Many people are asking what next for Putin….just a few thoughts on that question…..
South Ossetia, officially part of Georgia (the country not the state), is separated from Russia’s North Ossetia region by a border running high in the Caucasus Mountains. Much of the region lies more than 1,000 metres above sea level.
A source of tension since the break-up of the Soviet Union, South Ossetia hosted a brief war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. Moscow subsequently recognized South Ossetia as an independent state, and began a process of closer ties that Georgia views as effective annexation.
In the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine other possibilities for the increase for violence in the region is emerging.
Since the region is awash with Russian influence….remember in Ukraine when the Crimea voted to join with Russia? We;ll something similar is brewing in Georgia’s South Ossetia region…..
The leader of Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia has said he’s ready to take steps to join Russia, and a referendum is expected to be held within the next few months.
South Ossetia is a de facto independent state and has been recognized by Russia and several other countries since the brief 2008 war. Russia intervened in 2008 to help South Ossetia fight off the forces of then-Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, but most countries still recognize South Ossetia as part of Georgia.
“I believe that unification with Russia is our strategic goal, our path, the aspiration of the people,” said South Ossetian President Anatoly Bibilov, according to Al Jazeera. “We will take the relevant legislative steps shortly. The republic of South Ossetia will be part of its historical homeland – Russia.”
A spokeswoman for Bibilov said the region was planning to hold a referendum on the matter in light of the “window of opportunity that opened in the current situation,” referring to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Viktor Vodolatsk, a member of Russia’s State Duma, said a referendum will likely be held in May or June. Russia’s Tass news agency reported that South Ossetia is holding consultations with Moscow on the referendum.
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani reacted to the news on Thursday and said that “it is unacceptable to speak of any referendums while the territory is occupied by Russia.” Zalkaliani said the referendum “will have no legal force.”
The US also made it clear that it wouldn’t recognize the referendum. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the US “will not recognize the results of any effort by Russia or its proxies to divide sovereign Georgian territory.”
If this is successful it will give Russia yet another jumping off point for further excursions into Georgia (the country not the state)…..something that happened in the early 2000s.
Are we looking at more flexing of muscle by Russia?
I keep going back to my previous post….About 9 years ago I wrote that this region needs to be watched….few did….and now we have the real live mash-up in this region….
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