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Georgians in L.A. watch and wait

August 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A cease-fire has been agreed to by both Georgian and Russian leaders. The deal, brokered by the French, calls for both Russian and Georgian troops to stop the fighting and move back to their initial positions. It also calls for an international discussion on the future of Georgia's breakaway provinces and their safety.The violence erupted Thursday when Georgia began a crackdown on the breakaway province of South Ossetia. That move ignited a much more punishing military response from Russia.

Get the latest news on the Georgia-Russia conflict

Here is a look at how Georgians in Los Angeles are reacting to the violence.

The Djandjoulia family owns Karpaty Grocery in West Hollywood. Nodar Djandjoulia said it's a very difficult situation. Djandjoulia and his family moved from Georgia to L.A. nine years ago. They say they are terrified of what may happen if the violence continues to escalate between their homeland and Russia.

"We all want first, the world to find out who's right and who's wrong; and to basically stop the aggressor and withdraw all the troops from the ... territory," said Tea Djandjoulia.

For the Djandjoulias and all the other immigrants who come to the grocery store here, the most difficult part is watching the violence from thousands of miles away, unsure how their loved ones are doing.

"We cannot call them," said Tea Djandjoulia. "They are not answering phones. We were not able to get hold of them."

Tisana Djandjoulia said Russia's aggressive behavior is inexcusable. Georgia's government has agreed to a cease-fire, but Russia has continued to fight.

President Bush, along with other Western nations, has condemned Russia's actions, but the Djandjoulias were hoping for more from the United States.

"It's very frustrating to us," said Tea Djandjoulia. "We were hopeful [Bush] would be tougher. It's very frustrating to us that we are unable to do anything to change this situation."

For now, the Djandjoulias can only wait and watch, hoping for a peaceful end to the violence.

 

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