TSKHINVAL, December 8 (Itar-Tass) — Participants in the indefinite-term protest action staged by the supporters of former presidential candidate Alla Dzhioyeva are making fires in Tskhinval's central square, and playing the Ossetian accordion. There were just a handful of people in the morning, but everybody seems to be in a cheerful mood, as they know that Alla Dzhioyeva described the Wednesday consultations with the Russian representative as "positive."
A new round is due at 16:00 Moscow Time, on Thursday. By then, the number of people will have increased by dozens of times; but at present, they take turns to withdraw to houses to get warm, in order to avoid further losses in their ranks.
During the three-day snowfall, many protesters fell ill with severe cold.
Sitting by a fire, General Anatoly Barankevich and several women are singing songs to a tune played with an Ossetian accordion. They are happy with good weather.
"Barankevich is on the barricades, as always," the people joke as they recall the August of 2008, when the Security Council chief led the defense of Tskhinval and disabled a Georgian tank, as the republic’s top leadership were going to Dzhava.
"This aura in the square is beautiful; everybody is inspired by the talks' breaking the impasse. We succeeded in reaching a common understanding of the situation; now we'll be coordinating the measures to settle this prolonged crisis shortly," Barankevich said.
The crisis will be resolved within days. "President Dmitry Medvedev said we have to settle our problems on our own; and we're all thankful to him for these words, and even more thankful for the promise to always support South Ossetia," the General said.
Barankevich added he is confident that "Kokoity should step down."
"The people in the square are awaiting this decision by their former president. His term expires on December 7; he must step down and agree with the people's choice."
General Barankevich evaluates the situation in South Ossetia as "relatively stable."
"Nobody will raise an assault rifle in this square. Many guys from law-enforcement bodies are on our side; simply they are doing their job which is right."
Nevertheless, Barankevich is wary of provocations, capable of rocking the situation. They tried to detain Alan Pliyev, a presidential candidate, early on Thursday morning, but failed, he said.