2017 South Ossetian name change referendum

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South Ossetia
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A referendum on changing the territory's name was held in South Ossetia on 9 April 2017, alongside presidential elections.[1] It was approved by 79.53%. The constitution will be amended to denominate the formal name of the country from "Republic of South Ossetia" to "Republic of South Ossetia–the State of Alania", referencing Alania, a state built by the Alan people.[2] Modern Ossetians are descended from the Alans, although the name Ossetian is of Georgian origin (although the Georgian root word ოსი is itself from an Alanic autonym).[2]


In a move towards integration with the Russian Federation, South Ossetian President 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".[3] In April 2016, Tibilov said he intended to hold the referendum before August of that year.[4][5] However, on 30 May, Tibilov postponed the referendum until after the presidential election due in April 2017.[6]


Position Votes %
For 25,123 79.53
Against 6,466 20.47
Invalid/blank votes 1,842
Total 33,361 100
Registered voters/turnout 41,814 79.78
Source: South Osetia


  1. ^ Tskhinvali Sets Date for Presidential Polls Civil, 18 January 2017
  2. ^ a b Fuller, Liz (8 February 2017). "South Ossetia Referendum On Name Change Steers Clear Of Thornier Unification Issue". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Breakaway Tskhinvali proposes name change". Agenda.ge. December 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  4. ^ "South Ossetia profile – BBC News". Bbc.com. 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  5. ^ "President: South Ossetia plans to hold referendum on becoming part of Russia before August". TASS. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  6. ^ Fuller, Liz (2016-05-30). "South Ossetia Postpones Referendum On Accession To Russian Federation". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2016-05-30.