South Ossetia

South Ossetia

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Хуссар Ирыстон / Khussar Iryston (Ossetic)
სამხრეთი ოსეთი / Samkhreti Oseti (Georgian)
Южная Осетия / Yuzhnaya Osetiya (Russian)

South Ossetia
Location of South Ossetia
Area
Total 3,900 km²
1,506 sq mi
Water (%) negligible
Population
2000 estimate 70,000 (In 2008, thousands fled to North Ossetia as refugees)
Density 18/km²
46.6/sq mi
Time zone (UTC+3)

South Ossetia (Ossetic: Хуссар Ирыстон, Khussar Iryston; Georgian: სამხრეთი ოსეთი, Samkhreti Oseti; Russian: Южная Осетия, Yuzhnaya Osetiya) is a region in the South Caucasus, formerly the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. Most of it has been de facto independent from Georgia since it declared independence[1] as the Republic of South Ossetia early in the 1990s during the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. The capital of the region is Tskhinvali.

The independence has not been diplomatically recognized by any member of the United Nations – which continues to regard South Ossetia as part of Georgia. On 25 August 2008, the Federation Council and the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation unanimously passed a non-binding resolution urging Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize South Ossetia, as well as Abkhazia.

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[edit] Political status

South Ossetia (shown in purple) within Georgia. The territory forms part of several Georgian administrative units.

South Ossetia (shown in purple) within Georgia. The territory forms part of several Georgian administrative units.

Map of South Ossetia, November 2004

Map of South Ossetia, November 2004

The United Nations, European Union, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and all other countries in the world recognize South Ossetia as part of Georgia. However, the de facto republic governed by the secessionist government held a second independence referendum[2] on November 12, 2006, after its first referendum in 1992 was not recognized by the international community as valid.[3] 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%[4] and the referendum was monitored by a team of 34 international observers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden and other countries at 78 polling stations.[5] 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 referendum without recognition from the central government in Tbilisi.[6] 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 which both Georgian and some Ossetian inhabitants of the region voted in favour of Dmitry Sanakoyev as the alternative President of South Ossetia.[7] The alternative elections of Sanakoyev claimed full support of the ethnic Georgian population.

In April 2007, a « Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia »[8][9][10][11] headed by ethnic Ossetians (former members of the separatist government) under the leadership of Dmitry Sanakoyev, was created by Georgia, which had retained control over part of South Ossetia’s eastern and southern districts. This provisional administration would negotiate with central Georgian authorities regarding its final status and conflict resolution.[12] On May 10, 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 will be elaborated within the framework of « an all-inclusive dialogue » with all the forces and communities within the Ossetian society.[13]

On August 8, 2008, on the same day as the 2008 Olympic Games officially commenced, Georgian forces attacked South Ossetian militia, Russian peacekeepers and civilians. In response, Russia sent forces to stop Georgia’s aggression and subsequently destroy Georgia’s military infrastructure so that future attacks could not occur. Following the end of hostilities, the Federation Council of Russia called an extraordinary session for August 25, 2008 to discuss recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[14] On August 25 the Federation Council has unanimously voted to ask the Russian President to recognise independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[15]

[edit] History

[edit] 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 Georgian and Byzantine 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, to Georgia[16] where they formed three distinct territorial entities. Digor in the west came under the influence of the neighboring Kabard people, who introduced Islam. Tualläg in the south became what is now South Ossetia, part of the historical Georgian principality of Samachablo[17] where Ossetians found refuge from Mongol invaders. Iron in the north became what is now North Ossetia, under Russian rule from 1767. Most Ossetians are now Christian (approximately 61%); there is also a significant Muslim minority.

[edit] South Ossetia as a part of Russia and the Soviet Union

Former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast is grey. It is officially divided by Georgian authorities between different administrative units.

Former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast is grey. It is officially divided by Georgian authorities between different administrative units.

