Talk:Occupied territories of Georgia

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Rename and refocus of article[edit]

My reaction upon seeing this article can be summed up in a few simple words. It is extremely POV to have an article under this title that is framed in this manner. Most sources I find using the term "occupied territories" are government statements or partisan foundations and those media sources cited in this article are nearly all being misrepresented or they are opinion pieces. Plenty of Western sources put the phrase "occupied territories" in quotes to denote what most objective observers see as a questionable and inflammatory characterization of the situation. There are NPOV options for an article similar to this that would be better, but require significant re-focusing. One suggestion I would have is "political status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia", which would probably have to touch on the disputed recognition of their independence as well, with another being an article on the Law on Occupied Territories of Georgia, which would probably have to remove any material not directly concerning the law. Either of those are good options, but the current focus of the article and its seeming endorsement of a very contentious label is extremely POV.--The Devil's Advocate tlk. cntrb. 02:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


I agree with the points made above. --72.230.133.8 (talk) 19:10, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Disagree, the article explains one of the terms that do exist. It is not inflammatory for a reasoned person. The Russian Federation did not withdraw their troops from the territories and it is a fact. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 04:29, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree with Aleksandr--g. balaxaZe 15:08, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree with original poster, the way this article is written implicitly suggests that Abkhazia and South Ossetia do not exist as de-facto independent states, and is strictly POV from the Geprgian position. Not a single mention of neither states' political positions, even though the territories that are the subject of this page are under their control. Either this page decides to rename itself as "Georgian Law on the Occupied Territories", or it must include the other side's position. The way this article is written makes it sound like Russia just invaded Georgia out of the blue. 71.88.99.117 (talk) 06:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Russia invaded in Georgia like several months ago in Ukraine and this called as a hybrid war. --g. balaxaZe 22:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

There is zero mention of neither the Abkhaz nor the Ossete responses[edit]

I don't see how an article about Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's status could not have absolutely any reference to the official positions of their de-facto governments. It also seems strange that the history begins with the 2008 war, and not with the history of ethnic tensions that have existed between the Abkhaz and Ossete people on one side, and Georgians on the other. The "See Also" Section is heavily biased towards Georgians, with no link to neither the history of the conflicts, nor the region. The way this article is written suggests that Abkhazia and South Ossetia do not even figure in this conflict, as there is not a single mention of anyone from the regions.

The article also exhibits heavy bias in favor of the United National Movement party in particular, and only mentions its guilt in the war once.

I also find it strange that the Russian version of this page concerns the specific Georgian law concerning the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it would make more sense if this article's focus would move towards the same idea 72.230.133.8 (talk) 19:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

The article's intention not to reflect ethnic studies in the region, but rather to explain the political situation. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 04:32, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Revert[edit]

I don't agree with merging the two articles. There was no consensus or majority vote for this action. The previous article was about Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and international position about this. Now the article is a mess. I am for splitting the article into two parts where one article should cover Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and legal assessment, and another one about international recognition of independence of those territories. --UA Victory (talk) 07:10, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

