Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Abkhazia on 8 August, as hundreds of Georgians gathered near the South Ossetian and Abkhazian borders to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 2008 August War. The previous day, commemorations were held in the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali for ‘victims of Georgian aggression’. [Read more…]
As reports of a ‘Russian land-grab’ make the rounds locally and internationally, authorities in both Tbilisi and Tskhinvali (Tskhinval) say that the line dividing South Ossetia from Tbilisi-controlled territory has not been moved. [Read more…]
In May 2016, Tbilisi’s Kiwi Café — a vegan hangout for city hipsters — was hit by nationalist youths armed with meat sausages. The grotesque spectacle was obvious click-bait in today’s attention seeking social media, but it did highlight a new trend: social and lifestyle issues increasingly trump Georgia’s latent political rifts, and young people are at the forefront of this evolution.
There are over 2,000 people whose fate is still unaccounted for from Georgia’s conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, making it difficult for families to grieve and move on. While cross border efforts lead by the Red Cross are in full swing to find, exhume, and identify the bodies of the fallen — time is not on their side. [Read more…]
Russia appointed Marat Kulakhmetov as ambassador to South Ossetia on 23 May, replacing Elbrus Kargiyev, who had served in the post since Russia officially recognised South Ossetia’s independence in 2008. [Read more…]
On 17 May, Georgian government officials criticised EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and co-chair of the Geneva Discussions, Herbert Salber, after his recent visit to South Ossetia. Salber had congratulated newly elected president of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, on his electoral victory during the meeting in Tskhinvali (Tskhinval) on 16 May.
Victory Day on 9 May, which commemorates ‘the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War’ was widely marked across the whole Caucasus region with public gatherings, wreath-laying, and speeches. In most places, the commemorations included the Immortal Regiment, which is a public march with people holding pictures of war veterans. [Read more…]
Conflicts over self-determination have been thoroughly studied. There is no shortage of works on the scope and contents of self-determination. Likewise, the thorny issue of what a ‘people’ constitutes has been widely problematised as well. Scholars have also investigated the delicate question of cases in which secession is permissible, with some advocating for ‘remedial secession’ in exceptional circumstances. However, how should the de facto states themselves — the most notorious outcomes of these secessionist conflicts in the South Caucasus — be addressed?
Anatoly Bibilov, the speaker of parliament, has won the presidential election in the de facto Republic of South Ossetia. A majority of voters also approved in the 9 April poll, adding ‘the State of Alania’ to South Ossetia’s name.