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South Ossetia
Ossetia
(/ɒˈsɛtiə/[4]) or Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
Region (also Republic of South Ossetia
Ossetia
or the State of Alania), is a Georgian territory occupied by Russia
Russia
in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast
South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast
within the former Georgian SSR.[5] It has a population of 53,000 people who live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in its capital city of Tskhinvali. South Ossetia
Ossetia
declared independence from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic
Republic
in 1991. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia's autonomy and trying to re-establish its control over the region by force.[6] The crisis escalation led to the 1991–92 South Ossetia
Ossetia
War.[7] Georgian fighting against those controlling South Ossetia
Ossetia
occurred on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008.[8] The latter conflict led to the Russo–Georgian War, during which Ossetian and Russian forces gained full de facto control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. In the wake of the 2008 war, Russia, followed by Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru, recognised South Ossetia's independence.[9][10][11][12][13] Georgia does not recognise the existence of South Ossetia
Ossetia
as a political entity, including most of the area in its Shida Kartli region, under the administration of the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia. Georgia and a significant part of the international community consider South Ossetia
Ossetia
to be occupied by the Russian military. South Ossetia
Ossetia
relies heavily on military, political and financial aid from Russia.[14][15][16] Russia
Russia
does not allow European Union Monitoring Mission
European Union Monitoring Mission
to enter South Ossetia.[17] As South Ossetia
Ossetia
is not recognised by Georgia and its territory does not correspond to any Georgian administrative area, it is often informally referred to as the legally undefined Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
Region[nb 1] in Georgia and in international organisations when neutrality is deemed necessary. Constitutionally South Ossetia
Ossetia
is known as "the former autonomous district of South Ossetia", in reference to the former soviet autonomous oblast that Georgian authorities disbanded in 1990.[18] South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Abkhazia
Abkhazia
are sometimes referred to as post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.[19][20]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Medieval and early modern period 1.2 South Ossetia
Ossetia
as a part of the Soviet Union 1.3 Georgian-Ossetian conflict

1.3.1 1989–2008 1.3.2 2008 war

2 Geography and climate 3 Political status

3.1 Plans of Integration with the Russian Federation 3.2 Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia

4 Politics

4.1 Government 4.2 Military

5 Demographics 6 Economy 7 Culture

7.1 Education 7.2 Public Holidays

8 Gallery 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

History[edit] See also: History of Ossetia

Historical Russian map of the Caucasus
Caucasus
region at the beginning of the 19th century

Fragment of the historical map by J. H. Colton. The map depicts the Caucasus
Caucasus
region in 1856. Modern South Ossetia
Ossetia
is located in Georgia and Imeria. Modern North Ossetia
North Ossetia
approximately corresponds to "Ossia".

Democratic Republic
Republic
of Georgia (1918–1921) in 1921.

Creation of South Ossetian AO on historical Georgian regions in 1922.

