Tuesday, August 12, 2008

South Ossetia and Georgia

All over the news, apart from all the channels showing Olympic coverage, and obviously being discussed on the 'net particularly on The Devil's Kitchen. So here are the facts:

Both the areas known now as Georgia and Ossetia were absorbed into the Russian Empire

After the Revolution Ossetia found itself split in two with North Ossetia remaining Russian and South Ossetia becoming part of the Transcaucasian Republic.
The S. Ossetians rebelled and refused to pay taxes to the TR, declaring themselves part of Russia.
The TR broke down into ethnic factions which included Georgia.
Georgia sent troops into S. Ossetia to claim taxes and re-establish control.

Russia invades Georgia.
S. Ossetia is placed under the control of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, but acts semi-autonomously.

Break-down of the USSR.
S. Ossetia is placed under Georgian control, but maintains its own laws.

Georgia declares Georgian to be the official language and abolishes regional political parties.
S. Ossetia declares itself an independent SSR; this goes unrecognised by the international community.
Georgia revokes S. Ossetia's autonomous status.
A state of emergency is declared in Georgia and troops are sent into S. Ossetia

A cease-fire is arranged.
Peacekeepers from Georgia, S. Ossetia and Russia patrol the borders.
S. Ossetia becomes a de facto independent state.

2003 onwards:
Relations between Georgia and Russia start to break-down.
Arrests are made of Russian 'spies'.

Georgia and NATO enter talks.
A gas pipeline in Georgia explodes and is blamed on Russia.
Street protests erupt in the capital the instigation of which is blamed on the Russians.
S. Ossetia hold a referendum for independence.
In violation of the peacekeeping agreement there are reports of Russian jets in Georgian territory
Reports of bombs being dropped by Russian jets in Georgian territory

Russians blame Georgians for bombing in Abhkazia (another break-away area)
Russia sends aid to Abhkazia

1st August:
Fighting breaks out between Georgian and S. Ossetian troops, each accuse the other of starting the engagement.

3rd August:
Beginning of evacuation of S. Ossetia's civilians to Russia.
Georgia shells S. Ossetian troop positions.

7th August:
Georgia declares a cease-fire.
S. Ossetian troops attack ethnic-Georgian settlements within S. Ossetia.
Georgia moves troops in for an attack on S. Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali.

8th August:
Tskhinvali surrounded, cover bombing initiated.
Russian troops move to the offensive.

9th August:
Fighting continues.

10th August:
Georgia begins withdrawal from Tskhinvali and S. Ossetia.

11th August:
Russian troops begin to move into Georgia.

Now as I said in one of the comments on DK, let's recognise South Ossetia as a state and instate Georgia as part of NATO. Result - Georgia can't attack S. Ossetia and expect back-up, Russia can't attack Georgia without pulling in NATO. I mean let's face it S. Ossetia is more Russian then Georgian and has tried to gain that state for the last hundred years . So what the hell is all the fighting about?