Tskhinvali

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Tskhinvali

ცხინვალი  (Georgian)
Цхинвал, Чъреба  (Ossetian)
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Tskhinvali
South Ossetia location map.svg
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Tskhinvali
Location of Tskhinvali
Georgia Shida Kartli location map.svg
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Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali (Shida Kartli)
Georgia location map.svg
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Tskhinvali
Tskhinvali (Georgia)
Coordinates: 42°13′35″N43°58′10″E / 42.22639°N 43.96944°E / 42.22639; 43.96944 Coordinates: 42°13′35″N43°58′10″E / 42.22639°N 43.96944°E / 42.22639; 43.96944
Country
Mkhare Shida Kartli
Established1398
Area
  Total7.4 km2 (2.9 sq mi)
Elevation
860 m (2,820 ft)
Population
 (1 January 2019)
  Total32,180 [2]
Time zone UTC+3 (Moscow time)
Climate Dfb

Tskhinvali (Georgian :ცხინვალი [t͡sxinvali] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Ossetian : Цхинвал, Чъреба, romanized: Tskhinval, Chreba, Ossetian pronunciation:  [t͡sχinˈväl]; Russian:Цхинва́л(и), tr. Tskhinvál(i), [tsxʲɪnˈval(ʲɪ)] ) is the capital of the disputed de facto independent Republic of South Ossetia, internationally considered part of Shida Kartli, Georgia (except by the Russian Federation and four other UN member states), and previously the capital of the erstwhile Soviet Georgian South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. It is located on the Great Liakhvi River approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Contents

Name

The name of Tskhinvali is derived from the Old Georgian Krtskhinvali (Georgian :ქრცხინვალი), from earlier Krtskhilvani (Georgian :ქრცხილვანი), literally meaning "the land of hornbeams", [3] [4] which is the historical name of the city. [5] See ცხინვალი for more.

From 1934 to 1961, the city was named Staliniri (Georgian :სტალინირი, Ossetian : Сталинир), which was compilation of Joseph Stalin's surname with Ossetian word "Ir" which means Ossetia. Modern Ossetians call the city Tskhinval (leaving off the final "i", which is a nominative case ending in Georgian); the other Ossetian name of the city is Chreba (Ossetian : Чъреба) which is only spread as a colloquial word. [6]

History

The area around the present-day Tskhinvali was first populated back in the Bronze Age. The unearthed settlements and archaeological artifacts from that time are unique in that they reflect influences from both Iberian (east Georgia) and Colchian (west Georgia) cultures with possible Sarmatian elements.

A vintage photo of Tskhinval' by D. Rudnev, 1886. Tskhinvali. Rudnev, D 1886.jpg
A vintage photo of Tskhinval' by D. Rudnev, 1886.

Tskhinvali was first chronicled by Georgian sources in 1398 as a village in Kartli (central Georgia) though a later account credits the 3rd century AD Georgian king Aspacures II of Iberia with its foundation as a fortress. By the early 18th century, Tskhinvali was a small "royal town" populated chiefly by monastic serfs. Tskhinvali was annexed to the Russian Empire along with the rest of eastern Georgia in 1801. Located on a trade route which linked North Caucasus to Tbilisi and Gori, Tskhinvali gradually developed into a commercial town with a mixed Georgian Jewish, Georgian, Armenian and Ossetian population. In 1917, it had 600 houses with 38.4% Georgian Jews, 34.4% Georgians, 17.7% Armenians and 8.8% Ossetians. [7]

The town saw clashes between Georgian People's Guard and pro-Bolshevik Ossetian peasants during the 1918–20 period, when Georgia gained brief independence from Russia. Soviet rule was established by the invading Red Army in March 1921, and a year later, in 1922, Tskhinvali was made a capital of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the Georgian SSR. Subsequently, the town became largely Ossetian due to intense urbanisation and Soviet Korenizatsiya ("nativization") policy which induced an inflow of the Ossetians from the nearby rural areas into Tskhinvali. It was essentially an industrial centre, with lumber mills and manufacturing plants, and had also several cultural and educational institutions such as a venerated Pedagogical Institute (currently Tskhinvali State University) and a drama theatre. According to the last Soviet census (in 1989), Tskhinvali had a population of 42,934, and according to the census of Republic of South Ossetia in 2015, the population was 30,432 people.