Medieval and early modern period[edit] The territory of contemporary South Ossetia
Ossetia
was part of kingdom of Iberia, the latter was unified under the single Georgian monarchy in 11th-century, extending its possessions up to Dvaleti. The Ossetians
Ossetians
are believed to originate from the Alans, an Iranian tribe.[21] In the 8th century a consolidated Alan kingdom, referred to in sources of the period as Alania, emerged in the northern Caucasus Mountains. Around 1239-1277 Alania
Alania
fell before the Mongol and later to the Timur's armies, that massacred much of the Alanian population. The survivors among the Alans
Alans
retreated into the mountains of the central Caucasus
Caucasus
and gradualy started migration to the south. In 1299, Gori was captured by the Alan tribesmen fleeing the Mongol conquest of their original homeland in the North Caucasus. The Georgian king George V recovered the town in 1320, pushing the Alans back over the Caucasus
Caucasus
mountains. In the 17th century, by pressure of Kabardian princes, Ossetians started second wave of migration from the North Caucasus
Caucasus
to Georgia.[22] Ossetian peasants, who were migrating to the mountainous areas of the South Caucasus, often settled in the lands of Georgian feudal lords.[23] The Georgian King of the Kingdom of Kartli
Kingdom of Kartli
permitted Ossetians
Ossetians
to immigrate.[24] According to Russian ambassador to Georgia Mikhail Tatishchev, at the beginning of the 17th century there was already a small group of Ossetians
Ossetians
living near the headwaters of the Greater Liakhvi River.[24][25] In the 1770s there were more Ossetians living in Kartli than ever before. This period has been documented in the travel diaries of Johann Anton Güldenstädt who visited Georgia in 1772. The Baltic German explorer called modern North Ossetia
North Ossetia
simply Ossetia, while he wrote that Kartli (the areas of modern-day South Ossetia) was populated by Georgians
Georgians
and the mountainous areas were populated by both Georgians
Georgians
and Ossetians.[26] Güldenstädt also wrote that the northernmost border of Kartli is the Major Caucasus Ridge.[27][28][29] By the end of 18th century, the ultimate sites of Ossetian settlement on the territory of modern South Ossetia
Ossetia
were in Kudaro (Jejora river estuary), Greater Liakhvi gorge, the gorge of Little Liakhvi, Ksani
Ksani
River gorge, Guda (Tetri Aragvi estuary) and Truso (Terek estuary).[30] The Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, part of which was the major territory of modern South Ossetia, was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1801. Ossetian migration to Georgian areas continued in the 19th and 20th centuries, when Georgia was part of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
and Ossetian settlements in Trialeti, Borjomi, Bakuriani
Bakuriani
and Kakheti emerged as well.[30] South Ossetia
Ossetia
as a part of the Soviet Union[edit] Following the Russian revolution,[31] the area of modern South Ossetia became part of the Democratic Republic
Republic
of Georgia.[32] In 1918, conflict began between the landless Ossetian peasants living in Shida Kartli (Interior Georgia), who were influenced by Bolshevism
Bolshevism
and demanded ownership of the lands they worked, and the Menshevik government backed ethnic Georgian aristocrats, who were legal owners. Although the Ossetians
Ossetians
were initially discontented with the economic policies of the central government, the tension soon transformed into ethnic conflict.[32] The first Ossetian rebellion began in February 1918, when three Georgian princes were killed and their land was seized by the Ossetians. The central government of Tiflis retaliated by sending the National Guard to the area. However, the Georgian unit retreated after they had engaged the Ossetians.[33] Ossetian rebels then proceeded to occupy the town of Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
and began attacking ethnic Georgian civilian population. During uprisings in 1919 and 1920, the Ossetians
Ossetians
were covertly supported by Soviet Russia, but even so, were defeated.[32] According to allegations made by Ossetian sources, the crushing of the 1920 uprising caused the death of 5,000 Ossetians, while ensuing hunger and epidemics were the causes of death of more than 13,000 people.[6] The Soviet Georgian government, established after the Red Army invasion of Georgia in 1921, created an autonomous administrative unit for Transcaucasian Ossetians
Ossetians
in April 1922 under pressure from Kavbiuro
Kavbiuro
(the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party), called the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast (AO).[34] Some believe that the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
granted this autonomy to the Ossetians
Ossetians
in exchange for their help in fighting the Democratic Republic
Republic
of Georgia and favoring local separatists, since this area had never been a separate entity prior to the Russian invasion.[35] The drawing of administrative boundaries of the South Ossetian AO was quite a complicated process. Many Georgian villages were included within the South Ossetian AO despite numerous protests by the Georgian population. While the city of Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
did not have a majority Ossetian population, it was made the capital of the South Ossetian AO.[34][36] In addition to parts of Gori Uyezd and Dusheti Uyezd of Tiflis Governorate, parts of Racha
Racha
Uyezd of Kutaisi Governorate (western Georgia) were also included within the South Ossetian AO. All these territories historically had been indigenous Georgian lands.[37] Historical Ossetia
Ossetia
in the North Caucasus
Caucasus
did not have its own political entity before 1924, when the North Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was created.[37] Although the Ossetians
Ossetians
had their own language (Ossetian), Russian and Georgian were administrative/state languages.[38] Under the rule of Georgia's government during Soviet times, Ossetians
Ossetians
enjoyed minority cultural autonomy, including speaking the Ossetian language
Ossetian language
and teaching it in schools.[38] In 1989, two-thirds of Ossetians
Ossetians
in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic
Republic
lived outside the South Ossetian AO.[39] Georgian-Ossetian conflict[edit] Main article: Georgian-Ossetian conflict 1989–2008[edit] Tensions in the region began to rise amid rising nationalism among both Georgians
Georgians
and Ossetians
Ossetians
in 1989. Before this, the two communities of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast
South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast
of the Georgian SSR had been living in peace with each other except for the 1918–1920 events. Both ethnicities have had a high level of interaction and high rates of intermarriage.[citation needed] Dispute surrounding the presence of the Ossetian people in the South Caucasus
South Caucasus
has been one of the causes of conflict. Although Georgian historiography believes that Ossetian mass migration to the South Caucasus
South Caucasus
(Georgia) began in the 17th century, Ossetians
Ossetians
claim to have been residing in the area since ancient times and that present-day South Ossetia
Ossetia
is their historical homeland.[6] No evidence exists to back up the Ossetian claims of being indigenous to South Ossetia.[40] Some Ossetian historians accept that the migration of Ossetian ancestors to modern South Ossetia
Ossetia
began after the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, while one South Ossetian de facto foreign minister in the 1990s admitted that the Ossetians
Ossetians
first appeared in the area only in the early 17th century.[41] Since it was created after the Russian invasion of 1921, South Ossetia
Ossetia
was regarded as artificial creation by Georgians
Georgians
during the Soviet era.[6] The South Ossetian Popular Front (Ademon Nykhas) was created in 1988. On 10 November 1989, the South Ossetian regional council asked the Georgian Supreme Council to upgrade the region to the status of an "autonomous republic".[6] The decision to transform the South Ossetian AO into the South Ossetian ASSR by the South Ossetian authorities escalated the conflict. On 11 November, this decision was revoked by the Georgian parliament.[42] The Georgian authorities removed the First Party Secretary of the oblast from his position.[43][44] The Georgian Supreme Council adopted a law barring regional parties in summer 1990. Since this was interpreted by South Ossetians
Ossetians
as a move against Ademon Nykhas, they declared full sovereignty as part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
(USSR) on 20 September 1990. Ossetians
Ossetians
boycotted subsequent Georgian parliamentary elections and held their own contest in December.[6] In October 1990, the parliamentary elections in Georgia was won by Zviad Gamsakhurdia's "Round Table" block.[6] On 11 December 1990, Zviad Gamsakhurdia's government declared the Ossetian election illegitimate and abolished South Ossetia's autonomous status altogether.[6] Gamsakhurdia rationalized the abolition of Ossetian autonomy by saying, "They [Ossetians] have no right to a state here in Georgia. They are a national minority. Their homeland is North Ossetia.... Here they are newcomers."[41] When the Georgian parliament declared a state of emergency in the territory of South Ossetian AO on 12 December 1990, troops from both Georgian and Russian interior ministries were sent to the region. After the Georgian National Guard was formed in early 1991, Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
