South Ossetia

South Ossetia

South Ossetia

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South Ossetia
Republic of South Ossetia - Республикæ Хуссар Ирыстон / Respublikæ Khussar Iryston (Ossetic)
სამხრეთ ოსეთი / Samkhret Oseti (
Республика Южная Осетия / Respublika Yuzhnaya Osetiya (
-  -
Flag - Emblem
National Anthem :National Anthem of South Ossetia
Map of South Ossetia
Map of South Ossetia
South Ossetia (in green) and Georgia proper (in grey)
South Ossetia (in green) and Georgia proper (in grey
Capital - Tskhinvali
Map Latitude : 42°14′N - Longitude : 43°58′E - 42.233°N 43.967°E - 42.233;43.967 - -
Official language(s) - Ossetic, Georgian, Russian
Recognised regional languages - Georgian
Government : - Republic
President : - Eduard Kokoity
Prime Minister : - Vadim Brovtsev
Independence - from Georgia
Declared - 28 November 1991
Recognized - 26 August 2008
Area Total : 3,900 km
1,506 (sq mi)
Water (%) - negligible
Population : 2000 estimate - 70,000 - Density : 18/km
46.6/sq mi
Currency : - Russian ruble (RUB)
Time zone : - (UTC) +3) -
Drives on the - right
- Russian language is "official language of government authorities, public administration and local self-government".
- Independence has only been partially recognised internationally.
South Ossetia (pronounced /ɒˈsɛtiə/ - - o- SET -ee-ə - or /ɒˈsiːʃə/ - - o- SEE -shə - ;Ossetic :Хуссар Ирыстон - , Khussar Iryston ;Russian :Южная Осетия - , Yuzhnaya Osetiya ;Georgian :სამხრეთ ოსეთი - , Samxret Oseti ) is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. -
The Republic of South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia in 1990. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia's autonomy and trying to retake the region by force. - This led to the 1991 - 1992 South Ossetia War. - Georgian fighting against those controlling South Ossetia occurred on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008. - 6 ] - - The last conflict led to the 2008 South Ossetia war, during which Ossetian separatists and Russian troops gained full, de-facto, control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast.
In the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia War, Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru recognized South Ossetia as an independent republic. - 7 ] - - Georgia does not recognize South Ossetia's existence as a political entity, and considers most of its territory a part of the Shida Kartli region within Georgian sovereign territory.
1 - History -
1.1 - Medieval and early modern period -
1.2 - South 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 -
3 - Political status -
4 - Politics -
4.1 - Republic of South Ossetia -
5 - Demographics -
6 - Economy -
7 - See also -
8 - Gallery -
9 - References -
10 - External links -
- History
Topographic map of South Ossetia. (Polish transcription
Map of Georgia highlighting South Ossetia (purple) and Abkhazia (green
- Medieval and early modern period -
The Ossetians are originally descendants of the Alans, a Sarmatian tribe. They became Christians during the early Middle Ages, under the Byzantine and Georgian influences. Under Mongol rule, they were pushed out of their medieval homeland south of the Don River in present-day Russia and part migrated towards and over the Caucasus mountains (into the kingdom of Georgia and into the lands of present-day North Ossetia-Alania), where they formed three distinct territorial entities. Digor in the west came under the influence of the neighboring Kabard people, who introduced Islam. Kudar in the south became what is now South Ossetia, part of the historical Georgian principality of Samachablo where Ossetians found refuge from Mongol invaders. Iron in the north became what is now North Ossetia, under Russian rule from 1767. The vast majority of the Ossetians are Orthodox Christians;there is also a significant Muslim minority.
- South Ossetia as a part of the Soviet Union -
The modern-day South Ossetia joined Russia in 1801, along with Georgia proper, and absorbed into the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution, South Ossetia became a part of the Menshevik Georgian Democratic Republic, while the North Ossetia became a part of the Terek Soviet Republic. "The Georgian Menshevik government accused Ossetians of cooperating with Russian Bolsheviks. A series of Ossetian rebellions took place between 1918 and 1920 during which claims were made to an independent territory. Violence broke out in 1920 when Georgian Mensheviks sent National Guards and regular army units to Tskhinvali to crush the uprisings. Ossetian sources claim that about 5,000 Ossetians were killed and more than 13,000 subsequently died from hunger and epidemics" - 14 ] - -
The Soviet Georgian government established after the Red Army invasion of Georgia in 1921 created the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast in April 1922. Although the Ossetians had their own language (Ossetian), Russian and Georgian were administrative/state languages. - 15 ] - - Under the rule of Georgia's government during Soviet times, it enjoyed partial autonomy, including speaking the Ossetian language and teaching it in schools. - 15 ] - -
- Georgian-Ossetian conflict
Georgian-Ossetian conflict - 1989 - 2008
Map of South Ossetia, November 2004
Hatched shading shows Georgian-controlled areas in South Ossetia in June 2007, according to JPKF. -
The monument to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in Tskhinvali, in 2003.
The tensions in the region began to rise amid the rising nationalism among both Georgians and Ossetians in 1989. Before this, the two communities of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast of 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 intermarriages. ]
