Znaur Gassiev

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Znaur Gassiev
Гасситы Знауыр
Гассиев 2009.jpg
Znaur Gassiev (2009)
1st Head of State of South Ossetia
In office
Preceded by New office
Succeeded by Torez Kulumbegov
Chairman of Parliament for South Ossetia
In office
Preceded by Stanislav Kochiev
Succeeded by Stanislav Kochiev
Personal details
Born Znaur Nikolaevich Gassiev
(1925-03-17)17 March 1925
Tskhinvali, South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, Georgian SSR
Died 6 March 2016 (aged 90)
Nationality Russian
Political party Unity Party

Znaur Nikolaevich Gassiev (Ossetian: Гасситы Знауыр Znauyr Gassity, Georgian: ზნაურ გასიევი, Russian: Знаур Николаевич Гассиев; 17 March 1925 – 6 March 2016) was a South Ossetian politician, who was one of the leaders of the South Ossetian independence movement in the early 1990s, which culminated in the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gassiev was born in Tskhinvali in 1925, but soon moved with his parents to Moscow. In 1935 the family went back to Tskhinvali, where Znaur Gassiev finished secondary school in 1942. He enrolled in the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of the South Ossetian State Pedagogical Institute, but was drafted into the Soviet Army to fight in World War II during the period 1942 to 1944. Upon completion of his studies in 1947, he started working as a teacher, teaching mathematics and physics in various schools in Tskhinvali.[2]

Early political career[edit]

In 1951, Gassiev moved to Tblisi, where he worked as a teacher for four years, and at the same time studied at the Mining Department of the Polytechnic Institute, where he graduated with honours in 1955. He then started working at the Mining Department of Kvaisa, where he held several ranks.[2]

Political career[edit]

Gassiev subsequently moved into politics, first working as the head of the industrial and transport committee of Dzau district. In the early 1960s, he was appointed the chairman of the Tskhinvali branch of the Georgian Communist Party, as well as the head of the administration of Tskhinvali city. In 1963, he went to the Higher Party School, from which he graduated with honours in 1965. Then, until 1972, he worked as deputy chairman of the South Ossetian executive committee.[2]

In 1991, when armed aggression was starting, he was elected first secretary of the South Ossetian Communist Party, and also headed the Supreme Council when South Ossetia declared its independence. As chairman of parliament, Gassiev was Head of State of South Ossetia. In early 1992, Gassiev handed over power to Torez Kulumbegov, a former chairman of the Supreme Council, who had been imprisoned in Tblisi by Georgian police until then.[2][3]

Since 1992, Gassiev remained active in politics, being re-elected as an MP in the 1994 election.[2] Gassiev was once again elected in the 2004 election, where he ran as a member of President Eduard Kokoity's Unity Party. Following the Unity Party's electoral victory, Gassiev was once again elected chairman of Parliament.

Later career[edit]

After the 2008 South Ossetia war, Gassiev was appointed head of the government's commission to deal with the resulting emergencies.[4][5]

Gassiev, then 84 years old, did not run in the 2009 election,[6] and was replaced as speaker by Stanislav Kochiev.

On 27 October 2010, Gassiev was appointed State Advisor to President Eduard Kokoity.[7] His death was announced on 6 March 2016.[8]


  1. ^ (in Russian) Leaders of South Ossetia Archived 5 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e (in Russian) Min. of Press and Mass Communications: Biography of Znaur Nikolaevich Gassiev - Chairman of the 4th convocation of the Parliament of South Ossetia
  3. ^ Rulers.org: South Ossetia
  4. ^ (in Russian) Kommersant: The head of South Ossetia government has been sacked (18 August 2008)
  5. ^ (in Russian) President of South Ossetia: Decree on the Extraordinary Commission in the aftermath of the Georgian aggression (17 August 2008) Archived 25 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ (in Russian) Candidates for the Unity Party at the 2009 elections
  7. ^ "On the appointment of ZN Gassiev" (in Russian). Tskhinvali: Official website of the President of South Ossetia. 27 October 2010. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  8. ^ http://sputnik-ossetia.ru/South_Ossetia/20160306/1425668.html
Political offices
New office Head of State of South Ossetia
Succeeded by
Torez Kulumbegov
Last known title holder:
Torez Kulumbegov
Chairman of the Supreme Council
Succeeded by
Torez Kulumbegov
Preceded by
Stanislav Kochiev
Chairman of Parliament
Succeeded by
Stanislav Kochiev
Notes and references
1. http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Georgia.html World Statesmen: Georgia