on 5 January 1991.[45] The 1991–92 South Ossetia
Ossetia
War was characterised by general disregard for international humanitarian law by uncontrollable militias, with both sides reporting atrocities.[45] The Soviet military facilitated a ceasefire as ordered by Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
in January 1991, later they were participating in the conflict on the Ossetian side.[citation needed] In March and April 1991, Soviet interior troops were reported actively disarming militias on both sides, and deterring the inter-ethnic violence. Zviad Gamsakhurdia asserted that the Soviet leadership was encouraging South Ossetian separatism in order to force Georgia not to leave the Soviet Union. Georgia declared its independence in April 1991.[41] As a result of the war, about 100,000 ethnic Ossetians
Ossetians
fled the territory and Georgia proper, most across the border into North Ossetia. A further 23,000 ethnic Georgians
Georgians
fled South Ossetia
Ossetia
to other parts of Georgia.[46] Many South Ossetians
Ossetians
were resettled in uninhabited areas of North Ossetia
North Ossetia
from which the Ingush had been expelled by Stalin in 1944, leading to conflicts between Ossetians
Ossetians
and Ingush over the right of residence in former Ingush territory.[citation needed] On 29 April 1991, the western part of South Ossetia
Ossetia
was affected by an earthquake, which killed 200 and left 300 families homeless.[citation needed] In late 1991, dissent was mounting against Gamsakhurdia in Georgia due to his intolerance of critics and attempts to concentrate political power. On 22 December 1991, after a coup d'état, Gamsakhurdia and his supporters were besieged by the opposition, which was backed by the national guard, in several government buildings in Tbilisi. The ensuing heavy fighting resulted in over 200 casualties, and left the center of the Georgian capital in ruins. On 6 January, Gamsakhurdia and several of his supporters fled the city for exile. Afterwards, the Georgian military council, an interim government, was formed by a triumvirate of Jaba Ioseliani, Tengiz Kitovani
Tengiz Kitovani
and Tengiz Sigua, and, in March 1992, they invited Eduard Shevardnadze, a former Soviet minister, to come to Georgia to assume control of the Georgian State Council.[41][verification needed] On 24 June 1992, Shevardnadze and the South Ossetian government signed the Sochi ceasefire agreement, brokered by Russia. The agreement included obligations to avoid the use of force, and Georgia pledged not to impose sanctions against South Ossetia. The Georgian government retained control over substantial portions of South Ossetia,[47] including the town of Akhalgori.[citation needed] A Joined Peacekeeping force of Ossetians, Russians
Russians
and Georgians
Georgians
was established. On 6 November 1992, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) set up a mission in Georgia to monitor the peacekeeping operation. From then until mid-2004 South Ossetia
Ossetia
was generally peaceful.[citation needed] Following the 2003 Rose Revolution, Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili
became the President of Georgia
President of Georgia
in 2004. Ahead of the 2004 parliamentary and presidential elections, he promised to restore the territorial integrity of Georgia.[48] During one of his early speeches, Saakashvili addressed the separatist regions, saying, "[N]either Georgia nor its president will put up with disintegration of Georgia. Therefore, we offer immediate negotiations to our Abkhazian and Ossetian friends. We are ready to discuss every model of statehood by taking into consideration their interests for the promotion of their future development."[49] Since 2004, tensions began to rise as the Georgian authorities strengthened their efforts to bring the region back under their rule. Georgia sent police to close down a black market, which was one of the region's chief sources of revenue, selling foodstuffs and fuel smuggled from Russia. This was followed by fighting by Georgian troops and peacekeepers against South Ossetian militiamen and freelance fighters from Russia.[50] Hostage takings, shootouts and occasional bombings left dozens dead and wounded. A ceasefire deal was reached on 13 August though it was repeatedly violated.[citation needed] The Georgian government protested against the allegedly increasing Russian economic and political presence in the region and against the uncontrolled military of the South Ossetian side.[citation needed] It also considered the peacekeeping force (consisting in equal parts of South Ossetians, North Ossetians, Russians
Russians
and Georgians) to be non-neutral and demanded its replacement.[51][52][not in citation given] Joseph Biden
Joseph Biden
(Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee), Richard Lugar, and Mel Martinez
Mel Martinez
sponsored a resolution accusing Russia
Russia
of attempting to undermine Georgia's territorial integrity and called for replacing the Russian-manned peacekeeping force operating under CIS mandate.[53] According to U.S. senator Richard Lugar, the United States
United States
supported Georgia's call for the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from the conflict zones.[54] Later, EU South Caucasus
South Caucasus
envoy Peter Semneby said that "Russia's actions in the Georgia spy row have damaged its credibility as a neutral peacekeeper in the EU's Black Sea
Black Sea
neighbourhood."[55] 2008 war[edit] Main article: Russo-Georgian War Tensions between Georgia and Russia
Russia
began escalating in April 2008.[56][57][58] A bomb explosion on 1 August 2008 targeted a car transporting Georgian peacekeepers. South Ossetians
Ossetians
were responsible for instigating this incident, which marked the opening of hostilities and injured five Georgian servicemen. In response,[59] several South Ossetian militiamen were hit.[60] South Ossetian separatists began shelling Georgian villages on 1 August. These artillery attacks caused Georgian servicemen to return fire periodically since 1 August.[56][60][61][62][63] At around 19:00 on 7 August 2008, Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili announced a unilateral ceasefire and called for peace talks.[64] However, escalating assaults against Georgian villages (located in the South Ossetian conflict zone) were soon matched with gunfire from Georgian troops,[65][66] who then proceeded to move in the direction of the capital of the self-proclaimed Republic
Republic
of South Ossetia
Ossetia
(Tskhinvali) on the night of 8 August, reaching its centre in the morning of 8 August.[67] One Georgian diplomat told Russian newspaper Kommersant
Kommersant
on 8 August that by taking control of Tskhinvali, Tbilisi
Tbilisi
wanted to demonstrate that Georgia wouldn't tolerate killing of Georgian citizens.[68] According to Russian military
Russian military
expert Pavel Felgenhauer, the Ossetian provocation was aimed at triggering the Georgian response, which was needed as a pretext for premeditated Russian military
Russian military
invasion.[69] According to Georgian intelligence,[70] and several Russian media reports, parts of the regular (non-peacekeeping) Russian Army had already moved to South Ossetian territory through the Roki Tunnel
Roki Tunnel
before the Georgian military action.[71] Russia
Russia
accused Georgia of "aggression against South Ossetia",[35] and launched a large-scale land, air and sea invasion of Georgia with the pretext of "peace enforcement" operation on 8 August 2008.[62] Russian airstrikes against targets within Georgia were also launched.[72] Abkhaz forces opened a second front on 9 August by attacking the Kodori Gorge, held by Georgia.[73] Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
was seized by the Russian military
Russian military
by 10 August.[72] Russian forces occupied the Georgian cities of Zugdidi,[74] Senaki,[75] Poti,[76] and Gori (the last one after the ceasefire agreement was negotiated).[77] Russian Black Sea Fleet
Black Sea Fleet
blockaded the Georgian coast.[62] A campaign of ethnic cleansing against Georgians
Georgians
in South Ossetia
Ossetia
was conducted by South Ossetians,[78] with Georgian villages around Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
being destroyed after the war had ended.[79] The war displaced 192,000 people,[80] and while many were able to return to their homes after the war, a year later around 30,000 ethnic Georgians remained displaced.[81] In an interview published in Kommersant, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity
Eduard Kokoity
said he would not allow Georgians
Georgians
to return.[82][83] President of France
President of France
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
negotiated a ceasefire agreement on 12 August 2008.[84] On 17 August, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev announced that Russian forces would begin to pull out of Georgia the following day.[85] Russia
Russia
recognised Abkhazia
Abkhazia
and South Ossetia
Ossetia
as separate republics on 26 August.[86] In response to Russia's recognition, the Georgian government severed diplomatic relations with Russia.[87] Russian forces left the buffer areas bordering Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Ossetia
on 8 October and the European Union
European Union
Monitoring Mission in Georgia assumed authority over the buffer areas.[88] Since the war, Georgia has maintained that Abkhazia
Abkhazia
and South Ossetia
Ossetia
are Russian-occupied Georgian territories.[89][90]