The influential South Ossetian Popular Front (Ademon Nykhas ) was created in 1988. On 10 November 1989, the South Ossetian regional council asked the Georgian Supreme Council (in Russian:Верховный Совет Грузии) for the region to be upgraded to that of "autonomous republic". In 1989, the Georgian Supreme Council established Georgian as the principal language countrywide. - 14 ] - -
The Georgian Supreme Council adopted a law barring regional parties in summer 1990. This was interpreted by Ossetians as a move against Ademon Nykhas and led to Ossetians proclaiming South Ossetia as the South Ossetian Democratic Republic on September 20, 1990, - - fully sovereign within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Ossetians boycotted subsequent Georgian parliamentary elections and held their own contest in December. The Georgian government headed by Zviad Gamsakhurdia declared this election illegitimate and abolished South Ossetia's autonomous status altogether on 11 December 1990. - 14 ] - -
Violent conflict broke out towards the end of 1990. Russian and Georgian interior ministry troops were dispatched to South Ossetia in December, with war starting on January 5, 1991, when Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali. - The fighting was characterised by general disregard for international humanitarian law by uncontrollable militias, with both sides reporting atrocities. - During the war, many South Ossetian villages were attacked and burned, as were Georgian houses and schools in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. As a result, approximately 1,000 died and about 100,000 ethnic Ossetians fled the territory and Georgia proper, most across the border into North Ossetia. A further 23,000 ethnic Georgians fled South Ossetia and settled in other parts of Georgia. - Many South Ossetians were resettled in uninhabited areas of North Ossetia from which the Ingush had been expelled by Stalin in 1944, leading to conflicts between Ossetians and Ingush over the right of residence in former Ingush territory.
The western part of South Ossetia was affected by the 1991 Racha-Java earthquake, which killed 200 and left 300 families homeless.
In 1992, Georgia accepted a ceasefire to avoid a large scale confrontation with Russia. The government of Georgia and South Ossetian separatists reached an agreement to avoid the use of force against one another, and Georgia pledged not to impose sanctions against South Ossetia. However, the Georgian government still retained control over substantial portions of South Ossetia, including the town of Akhalgori. - A peacekeeping force of Ossetians, Russians and 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 was generally peaceful. In June 2004, serious tensions began to rise as the Georgian authorities strengthened their efforts to bring the region back under Tbilisi rule, by establishing an alternative pro-Georgian government for South Ossetia in Tbilisi. Georgia also sent police to close down a vast black market complex, which was one of the region's chief sources of revenue, leading to fighting by Georgian troops and peacekeepers against South Ossetian militiamen and freelance fighters from Russia. - - 23 ] - - Hostage takings, shootouts and occasional bombings left dozens dead and wounded. A ceasefire deal was reached on 13 August though it was repeatedly violated.
The Georgian government protested against the continually increasing Russian economic and political presence in the region and against the uncontrolled military of the South Ossetian side. It also considered the peacekeeping force (consisting in equal parts of South Ossetians, North Ossetians, Russians and Georgians) to be non-neutral and demanded its replacement. - 24 ] - - - 25 ] - - This criticism was supported by the U.S. senator Richard Lugar. - 26 ] - - EU South Caucasus envoy Peter Semneby said later that "Russia's actions in the Georgia spy row have damaged its credibility as a neutral peacekeeper in the EU's Black Sea neighbourhood." - 27 ] - - Later, Joseph Biden (Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee), Richard Lugar, and Mel Martinez sponsored a resolution accusing Russia of attempting to undermine Georgia's territorial integrity and called for replacing the Russian-manned peacekeeping force operating under CIS mandate. - 28 ] - -
- 2008 War
2008 South Ossetia war
August 2008, Tskhinvali after Georgian attack. The sign reads "Secondary school №6".
The prelude to the conflict began with violent clashes on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 with both sides claiming having been fired upon by the other. Separatist authorities in South Ossetia said that Georgia shelled South Ossetian villages, killing six Ossetians. - 29 ] - - - 30 ] - - The Georgian interior ministry claimed Georgian forces had returned fire only after South Ossetian positions shelled Georgian-controlled villages injuring six civilians and one Georgian policeman. The Georgian interior ministry accused the South Ossetian side of "trying to create an illusion of serious escalation, an illusion of war." In addition, the commander of the Georgian peacekeeping unit, General Kurashvili, accused the Russian peacekeepers of participating in the shelling of the Georgian villages. South Ossetia denied provoking the conflict. - 32 ] - - - 33 ] - -
