On July 13, 2017, the host of one of the programs on the TV “Obiektivi”, Bondo Mdzinarashvili, stated that Russia tries not to annex Georgia, but rather to restore the borders of “South Ossetian administrative district” from Soviet times.
Bondo Mdzinarashvili, TV host: “There exists no such thing as night or creeping [annexation] and, I would like for us to understand it well enough. [Mikheil] Saakashvili restored South Ossetia in autonomous borders. He lawfully restored the territory that was included in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic during the Soviet Union – the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast… Russians have maps of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast from 1936 and 1964. They are following these borders, where the border of the oblast lay, and installing the barbwires there. Shifting the border is a pure fairy tale! Everything else is despicable propaganda.”
Bondo Mdzinarashvili’s statement is a lie, as Russia is annexing the territories that were included in Georgia’s territory during the Soviet Union, as well.
South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was created on April 20, 1922, under the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic and existed until December 11, 1991.
According to the constitution of Georgia, the territory of Georgia is defined as of December 21, 1991, meaning that the recognition of the so-called South Ossetia as an independent state by Russia is a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.
- According to the 1921 constitution, no autonomous rule was provided for the parts of Shida Kartli compactly populated by Ossetians, however, the Ossetians had right to have a representative in the National Council. During the First Republic of Georgia, Russian Empire’s system of territorial division of Georgia was maintained – the territory of Shida Kartli populated by Ossetians was included in Gori Uyezd, hence – in Tbilisi Governorate.
- After the annexation of Georgia by the USSR in 1921, the Soviet government changed the territorial division system of Georgia. According to the decree from April 20, 1922, South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was created in the boundaries of Georgian SSR.
Map of Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1939
In 1990, through the encouragement of Russia, separatist forces announced the independence of South Ossetia. On September 20, 1990, based on a decision of the Public Deputy Council of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was transformed into Soviet Democratic Republic. The deputies approached the High Council of the Soviet Union with a request to receive South Ossetia as an independent Soviet Republic into the Soviet Union.
- In response to this, based on the resolution of the High Council of the Republic of Georgia from December 11, 1990, the status of South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was revoked. The confrontation later evolved into hostilities between the Government of Georgia and the separatists.
- In 1992, after the end of the military conflict, the so-called Russian peacekeeping powers and the Ossetian separatists occupied the main part of Tskhinvali region, as well as Java and Znauri regions.
- In 2008, as a result of the Russo-Georgian August War, Georgia lost control over 135 settlements in Tskhinvali region, most of which were Georgian-Ossetian. Villages populated only by Georgian were nearly completely destroyed.
- Territory occupied in 1992
- Territory occupied in 2008
Source: Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
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