South Ossetia: Nurses recall surviving Georgian shelling during 2008 war

A decade after the South Ossetia conflict, nurses Irina Bibilova and Svetlana Kulumbegova recalled how they survived and managed to help others as Georgian bombs fell over their hospital, speaking in the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali on Tuesday. Visiting the remains of her former workplace, Bibilova explained how she tried to save the burning hospital by carrying bucketfuls of water inside... Еще the building. «We of course did not help our hospital but the patients were rescued, thank God,» the nurse remembered. Bibilova recalled how the nurses and patients hid in a garage pit for more than a day before being able to escape from the area. Her colleague Svetlana Kulumbegova praised Bibilova for being able to do her job and take care of the patients in such of a demanding situation. «Nobody wanted to eat but patients are patients and without medicine, without food. Secretly Ira always walked away and picked up something,» said Kulumbegova. The conflict in South Ossetia erupted on the night of August 7-8, 2008, as Georgia launched an intensive air campaign against Tskhinvali. The attack left casualties among Russian peacekeepers and Ossetian militia defending the territory captured by Georgian forces. In response, Russia deployed units of the Russian 58th Army and Russian airborne troops and four days of fighting ensued leaving up to 1,000 civilians dead with the heaviest fighting taking place in Tskhinvali. The five-day conflict came to an end August 12, 2008 when both sides agreed to a preliminary ceasefire.

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