That is exactly what I was trying to do (there is an International recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia page already, to which this article was largely redundant before my edits). But this article also needs to cover the political developments, with Russia effectively subsuming the Abkhaz and South Ossetian militaries and economies. And even though my position is personally sympathetic to Georgia in this particular dispute, and I'm certainly no fan of Putin -- this article title is pretty blatantly POV, and there seemed to be a consensus above that it should be changed. -Kudzu1 (talk) 15:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
There was no consensus that the article name needed to be changed. Some users proposed and some were opposed. How is the article name POV, if many international actors use this designation as a common name for both Abkhazia and South Ossetia and there is Russian military presence there that was not sanctioned by Georgia's government? --UA Victory (talk) 15:35, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Because it endorses the view that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia. Simple. It's typical Kremlinese "the sky is green" nonsense for them to claim, in the face of overwhelming evidence, that their troops are not occupying the territories, and I have no issue with that part of the title -- but Abkhazia and South Ossetia consider themselves independent countries, and they have not been under de facto Georgian control for years. -Kudzu1 (talk) 16:04, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
The majority of world countries view them as part of Georgia so Wikipedia should reflect the world view. The article already mentions that the territories consider themselves to be independent states so I don't see any problem in the name. Although Georgia does not control the territories, this does not yet mean that they don't belong to Georgia. Israel also views the West Bank and Jerusalem as part of Israel and does not consider them occupied. Regardless, no one is disputing the neutrality of the article name of Israeli-occupied territories since Israeli-inhabitants of the territories agree with Israeli military presence. --UA Victory (talk) 16:20, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
That's not really what Wikipedia does. Might I suggest a compromise? Moving the page to Russian military occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Retains the "occupation" language while remaining neutral as to whether Abkhazia and South Ossetia are states or Georgian territories, in keeping with Wikipedia's NPOV guidelines. -Kudzu1 (talk) 18:59, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
When the Russian troops first arrived in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the first half of August 2008, even the Russian government then officially recognised them as the Georgian territories. Their independence was recognised during the presence of the Russian troops there.
Even there can be some issues with that proposed name. The proposed name does imply that Russian troops only control Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russian troops also occupy the adjacent areas near South Ossetia as a result of the recent unilateral border shifts. Then the name should be Russian military occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the adjacent areas near South Ossetia, which would be too long and impractical.
If your proposed name becomes the article name, then someone will come along and will say that the term "occupation" is POV too. They will argue if the territories are not part of Georgia and Russia has recognised the territories as independent states, then the states themselves had requested the Russian troops and there is no occupation. However this argument is flawed since before the arrival of Russian troops the separatists did not control all of the territories of Abkhazia and the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast and gained control of the entire territories with the help of the Russian troops.
I have found a similar historical precedent. Second Sino-Japanese War describes the Japanese occupation of Chinese territories and also includes Manchuria, despite the fact that Manchuria was recognised as a sovereign state of Manchukuo and it was the will of the local government to allow the presence of the Japanese forces. I don't think it's POV to describe Manchuria as Japanese-occupied Chinese territory, it's historic evaluation of the situation on the ground.
Even the EU, who negotiated ceasefire agreement between Georgia and Russia, has used the terms similar to "Occupied territories of Georgia" to refer to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. See those examples here: "to occupy the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/ South Ossetia", "recognise Georgia's regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/ South Ossetia as occupied territories", "the occupied territories of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/ South Ossetia" and "to end the occupation of those Georgian territories".
As I have said, vast majority of the UN member states (189 out of 193) view the territories as Georgian. So I think it's best we should stick to the worldwide POV, not WP:FRINGE. --UA Victory (talk) 10:36, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not the United Nations, and it is not WP:FRINGE to maintain WP:NPOV as to whether Abkhazia and South Ossetia are territories of Georgia. They have functioned as de facto states for years now. If Wikipedia can take an NPOV approach to, say, Somaliland -- which has zero international recognition -- it should do the same with other non-UN member states. -Kudzu1 (talk) 15:50, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not an authority over what breakaway territory should be recognised as independent state. Mostly it's the UN that has such authority. Therefore we should refer to the position of the UN and I can't deny the fact that according to the UN, these territories legally belong to Georgia. Wikipedia can also describe the situation on the ground and already does so. If Ethiopian troops gain control of Somaliland and then Puntland without the consent of the Somali federal government, I will support the creation of the article Occupied territories of Somalia, since it would be a good idea to create the article describing the military situation and the international position. Russia has already annexed the Crimean peninsula and Crimea is de facto part of Russia; however the majority of the world leaders, media and scholars describe it as the occupied Ukrainian territory.
As I have explained, the occupation took place during the time when Russia recognised them as the Georgian territories. The recognition of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia happened after the occupation. The Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia as de facto independent states exist in the first place because Russia aided the rebels and currently the Russian troops and financial aid guarantee their existence and control of the territories, similar to Japanese troops ensuring the independence of Manchukuo and preventing China from regaining control. So their independence can be considered as dubious.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia already have their own articles where it's explained that they operate as de facto independent states (with the help from Russia). There is an article about their recognition which also discusses whether they should be recognised or not.--UA Victory (talk) 17:17, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
My point is that this entire issue can be totally avoided with a move to Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, an NPOV title for an article about the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (and not, as the current title suggests, the territories being occupied themselves; this is not a geography article). -Kudzu1 (talk) 17:45, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