According to Moscow Defense Brief, over the course of several days in early August, the Georgians concentrated a significant number of troops and equipment, including the full 2nd, 3rd and 4th Infantry Brigades, the Artillery Brigade, the elements of the 1st Infantry Brigade, the separate Gori Tank Battalion, among others — all in all, up to 16,000 men — in the Georgian enclaves in the South Ossetian conflict zone, under cover of providing support for the exchange of fire with Ossetian formations." - 34 ] - - International Institute for Strategic Studies and Western intelligence experts give a lower estimate, saying that the Georgians had amassed about 12,000 troops and 75 tanks on the South Ossetian border by 7 August. - 35 ] - -
On 7 August, Georgian and Ossetian forces agreed on a ceasefire. - 36 ] - - However, in the first hours of 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a massive attack. According to a report prepared by the Georgian government, the Georgian army acted after a large number of Russian troops and around 150 armored vehicles and trucks started invading the Georgian territory through the Roki tunnel on the night of August 7, and Russians and Ossetian militia started a heavy artillery bombardment of the Georgian populated village Tamarasheni located on the outskirts of Tskhinvali at 9pm on August 7. - 37 ] - - However, an OSCE monitoring group in Tskhinvali did not record outgoing artillery fire from the South Ossetian side in the hours before the start of Georgian bombardment, and NATO officials attest to minor skirmishes but nothing that amounted to a provocation, according to Der Spiegel. - 38 ] - - Georgia's claim that it responded to a large-scale Russian invasion has received little support from Georgia's allies, the US and NATO. - 39 ] - -
The accounts of who started the war remains contradictory. Erosi Kitsmarishvili, Georgia's former ambassador to Moscow and a confidant of President Mikheil Saakashvili, in his testimony to the Parliament of Georgia said that Georgian government was preparing to start the war in South Ossetia. - 40 ] - -
After a prolonged artillery attack, Georgian troops with tanks and air support entered South Ossetian-controlled territory. - 41 ] - - - 42 ] - - On the same day, twelve Russian peacekeepers were killed and nearly 150 injured. - 44 ] - - Heavy fighting was reported in Tskhinvali for most of 8 August, with Georgian forces attempting to push Ossetians slowly from the city. - 45 ] - - The following day, Russia deployed forces into South Ossetia to remove Georgian forces from South Ossetia. Additionally, Russia targeted Georgia's military infrastructure to reduce Georgia's ability to conduct another incursion. Russian troops and the South Ossetians pushed the Georgian army out of South Ossetia and moved farther, occupying Gori, Kareli, Kaspi and Igoeti in Georgia proper. Parallel to these events Russian forces also entered western Georgia from another breakaway region of Abkhazia occupying Zugdidi, Senaki and the major Georgian port of Poti.
Following an EU sponsored cease-fire between Georgia and Russia, Russia pulled its forces back to Russia and South Ossetia, finishing the withdrawal by 8 October. The war left mostly Ossetian city Tskhinvali in ruins, ethnic Georgian villages burnt and razed to the ground, leaving 24,000 Ossetians and 15,000 ethnic Georgians displaced, according to an Amnesty International report. - 46 ] - - - 47 ] - -
- Geography -
Landscape in South Ossetia's Dzhavski District.
Relief of South Ossetia.
South Ossetia covers an area of about 3,900 km (1,506 (sq mi) on the southern side of the Caucasus, separated by the mountains from the more populous North Ossetia (part of Russia) and extending southwards almost to the Mtkvari river in Georgia. It is extremely mountainous, with most of the region lying over 1,000 m (3,281 ft) above sea level, and its highest point is the Mount Khalatsa, at 3,938 m (12,920 ft) above sea level. Its 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
International recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Foreign relations of South Ossetia
The European Union, Council of Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and most UN member countries do not recognize South Ossetia as an independent state. The de facto republic governed by the secessionist government held a second independence referendum - 48 ] - - on 12 November 2006, after its first referendum in 1992 was not recognized by most governments as valid. - 49 ] - - According to the 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%. - 50 ] - - The referendum was monitored by a team of 34 international observers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden and other countries at 78 polling stations. - 51 ] - - However, it was not recognized internationally by the UN, European Union, OSCE, NATO and the Russian Federation, given the lack of ethnic Georgian participation and the legality of such a referendum without recognition from the Georgian government in Tbilisi. - 52 ] - - The European Union, OSCE and NATO condemned the referendum.
Parallel to the secessionist held referendum and elections, the Ossetian opposition movement (People of South Ossetia for Peace) to Eduard Kokoity, the current President of South Ossetia, organized their own elections in contemporaneously 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. - 53 ] - - The alternative elections of Sanakoyev claimed full support of the ethnic Georgian population. ]
In April 2007, Georgia created the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia - 54 ] - - - 56 ] - - - 57 ] - - and 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. - 58 ] - - On 10 May 2007, Sanakoyev was appointed by the 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. - 59 ] - -