Map of South Ossetia
Ossetia
(November 2004).

JPKF map indicating Georgian-controlled areas of South Ossetia (hatched shading) in June 2007.[91]

The monument in Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.

A school in Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
after the fighting during August 2008.

Topographic map of South Ossetia
Ossetia
(Polish transcription).

Map of Georgia highlighting South Ossetia
Ossetia
(purple) and Abkhazia (green).

Geography and climate[edit] See also: Geography of Georgia (country) South Ossetia
Ossetia
is in the very heart of the Caucasus
Caucasus
at the juncture of Asia
Asia
and Europe, and it occupies the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountain Range and the foothills' part of the Kartalin Valley.[92] South Ossetia
Ossetia
is a very mountainous region. The Likhi Range is roughly in the center of South Ossetia,[93] and the plateau that's also roughly in the center of South Ossetia
Ossetia
is called Iberia. The Greater Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountain Range forms the northern border of South Ossetia
Ossetia
with Russia, and the main roads through the mountain range into Russian territory lead through the Roki Tunnel
Roki Tunnel
between South and North Ossetia
North Ossetia
and the Darial Gorge. The Roki Tunnel
Roki Tunnel
was vital for the Russian military
Russian military
in the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
because it is the only direct route through the Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains. South Ossetia
Ossetia
covers an area of about 3,900 km2 (1,506 sq mi),[94] separated by the mountains from the more populous North Ossetia
North Ossetia
(which is part of Russia) and extending southwards almost to the Mtkvari
Mtkvari
river in Georgia. More than 89% of South Ossetia
Ossetia
lies over 1,000 m (3,281 ft) above sea level, and its highest point is Mount Khalatsa
Mount Khalatsa
at 3,938 m (12,920 ft) above sea level.[95] Nearby Mount Kazbek
Mount Kazbek
is 5,047 m (16,558 ft), and it is of volcanic origin. The region between Kazbek and Shkhara
Shkhara
(a distance of about 200 km (124 mi) along the Main Caucasus
Caucasus
Range) is dominated by numerous glaciers. Out of the 2,100 glaciers that exist in the Caucasus
Caucasus
today, approximately 30% are located within Georgia which South Ossetia
Ossetia
forms a part of. The term Lesser Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains is often used to describe the mountainous (highland) areas of southern Georgia that are connected to the Greater Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountain Range by the Likhi Range. The overall region can be characterized as being made up of various, interconnected mountain ranges (largely of volcanic origin) and plateaus that do not exceed 3,400 meters (11,155 ft) in elevation. Most of South Ossetia
Ossetia
is in the Kura Basin with the rest of it in the Black Sea
Black Sea
basin. The Likhi and Racha
Racha
ridges act as divide separating these two basins. Major rivers in South Ossetia
Ossetia
include the Greater and Little Liakhvi, Ksani, Medzhuda, Tlidon, Canal Saltanis, Ptsa River and host of other tributaries.[95] South Ossetia's climate is affected by subtropical influences from the East and Mediterranean influences from the West. The Greater Caucasus range moderates the local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the North, which results in the fact that, even at great heights, it is warmer there than in the Northern Caucasus.[92][95] Climatic zones in South Ossetia
Ossetia
are determined by distance from the Black Sea
Black Sea
and by altitude. The plains of eastern Georgia are shielded from the influence of the Black Sea
Black Sea
by mountains that provide a more continental climate. The foothills and mountainous areas (including the Greater Caucasus Mountains) experience cool, wet summers and snowy winters, with snow cover often exceeding 2 meters in many regions. The penetration of humid air masses from the Black Sea
Black Sea
to the West of South Ossetia
Ossetia
is often blocked by the Likhi mountain range. The wettest periods of the year in South Ossetia
Ossetia
generally occur during spring and autumn while the winter and summer months tend to be the driest. Elevation plays an important role in South Ossetia
Ossetia
where climatic conditions above 1,500 metres (4,921 ft) are considerably colder than in any lower-lying areas. The regions that lie above 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) frequently experience frost even during the summer months. The average temperature in South Ossetia
Ossetia
in January is around +4 degrees Celsius, and the average temperature in July is around +20.3 degrees Celsius. The average yearly liquid precipitation in South Ossetia
Ossetia
is around 598 millimeters.[92] In general, Summer temperatures average 20 °C (68 °F) to 24 °C (75.2 °F) across much of South Ossetia, and winter temperatures average 2 °C (35.6 °F) to 4 °C (39.2 °F). Humidity is relatively low and rainfall across South Ossetia
Ossetia
averages 500 to 800 mm (19.7 to 31.5 in) per year. Alpine and highland regions have distinct microclimates though. At higher elevations, precipitation is sometimes twice as heavy as in the eastern plains of Georgia. Alpine conditions begin at about 2,100 m (6,890 ft), and above 3,600 m (11,811 ft) snow and ice are present year-round. South Ossetia's economy is primarily agricultural, although less than 10% of South Ossetia's land area is cultivated. Cereals, fruit and vines are the major produce. Forestry and cattle industries are also maintained. A number of industrial facilities also exist, particularly around the capital, Tskhinvali.

