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Georgia: Two Decades Later, Still Searching for the Missing

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Abkhaz attend independence day celebrations in September 2008 at the monument to the unknown soldier in Sokhumi.

The last time 76-year-old Venera Oshoridze saw her son, Kakha, was September 15, 1993.

A pensive 20-year-old who loved his friends, his mother’s fried potatoes, and dreamed of going to college, Kakha volunteered to fight in the Abkhaz war just days before Tbilisi lost the battle for Sokhumi on September 27, 1993.

“He wasn’t like the others. He was a quiet boy, always thinking about something,” Oshoridze said, pointing to photo of a serious young man with solemn brown eyes.

Both of Oshoridze’s sons went to war, but while her elder son returned, Kakha vanished without a trace. Like nearly 2,000 other men and women (most of them Georgian) from the 1992-1993 war between Tbilisi and separatist forces in Abkhazia, he has been missing for the past two decades.

Immediately after the conflict, Oshoridze started looking for her son, as scores of Abkhaz and Georgian parents joined forces to locate, identify and, when possible, rebury their children.

To read the full story

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. Paul Rimple is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi. Justyna Mielnikiewicz is a freelance photojournalist also based in Tbilisi.

Georgia: Two Decades Later, Still Searching for the Missing

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