Russian Presidential Decree No. 1261 recognising South Ossetian independence
Following the 2008 South Ossetia war, Russia recognized South Ossetia as independent. - 60 ] - - This unilateral recognition by Russia was met by condemnation from Western Blocs, such as NATO, OSCE and the European Council due to the violation of Georgia's territorial integrity. - 61 ] - - - 62 ] - - - 63 ] - - - 64 ] - - The EU's diplomatic response to the news was delayed by disagreements between Eastern European states and the UK wanting a harsher response and Germany, France, and other states' desire not to isolate Russia. - 65 ] - - Former US envoy Richard Holbrooke said the conflict could encourage separatist movements in other former Soviet states along Russia's western border. - 66 ] - - Several days later, Nicaragua became the second country to recognize South Ossetia. - 60 ] - - Venezuela recognised South Ossetia on September 10, 2009, becoming the third UN member state to do so. - 67 ] - -
On August 30, 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 could live together in one united Russian state. - 68 ] - - 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. - 69 ] - - However, Eduard Kokoity, the current president of South Ossetia, later stated that South 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 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 would join North Ossetia in the Russian Federation. - 68 ] - - - 70 ] - -
During the opening ceremony of a new building of the Georgian Embassy in Kiev (Ukraine) in November 2009 Georgian President : Mikheil Saakashvili stated that residents of South Ossetia and 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". - 71 ] - -
- Politics
South Ossetia -

