South Ossetia-Alania – 10 Years since Gaining Partial International Recognition
(Južné Osetsko-Alanie – 10 rokov od získania čiastočného medzinárodného uznania)
Politické vedy, Volume 22, Number 2/2019, pages 159-188
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
BAAROVÁ, B. 2019. South Ossetia-Alania – 10 Years since Gaining Partial International Recognition. In Politické vedy. [online]. Vol. 22, No. 2, 2019. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 159-188. Available at: http://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2019.22.2.159-188
In 2018, South Ossetia-Alania celebrated the 10th anniversary of its victory in the war with Georgia, to which Russia had contributed decisively. It was also the first state to recognize the independence of the small country de jure. However, how does its independence look like in practice? The paper analyses the economic and political ties between South Ossetia-Alania and its patron Russia, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Demographic indicators illustrate the specifics of the South Ossetian population, but at the same time point to the causes of the current situation. Based on sociological surveys and activities of the political structures, the paper gives evidence of the South Ossetian elites’ and population’s efforts towards a unification with North Ossetia and thus with Russia. An interesting episode is represented by local church activities, which, on the contrary, appear to be independentist. However, they are affected by the specific external environment of religious rules. In the conclusion, various options of the future development are presented and the attitude of the mother state – Georgia, is discussed. It is quite clear that South Ossetia actually wants Georgia to recognize its independence. Which is totally unacceptable to Georgia – from Georgia’s point of view, the country was legally trying to liberate its own territory, which had been unlawfully dominated by a group of separatists. For Russia, South Ossetia-Alania is strategically a key country, because direct control of small country allows Russia to keep Georgia in a constant tension and can prevent Georgia´s entry into NATO.
Key words: South Ossetia, North Ossetia, Alania, Bibilov, Russia, demography, church