Argument: Georgia is accused of multiple instances of genocide in S. Ossetia

Issue Report: South Ossetia independence


“Measuring South Ossetia by Kosovo”. Kommersant. 15 Nov. 2006 – On October 12, [2006] deputies in the South Ossetian parliament appealed to the governments of the Russian autonomous republics of North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkariya, and Karachayevo-Cherkessia with the request to recognize Georgia’s responsibility for genocide committed against South Ossetians in 1920 and 1989-1992. As examples of the planned destruction of the Ossetian population in Georgia, several ethnic cleansings of Ossetians during the course of the 20th century were mentioned: in the 1920s, thousands of Ossetians were killed and their villages razed to the ground, while in 1989, “hatred of Ossetians grew into military aggression from the Georgian authorities.

Any government that commits atrocities against its own people in this way revokes any legitimate claim to sovereign control over that people and their territory. This is similar to Kosovo’s case, in which Serbia clearly engaged in the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanian Kosovars. For both regions, this history of ethnic cleansing adds legitimacy to claims for independence.

Robert Kochi, a 45-year-old South Ossetian, accused Georgians of genocide in the 2008 conflict – “They wanted to physically uproot us all. What other definition is there for genocide?”[1]