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
South Ossetia

President :
Eduard Kokoity
Prime Minister :
Vadim Brovtsev
Chairman:Stanislav Kochiev
Political parties
Elections :
2006 (presidential)
2009 (parliamentary)
Georgian - Ossetian conflict
See also:
Politics of Georgia
Other countries
Politics portal
view - - talk - -
Until the armed conflict of August 2008, South Ossetia consisted of a checkerboard of Georgian-inhabited and Ossetian-inhabited towns and villages. - 72 ] - - The largely Ossetian capital city of 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 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 (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 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 PACE session in Strasbourg. Late in October, the U.S. Government : and the OSCE expressed their support to the Georgian action plan presented by Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli at the OSCE Permanent Council at Vienna on 27 October 2005. On 6 December, the OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana adopted a resolution supporting the Georgian peace plan - 73 ] - - which was subsequently rejected by the South Ossetian de facto authorities.
- Republic of South Ossetia -
President Eduard Kokoity voting in the 2009 elections.
On September 11, 2006, the South Ossetian Information and Press Committee announced that the republic would hold an independence referendum - 48 ] - - (the first referendum had not been recognized by the international community as valid in 1992) - 74 ] - - on 12 November 2006. The voters would decide on whether or not South Ossetia "should preserve its present de facto status of an independent state". Georgia denounced the move as a "political absurdity". However, on 13 September 2006, the Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Terry Davis commented on the problem, stating that it would be unlikely that anyone would accept the results of this referendum and instead urged South Ossetian government to engage in the negotiations with Georgia. - 75 ] - - On 13 September 2006 European Union Special Representative to the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, while visiting Moscow, said:"results of the South Ossetian independence referendum will have no meaning for the European Union ". - 76 ] - - Peter Semneby also added that this referendum would not contribute to the peaceful conflict resolution process in South Ossetia.
Ethnic Ossetians and Russians living in South Ossetia nearly unanimously approved a referendum on 12 November 2006 opting for independence from Georgia. The referendum was hugely popular, winning between 98 and 99 percent of the ballots, flag waving and celebration marked were seen across South Ossetia, but elsewhere observers were less enthusiastic. Ethnic Georgians living in South Ossetia boycotted the referendum. International critics claimed that the move could worsen regional tensions, and the Tbilisi government thoroughly discounted the results. "Everybody needs to understand, once and for all, that no amount of referenda or elections will move Georgia to give up that which belongs to the Georgian people by God's will," declared Georgi Tsagareishvili, leader of the Industrialist’s bloc in Georgia's parliament. - 77 ] - -
The People of South Ossetia for Peace was founded in October 2006 by the ethnic Ossetians who were outspoken critics and presented a serious opposition to secessionist authorities of Eduard Kokoity.
The group headed by the former defence minister and then prime minister of secessionist government Dmitry Sanakoyev organized the so-called alternative presidential election, on 12 November 2006 - parallel to those held by the secessionist authorities in Tskhinvali. - 53 ] - - High voter turnout was reported by the alternative electoral commission, which estimated over 42,000 voters from both Ossetian (Java district and Tskhinvali) and Georgian (Eredvi, Tamarasheni, etc.) communities of South Ossetia and Sanakoyev reportedly received 96% of the votes. Another referendum was organized shortly after asking for the start of negotiations with Georgia on a federal arrangement for South Ossetia received 94% support. However, People of South Ossetia for Peace turned down a request from a Georgian NGO, “Multinational Georgia”, to monitor it and the released results were very likely to be inflated. -