Political status[edit] Main article: International recognition of Abkhazia
Abkhazia
and South Ossetia See also: Foreign relations of South Ossetia

Russian Presidential Decree No. 1261 recognising South Ossetian independence.

Following the 2008 South Ossetia
Ossetia
war, Russia
Russia
recognized South Ossetia as independent.[96] This unilateral recognition by Russia
Russia
was met by condemnation from Western Blocs, such as NATO, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Council
European Council
due to the violation of Georgia's territorial integrity.[97][98][99][100] The EU's diplomatic response to the news was delayed by disagreements between Eastern European states, the UK wanting a harsher response and Germany, France and other states' desire not to isolate Russia.[101] Former US envoy Richard Holbrooke
Richard Holbrooke
said the conflict could encourage separatist movements in other former Soviet states along Russia's western border.[102] Several days later, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
became the second country to recognize South Ossetia.[96] Venezuela
Venezuela
recognized South Ossetia
Ossetia
on September 10, 2009, becoming the third UN member state to do so.[103] The European Union, Council of Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and most UN member countries do not recognize South Ossetia
Ossetia
as an independent state. The de facto republic governed by the secessionist government held a second independence referendum[104] on 12 November 2006, after its first referendum in 1992 was not recognized by most governments as valid.[105] According to the Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
election authorities, the referendum turned out a majority for independence from Georgia where 99% of South Ossetian voters supported independence and the turnout for the vote was 95%.[106] The referendum was monitored by a team of 34 international observers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden and other countries at 78 polling stations.[107] However, it was not recognized internationally by the UN, European Union, OSCE, NATO
NATO
and the Russian Federation, given the lack of ethnic Georgian participation and the illegality of such a referendum without recognition from the Georgian government in Tbilisi.[108] The European Union, OSCE and NATO condemned the referendum. Parallel to the secessionist held referendum and elections, to Eduard Kokoity, the then President of South Ossetia, the Ossetian opposition movement (People of South Ossetia
Ossetia
for Peace) organized their own elections contemporaneously in Georgian-controlled areas within South Ossetia, in which Georgian and some Ossetian inhabitants of the region voted in favour of Dmitry Sanakoyev as the alternative President of South Ossetia.[109] The alternative elections of Sanakoyev claimed full support of the ethnic Georgian population.[citation needed] In April 2007, Georgia created the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia,[110][111][112][113] staffed by ethnic Ossetian members of the separatist movement. Dmitry Sanakoyev was assigned as the leader of the Entity. It was intended that this provisional administration would negotiate with central Georgian authorities regarding its final status and conflict resolution.[114] On 10 May 2007, Sanakoyev was appointed by the President of Georgia
President of Georgia
as the Head of South Ossetian Provisional Administrative Entity. On July 13, 2007, Georgia set up a state commission, chaired by the Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, to develop South Ossetia's autonomous status within the Georgian state. According to the Georgian officials, the status was to be elaborated within the framework of "an all-inclusive dialogue" with all the forces and communities within the Ossetian society.[115] Plans of Integration with the Russian Federation[edit]

Russian military
Russian military
bases in South Ossetia
Ossetia
as of 2015

On 30 August 2008, Tarzan Kokoity, the Deputy Speaker of South Ossetia's parliament, announced that the region would soon be absorbed into Russia, so that South and North Ossetians
Ossetians
could live together in one united Russian state.[116] Russian and South Ossetian forces began giving residents in Akhalgori, the biggest town in the predominantly ethnic Georgian eastern part of South Ossetia, the choice of accepting Russian citizenship or leaving.[117] However, Eduard Kokoity, the then president of South Ossetia, later stated that South Ossetia
Ossetia
would not forgo its independence by joining Russia: "We are not going to say no to our independence, which has been achieved at the expense of many lives; South Ossetia
Ossetia
has no plans to join Russia." Civil Georgia has said that this statement contradicts previous ones made by Kokoity earlier that day, when he indicated that South Ossetia
Ossetia
would join North Ossetia
North Ossetia
in the Russian Federation.[116][118] The South Ossetian and Russian presidents signed an "alliance and integration" treaty on 18 March 2015.[119] The agreement includes provisions to incorporate the South Ossetian military into Russia's armed forces, integrate the customs service of South Ossetia
Ossetia
into that of Russia's, and commit Russia
Russia
to paying state worker salaries in South Ossetia
Ossetia
at rates equal to those in the North Caucasus
Caucasus
Federal District.[120] The Associated Press
Associated Press
described the treaty as calling for "nearly full integration" and compared it to a 2014 agreement between Russia
Russia
and Abkhazia.[119] The Georgian Foreign Ministry described the signing of the treaty as "actual annexation" of the disputed region by Russia, and the United States
United States
and European Union said they would not recognize it.[121][122] In another move towards integration with the Russian Federation, South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov
Leonid Tibilov
proposed in December 2015 a name change to "South Ossetia–Alania" — in analogy with "North Ossetia–Alania", a Russian federal subject. Tibilov furthermore suggested holding a referendum on joining the Russian Federation prior to April 2017, which would lead to a united "Ossetia–Alania".[123] In April 2016, Tibilov said he intended to hold the referendum before August of that year.[124][125] However, on 30 May, Tibilov postponed the referendum until after the presidential election due in April 2017.[126] At the name-change referendum, nearly 80 percent of those who voted endorsed the name-change, while the presidential race was won by Anatoliy Bibilov
Anatoliy Bibilov
— against the incumbent, Tibilov, who had been supported by Moscow and who, unlike Bibilov, was ready to heed Moscow′s wish for the integration referendum not be held any time soon.[127] Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia[edit] Main article: Occupied territories of Georgia

Landscape in South Ossetia's Dzhava District.

