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South Ossetia facts for kids

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Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania

  • Республикӕ Хуссар Ирыстон / Паддзахад Аллонстон (Ossetian)
    Respublikæ Xussar Iryston / Paddzaxad Allonston

  • ცხინვალის რეგიონი (Georgian)
    Tskhinvalis regioni

  • Республика Южная Осетия / Государство Алания (Russian)
    Respublika Yuzhnaya Osetiya / Gosudarstvo Alaniya
Flag of South Ossetia
Emblem of South Ossetia
Anthem: National Anthem of South Ossetia
National Anthem of South Ossetia – Республикӕ Хуссар Ирыстоны Паддзахадон Гимн
South Ossetia (green), Georgia, and Abkhazia (light grey).
South Ossetia (green), Georgia, and Abkhazia (light grey).
Map of South Ossetia.
Map of South Ossetia.
Capital Tskhinvali
42°14′N 43°58′E / 42.233°N 43.967°E / 42.233; 43.967
Official languages
Recognised regional languages Georgian
Government Semi-presidential republic
• President
Anatoliy Bibilov
• Prime Minister
Erik Pukhayev
Legislature Parliament
Independence from Georgia
• Formed as part of USSR
20 September 1990
• Full independence
21 December 1991
• Recognized
26 August 2008 (limited)
• Total
3,900 km2 (1,500 sq mi)
• Water (%)
• 2015 census
• Density
13.7/km2 (35.5/sq mi)
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
US$0.1 billion
• Per capita
Currency Russian ruble (RUB)
Time zone UTC+3 (MSK)
Driving side right
Calling code +995 34
  1. Ossetian and Russian languages are official languages

South Ossetia (Ossetian: Хуссар Ирыстон, Xussar Iryston; Russian: Южная Осетия, Yuzhnaya Osetiya; Georgian: სამხრეთ ოსეთი, Samkhret Oseti (unofficial)) is a de facto independent, disputed place in South Caucasus. It declared independence from Georgia in 1990.

South Ossetia was a Soviet oblast (region) with some self-rule and controlled big parts of the region. When it declared its independence in 1990, Georgia tried to take back the region by force and it led to the 1991-1992 South Ossetia War. Georgia tried to retake South Ossetia again in 2004 and in 2008. In 2008, Ossetia's fighters were backed by Russian troops and they gained full control of the region, but its separation from Georgia has only been recognized by three other countries (Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela) and Abkhazia (a similar place), and it is de jure (officially) a part of the Georgian region (mkhare) of Shida Kartli.

The rebels were supported by Russian and Cossack forces but, Georgia itself refuses to recognize rebel South Ossetia as an independent state; the government calls it by the medieval name of Samachablo or, more recently, Tskhinvali region (after the republic's capital).

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