According to the International Crisis Group, "Georgian government’s steps are non-violent and development-oriented but their implementation is unilateral and so assertive that they are contributing to a perceptible and dangerous rise in tensions". -
Initially the entity of Sanakoyev was known as "the Alternative Government of South Ossetia", but during the course of 2007 the central authorities of Georgia decided to give it official status and on 13 April the formation of "Provisional Administration of South Ossetia" was announced. - 78 ] - - On 10 May 2007 Dmitry Sanakoyev was appointed head of the provisional administrative entity in South Ossetia. - 79 ] - -
An EU fact finding team visited the region in January 2007. Per Eklund, Head of the Delegation of the European Community to Georgia 5 said that “None of the two alternatives do we consider legitimate [in South Ossetia].” - 80 ] - -
- Demographics
Palm Sunday procession in Tskhinvali in April, 2009
Before the Georgian-Ossetian conflict roughly two-thirds of the population of South Ossetia was Ossetian and 25-30% was Georgian. The eastern quarter of the country, around the town and district of Akhalgori, is predominantly Georgian, while the center and west are predominantly Ossete. Much of the mountainous north is scarcely 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 is unknown, - 81 ] - - although according to some estimates there were 47,000 ethnic Ossetians and 17,500 ethnic Georgians in South Ossetia in 2007. - 82 ] - -
2009 Population Estimate:During the war, HRW stated that 15,000 Georgians fled and a total of 500 citizens of South Ossetia were killed. - 83 ] - - - 84 ] - - This left the estimated population at 54,500. However Russia's reconstruction plan involving 600 million dollars in aid to South Ossetia may have spurred immigration into the De Facto independent Republic, especially with Russia's movement of 3,700 soldiers into South Ossetia, in order to prevent further incursions. - 85 ] - - RIA Novosti places the population of South Ossetia at 80,000 although, this figure is probably too optimistic. - 85 ] - -
Ethnicity - 1926 census - 1939 census - 1959 census - 1970 census - 1979 census - 1989 census - 2007 estimate
Ossetians - 60,351 (69.1%) - 72,266 (68.1%) - 63,698 (65.8%) - 66,073 (66.5%) - 65,077 (66.4%) - 65,200 (65.9%) - 47,000 (67.1%
Georgians - 23,538 (26.9%) - 27,525 (25.9%) - 26,584 (27.5%) - 28,125 (28.3%) - 28,187 (28.8%) - 28,700 (29.0%) - 17,500 (25.0%
Russians - 157 (0.2%) - 2,111 (2.0%) - 2,380 (2.5%) - 1,574 (1.6%) - 2,046 (2.1%) - 2,128 (2.1%) - 2,100 (3.0%
Armenians - 1,374 (1.6%) - 1,537 (1.4%) - 1,555 (1.6%) - 1,254 (1.3%) - 953 (1.0%) - 871 (0.9%) - 900 (1.3%
Jews - 1,739 (2.0%) - 1,979 (1.9%) - 1,723 (1.8%) - 1,485 (1.5%) - 654 (0.7%) - 648 (0.7%) - 650 (0.9%
Others - 216 (0.2%) - 700 (0.7%) - 867 (0.9%) - 910 (0.9%) - 1,071 (1.1%) - 1,453 (1.5%) - 1,850 (2.6% - Total : 87,375 - 106,118 - 96,807 - 99,421 - 97,988 - 99,000 - 70,000
- 86 ] - -
- Economy
The Dzuarikau-Tskhinvali pipeline, delivering natural gas from Russia to South Ossetia, was launched in 2009
Following a war with Georgia in the 1990s, South Ossetia has struggled economically. South Ossetian GDP was estimated at US$ 15 million (US$ 250 per capita) in a work published in 2002. - 87 ] - - 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 possesses is control of the Roki Tunnel that used to link 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 has admitted that his country is seriously dependent on Russian economic assistance. - 88 ] - -
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 have incomparably smaller incomes. - 89 ] - -
Before the 2008 South 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 are standing idle and are in need of repairs. Even successful factories have a shortage of workers, are in debt and have a shortage of working capital. - 89 ] - - One of the largest local enterprises is the Emalprovod factory, which has 130 employees. - 89 ] - -
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 ten-fold 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. - 89 ] - -
Russia is planning to spend 10 billion rubles in the restoration of South Ossetia in 2009. - 89 ] - -
- See also
Shida Kartli
Military of South Ossetia
Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia
- Gallery
Pictures from South Ossetia

