange from a psychological point of view, the statement of the ethnic Ossetian President Bibilov about some kind of “Orange political technologies in the Republic” behind the nationwide opposition to power? This is tantamount to comparing the southerners with the “unconscious cattle”, incapable of self-organization to express the will of the people? For a person who comes from the village of Tbet, near Khetagurovo, where the desperately bold and categorical ethno-mentality of the South Ossetians is simply – quintested – expressed …
A.M. – Now, about the impact of “orange technologies” on people’s actions – after all, now in the post-Soviet space they are trying to see them, where they are not. I think that President Bibilov is a dependent person. They give him some recommendations from Moscow, he voices these recommendations … It’s also strange for me, because at the moment to say that these are some “Maidan technologies” – I would not say, because I understand them a little, and I don’t see them there. In artificial “revolutions” there is always a set of characteristic political technology markers, which are definitely not present in today’s processes in South Ossetia. There really are natural spontaneous protest events connected precisely with the fact that the people are very tired. Roughly speaking, this “barrel of gasoline” was being prepared for the last year because negative protest moods were accumulating in society. And they prepared, prepared, prepared – but what would become the catalyst for the explosion, it was just a matter of time and situation. Here – the murder of this innocent guy began, right? Let’s see what will happen next.
Regarding the Alanian mentality of the South Caucasus, you are absolutely right, as one of my acquaintances said, “6 thousand South Ossetians are a much more terrible force than 500,000 Belarusians”. By the will of fate, the opposition in South Ossetia is weak, and it did not begin to radicalize the process. But 6,000 people are in the square, and if they had some kind of leader, such as, for example, Akhra Avidzba (military call sign – “Abkhaz”) in Abkhazia, then, of course, they would overthrow anyone there. And Bibilov, and everyone in the world. But a leader simply did not appear – as if those potential leaders who could lead the whole thing – they are on the territory of Russia, the borders were closed, and they were not allowed to enter the territory of South Ossetia. In the first days of September, speaking publicly in North Ossetia (the territory of the Russian Federation – ed.) In support of the popular opposition of Tskhinval, the former president of the republic, Eduard Kokoity, was very eager to go to South Ossetia; but also, the same leader of the opposition, even more powerful, is Dzambolat Tedeev – the head coach of the Russian freestyle wrestling team. But none of them was on the territory of Tskhinval at that time.
– Was it only the “police” repressive inhuman vector of President Bibilov’s internal policy that gave rise to the “grapes of anger” of the South Ossetians – or can we also see a socio-economic factor in the growing conflict? – The existence of the last 2-3 years of the common people of the republic, which determined the current resistant radicalization of their consciousness?
A.M. – Naturally. The existing economic problems are always an important factor. That is, everything lies purely in the economic sphere. The people have become very poor lately, people are living very poorly, food prices are growing. There is no opportunity to earn money in the Republic, and whether you like it or not, everyone outside the republic makes money. The bulk of the population in Russia earns money, and when the border was closed, those who had the opportunity to go to work lost the opportunity to go home – at least help their relatives. For example, many pensioners cannot leave for a pension, because they received it in Russia. Well, these are the moments of an economic nature, socio-economic – they lead to very great social tension in society.
– In many messages, starting from September 1, various Telegram channels use the term “spontaneity” of the anti-government popular wave. Is it already possible today – or in the near future – to talk about the organized, coordinated programmatic nature of the social opposition movement, which will not come to naught, and will not subside again for some time, but will move on to preparing a national referendum, will Styr Nykhas (Osset. “Big Council” – one of the most ancient people’s democratic instruments that for centuries regulated traditional Alan society – ed.) Which will result in the announcement of impeachment to Anatoly Bibilov?
A.M. – I think that now is not the end of the story, as a step towards society, the head of South Ossetia announced that quarantine would be lifted on September 15, although it had been lifted all over Russia long ago. But here quarantine will be lifted from the 15th, because people have been living like some Indians on the reservation for the past five months. At the same time, the Russian border guards and the military moved freely all this time across the border, and the people were also very angry because of this, do you understand? There was some kind of selective restriction – some were allowed to travel freely, while others were not. Well, that is, these different factors have created such a “barrel of gasoline” from society, and that will serve as a further catalyst for the development of events.
Well, where the protest moods will go next – you understand, there is no leader there. This is the biggest problem – there is no one to organize, because the opposition, which is now in South Ossetia, has somehow shown its incapacity, right? That is, when all these events were actively developing, no one wanted to take the game or responsibility upon themselves, and somehow even tried to smooth out the whole thing. Accordingly, in the eyes of the people, I think they no longer enjoy respect, I think so. We’ll see. Again, the main problem is that there is no leader there at the moment. A potential leader, as I said, could be Dzambolat Tedeev or Eduard Kokoity, but Kokoity is torn, and he is not allowed into South Ossetia. And Tedeev is still wisely watching this case from the sidelines.
