Volunteers from South Ossetia’s neighbouring Russian region of North Ossetia have been signing up to fight against Georgian forces across the border.
North Ossetia has stong ethnic links with the conflict-hit south, hence the show of solidarity by those coming forward to offer their services.
“I think it is my duty to help my brothers,” said one volunteer. “I am a former professional military man, a contract soldier, and I have decided to go and help my brothers.”
The separatist authorities of the other breakaway Georgian region, Abkhazia, are also mobilising, heading towards the de facto border with Georgia. This is despite warnings from Tbilisi to stay away from the conflict.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia have pledged to co-operate in defending their self-proclaimed independence. Abkhaz separatists say they fear Georgia will attack their territory next.