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Map showing North and South Ossetia when they were part of the Soviet Union

Ossetia (/ɒˈsɛtjə, ɒˈsʃə/;[1] Ossetian: Ир, Ирыстон, romanized: Ir, Iryston; Russian: Осетия, romanizedOsetiya; Georgian: ოსეთი, translit. Oseti) is an ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians. The Ossetian language is part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the family of Indo-European languages. Most countries recognize the Ossetian-speaking area south of the main Caucasus ridge as lying within the borders of Georgia, but it has come under the control of the de facto government of the Russian-backed Republic of South Ossetia. The northern portion of the region consists of the republic of North Ossetia–Alania within the Russian Federation.

Recent history[edit]

The ethnolinguistic map of the modern Caucasus showing the Ossetian-inhabited territories in light green
Ossetian tribes (according to B. A. Kaloev).[2][3]

Although a Russian-mediated and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe-monitored ceasefire was implemented in South Ossetia in 1992, the Georgian-Ossetian conflict still remains unresolved even though a recent peace plan proposed by the government of Georgia promised the South Ossetians larger autonomy and pledged expanded international involvement in the political settlement of the conflict. Meanwhile, the South Ossetian secessionist authorities demand independence or unification with North Ossetia, which itself is located in Russia, while the international community instead recognizes it and Abkhazia as a part of Georgia.

On Sunday 12 November 2006, South Ossetians (mostly ethnic Ossetians) went to the polls to vote in a referendum regarding the region's independence from Georgia. The result was a "yes" to independence, with a turnout above 95% from those among the territory's 70,000 people who were eligible to vote at that time.[8] There was also a vote in favor of a new term for Eduard Kokoity, who was the de facto state's president at the time.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ossetia". Collins English Dictionary.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ http://s50.radikal.ru/i129/1003/22/2fec9d793e3d.jpg
  4. ^ Sokirianskaia (PDF), HU: CEU.
  5. ^ "South Ossetia profile". BBC News. 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  6. ^ Ghebali (2003), Helsinki (PDF), 4, CH.[dead link]
  7. ^ Avrasya (2005), Ehatipoglu (PDF), TR: Obiv.[dead link]
  8. ^ "South Ossetia: Russian, Georgian... independent?". OpenDemocracy. Retrieved 2008-08-10.

External links[edit]