August 14th, 2008
10:50 AM ET

My Hometown headline: War with Russia

Nunu Japaridze
CNN Producer
I was finally able to go to bed at midnight Tuesday after 18 hours straight in the CNN newsroom.

I have been covering the Georgia/Russia conflict. I have covered many conflicts, but this one hits very close to home for me.

I am Georgian. I was born and raised in the beautiful country that is now being destroyed.

After the long day of work I was exhausted. I went to sleep hopeful that five days of bombings, killings and uncertainty were over.

The latest news on the conflict was that Georgia and Russia had agreed on cease-fire. I was overjoyed and relieved, and I actually felt like my life could return to normal.

But my joy about the possible end of the war was short-lived. I was woken up with the breaking news that the cease-fire was violated and Russian troops were heading toward the capital city of Tbilisi (my hometown).

I immediately tried calling my family but was not able to get trough. I tried and tried, but had no luck. Then I started gathering information and calling sources.

I occupied myself as much as I could to keep my mind distracted from what might happen to my family back home. My plan did not work. I was worried to death.

Finally, I heard some good news. Russian troops had diverted in another direction and had stopped their advance toward Tbilisi. With the news changing every minute, I tried to stay focused on covering the story.

After what seemed like an eternity, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it and heard my dad on the other end. My heart stopped.

“We are okay. We are safe – for now.” Those were the first words he said to me – and that was all I wanted to hear.

I am still here in the newsroom working. I can’t help but think, "What if this does not end soon?"

No, it must end. It has to. I cannot think otherwise.

Filed under: Global 360°
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. steve haynes

    this should not suprise anybody russia canot be trusted now or in the future we need to send a strong message this will not be tolarated we need to stand for democrocy and freedom around the world if we dont stop them now then when time to resarect ronald reagen god bless america

    August 15, 2008 at 5:15 am |
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