Ossetia has an ancient history. Once the territory of modern South Ossetia was inhabited by Iranian-speaking tribes - the ancestors of modern Ossetians. The lands of South Ossetia at different times were part of various tribal unions of North Caucasian Iranians, but never entered the Georgian state. The Georgian princes repeatedly tried to establish their control over the territory of South Ossetia, but they always met with armed resistance. The raids of the Georgian troops on these lands were not rare. Having no strength to subjugate the Ossetians, the Georgians plundered their villages and stole livestock, and the captured people were sold into slavery.
The situation changed in 1774 when Ossetia, then not yet divided into North and South, became part of the Russian Empire. But for many years the mountainous (southern) part of Ossetia remained outside the real control of the tsarist administration, although it was considered to be Russia's possession. In 1830, a military expedition under the command of General Rennenkampf finally established the rule of Russia on these lands. In 1843, on the territory of modern South Ossetia, then it was part of the Tiflis province, a large Ossetian district was formed.
Interestingly, the Georgian princes Machabeli and Eristavi immediately tried to do something that they had not previously been able to do by force of arms. They claimed to Ossetian lands. In this case, even had to understand the Senate and the emperor personally. The decision of the Senate was unequivocal: "Georgian princes Machabelov refuse to harass the recognition of their serfdom over the Ossetians." The emperor expressed his opinion more extensively: “Whatever the decision of the highest judicial places, it will be difficult to recognize and put into effect such in favor of the Princes Machabelovs, it is a matter of experience that mountain Ossetians will never fulfill the duties and duties resulting from them that, on the other hand, it is impossible to admit the idea that every two or three years it is necessary to decorate teams and expeditions there ”.
By the decision of the tsarist government, the South Ossetians were transferred to the category of state peasants, which excluded their dependence on the Georgian nobles and gave them significant privileges. In fact, it was a kind of prototype of the future autonomy of South Ossetia, due to its geographical position and national characteristics of the population.
Immediately after the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, Georgia attempted to seize the territory of South Ossetia by force, which caused armed demonstrations by the local population. It is curious that with the collapse of the empire, South Ossetia refused to leave Russia and take part in the elections to the Georgian parliament. In Ossetia, the Soviet Republic was proclaimed. In May 1920, delegates from 17 committees of South Ossetia adopted the “Memorandum of Labor of South Ossetia of the C RCP (b), the All-Russian CEC of Workers 'and Peasants' Deputies ...”, in which it was determined that “1. South Ossetia is an integral part of Soviet Russia; 2. South Ossetia is part of Soviet Russia on a general basis DIRECTLY (highlighted in the original); 3. Mediocre entry into Soviet Russia through a Georgian or other republic, even a Soviet one, is by no means permitted to us. ”
Then the situation did not allow the Russian Federation to assist the Ossetian people, and Georgia sent troops into South Ossetia. Ossetians fiercely resisted them, but the forces were unequal, 15-18 thousand people died in battles. The Ossetians could not defend their land, and Georgia annexed it. Moreover, more than 50 thousand Ossetians fled to Russia. In fact, it was a genocide of the Ossetian people.
People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR Chicherin was forced to respond to the events in Ossetia, who sent a note dated May 17, 1920 to the Georgian government, which said: “... we were alarmed to learn that South Ossetia, where the Soviet Republic was proclaimed, was sent The authorities are Georgian troops. We insist, if this is true, to withdraw our troops from Ossetia, because we believe that Ossetia should have the power it wants. Georgia’s interference in the affairs of Ossetia would have been unjustified intervention in foreign affairs of others ... ”
The note did not affect the course of events; repressions began against the Ossetians remaining on their land, and mass evictions were practiced. The situation did not return to normal even after the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia. A volitional decision was made to include South Ossetia in Georgia. By a decree of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the Georgian SSR, on April 20, 1922, the South Ossetian Autonomous Region was created. However, autonomy was more nominal than real. Representatives of the local population were tried not to be admitted to senior positions, a course towards assimilation was maintained, people were even sometimes forced to change their names and indicate the nationality of “Georgians” in passports. In the mass order was carried out the replacement of geographical names. In 1939, the Ossetian alphabet, which until then was based on the Latin alphabet, was translated into the Georgian alphabet. In the Ossetian schools began teaching in Georgian.
At the initiative of the Georgian leadership, a new nationality was even invented, which was to emphasize that “their” Ossetians live in Georgia, different from those that entered Russia as part of North Ossetia. Until the beginning of the 50s of the last century, in the passports it was possible to see the inscription “South Ossetians” in the “nationality” column. The Georgian leadership consciously restrained the economic development of South Ossetia, which they were striving to turn into an agrarian and raw material appendage of Georgia. All this could not but affect the living standards of the population, which was significantly lower than the average for the Georgian SSR. Naturally, this caused discontent and even outflow of the population from South Ossetia.
Another round of confrontation began in the late 80s, when the State Program for the Development of the Georgian Language was adopted in Georgia, which led to the forced introduction in South Ossetia of office work in the Georgian language. Trying to protect the rights of his people, in November 1989, the Council of People's Deputies of the South Ossetian Autonomous Region decided to raise the status of the autonomous region to an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR. Naturally, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR overturned this decision.
November 23, 1989 began an open confrontation. The capital of South Ossetia, the city of Tskhinval, was taken to the ring of the blockade, which was conducted by non-governmental organizations that were not formally associated with the Georgian government. Agree that it was simply impossible to bring several tens of thousands of people, including armed militants, to Tskhinvali without government approval. Later on, at the level of the Georgian leadership, a mass of decisions were taken, seriously aggravating the situation. On the night of January 6, 1991, the militia and the National Guard of Georgia entered the capital of South Ossetia, the confrontation began to quickly escalate into an armed conflict that led to massive civilian casualties.
The footage that we see today from TV screens could also be shown in February 1992, when Georgian artillery and armored vehicles shot Tskhinval. Only then did Russian cameramen in the battlefields in South Ossetia have been rare guests. Some details of the events of that time make you shudder. On May 20, 1992, a column of vehicles carrying refugees from the besieged Tskhinval was shot by Georgian militants on the Zar road. The attackers shot at close range and saw perfectly who they were killing. 36 people were killed - women, old people and children, the youngest was 11 years old. And there are a lot of similar facts.
Efforts Russia then managed to stop the massive bloodshed. On May 29, 1992, the Supreme Council of the Republic of South Ossetia adopted the State Independence Act. And on June 24, 1992, in Sochi, a four-sided Russian-Ossetian (North and South Ossetia) Agreement was signed on the principles for resolving the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. On July 14, 1992, mixed Russian-Georgian-Ossetian peacekeeping forces entered South Ossetia.
For a decade and a half, it was possible to maintain a fragile peace in this region, and all this time South Ossetia has officially asked for its admission to Russia. To date, the vast majority of the population of South Ossetia are citizens of the Russian Federation.
Unfortunately, the war again came to South Ossetia, leading to enormous destruction and mass death of people who are killed just because they want to decide for themselves in which state to live.