During the acute phase of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, Tskhinvali was a scene of ethnic tensions and ensuing armed confrontation between Georgian and Ossetian forces. The 1992 Sochi ceasefire accord left Tskhinvali in the hands of Ossetians.

Russo-Georgian War

A building in the city after the Battle of Tskhinvali. Tskhinval after Georgian attack4.jpg
A building in the city after the Battle of Tskhinvali.

Tskhinvali was shelled by the Georgian government on 8 August 2008 with BM-21 "Grad" mobile artillery rocket systems in an attempt to regain control over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.[ citation needed ] After the bombings, the Georgian army invaded the city in an attempt to gain control on it. The Russian army responded on the following day by moving its own forces into the city and counterattacking the Georgian army. On 10 August Georgian forces pulled out of Tskhinvali, which was captured by the Russian army after intense fighting.[ citation needed ]

The monument to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict near the Armenian church in Tskhinvali Pmt.jpg
The monument to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict near the Armenian church in Tskhinvali

A considerable part of the population of South Ossetia (at least, 30,000 out of 70,000) fled into North Ossetia–Alania prior or immediately after the start of the war. [9] However, many civilians were killed during the shelling and the following Battle of Tskhinvali (162 civilian deaths were documented by the Russian team of investigators [10] and 365 – by the South Ossetian authorities [11] ). The town was heavily damaged during the battle. Andrey Illarionov visited the town in October 2008, and reported that Jewish Quarter indeed was in ruins, though he observed that the ruins were overgrown with shrubs and trees, which indicates that the destruction took place during the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War. [12] However, Mark Ames, who was covering the last war for The Nation, stated that Tskhinvali's main residential district, nicknamed Shanghai because of its population density (it's where most of the city's high-rise apartment blocks are located), and the old Jewish Quarter, were completely destroyed. [13]

Geography

Climate

Located in the Caucasus, at 860 metres (2,820 ft) above sea level, Tskhinvali has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb), with an average annual precipitation of 805 millimetres (31.7 in). Summers are mild and winters are cold, with snowfalls.

Climate data for Tskhinvali
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)1.9
(35.4)
3.3
(37.9)
7.8
(46.0)
14.2
(57.6)
19.5
(67.1)
22.8
(73.0)
25.2
(77.4)
25.4
(77.7)
21.2
(70.2)
15.8
(60.4)
8.7
(47.7)
4.0
(39.2)
14.2
(57.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)−2.6
(27.3)
−1.4
(29.5)
2.8
(37.0)
8.1
(46.6)
13.3
(55.9)
16.6
(61.9)
19.1
(66.4)
19.2
(66.6)
14.9
(58.8)
9.9
(49.8)
4.1
(39.4)
−0.4
(31.3)
8.6
(47.5)
Average low °C (°F)−7.1
(19.2)
−6.0
(21.2)
−2.2
(28.0)
2.0
(35.6)
7.2
(45.0)
10.4
(50.7)
13.1
(55.6)
13.0
(55.4)
8.6
(47.5)
4.1
(39.4)
0.5
(32.9)
−4.7
(23.5)
3.2
(37.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches)46
(1.8)
46
(1.8)
52
(2.0)
74
(2.9)
97
(3.8)
97
(3.8)
75
(3.0)
66
(2.6)
60
(2.4)
68
(2.7)
65
(2.6)
59
(2.3)
805
(31.7)
Source: Climate-data.org [14]

Present

21 August 2008. Valery Gergiev with Mariinsky Theatre opera in Tskhinvali. Valery Gergiev in Tskhinval 21 August 2008.jpg
21 August 2008. Valery Gergiev with Mariinsky Theatre opera in Tskhinvali.

Currently, Tskhinvali functions as the capital of South Ossetia. Before the 2008 war it had a population of approximately 30,000.[ citation needed ] The town remained significantly impoverished in the absence of a permanent political settlement between the two sides in the past two decades.

