I passed Gori yesterday. The apartment blocks that had been bombed were almost fully renovated. Some apartments that were completely destroyed and those that were damaged, all looked the same. Crumbling wooden windows were replaced with modern sound proof ones. The shop nearby that had been damaged, was also rebuilt as well as a house across the road. No physical trace of war there. These apartment blocks stand straight on the main road leading to Tbilisi.
Then we went north towards the villages. I saw part of Kvemo Nikozi and couple villages around it. From there Tskhinvali is so close you can actually see part of it - couple apartment blocks and factory chimney. This looks so strange, being so visible and so hostile. So close and so far away at the same time. From both sides. It's all about the people. Ethnicities have nothing to do about it. It's about how people understand the world.
Unlike Eredvi, Tkhviavi and some villages there, the damage is not huge in these several villages I saw south-west to Tskhinvali. Some houses are burnt down but not very many. Most of the houses were apparently robbed. We saw two locations where they were unmining the land. I heard a sound of explosion and that was of one of the mines. They seem to be everywhere.
One house we saw in one of the villages there belonged to a military doctor. That was the reason for burning it down - they say in the village. An old woman now sleeping on the survived balcony said she was promised her house would be rebuilt by December. Before that she was offered no shelter.