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South Ossetia holds mourning events marking anniversary of 2008 war

August 08, 3:47 UTC+3 TSKHINVAL

Overnight to August 2008, Georgia carried out an armed aggression against its former autonomous region South Ossetia

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TSKHINVAL, August 8. /TASS/. Mourning events dedicated to the 10th anniversary of a military conflict in August 2008 began in South Ossetia on Wednesday.

The participants paid tribute to those killed by laying flowers to the memorial places and also a literature and musical event was organized, and the republic’s churches held prayer services, a TASS correspondent reported.

Overnight to August 2008, Georgia carried out an armed aggression against its former autonomous region South Ossetia. Russia defended civilians and its peacekeepers, who had been on duty in the region since 1992. The five-day war claimed more than 1,000 lives. On August 26, 2008 Russia recognized South Ossetia’s independence.

The republic’s leadership and members of the public on Tuesday afternoon visited the Museum of Burnt Souls. The participants of the event called ‘Those Alive Need Memory’ led by South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov laid flowers to the museum’s main monument, "The Tree of Grief," and lit memorial candles near the crucifix.

The Museum of Burnt Souls is located in the village of Tbet, some 2 km to the west of Tskhinval, near the entry to the Zarskaya road, which used to be the only way from Tskhinval to Russia back in August 2008. The museum is built in the open air featuring destroyed cars, which came under fire when carrying refuges, who tried to leave the city during the attack.

In the middle of the circle there is a large crucifix and a metallic monument featuring a tree with the falling leaves, dubbed "The Tree of Grief."

The main mourning events were held in the center of Tskhinval. During the literature and musical event hundreds of portraits of those killed during Georgia’s armed aggression in 2008 were installed on the stairs and the candles were lit.

The big screen showed the scenes of combat actions and the participants listened to the mourning music, verses and songs devoted to the event and the heroic act of Tskhinval’s defenders.

On Wednesday, mourning events will continue with laying flowers to the scenes where South Ossetia’s defenders were killed.

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