Scenery in central South Ossetia.

A South Ossetian woman.

South Ossetian performers.

School Number 2 in Tshkinvali.

Kusdzhytae, South Ossetia.

- References
Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed". -
USSR Atlas - in Russian, Moscow 1984
The Foreign Policy of Russia:Changing Systems, Enduring Interests . Robert H. Donaldson, Joseph L. Nogee. M.E. Sharpe. 2005. p. 199. ISBN 0765615681, 9780765615688. -
  • Charles King, The Five-Day War" (PDF). -
  • Chavez Recognizes South Ossetia, Abkhazia As Independent - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2009". 2009-09-10. -
    President of Russia dead link ] -
    Venezuela recognizes S. Ossetia, Abkhazia as independent - Chavez - Top Russian news and analysis online - 'RIA Novosti' newswire". -
    Abkhazia, S.Ossetia Formally Declared Occupied Territory. Civil Georgia. 28 August 2008.
    David Marshall Lang, The Georgians, New York, p. 239
    Roger Rosen, History of Caucasus Nations, London, 2006
  • a b c (PDF) Georgia:Avoiding War in South Ossetia. International Crisis Group. 26 November 2004. ICG Europe Report 159. -
  • Crisis group 2007 Appendix D
    The Georgian - South Ossetian Conflict, chapter 8 and appendix". -
    Hastening The End of the Empire, Time Magazine , 28 January 1991
  • a b The Georgian - South Ossetian Conflict, chapter 4". -
  • The independence precedent:If Kosovo goes free The Economist, Nov 29th 2007
  • a b c Georgia’s South Ossetia Conflict:Make Haste Slowly, Europe Report N°183, 7 June 2007 (free registration needed to view full report
  • Tbilisi Blues". Foreign Affairs. 2004-08-25. -
    Resolution on Peacekeepers Leaves Room for More Diplomacy. Civil Georgia . 2006-02-16.
    Tbilisi Proposes New Negotiating Format for S.Ossetia". 2001-07-01. -
    Russia 'not neutral' in Black Sea conflict, EU says, EUobserver, 10 October 2006.
    John Pike (2010-05-13). Reported in Novosti, 5 June 2008". -
    Georgia Says its Armored Vehicle Blown Up". 1 July 2001. - report from multiple news agencies.
  • Six Die in S.Ossetia Shootout, Civil Georgia , 2 August 2008. (Google cache
  • Security Council holds third emergency meeting as South Ossetia conflict intensifies, expands to other parts of Georgia". - . -
  • The August War between Russia and Georgia Moscow Defense Brief
  • Russia's rapid reaction International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • 1 Day-by-day:Georgia-Russia crisis
  • Report by the Government of Georgia on the Aggression by the Russian Federation". - . -
  • The West Begins to Doubt Georgian Leader". Der Spiegel. 15 September 2008.,1518,578273-2,00.html -
  • Russia and Georgia in verbal war". BBC News. 6 August 2009. -
  • 2 Chronicle of the Second South-Ossetian War , in Russian
    David Hearst and James Orr. ''Analysis:Georgia's decision to shell Tskhinvali could prove 'reckless'''". Guardian. -
    Norton, Jenny (2008-08-19). ''Ossetian crisis:Who started it?'', BBC". BBC News. -
    4 A Single Point of Resistance Remains in Tskhinvali , in Russian
  • BBC:Georgia Marks Anniversary of War". 7 August 2009. -
  • Oct. 9, 2008 Amnesty International Satellite Images Reveal Damage to South Ossetian Villages After Major Fighting Ended". 9 October 2008. - . -
  • a b Niko Mchedlishvili (September 11, 2006). Georgian rebel region to vote on independence". Reuters. - . -
  • Online Magazine - Civil Georgia". 2001-07-01. -
    S.Ossetia Says ‘International Observers’ Arrive to Monitor Polls,, 11 November 2006
    S. Ossetia:99% back independence. Associated Press. CNN. 13 November 2006. Archived from on 28 November 2006.
  • a b Two Referendums and Two “Presidents” in South Ossetia". Caucaz.Com. 2006-11-20. -
  • Online Magazine - Civil Georgia". 2001-07-01.
    Georgia Quits Mixed Control Commission - Kommersant Moscow".
    International Crisis Group - Georgia’s South Ossetia Conflict:Make Haste Slowl dead link ] -
    Online Magazine - Civil Georgia". 2001-07-01.
  • a b The Earthtimes. Nicaragua joins Russia in recognizing South Ossetia, Abkhazia, 3 September 2008".
  • West condemns Russia over Georgia, BBC, 26 August 2008". BBC News. 2008-08-26.
  • CoE, PACE Chairs Condemn Russia’s Move, Civil Georgia, 26 August 2008". 2001-07-01.
  • OSCE Chair Condemns Russia’s Recognition of Abkhazia, S.Ossetia, Civil Georgia, 26 August 2008". 2001-07-01. -
  • AP, Russia support for separatists could have ripples, New York Times , 31 August 2008.
  • Venezuela recognises Georgia rebel regions - reports". Reuters. 10 September 2009.
  • a b Halpin, Tony (30 August 2008). Kremlin announces that South Ossetia will join 'one united Russian state'". The Times (News Corp
  • Kokoity Reverses Remarks on S.Ossetia Joining Russia". Civil Georgia . September 11, 2008. -
    Yuschenko, Saakashvili open new building of Georgian Embassy in Kyiv, Interfax-Ukraine (November 19, 2009
    Reuters 8 August 2008:Georgia-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
    Civil Georgia, [S.Ossetia Sets Repeat Independence Referendum], 2006-09-11
    Council of Europe Secretary General calls for talks instead of "referendum" in the Georgian region of South Ossetia. Council of Europe Information Office in Georgia.
    AFP by Simon Ostrovsky:Thumbs up for independence in separatist Georgian region", 13 November 2006
    Civil Georgia:MPs Pass Draft Law on S. Ossetia with Final Hearing", 13 April 2007
  • Civil Georgia:Sanakoev Appointed as Head of S.Ossetia Administration", 10 May 2007
  • Civil Georgia EU Mulls New Opportunities for Breakaway Regions", 22 January 2007
    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 living in Georgia but excluding South Ossetia.
    The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use. Georgia:a toponymic note concerning South Ossetia
    Georgia:UN continues to press for humanitarian access to victims". 2008-08-15. -
    Moscow Defense Brief". -
  • Census results in South Ossetia:1926, 1939, 1959, 1970, 1979 (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 by International Crisis Group, 26.11.2006
  • South Ossetia, center of conflict between Russia and Georgia, struggles a year after war". Associated Press. -
  • a b c d e Delyagin, Mikhail (2009-03). A Testing Ground for Modernization and a Showcase of Success. Russia in Global Affairs. - . -
  • -
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    Republic of South Ossetia
    Crisis profile, Georgia, Abkhazia, S. Ossetia From Reuters Alertnet
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    (1) Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, officially recognised minority in the People's Republic of China.
    (2) South Ossetia is a self-proclaimed republic within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia. It is presently only recognized by 4 UN member states.

