2017 South Ossetian name change referendum

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A referendum on changing the territory's name was held in South Ossetia on 9 April 2017, alongside presidential elections. [1] It was approved by 79.53%. The constitution will be amended to denominate the formal name of the country from "Republic of South Ossetia" to "Republic of South Ossetia–the State of Alania", referencing Alania, a state built by the Alan people. [2] Modern Ossetians are descended from the Alans, although the name Ossetian is of Georgian origin (although the Georgian root word ოსი is itself from an Alanic autonym). [2]

South Ossetia Disputed territory in South Caucasus

South Ossetia, officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a disputed territory in the South Caucasus, in the northern part of the internationally recognised Georgian territory. It has a population of 53,000 people who live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in Tskhinvali. The separatist polity, Republic of South Ossetia, is recognised as a state by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over South Ossetia, the Georgian government and most members of the United Nations consider the territory part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as "the former autonomous district of South Ossetia", in reference to the former Soviet autonomous oblast disbanded in 1990.

Alania medieval kingdom of the Alans (proto-Ossetians)

Alania was a medieval kingdom of the Iranian Alans (proto-Ossetians) that flourished in the Northern Caucasus, roughly in the location of latter-day Circassia and modern North Ossetia–Alania, from its independence from the Khazars in the late 9th century until its destruction by the Mongol invasion in 1238-39. Its capital was Maghas, and it controlled a vital trade route through the Darial Pass. The kingdom reached its peak in the 11th century, under the rule of king Dorgolel.

The Alans were an Iranian nomadic pastoral people of antiquity.



In a move towards integration with the Russian Federation, South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov proposed in December 2015 a name change to "South Ossetia–Alania" — in analogy with "North Ossetia–Alania", a Russian federal subject. Tibilov furthermore suggested holding a referendum on joining the Russian Federation prior to April 2017, which would lead to a united "Ossetia–Alania". [3] In April 2016, Tibilov said he intended to hold the referendum before August of that year. [4] [5] However, on 30 May, Tibilov postponed the referendum until after the presidential election due in April 2017. [6]

Leonid Tibilov President of South Ossetia

Leonid Tibilov is a South Ossetian politician who was the President of South Ossetia after winning the 2012 South Ossetian presidential election.

North Ossetia–Alania First-level administrative division of Russia

The Republic of North Ossetia – Alania is a federal subject of Russia. Its population according to the 2010 Census was 712,980. Its capital is the city of Vladikavkaz.


Invalid/blank votes1,842
Registered voters/turnout41,81479.78
Source: South Osetia

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Ossetia ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians

Ossetia is an ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians. The Ossetian language is part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages family. The Ossetian-speaking area south of the main Caucasus ridge is recognized by most countries as within the borders of Georgia, but under the control of the Russian-backed de facto government of the Republic of South Ossetia. The northern portion of the region consists of the republic of North Ossetia–Alania within the Russian Federation.

Eduard Kokoity President of South Ossetia

Eduard Dzhabeyevich Kokoyty is the former President of South Ossetia. His term in office lasted just under ten years, beginning December 2001 and ending December 2011.

Tskhinvali Place

Tskhinvali is a city in the cultural region of South Ossetia,Georgia Transcaucasia and the capital of the de facto independent Republic of South Ossetia and the former Soviet Georgian South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. The city had been administratively divided into the region (mkhare) of Shida Kartli by Georgia after the revocation of the autonomous oblast. It’s located on the Great Liakhvi River approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Georgian–Ossetian conflict ethno-political conflict over Georgias autonomous region of South Ossetia

The Georgian–Ossetian conflict is an ethno-political conflict over Georgia's former autonomous region of South Ossetia, which evolved in 1989 and developed into a 1991–1992 South Ossetia War. Despite a declared ceasefire and numerous peace efforts, the conflict remained unresolved. In August 2008, military tensions and clashes between Georgia and South Ossetian separatists erupted into the Russo-Georgian War.

Flag of Ossetia flag

The flag used by the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania is a tricolour, top to bottom white, red, and yellow. The flag is also said to represent the social structure of ancient Ossetian society, which was divided into three social groups forming an organic whole: the military aristocracy, the clergy, and ordinary people. The colours symbolise moral purity (white), martial courage (red) and wealth and prosperity (yellow). In blazons, the flag is described as Per fess Argent and Or, a fess Gules. The South Ossetian version was prescribed by the South Ossetian Constitution of 26 November 1990 and confirmed by the Regulation on the National Flag of 30 March 1992.

2006 South Ossetian independence referendum

South Ossetia, a mostly unrecognized republic in the South Caucasus, formerly the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic with its capital in Tskhinvali, held a referendum on independence on November 12, 2006.

