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Georgia: For IDPs, Orthodox Easter Reinforces Pain of Separation

Orthodox Easter was celebrated on April 15 in Georgia. This year, Misha Tabatadze could not join in the traditional pilgrimage to visit the graves of loved ones. He could not light a candle in the cemetery where his daughter, Etuna, is buried, or place a brightly dyed red egg on her grave.

Tabatadze was among the thousands of ethnic Georgians who were caught up in the 2008 Georgian-Russian war, a conflict that revolved around the breakaway region of South Ossetia. The defeat suffered by Georgian forces in that conflict means that Tabatadze cannot visit his family’s graves in the hamlet of Avnevi, just inside South Ossetian territory, due to travel limitations on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Instead, for most of the past four years, he has traveled to Istanbul to give candles to a South Ossetian friend to light in memory of his daughter, who died at the age of six from eye surgery complications.

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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist who also works as editor of Investor.ge, a monthly publication by the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.

Georgia: For IDPs, Orthodox Easter Reinforces Pain of Separation

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