First the castle, then the museum and the cemetery – the Tskhinvali adventure of the American tourist


Kramer’s dangerous adventure, according to the de facto KGB, began on August 26, when he was detained by Russian border guards near the village of Erman in the occupied Java region. Earlier, the American traveler toured the mountainous regions of Georgia, Tusheti, Kazbegi district and from there decided to follow the southern ridge of the Caucasus Mountains and thus reach the Black Sea.

He could not find it on the map and only after his arrest did he learn that he would cross an invisible and non-existent border. At a briefing before his release from prison in Tskhinvali, he told Ossetian journalists that he knew nothing about your existence. Kramer’s briefing, which lasted 18 minutes, was covered by all Ossetian news agencies and television.

“I started traveling on foot in the Caucasus. I did not know about the existence of South Ossetia. I wanted to go from the Georgian border to the Black Sea. “I do not know exactly where I was when the Russian military arrested me and took me to a Russian base.” – Kramer said at a briefing in Tskhinvali.

After talking about the details of the arrest, Kramer was asked a lot of questions. Tskhinvali journalists treated him more like a tourist than a prisoner. Interested in his impressions; They asked, where did you cover the longest route? Walking from Mexico to Canada — was the answer. How did you like Tskhinvali? Did you hear the story? They brought me a book in the isolator and I learned a few things from there, and they showed me a museum and a memorial in Tskhinvali.

Journalists do not ask anything about what was happening in the isolator, how they were interrogated, why they were released?

However, Jackson Kramer is the first known American citizen to ever be interrogated by Russian Ephesians and Ossetian KGB officials in Tskhinvali.

During the detention of Georgian citizens (most often shepherds are detained), the Russian and Ossetian special services are primarily interested in whether they are dealing with a person sent by the Georgian special services.

Khvicha Mghebrishvili, who was arrested amid a wave of disinformation against the Lugar Laboratory, told RFE / RL about their interrogation methods a few months ago and admitted that he had gone to the occupied territory to catch bats needed by the Lugar Laboratory.

Khvicha was brutally beaten by the KGB and militia officers. “They had already written the story of the bats, they signed it for me, then they read it to me and told me that this is the best thing for you, but he did not say anything else in court, otherwise your case will go badly and they started filming. They recorded it many times and then, which turned out to be a good option, they used it. ” – Khvicha Mghebrishvili told Radio Liberty then.

How was an American citizen interrogated, and how was he treated in solitary confinement? Did they think that he was a representative of the special services who entered the region to spy on the territory and military bases? Were they affected psychologically? Kramer did not say anything about it at the briefing, nor were the journalists interested.

What is your impression of Ossetians? – Asked one of the journalists at the end. The strong ones sighed – Kramer answered with a smile. The journalist perceived this as a compliment. The American saw only armed people for 11 days and only saw people with microphones before departure

Despite everything, Kramer turned out to be a so-called honorable, privileged prisoner in Tskhinvali. They donated a book, took it to the museum, and the excursion to the 5th School ended with a war memorial. This cemetery in Tskhinvali is called the memorial to the victims of Georgian aggression.

Unlike Kramer, Georgian shepherds, who are detained almost daily, are not taken on “excursions”. So far, only one case has been reported in which a prisoner was treated similarly. Prior to his release from prison, Dr. Vazha Gaprindashvili was taken to Dzari Road, where a bus exploded in the 1990s. The propaganda excursion ended in the center of Tskhinvali with the display of burnt vehicles and military equipment. In prison, videos made in the 90s were shown.

“Unlike an American, I was not taken to the cemetery near the Tskhinvali school. I was taken to the body road, the bus was blown up and they have a memorial there and then they showed me at the entrance to Tskhinvali, there are burnt cars in the circle. At first I thought it was prophylaxis and the old cars were clean. Then in the city, near one of the buildings, they saw the dome of Better, framed by a barrel in the asphalt. It was more propagandistic to show what the so-called Georgian fascists were doing in the 90s, although it can be mentioned how many villages have been uprooted, the same Tamarasheni and other villages. “They could not propagandize properly, they showed me the videos, they printed the computer and the next day they continued my so-called education.”

Jackson Paul Kramer was released on the evening of September 6 and deported from Tskhinvali as a so-called border trespasser. He was handed over to the Georgian law enforcers at the Ergneti checkpoint. The State Security Service issued a special statement only after that.

According to SUS, a hotline has been activated since the illegal detention, providing information to the EU Monitoring Mission and the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions.

According to SUS, the Russian Federation bears full responsibility for the illegal detention of citizens. Davit Katsarava, the leader of the anti-occupation movement, believes that the Georgian authorities have delayed the dissemination of information and that he is constantly hiding information about the detainees.

Jackson Paul Kramer will leave Georgia on September 14. The main purpose of arriving in Georgia, to walk through the Caucasus Mountains to the Black Sea, remained unfulfilled. His plans were thwarted by Russian and de facto South Ossetian border guards and he spent 11 days in the Tskhinvali isolator instead of traveling.