In late October 2008 President Saakashvili signed into law legislation on the occupied territories passed by the Georgian Parliament. The law covers the breakaway regions of Abkhazia
Abkhazia
and Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
(territories of former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast).[128][129][130] The law spells out restrictions on free movement and economic activity in the territories. In particular, according to the law, foreign citizens should enter the two breakaway regions only through Georgia proper. Entry into Abkhazia
Abkhazia
should be carried out from the Zugdidi
Zugdidi
District and into South Ossetia
Ossetia
from the Gori District. The major road leading to South Ossetia
Ossetia
from the rest of Georgia passes through the Gori District.[citation needed] The legislation, however, also lists "special" cases in which entry into the breakaway regions will not be regarded as illegal. It stipulates that a special permit on entry into the breakaway regions can be issued if the trip there "serves Georgia’s state interests; peaceful resolution of the conflict; de-occupation or humanitarian purposes." The law also bans any type of economic activity – entrepreneurial or non- entrepreneurial, if such activities require permits, licenses or registration in accordance with Georgian legislation. It also bans air, sea and railway communications and international transit via the regions, mineral exploration and money transfers. The provision covering economic activities is retroactive, going back to 1990.[citation needed] The law says that the Russian Federation – the state which has carried out military occupation – is fully responsible for the violation of human rights in Abkhazia
Abkhazia
and South Ossetia. The Russian Federation, according to the document, is also responsible for compensation of material and moral damage inflicted on Georgian citizens, stateless persons and foreign citizens, who are in Georgia and enter the occupied territories with appropriate permits. The law also says that de facto state agencies and officials operating in the occupied territories are regarded by Georgia as illegal. The law will remain in force until "the full restoration of Georgian jurisdiction" over the breakaway regions is realised.[citation needed] In November 2009, during the opening ceremony of a new Georgian Embassy building in Kiev, Ukraine, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili stated that residents of South Ossetia
Ossetia
and Abkhazia
Abkhazia
could also use its facilities: "I would like to assure you, my dear friends, that this is your home, as well, and here you will always be able to find support and understanding".[131] Politics[edit]

South Ossetia-Alania

This article is part of a series on the politics and government of South Ossetia

Constitution President

Anatoliy Bibilov

Prime Minister

Erik Pukhayev

Government Parliament

Chairman: Pyotr Gassiev

Political parties Recent elections

Presidential: 2012 2017

Parliamentary: 2009 2014

Georgian–Ossetian conflict

See also

Provisional Administration of South Ossetia Politics of Georgia

Other countries Atlas

v t e

Until the armed conflict of August 2008, South Ossetia
Ossetia
consisted of a checkerboard of Georgian-inhabited and Ossetian-inhabited towns and villages.[132] The largely Ossetian capital city of Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
and most of the other Ossetian-inhabited communities were governed by the separatist government, while the Georgian-inhabited villages and towns were administered by the Georgian government. This close proximity and the intermixing of the two communities has made the Georgian–Ossetian conflict
Georgian–Ossetian conflict
particularly dangerous, since any attempt to create an ethnically pure territory would involve population transfers on a large scale. The political dispute has yet to be resolved and the South Ossetian separatist authorities govern the region with effective independence from Tbilisi. Although talks have been held periodically between the two sides, little progress was made under the government of Eduard Shevardnadze (1993–2003). His successor Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili
(elected 2004) made the reassertion of Georgian governmental authority a political priority. Having successfully put an end to the de facto independence of the southwestern province of Ajaria
Ajaria
in May 2004, he pledged to seek a similar solution in South Ossetia. After the 2004 clashes, the Georgian government has intensified its efforts to bring the problem to international attention. On 25 January 2005, President Saakashvili presented a Georgian vision for resolving the South Ossetian conflict at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe session in Strasbourg. Late in October, the US government and the OSCE expressed their support to the Georgian action plan presented by Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli
Zurab Noghaideli
at the OSCE Permanent Council at Vienna
Vienna
on 27 October 2005. On 6 December, the OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana
Ljubljana
adopted a resolution supporting the Georgian peace plan[133] which was subsequently rejected by the South Ossetian de facto authorities. Government[edit] Under Article 46 of the Constitution, the president of the Republic
Republic
of South Ossetia
Ossetia
is head of state and head of the executive branch of government. The president of RSO is elected by direct popular vote for five years. Since 21 April 2017, the position is held by Anatoliy Bibilov who won a contested election running against the incumbent, Leonid Tibilov
Leonid Tibilov
. The country′s legislative body is the unicameral Parliament of South Ossetia
Ossetia
that comprises 34 members elected by popular vote for five years. The government of South Ossetia
Ossetia
is a component of the integrated system of the executive branch. Military[edit] Main article: Military of South Ossetia South Ossetia′s armed forces in 2017 were partially incorporated into the Armed Forces of Russia.[134] Demographics[edit] Before the Georgian-Ossetian conflict
Georgian-Ossetian conflict
roughly two-thirds of the population of South Ossetia
Ossetia
was Ossetian and 25–30% was Georgian. The eastern quarter of the country, around the town and district of Akhalgori, was predominantly Georgian, while the center and west were predominantly Ossete. Much of the mountainous north is sparsely inhabited. (See map at Languages of the Caucasus.) Because the statistical office of Georgia was not able to conduct the 2002 Georgian census in South Ossetia, the present composition of the population of South Ossetia
Ossetia
is unknown,[135] although according to some estimates there were 47,000 ethnic Ossetians
Ossetians
and 17,500 ethnic Georgians
Georgians
in South Ossetia
Ossetia
in 2007.[136] 2009 Population Estimate: During the war, according to Georgian officials, 15,000 Georgians
Georgians
moved to Georgia proper; South Ossetian officials indicate that 30,000 Ossetians
Ossetians
fled to North Ossetia, and a total of 500 citizens of South Ossetia
Ossetia
were killed.[137][138] This left the estimated population at 54,500. However Russia's reconstruction plan involving 600 million dollars in aid to South Ossetia
Ossetia
may have spurred immigration into the de facto independent republic, especially with Russia's movement of 3,700 soldiers into South Ossetia.[139] RIA Novosti places the population of South Ossetia at 80,000, although this figure is probably too optimistic.[139] According to the 2016 census conducted by the South Ossetian authorities, the region's total population was 53,532, including 48,146 Ossetians
Ossetians
(89.9%), 3,966 Georgians
Georgians
(7%), and 610 Russians. Of these, 30,432 lived in Tskhinvali. The Georgian authorities have questioned the accuracy of these data.[140] Christianity
Christianity
is the major religion practiced by the Ossetians
Ossetians
but Islam
Islam
and the neopagan religion Ætsæg Din
Ætsæg Din
("Right Faith") also have followers.[141]

