Russia's recognition of South Ossetia marked the beginning of a new historic era of peace and prosperity, - said Anatoly Bibilov, the de facto leader of occupied Tskhinvali, who congratulated the population on the 13th anniversary of Russia's recognition of the region's "independence".
"The road to this happy day was long and full of hardships. In August 2008, the population of South Ossetia was once again on the verge of physical destruction by the invading Georgian army, and Russia's strong assistance brought salvation. The war ended, but it was clear that only recognition of independence would ensure lasting peace on South Ossetian soil. Brotherly Abkhazia also gained recognition along with South Ossetia", - Bibilov said.
According to him, the historic choice of "South Ossetia" is an unbreakable connection with Russia.
"By no means will we deviate from the course of strengthening this union. We will continue to develop integration in all areas, based on the repeatedly confirmed will of the people of South Ossetia", - Bibilov said.
On August 26, the 13th anniversary of Russia's so-called recognition of independence is celebrated in occupied Tskhinvali and Sokhumi. Russia made the decision of illegal recognition after the August 2008 war.