2006 South Ossetian presidential election

A presidential election in South Ossetia, an unrecognized republic within Georgia, was held on November 12, 2006, coinciding with the South Ossetian independence referendum. Incumbent Eduard Kokoity was seeking a second full five-year term. He was re-elected with more than 98.1%. According to the de facto authorities, the election was monitored by a team of 34 international observers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden and other countries at 78 polling stations. The Ukrainian delegation was led by Nataliya Vitrenko of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine. The election process was criticised by local civic society and the results were likely to be inflated.

The Georgian–Ossetian conflict of 1918–1920 comprised a series of uprisings, which took place in the Ossetian-inhabited areas of what is now South Ossetia, a breakaway republic in Georgia, against the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic and then the Menshevik-dominated Democratic Republic of Georgia which claimed several thousand lives and left painful memories among the Georgian and Ossetian communities of the region.

Provisional Administration of South Ossetia

The Provisional Administration of South Ossetia is an administrative body that Georgia regards as the legal government of South Ossetia. The administration was set up by the Georgian government as a transitional measure leading to the settlement of South Ossetia's status. As of 2007, Georgia is proposing the status of autonomous republic within the Georgian state. The area mainly lies within the Shida Kartli region.

Russia–South Ossetia relations Diplomatic relations between Russia and South Ossetia

Russia—South Ossetia relations refers to the bilateral relationship between Russia and the Georgian breakaway Tskhinvali Region, a disputed region in the South Caucasus, located on the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Armed Forces of South Ossetia

The Armed Forces of South Ossetia is the military of the partially recognised state of South Ossetia. The force consists of 16,000 soldiers: 2500 officers and active-duty soldiers and 13,500 reservists. It includes an Army and an Air Corp.

Parliament of South Ossetia

The Parliament of South Ossetia is the unicameral legislature of the partially recognized Republic of South Ossetia. Members are elected using a system of Party-list proportional representation. South Ossetia has a multi-party system, and currently 4 political parties are represented in parliament. The parliament is headed by a speaker, who is elected from among the members. The current speaker is Pyotr Gassiev, member of parliament for United Ossetia.

2011 South Ossetian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in South Ossetia on 13 November 2011. A referendum was held on the same day. A run-off was held on 27 November, but the result were invalidated by the Supreme Court of South Ossetia. A new election was scheduled for 25 March 2012.

2011 South Ossetian referendum referendum on making Ossetian and Russian official languages, held in South Ossetia on 13 November 2011

A referendum on making Ossetian and Russian official languages was held in South Ossetia on 13 November 2011, alongside presidential elections. The referendum was originally scheduled for 11 September 2011, but on 12 August the decision was made to postpone it.

Alla Dzhioyeva 2011 RSO presidential candidate, found guilty of election interfering, leading to Supreme Court annuling elections and barring her

Alla Aleksandrovna Dzhioyeva (Ossetian: Джиоты Алыксандыры чызг Аллæ / Džioty Alyksandyry čyzg Allæ; Russian: Алла Александровна Джиоева is a South Ossetian teacher turned politician, who is currently Deputy Prime Minister in the South Ossetian government. She previously served as the Education Minister in 2002–2008. She won the 2011 presidential election, but the Supreme Court annulled the results, alleging that electoral fraud had been committed.

Anatoly Bibilov Russian politician

Anatoly Ilyich Bibilov is a Russian and South Ossetian military officer, currently serving as the 4th President of South Ossetia, a partially recognized, but de-facto independent state, succeeding Leonid Tibilov as President on April 21, 2017, following his election victory.

2017 South Ossetian presidential election

Presidential elections were held in South Ossetia on 9 April 2017 alongside a referendum on changing the official name of the state to "Republic of South Ossetia–the State of Alania", or "South Ossetia–Alania" for short. Incumbent President Leonid Tibilov ran for a second and final term in office, but was defeated by Anatoliy Bibilov of the United Ossetia party.

Events in the year 2017 in South Ossetia.


  1. Tskhinvali Sets Date for Presidential Polls Civil, 18 January 2017
  2. 1 2 Fuller, Liz (8 February 2017). "South Ossetia Referendum On Name Change Steers Clear Of Thornier Unification Issue". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty . Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  3. "Breakaway Tskhinvali proposes name change". Agenda.ge . December 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  4. "South Ossetia profile – BBC News". Bbc.com. 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
  5. "President: South Ossetia plans to hold referendum on becoming part of Russia before August". TASS. Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  6. Fuller, Liz (2016-05-30). "South Ossetia Postpones Referendum On Accession To Russian Federation". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2016-05-30.