Ethnicity 1926 census 1939 census 1959 census 1970 census 1979 census 1989 census 2015 census

Ossetians 60,351 (69.1%) 72,266 (68.1%) 63,698 (65.8%) 66,073 (66.5%) 65,077 (66.4%) 65,232 (66.2%) 48,146 (89.9%)

Georgians 23,538 (26.9%) 27,525 (25.9%) 26,584 (27.5%) 28,125 (28.3%) 28,187 (28.8%) 28,544 (29.0%) 3,966 (7.4%)

Russians 157 (0.2%) 2,111 (2.0%) 2,380 (2.5%) 1,574 (1.6%) 2,046 (2.1%) 2,128 (2.2%) 610 (1.1%)

Armenians 1,374 (1.6%) 1,537 (1.4%) 1,555 (1.6%) 1,254 (1.3%) 953 (1.0%) 984 (1.0%)

Jews 1,739 (2.0%) 1,979 (1.9%) 1,723 (1.8%) 1,485 (1.5%) 654 (0.7%) 396 (0.4%)

Others 216 (0.2%) 700 (0.7%) 867 (0.9%) 910 (0.9%) 1,071 (1.1%) 1,453 (1.5%) 810 (1.5%)

Total 87,375 106,118 96,807 99,421 97,988 98,527 53,532

Source:[2][142][143]

Economy[edit]

The Dzuarikau– Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
pipeline, delivering natural gas from Russia
Russia
to South Ossetia, went online in 2009.

Following the war in the 1990s, South Ossetia
Ossetia
struggled economically. South Ossetian GDP was estimated at US$15 million (US$250 per capita) in a work published in 2002.[144] Employment and supplies are scarce. Additionally, Georgia cut off supplies of electricity to the region, which forced the South Ossetian government to run an electric cable through North Ossetia. The majority of the population survives on subsistence farming. Virtually the only significant economic asset that South Ossetia
Ossetia
possesses is control of the Roki Tunnel
Roki Tunnel
that is used to link Russia
Russia
and Georgia, from which the South Ossetian government reportedly obtains as much as a third of its budget by levying customs duties on freight traffic. President Eduard Kokoity
Eduard Kokoity
has admitted that his country is seriously dependent on Russian economic assistance.[145] South Ossetia's poverty threshold stood at 3,062 rubles a month in the fourth quarter of 2007, or 23.5 percent below Russia’s average, while South Ossetians
Ossetians
have incomparably smaller incomes.[146] Before the 2008 South Ossetia
Ossetia
war, South Ossetia's industry consisted of 22 small factories, with a total production of 61.6 million rubles in 2006. In 2007, only 7 factories were functioning. In March, 2009, it was reported that most of the production facilities were standing idle and were in need of repairs. Even successful factories have a shortage of workers, are in debt and have a shortage of working capital.[146] One of the largest local enterprises is the Emalprovod factory, which has 130 employees.[146] The South Ossetian authorities are planning to improve finances by boosting the local production of flour and thus reducing the need for flour imports. For this purpose, the area planted with wheat was increased tenfold in 2008 from 130 hectares to 1,500 hectares. The wheat harvest in 2008 was expected to be 2,500 tons of grain. The South Ossetian Agriculture ministry also imported some tractors in 2008, and was expecting delivery of more farm machinery in 2009.[146] Russia
Russia
planned to spend 10 billion rubles in the restoration of South Ossetia
Ossetia
in 2008.[146] The economy is currently very dependent on funding from Russia.[14][147] Culture[edit] See also: Ossetian music
Ossetian music
and Women of South Ossetia

Part of a series on the

Culture of South Ossetia

History

People

Languages

Mythology and folklore

Mythology

Cuisine

Religion

Literature

Music and performing arts

Music

Symbols

Flag Coat of arms

v t e

Education[edit] The country's principal university is South Ossetia
Ossetia
State University in Tskhinvali.[148] After the Russo-Georgian War
Russo-Georgian War
in 2008, education officials attempted to place most university-bound students from South Ossetia
Ossetia
in Russian post-secondary education institutions.[148] Public Holidays[edit] Main article: Public holidays in South Ossetia Gallery[edit]

Pictures from South Ossetia

Scenery in central South Ossetia.

A South Ossetian woman.

South Ossetian performers.

School Number 2 in Tskhinvali.

Koskhi, South Ossetia.

See also[edit]

Georgia portal Geography portal Europe portal

Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations South Ossetian passport Vehicle registration plates of South Ossetia Russia–South Ossetia
Ossetia
relations Abkhazia–South Ossetia
Ossetia
relations 2008 Georgia– Russia
Russia
crisis Military of South Ossetia

Notes[edit]

^ South Ossetia
Ossetia
(Ossetian: Хуссар Ирыстон, Khussar Iryston; Georgian: სამხრეთი ოსეთი, Samxreti Oseti; Russian: Южная Осетия, Yuzhnaya Osetiya) Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
Region (Georgian: ცხინვალის რეგიონი, Tsxinvalis regioni; Russian: Цхинвальский регион, Tskhinvalskiy region)

References[edit]

^ "Unrecognized states: South Ossetia" (in Russian). 2014-01-28.  ^ a b population census 2015 ^ Presidential Elections in South Ossetia
Elections in South Ossetia
– Plan B

The first round of voting was accompanied by a referendum in which the Ossetians
Ossetians
were to decide whether Russian should become the second official language of South Ossetia. Nearly 85 per cent of the voters supported the referendum.

