Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ossetian activist accused of ties to KGB

Lira Tskhovrebova is an unconventional woman. In South Ossetia for over a decaed, she has brought Ossetian and Georgian residents, mostly women, together in conflict-resolution workshops. After the war in August, she sought to engage the Georgian diaspora in conflict resolution. This month she traveled to Washington, DC, to directly take on the United States' support of Georgia and Pres. Mikheil Saakashvili. But Ms. Tskhovrebova might have ties to South Ossetia's KGB, according to materials The Associated Press received from the Georgian government.

Senior US State Department official Matthew Bryza canceled a meeting with Ms. Tskhovrebova after the AP asked him about the allegations. The State Department is trying to set up another meeting, according to the AFP.

The Georgian government gave the AP transcripts of intercepted calls between Ms. Tskhovrebova and Vasily Guliyev, deputy director for counterintelligence for the South Ossetian security agency still known by the Soviet-era acronym KGB.

Ms. Tskhovrebova said she talked regularly with Mr. Guliyev, who she told the AP is a family friend.

The AP's video of their interview:

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