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TSKHINVAL, August 7 (Itar-Tass) — South Ossetia, on the fourth anniversary since the Georgian aggression against the republic, will honour the memory of heroes, Ossetian residents and Russian peacekeepers, who thwarted the plans of military adventurists from Tbilisi in August 2008.
The commemoration ceremony will begin on Tuesday night at 22:00 Moscow time at the city's Theatre Square and will be continued with a meeting on the Gergiyev Stairs to remember all the missing people.
The Gergiyev-conducted orchestra played at the site a few days after the street fighting ended in Tskhinval, state councilor of the republic's president for the state and international protocol Zhanna Zasseyeva recalled.
The Sergei Rakhmaninov State Symphonic Orchestra of the Russian State Television and Radio Company is planned to participate in the commemoration ceremony.
After the church service in the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Tskhinval's outskirts, prayers will be uttered and candles will be lit in memory of those who were killed by the Georgian aggressors' attack.
The aggressors committed the open invasion of South Ossetia after tension escalation in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone. Early in August, the Georgian side systematically opened artillery fire and sniper shooting at Tskhinval and Ossetian villages, posts of the republic's law-enforcement structures and the North Ossetian battalion of the joint peacekeeping forces. The fire was opened from border Georgian residential sites. Dozens of civilians were killed or wounded during the first week of the month. The republic's authorities began to evacuate women and children.
The efforts of the Russian and South Ossetian members of the Mixed Control Commission and the command of the joint peacekeeping forces could not prevent the war. The Georgian side stated in words that it was committed to peaceful crisis settlement, but in fact stalled the negotiating process.
Shortly before midnight on August 7, sleeping Tskhinval and nearby Ossetian villages were attacked with missile and artillery fire and air strikes. Along with artillery fire, the Georgian army used Grad multiple launch rocket systems and cluster bombs (mass destruction weapons) against the civilian population.
The Ossetian villages of Khetagurovo, Dmenis, Pris, Sarabuk, Satikar, Mugut, Didmukha, Galuanta and others were also intensively shelled.
Early on August 8, Georgian tanks attacked the southern outskirts of Tskhinval. The strikes also hit the barracks of the Russian peacekeepers in the upper area of the south Ossetian capital.
City defenders and peacekeepers started fighting with the attackers. Some Georgian armoured vehicles were hit and burst into flames on Tskhinval streets. The fierce street fighting continued throughout the day.
In the critical situation, the Russian leaders decided to start an operation to force the Georgian aggressor to peace. Units of Russian Army 58 came into the republic. Tskhinval was unblocked in two days. The Georgian troops were forced far into their territory. They were completely demoralized.