Andrew North
Border Between Georgians

At the age of 82 David Vanishvili became a star. Though, being a star is not always attractive. Vanishvili appeared to be living in a “cage” where people come to look at him several times in a month. They come to Khurvaleti village, watch him over the fence, speak about his problems and then they leave. Nothing has been changing for two years for Vanishvili. He still faces the same problems every day. 


David Vanishvili

After his house turned to be on the land of South Ossetia, David is becoming more and more popular every day. He has no official documents -  neither Georgian, nor Russian. He is receiving Georgian pension and to get it, he has to cross the “border” quietly, mostly in the midnight. The “border” is just a thin fence, which separated him from his own country. 

David became popular all over the world through the international media that covered his story. Officials have visited him many times, speaking with him over the fence, though he still lives in the opposite side. He is still climbing under the fence in the midnight, in fear of soldiers not to see him.

In the inner side of the border, on the official territory of Georgia, people express quiet negative attitude towards Vanishvili. Those, who are left over the border in their own country, think that they suffer more. They speak about the problems which they have to face everyday. Maia Otinashvili says that Vanishvili uses the situation in which he appeared unexpectedly to get more financial assistance, attention and fame. 


Maia Otinashvili

Maia Otinashvili is not resident of village Khurvaleti herself, though she often visits her mother in-low, Elene. The husband of Otinashvili, former soldier of Georgian army was fired four years ago and now he works as a taxi driver. Otinashvili speaks about the attitude of media, that the main object is only David Vanishvili, who was left over the “border” and that no one pays attention to the every-day suffering lives of those, who still live on the territory of Georgia, only 50 meters far from the border. 


For example Shota Kokashvili, who lives 4 houses far from the border, has not visited the cemetery of relatives for 6 six years. 


Shota Kokashvili

From different sides of the “border” between Georgia and South Ossetia, problems look different, but mainly residents in both sides suffer from one major problem - unclear future. No one knows who appears over the border tomorrow. Some cannot visit the graves of the family members and some have no idea, where they will be buried at all. 


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