The city contains several monuments of medieval Georgian architecture,[ citation needed ] with the Kavti Church of St. George being the oldest one dating back to the 8th–10th centuries.[ citation needed ]

On August 21, 2008, a world-known [15] Russian conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theatre, of Ossetian origin, Valery Gergiev conducted a concert near the ruined building of South Ossetian parliament in memory of the victims of the war in South Ossetia. [16]

Transport

There was a railway service before 1991 at the Tskhinvali Railway station connecting the city with Gori.

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Tskhinvali is twinned with the following cities:

See also

Notes

  1. South Ossetia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider South Ossetia de jure a part of Georgia's territory.
  2. http://ugosstat.ru/statisticheskij-sbornik-za-i-kvartal-2019-g/
  3. (in Russian) Словарь географических названий
  4. Bedoshvili, Guram (2002). Etymological-Explanatory Dictionary of Georgian Toponyms. Tbilisi: Bakur Sulakauri Publishing. p. 479.
  5. (in Russian) ИСТОРИЯ ЦАРСТВА ГРУЗИНСКОГО ("History of the Georgian Kingdom"), Вахушти Багратиони. Retrieved from vostlit.info on 24.08.2008
  6. The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names (UK) (2007) "Georgia: a toponymic note concerning South Ossetia"
  7. "Цхинвали. Электронная еврейская энциклопедия". 2006-07-04. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  8. "Attacks damaged or destroyed 70% of buildings – Tskhinvali mayor". RIA Novosti. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
  9. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "UNHCR – UNHCR secures safe passage for Georgians fearing further fighting". UNHCR. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  10. "Список погибших жителей Южной Осетии" . Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  11. Илларионов Андрей. "Эхо Москвы :: Разворот Ситуация в Южной Осетии и Грузии: Андрей Илларионов". Эхо Москвы. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  12. "How To Screw Up A War Story: The New York Times At Work – By Mark Ames – The eXiled" . Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  13. "Climate: Tskhinval" . Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  14. "Life and tempo of a maestro". The Sydney Morning Herald. 28 September 2006.
  15. "https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/aug/21/georgia.russia2". The Guardian . August 21, 2008.External link in |title= (help)

Sites

Pictures

Related Research Articles

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South Ossetia, officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a de facto state in the South Caucasus recognised by most countries as part of Georgia. It has an officially stated population of just over 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 recognized 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 South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast disbanded in 1990.

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Battle of Tskhinvali

The Battle of Tskhinvali was a battle for the city of Tskhinvali, capital of the breakaway state of South Ossetia. It was the only major battle in the Russo-Georgian War. Georgian ground troops entered the city on early 8 August 2008, after an artillery assault. Georgians took control of most of the city in hours. Russian main forces began entering South Ossetia through the Roki tunnel. After being initially forced to withdraw, the Georgian troops made several attempts to retake the city. Due to the difficult logistics of the terrain, the arrival of Russian reinforcements was slow. After fierce fighting, Georgian troops were finally forced to withdraw from the city on the evening of 10 August. On 11 August, all Georgian troops left South Ossetia. Parts of Tskhinvali were devastated in the three-day fighting.

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Kekhvi

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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.

St. Marys Church, Tskhinvali Church in South Ossetia, Georgia

The St. Mary's Church also called Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, is the name given to a temple of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the center of the city of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, an independent region de facto that Georgia claims as part of his territory. The church was damaged in the night of 7 to 8 August 2008 during a bombing in the war between Russia and Georgia. The church is currently used by various Orthodox Christian groups in the country.

Independence Day (South Ossetia)

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4th Guards Military Base

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Dzari Settlement in South Ossetia

Dzari is a settlement at the head of the river Kornisistskali in the Tskhinvali District of South Ossetia, Georgia. It is located 12 kilometers west of Tskhinvali. Community center, villages: Brili, Gardanta, Dampaleti, Zemo Dodoti, Kverneti, Mebrune, Rustavi, Kvemo Dodoti, Chelekhsata, Jabita.

References