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    Covid in South Ossetia

    Coronavirus covid-19 in South Ossetia - Map of Coronavirus in the World. Total 393,934,458 cases of COVID-19 and 5,722,382 deaths. Updated information by country. Source : national health authorities and World Health Organization (WHO). 2022-02-08 04:21:15


    Symptoms of the coronavirus disease : fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, headache, slight runny nose, shortness of breath. If you have these symptoms, seek medical care to check your condition. Circulatory system : decreased white blood cells. Kidneys : decreased function.
    Coronavirus in Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
    How to take care of your health and protect others ?
    Wash your hands frequently and regularly with soap and water. Keep your hands clean with an alcohol-based hand rub. Washing your hands kills viruses that may be there.  -
    Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth and face. Because hands touch many surfaces and can get contaminated with viruses and transfer it to your eyes, nose or mouth. And the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
    Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow, when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Safe greetings and handshaking.
    Maintain social distancing at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone else who is coughing or sneezing. When people coughs or sneezes can spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.
    Good respiratory hygiene. Protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
    Stay home if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention only if required, to protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
    Avoid contact with others and visits to medical facilities.
    Stay aware of the latest information with official sources from the national and local public health authority.
    Avoid to travel to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
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    Where to find the area codes for the cities in South Ossetia? The directory includes a list of City Dial Codes for South Ossetia. Use the South Ossetia phone services to find more information for the cities in South Ossetia.
    Where to find white pages in South Ossetia? Use the white pages section to find free information about people. Find phone numbers, address, names and other information very helpful to locate people.
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    Phones South Ossetia 2023
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