The modern-day South Ossetia was annexed by 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 became a part of the Terek Soviet Republic. The area saw a series of Ossetian rebellions during which claims for independence were made. The Georgian government accused Ossetians of cooperating with Bolsheviks. According to Ossetian sources about 5,000 Ossetians were killed and more than 13,000 subsequently died from hunger and epidemics.[18]

The Soviet Georgian government established by the Russian 11th Red Army in 1921 created the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast (i.e., province) in April 1922. Although the Ossetians had their own language (Ossetian), Russian and Georgian were administrative/state languages.[19] Under the rule of Georgia’s government during Soviet times, it enjoyed some degree of autonomy including speaking the Ossetian language and teaching it in schools.[19]

[edit] Georgian-Ossetian conflict

[edit] 1989-2008

Hatched shading shows Georgian-controlled areas in South Ossetia in June 2007 (according to Tbilisi, Georgia).

Hatched shading shows Georgian-controlled areas in South Ossetia in June 2007 (according to Tbilisi, Georgia).[20]

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 Soviet for the region to be upgraded to that of « autonomous republic« . In 1989 the Georgian Supreme Soviet established Georgian as the principal language countrywide.[18]

The Georgian Supreme Soviet 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 a Soviet Democratic Republic,[21] 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.[18]

Violent conflict broke out towards the end of 1991 during which many South Ossetian villages were attacked and burned down 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.[22] 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 monument to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in Tskhinvali

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

The western part of South Ossetia was affected by the 1991 Racha-Java earthquake, which killed 200 and left 300 families homeless.

At the time of the dissolution of the USSR, the United States government recognized as legitimate the pre-Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact 1933 borders of the country (the government of Franklin D. Roosevelt established diplomatic relations with the Kremlin at the end of that year[23]). Because of this, the first Bush administration openly supported the secession of the Baltic countries, but regarded the questions related to the independence and territorial conflicts of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the rest of the Transcaucasus — which were an integral part of the USSR with international borders unaltered since the 1920s — as internal Soviet affairs.[24]

In 1992, Georgia was forced to accept 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 retains control over substantial portions of South Ossetia, including the town of Akhalgori.[25] A peacekeeping force of Ossetians, Russians and Georgians was established. On November 6, 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, tensions began to rise as the Georgian authorities strengthened their efforts against smuggling in the region.[26] Hostage takings, shootouts and occasional bombings left dozens dead and wounded. A ceasefire deal was reached on August 13 though it was repeatedly violated. Presently the situation is tense with war escalating. Moscow and Tskhinvali viewed the recent Georgian military build-up with concern.

Georgian Snipers in South Ossetia

Georgian Snipers in South Ossetia

The Georgian government protests against the continually increasing Russian economic and political presence in the region and against the uncontrolled military of the South Ossetian side. It also considers the peacekeeping force to be non-neutral and demanded its replacement.[27] This criticism was supported, for example, by Richard Lugar[28], however on October 5, 2006, Javier Solana, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, ruled out the possibility of replacing the Russian peacekeepers with an EU force.[29] 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. »[30] Most recently, Joseph Biden (Chairman, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee), Richad 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.[31]

[edit] 2008 War

The prelude to the conflict began with violent clashes on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 with both sides claiming having been fired upon by the other. The Georgian interior ministry indicated Georgian forces had returned fire only after South Ossetian positions shelled Georgian-controlled villages and accused the South Ossetian side of « trying to create an illusion of serious escalation, an illusion of war. »[32] South Ossetia denied provoking the conflict.[33][34]

In the first hours of August 8, 2008, a mass incursion of Georgian troops and armour to a South Ossetian-controlled territory and repeated shelling of Tskhinvali began.[35] AFP, quoting a spokesman of the Georgian Interior Ministry, stated that three Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft had intruded on Georgian airspace, attacking some targets in the Tskhinvali region[citation needed]. On the same day, twelve Russian peacekeepers were killed and nearly 150 injured.[36]

The Russian Prime-Minister Vladimir Putin said that the Russian Government « condemns the aggressive actions by Georgian troops in South Ossetia » and that Russia would be compelled to retaliate.[37][38] Heavy fighting was reported in Tskhinvali for most of August 8, with Georgian forces attempting to push Ossetians slowly from the city.[39] 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. On August 22nd, following a negotiated cease-fire between Georgia and Russia, Russia pulled its forces back to Russia and South Ossetia, leaving military contingents disbursed throughout various areas as observation and security posts.