– Thank you, comrade Mamiev. But I would like to clarify one detail from your discourse: you say “this” barrel of gasoline “-” warmed up … “. Do you mean the circumstances resulting from the incorrect policy of the current leadership? -or certain “instigators”, outside deliberately destabilizing the socio-political situation in the independent Republic of the South Caucasus?
A.M. – As always, this is a very difficult question: what is more – stupidity or betrayal? The chain of action that led to the creation of this flammable barrel: these are not very thoughtful steps and guidelines. And, I am sure, the Georgian agents of influence worked very actively in the region. Therefore, it is very difficult to concretize here. We, as it were, can talk about the processes, but it is difficult for us to talk about the motives of these processes, so as not to go into some kind of conspiracy. So that we would not be told later that we are some kind of “dreamers”. That is, what processes specifically led to this, who was the culprit, someone’s stupidity, betrayal, or the work of agents of influence, we do not know.
– Yes, more, Alan. Such a moment; On the one hand, you also, (like us) – deny the notorious “Orange format” in the case of the “Tskhinvali autumn”, and on the other hand – higher phrases slip through you – “worked clearly, as in the” Abkhaz “scenario” Specify, you are welcome. Maybe I misunderstood you somewhere?
A.M. – Yes, somehow in our country it is customary to suspect everywhere the work of “all sorts of Anglo-Saxon groups – agents of influence”, by a recognizable method – to introduce some countries, etc. Following the example of a number of countries in the Middle East, or neighboring Ukraine, for example … Everywhere, allegedly, “American ears” stick out. In Abkhazia, these “ears” were not, all this is the struggle of our ugly towers – the Kremlin political elites. Because political technology under the generally accepted name “Maidan” is a North American product. And what is happening today is a “struggle of the Kremlin towers”, so calling it “Maidan” is completely stupid.
– Come on, “under the curtain”, such a speculative, more abstract question: In your opinion, ideally, in South Ossetia or the State of Alania, in the future, the question of the development of a political formation that has a conceptual programmatic basis and a superstructure would be positive, ideological aspects oriented towards the socialist paradigm?
A.M. – Undoubtedly, I believe that communism is the inevitable future of all mankind. If humanity does not disappear from planet Earth, it will sooner or later become communist. Objective processes of development of society will lead to this. And, of course, I would like to see a socialist form of economy in South Ossetia, and in Donetsk, Lugansk, in Russia, after all. We’ll see. I would like to! But, at the moment, unfortunately, there is no such political elite in South Ossetia, or those people who would be ready to raise the issue in this way.
– Well, Alan, we will, we, for our part, help and support this direction, even if this process will take several years. To you – a huge comradely and brotherly thank you – for our first conceptual dialogue!
P.S. Already after our conversation with Alan Mamiev, three days later – on September 11, 2020, a People’s Assembly was held in the capital of the Republic of South Ossetia – Tskhinval, which gathered hundreds of South Ossetians, who showed the republican authorities that a resistant social tension was only growing – against outright injustice and the lawlessness emanating from the ruling minority clinging to power, secretly supported by the bourgeois political elites of official Moscow. People came to self-organized mass social events – for the sake of a normal future for their children and Ossetia, a future without torture and lawlessness. For three years, President Bibilov, the Prosecutor of the Republic Dzhagkaev, the Minister of Internal Affairs Naniev and others have destroyed the rule of law in South Ossetia. The name of Inal Dzhabiev, who became a victim of their system, has already become a symbol for the people. A symbol of popular will and resistance – against the internal repressive and already authoritarian policy of the authorities. The nationwide protest against injustice, lawlessness and torture in South Ossetia may already be irreversible. And his righteous popular anger was not stopped by the attempt of the Kremlin curators of the current republican authorities to make a “knight’s move” by sending one of the key figures of his capitalist police apparatus to Tskhinval on September 4, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Nurgaliyev, apparently trying to reason with the indignant population and protect his protégés in the region. But it would be foolish to think that the capitalist neoliberal regime of modern Russia, which is interested exclusively in the economic interests of the ruling classes, would act in the interests of the infringed rights of the popular majority of the Republic of South Ossetia. And the stereotype that “the armed forces of the Russian Federation are the guarantor of security for the South Ossetians” was overthrown by the very reality of the summer of 2020, when the Georgian militarists, using sabotage methods, step by step and almost unhindered, began a revanchist process of territorial restitution of the border parts of the Republic of South Ossetia, won back in blood and lives. sons and daughters of the ancient land – Alania.
Interviewed and commented by Alan Kizlyarsky
specially for Resistentiam.com