The article does not say that the territories are occupying themselves. You are mixing the territory with de facto states that currently control them. The territories are Abkhazia and the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, that de jure belong to Georgia. However de facto states (the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia) currently control the territories together with the Russian troops, while before August 2008 they controlled only parts of those territories. In fact, it is argued that Russia is a sole and absolute ruler of the territories through its military occupation and the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia are the puppet governments of Russia. Those de facto states already have their own pages where their recognition is also discussed. I've already explained various reasons why I see nothing wrong in the current name and also Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has issues, such as omitting the fact that the Russian forces have seized the adjacent areas and villages near South Ossetia and their presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a security concern for Georgia.--UA Victory (talk) 09:43, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstood what I typed: the article is not about the territories, it is about the occupation. As for the issue about the "adjacent areas", the WP:KISS principle applies; your "slippery slope" argument doesn't hold up. -Kudzu1 (talk) 16:07, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, the aforementioned territories are occupied. The current name is the shortest possible one to describe the situation in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the villages that border South Ossetia. The current name highlights that the occupation is primarily directed against Georgia. Your proposal could be WP:UNDUE since it would give undue weight to the Russian position that the territories don't belong to Georgia, exactly what the ultimate goal of the Russian occupation is--UA Victory (talk) 19:44, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The ultimate goal of the Russian occupation is to deny Georgia's claim to these territories.--UA Victory (talk) 19:50, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Who did delete all those resolution and statements from international position? It was very useful reference point for political studies or for anyone researching about Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It was not a duplication of International Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. International recognition of Abkhazia and south Ossetia only covers those positions who recognises the territorial integrity of Georgia or independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, not who condemned Russian military presence. --UA Victory (talk) 07:13, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Anyone who removes an entire section on international position about Russian military presence, is against Wikipedia policy that information should be free. I myself needed those references for my work and found after very hard research and then added here for everybody else who would be interested. There is an entire section in another article for detailed statements about diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in another article, however nobody removes them. --UA Victory (talk) 07:26, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Exactly -- they're on another page, which is why I deleted them. This entire subject area is a morass of redundancy and haphazard updates that aren't independently notable, like the Georgian vice-speaker making a statement in Lithuania two or three years ago -- WP:NOTNEWS if I've ever seen it. And whoever condemned the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia certainly didn't recognize them as sovereign states, considering only four UN members recognize them and one of them is the occupying power (Russia). -Kudzu1 (talk) 15:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
No, the statements you deleted were not in another article. Can you give an example which one was duplicated? --UA Victory (talk) 15:35, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
"Redundant" isn't exactly "duplicated". It doesn't matter which statement from which official we use; the governments of the United States, Germany, Ukraine, Estonia, etc., have made it very, very clear that they don't recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia and deplore Russia's actions. Wikipedia isn't a coatrack for an exhaustive list of times those governments have reiterated that position. -Kudzu1 (talk) 16:04, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
There is similar article List of the UN resolutions concerning Israel and Palestine that has exhaustive list of when did the United Nations reiterate its position regarding Israeli military presence in Palestine and the return of Palestinian refugees. You have replaced an entire referenced section with a single sentence: "The European Union, NATO, Council of Europe, and several other intergovernmental organisations have also condemned what they view as the Russian occupation of Georgian territory." If someone comes here to find specific references, they will be frustrated. Your insistence to remove this section can be regarded as WP:CENS. --UA Victory (talk) 16:20, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Be cautious about assuming bad faith. There is a separate article for international recognition, and I don't think that information needs to be spread across two pages. If you feel it is important to retain all of these statements I consider redundant, I suggest merging them to the international page. -Kudzu1 (talk) 19:01, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Most of the statements on the other page are initial reactions to Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The statements here mostly refer to Russia's continued violation of 2008 cease-fire agreement and recent actions such as deployment of the ballistic missiles, refusal to allow the return of the refugees or the "borderization". There is a difference between two articles. If these will be merged into another article, it will become a mess and harder to find relevant information. If the section becomes too large in the future, then it should be split into a separate article. --UA Victory (talk) 10:36, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
The section is already too large, and the page is already a mess, which is why I tried to fix some of the problems with it. But evidently you are not interested in improving the content, only keeping it the way it is now. -Kudzu1 (talk) 15:47, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Deleting an entire section does not mean improvement. My personal view is that Wikipedia can be improved by adding more content, not deleting it. I have already stated that I have found the section to be both interesting and useful. --UA Victory (talk) 17:17, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

The article about controversy about recognition should be merged into International recognition. --UA Victory (talk) 08:00, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I have no problem redirecting it to that page, either. But the controversy page was 1) almost completely redundant, 2) a WP:COATRACK, and 3) dead, with no Talk page activity in years and no edits to the article in months. -Kudzu1 (talk) 15:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Whatever your position in the conflict, the term occupation here is propaganda. It is simply in no way a neutral description of the political situation. The term implies that a) the Russian military commands the civil administration of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and that b) from the Russian perspective, this is a temporary arrangement until a final agreement with Georgian is reached. I don't think anyone would argue that either is the case. A neutral article should discuss the political situation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from all sides and also be called thus. sephia karta | dimmi 14:12, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

Sephia karta the term military occupation is used by several International Organisations and Countries so it is quite correct and has nothing with propaganda. --g. balaxaZe 08:23, 26 April 2015 (UTC)