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South Ossetia

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Republic of South Ossetia – The State of Alania

  • Республикӕ Хуссар Ирыстон / Паддзахад Аллонстон (Ossetian)
    Rêšpublika Xuššâr Irešton / Pâddzâxâd Âllonšton

  • ცხინვალის რეგიონი (Georgian)
    Tskhinvalis regioni

  • Республика Южная Осетия / Государство Алания (Russian)
    Respublika Yuzhnaya Osetiya / Gosudarstvo Alaniya
Flag of South Ossetia
South Ossetia (green), Georgia, and Abkhazia (light grey).
South Ossetia (green), Georgia, and Abkhazia (light grey).
Map of South Ossetia.
Map of South Ossetia.
StatusPartially recognised state
Recognised by the United Nations as de jure part of Georgia
and largest city
42°14′N 43°58′E / 42.233°N 43.967°E / 42.233; 43.967
Official languages
GovernmentSemi-presidential republic
• President
Anatoliy Bibilov
Gennady Bekoyev (acting)
Independence from Georgia
• Formed as part of USSR
20 September 1990[1]
• Act of state independence
21 December 1991
• Recognized
26 August 2008 (limited)
• Total
3,900 km2 (1,500 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2015 census
53,532 (212th)
• Density
13.7/km2 (35.5/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2017[2] estimate
• Total
US$0.1 billion
• Per capita
CurrencyRussian ruble (RUB)
Time zoneUTC+03:00 (MSK)
Driving sideright
Calling code+995 34
  1. Ossetian and Russian languages are official languages[3]

South Ossetia (/ɒˈsɛtjə/, less commonly /ɒˈsʃə/),[4] officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania,[5][6] or the Tskhinvali Region, is a de facto,[7] disputed territory recognised as part of Georgia in the Caucasus region.

South Ossetia was a Soviet oblast (region) with some self-rule and controlled big parts of the region. When it declared its independence in 1990, Georgia tried to take back the region by force and it led to the 1991-1992 South Ossetia War.[8] Georgia tried to retake South Ossetia again in 2004 and in 2008.[9] In 2008, Ossetia's fighters were backed by Russian troops and they gained full control of the region, but its separation from Georgia has only been recognized by three other countries (Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela) and Abkhazia (a similar place), and it is de jure (officially) a part of the Georgian region (mkhare) of Shida Kartli.

Internationally regarded as a Russian occupied territory of Georgia, Georgia itself refuses to recognize rebel South Ossetia as an independent state; the government calls it by the medieval name of Samachablo or, more recently, Tskhinvali region (after the republic's capital).

South Ossetia is a geographical state that borders North Ossetia-Alania to the north which is not an independent entity due to it being part of Russia.

South Ossetia relies heavily on Russian aid.[10][11][12]

Sometimes, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Abkhazia are named collectively as post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.[13][14]


South Ossetia is situated at central Caucasus, a border between Asia and Europe. It occupies a part of Greater Caucasus range and the foothills of Kartalin Valley.[15] South Ossetia is a very mountainous region.

Related pages


  1. "Unrecognized states: South Ossetia" (in ru). 28 January 2014. 
  2. "Валовой внутренний продукт". 
  3. Presidential Elections in South Ossetia – Plan B
    The first round of voting was accompanied by a referendum in which the 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.
  4. "Ossetia" Archived 23 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Collins English Dictionary.
  5. "South Ossetia Referendum on Name Change Steers Clear of Thornier Unification Issue" (in en). 
  6. "Referendum to rename South Ossetia 'Alania' set for April" (in en-US). 7 February 2017. 
  7. De facto - in practice, not necessarily in law
  8. The Foreign Policy of Russia: Changing Systems, Enduring Interests. Robert H. Donaldson, Joseph L. Nogee. M.E. Sharpe. 2005. p. 199. ISBN 9780765615688 . 
  9. Charles King (2008). "The Five-Day War: Managing Moscow After the Georgia Crisis" (PDF). Foreign Affairs (Georgetown University) (November/December). Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  10. South Ossetia Looking Much Like a Failed State. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  11. "NATO Membership Would Strain Georgia’s Ties with Russia – Medvedev". RIA Novosti. 2013-08-07. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  12. Smolar, Piotr (2013-10-08). "Georgia wary of Russian encroachment". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  13. OSCE: De Gucht Discusses Montenegro Referendum, Frozen Conflicts Archived 27 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Archived 28 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Archived 24 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, May 2006
  14. Vladimir Socor, "Frozen Conflicts in the Black Sea-South Caucasus Region". Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-26. , IASPS Policy Briefings, 1 March 2004
  15. "About the Republic of South Ossetia". Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2012.