[edit] Politics

The Republic of South Ossetia consists of a checkerboard of Georgian-inhabited and Ossetian-inhabited towns and villages. Until the armed conflict of August 2008, 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 January 25, 2005, President Saakashvili presented a Georgian vision for resolving the South Ossetian conflict at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (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 October 27, 2005. On December 6, the OSCE Ministerial Council in Ljubljana adopted a resolution supporting the Georgian peace plan[40] which was subsequently rejected by the South Ossetian de facto authorities.

[edit] Republic of South Ossetia

Flag of South Ossetia Coat of arms of South Ossetia
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: unknown
Capital Tskhinvali
42°14′N 43°58′E / 42.233, 43.967
Official languages Ossetic, Russian1
Government
President Eduard Kokoity
Prime Minister Boris Chochiev (acting)
De facto independence from Georgia
Declared November 28, 1991
Recognition none
Currency Russian ruble (RUB)
1 Russian in widespread use by government and other institutions.

On September 11, 2006, the South Ossetian Information and Press Committee announced that the republic will hold an independence referendum[2] (the first referendum had not been recognized by the international community as valid in 1992[41]) on November 12, 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 September 13, 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.[42] On September 13, 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« .[43] Peter Semneby also added that this referendum will not contribute to the peaceful conflict resolution process in South Ossetia.

South Ossetians nearly unanimously approved a referendum on November 12, 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. International critics claimed that the move could worsen regional tensions, and the Tblisi government thoroughly discounted the results.

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 November 12 2006– parallel to those held by the secessionist authorities in Tskhinvali.[7] 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.[26]

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 ».[26]

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 April 13 the formation of « Provisional Administration of South Ossetia » was announced.[44] On May 10, 2007 Dmitry Sanakoyev was appointed head of the provisional administrative entity in South Ossetia.[45]

An EU fact finding team visited the region in January 2007. Per Eklund, Head of the Delegation of the European Community to Georgia[4] said that “None of the two alternatives do we consider legitimate [in South Ossetia].”[46]

[edit] Geography

South Ossetia covers an area of about 3,900 km² 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 (3,300 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.

[edit] Demographics

Before the Georgian-Ossetian conflict roughly two-thirds of the population of South Ossetia was Ossetian and 25-30% was Georgian. 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,[47] although according to some estimates there were 45,000 ethnic Ossetians and 17,500 ethnic Georgians in South Ossetia in 2007.[48] By August 2008 more than 70% of the South Ossetia citizens had Russian citizenship.[citation needed]

1926 census 1939 census 1959 census 1970 census 1979 census 1989 census
Ossetians 60,351 (69.1%) 72,266 (68.1%) 63,698 (65.8%) 66,073 (66.5%) 65,077 (66.4%) 65,200 (66.2%)
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%)
Russians 157 (0.2%) 2,111 (2.0%) 2,380 (2.5%) 1,574 (1.6%) 2,046 (2.1%)
Armenians 1,374 (1.6%) 1,537 (1.4%) 1,555 (1.6%) 1,254 (1.3%) 953 (1.0%)
Jews 1,739 (2.0%) 1,979 (1.9%) 1,723 (1.8%) 1,485 (1.5%) 654 (0.7%)
Others 216 (0.2%) 700 (0.7%) 867 (0.9%) 910 (0.9%) 1,071 (1.1%) 5,100 (4.8%)
Total 87,375 106,118 96,807 99,421 97,988 99,000

[edit] Economy

Following a war with Georgia in the 1990s, South Ossetia has struggled economically. 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 links 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. The separatist officials admitted that Tskhinvali received more than 60 percent of its 2006 budget revenue directly from the Russian government.[49]

In late 2006, a large international counterfeiting operation stretching from South Ossetia was revealed by U.S. Secret Service and Georgian police.[50][51]

South Ossetian GDP was estimated at US$ 15 million (US$ 250 per capita) in a work published in 2002.[52]

