Activists from Kokoity Fandarast, a movement seeking to oust South Ossetian secessionist leader Eduard Kokoity through peaceful public campaigns, disseminated leaflets overnight on September 20 in the breakaway region’s capital of Tskhinvali, Vladimir Sanakoev, the founder of the movement, has claimed.
The South Ossetian side, however, said the leaflets bearing the Kokoity Fandarast movement's symbol were dropped from a small plane, which flew over the conflict zone at low altitude.
“After failing to organize their so-called ‘peace march’, the Georgian side has decided to resort to this type of provocation,” a statement posted on the South Ossetian Press and Information Committee’s website said. “The overflight of the conflict zone is a grave violation of existing agreements.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi, Vladimir Sanakoev said the propaganda move in Tskhinvali was an obvious sign of his movement's presence in the separatist-controlled areas of the breakaway region. No independent confirmation of the report is, however, available.
“In doing this, our activists risked their lives,” Sanakoev said, “and we should be grateful to them.”
The reported propaganda stunt coincided with the celebration of South Ossetia’s Independence Day on September 20.
The South Ossetian Press and Information Committee reported that delegations from breakaway Abkhazia, Transdnestria, Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as Russia’s North Ossetia, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Moscow municipality, participated in the independence celebrations in Tskhinvali.