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News. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ "Scheffer 'Rejects' Russia's Move, Civil.ge, 26 August 2008". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ "CoE, PACE Chairs Condemn Russia's Move, Civil Georgia, 26 August 2008". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ "OSCE Chair Condemns Russia's Recognition of Abkhazia, S.Ossetia, Civil Georgia, 26 August 2008". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ Reuters,"UPDATE 1-EU faces tough test of unity on Russia". Archived from the original on 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2013-10-01.  , Forbes, 31 August 2008. ^ AP, Russia
Russia
support for separatists could have ripples, New York Times, 31 August 2008. ^ " Venezuela
Venezuela
recognises Georgia rebel regions – reports". Reuters. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-10.  ^ Niko Mchedlishvili (September 11, 2006). "Georgian rebel region to vote on independence". Reuters.  ^ "Online Magazine – Civil Georgia". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ "99% of South Ossetian voters approve independence". Regnum. 13 November 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.  ^ S. Ossetia
Ossetia
Says ‘International Observers’ Arrive to Monitor Polls, Civil.ge, 11 November 2006 ^ "S. Ossetia: 99% back independence". CNN.com. Associated Press. 13 November 2006. Archived from the original on 28 November 2006.  ^ "Two Referendums and Two "Presidents" in South Ossetia". Caucaz.Com. 2006-11-20. Archived from the original on 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ "Online Magazine – Civil Georgia". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ Anonymous – Caucasus. "Georgia's Showcase in South Ossetia". Iwpr.net. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ "Georgia Quits Mixed Control Commission – Kommersant
Kommersant
Moscow". Commersant.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group
– Georgia’s South Ossetia
Ossetia
Conflict: Make Haste Slowl Archived August 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Online Magazine – Civil Georgia". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ Commission to Work on S. Ossetia
Ossetia
Status. Civil Georgia 13 July 2007. ^ a b Halpin, Tony (30 August 2008). "Kremlin announces that South Ossetia
Ossetia
will join 'one united Russian state'". The Times. London: News Corp. Retrieved 2008-08-30.  ^ Damien McElroy. South Ossetian police tell Georgians
Georgians
to take a Russian passport, or leave their homes. The Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2008. ^ "Kokoity Reverses Remarks on S. Ossetia
Ossetia
Joining Russia". Civil Georgia. September 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.  ^ a b "Putin signs treaty integrating South Ossetia
Ossetia
into Russia". AP / Yahoo. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.  ^ "Putin Endorses Draft Treaty on 'Integration' with Tskhinvali". Civil Georgia. March 6, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.  ^ "Moscow, Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
Sign 'Integration Treaty'". Civil Georgia. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.  ^ "Russian treaty with rebel Georgian region alarms West". SWI. 18 March 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.  ^ "Breakaway Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali
proposes name change". Agenda.ge. December 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-29.  ^ "South Ossetia
Ossetia
profile – BBC
BBC
News". Bbc.com. 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-12.  ^ "President: South Ossetia
Ossetia
plans to hold referendum on becoming part of Russia
Russia
before August". TASS. Retrieved 2016-04-24.  ^ Fuller, Liz (2016-05-30). "South Ossetia
Ossetia
Postpones Referendum On Accession To Russian Federation". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2016-05-30.  ^ "South Ossetia's Bibilov Wins Election, Puts Moscow In A Bind". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2017-04-12.  ^ "Bill on Occupied Territories Signed into Law". Civil.ge. 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2012-02-18.  ^ "THE LAW OF GEORGIA ON OCCUPIED TERRITORIES" (PDF). 2008-10-23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-24.  ^ "Law on occupied territories of Georgia (en.)". Venice.coe.int. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-18.  ^ Yuschenko, Saakashvili open new building of Georgian Embassy in Kyiv, Interfax-Ukraine (November 19, 2008). ^ Reuters
Reuters
8 August 2008: Georgia- Russia
Russia
conflict could be drawn out ^ OSCE, 13th Meeting of the Ministerial Council (5 and 6 December 2005). Statement on Georgia (MC.DOC/4/05), ^ Подписано соглашение о вхождении части подразделений армии Южной Осетии в ВС РФ TASS, 31 March 2017. ^ G. Tsuladze, N. Maglaperidze, A. Vadachkoria, Eds.,Demographic Yearbook of Georgia: 2001, Georgian Academy of Sciences: Institute of Demographic and Sociological Research (Tbilisi, 2002). This source reports that in January 2002 there were 37,000 Ossetians
Ossetians
living in Georgia but excluding South Ossetia. ^ "Georgia: a toponymic note concerning South Ossetia" (PDF). The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names. January 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2007.  ^ "Georgia: UN continues to press for humanitarian access to victims". Un.org. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2010.  ^ Mikhail Barabanov (2008). "The August War between Russia
Russia
and Georgia". Mdb.cast.ru. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2010.  ^ a b " Russia
Russia
to provide $200 mln in urgent aid for S. Ossetia". En.rian.ru. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2010.  ^ Svanidze, Tamar (12 August 2016). "South Ossetian Authorities Release Results of 1st Census in 26 Years". Georgia Today. Retrieved 31 December 2017.  ^ "South Ossetia
Ossetia
profile". BBC. Retrieved 18 February 2014.  ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation". Republic
Republic
of South Ossetia. 2014-05-22. Archived from the original on 2015-10-18. Retrieved 2014-07-28.  ^ Census results in South Ossetia: 1926, 1939, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989 (in Russian) ^ Mamuka Areshidze, "Current Economic Causes of Conflict in Georgia", unpublished report for UK Department for International Development (DFID), 2002. Cited from Georgia: Avoiding War in South Ossetia
Ossetia
by International Crisis Group, 26.11.2006 Archived August 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "South Ossetia, center of conflict between Russia
Russia
and Georgia, struggles a year after war". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-08-08. [dead link] ^ a b c d e Delyagin, Mikhail (March 2009). "A Testing Ground for Modernization and a Showcase of Success". Russia
Russia
in Global Affairs.  ^ Vartanyan, Olesya; Barry, Ellen (18 March 2014). "If History Is a Guide, Crimeans' Celebration May Be Short-Lived". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2014.  ^ a b Holdsworth, Nick (2008). "Students seek refuge in Russian HE". University World News. Higher Education Web Publishing (42). ISSN 1756-297X. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 

Books

ОСЕТИНСКИЙ ВОПРОС [Ossetian Question] (in Russian). Tbilisi. 1994. Archived from the original on 2014-06-21.  Souleimanov, Emil (2013). Understanding Ethnopolitical Conflict: Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Wars Reconsidered. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137280237. 

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