[edit] References

  1. ^ (2005) The Foreign Policy of Russia: Changing Systems, Enduring Interests, Robert H. Donaldson, Joseph L. Nogee, M.E. Sharpe, p. 199. ISBN 0765615681, 9780765615688.
  2. ^ a b Niko Mchedlishvili (September 11, 2006). « Georgian rebel region to vote on independence« , Reuters.
  3. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  4. ^ 99% of South Ossetian voters approve independence Regnum
  5. ^ S.Ossetia Says ‘International Observers’ Arrive to Monitor Polls, Civil.ge, November 11, 2006
  6. ^ « S. Ossetia: 99% back independence« , Associated Press, CNN.com (November 13, 2006). Archived from the original on 200611-28.
  7. ^ a b Two Referendums and Two “Presidents” in South Ossetia – CAUCAZ.COM
  8. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  9. ^ Georgia’s Showcase in South Ossetia
  10. ^ Georgia Quits Mixed Control Commission – Kommersant Moscow
  11. ^ International Crisis Group – Georgia’s South Ossetia Conflict: Make Haste Slowl
  12. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  13. ^ Commission to Work on S.Ossetia Status. Civil Georgia July 13, 2007.
  14. ^ « Russia to recognise breakaway region’s independence« , The Times (200808-20). Retrieved on 200808-20.
  15. ^ « Upper chamber backs independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia« , Russia Today (200808-25).
  16. ^ David Marshall Lang, The Georgians, New York, p. 239
  17. ^ Roger Rosen, History of Caucasus Nations, London, 2006
  18. ^ a b c Georgia: Avoiding War in South Ossetia, International Crisis Group, 26 November 2004, ICG Europe Report 159, <http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/UNTC/UNPAN019224.pdf>. Retrieved on 13 August 2008
  19. ^ a b D.M. Lang, History of Modern Georgia, 1963
  20. ^ Crisis group 2007 Appendix D
  21. ^ Hastening The End of the Empire, Time Magazine, January 28, 1991
  22. ^ Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, RUSSIA. THE INGUSH-OSSETIAN CONFLICT IN THE PRIGORODNYI REGION, May 1996.
  23. ^ « Pretty Fat Turkey », TIME Magazine, November 27, 1933
  24. ^ America Abroad, Time Magazine, June 10, 1991
  25. ^ The independence precedent: If Kosovo goes free The Economist, Nov 29th 2007
  26. ^ 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)
  27. ^ Resolution on Peacekeepers Leaves Room for More Diplomacy. Civil Georgia. 2006-02-16.
  28. ^ U.S. Senator Urges Russian Peacekeepers’ Withdrawal From Georgian Breakaway Republics. (MosNews).
  29. ^ Solana fears Kosovo ‘precedent’ for Abkhazia, South Ossetia. (International Relations and Security Network).
  30. ^ Russia ‘not neutral’ in Black Sea conflict, EU says, EUobserver, October 10, 2006.
  31. ^ Reported in Novosti, June 5, 2008.
  32. ^ Aljazeera.net report from multiple news agencies.
  33. ^ Six Die in S.Ossetia Shootout, Civil Georgia, 2 August 2008. (Google cache)
  34. ^ « Security Council holds third emergency meeting as South Ossetia conflict intensifies, expands to other parts of Georgia« .
  35. ^ [1] (Where are english links?) Chronicle of the Second South-Ossetian War, in Russian
  36. ^ [2] In Tskhinvali killed 15 peacemakers, in Russian
  37. ^ Russian aircraft attack Georgian territory: Georgian ministry, AFP, August 8, 2008.
  38. ^ Putin vows retaliation for Georgian action in South Ossetia, AFP, August 8, 2008.
  39. ^ [3] A Single Point of Resistance Remains in Tskhinvali, in Russian
  40. ^ OSCE, 13th Meeting of the Ministerial Council (5 and 6 December 2005). Statement on Georgia (MC.DOC/4/05)
  41. ^ Civil Georgia, [S.Ossetia Sets Repeat Independence Referendum http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=13522], 2006-09-11
  42. ^ 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. Retrieved on 13-09-2006.
  43. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  44. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  45. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  46. ^ Online Magazine – Civil Georgia
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use. Georgia: a toponymic note concerning South Ossetia
  49. ^ Money the Big Attraction in S. Ossetia. The Moscow Times. July 26, 2007.
  50. ^ Probe Traces Global Reach of Counterfeiting Ring. Washington Post. November 26, 2006.
  51. ^ Detention near Tskhinvali. Ministry of Defense of Georgia. December 5. 2006.
  52. ^ 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

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