Peace and prosperity to those seeking the truth
17/09/2009 16:51
Vasil Kvirikashvili
"The club of experts", expert

They say that dishonesty is genetically more active than truth. Thus Russian and Ossetian politicians skilled in lies, disinformation and juggling with a public opinion can present any disinformation as "scientifically proven" and "true" so that it can really convince an uninformed person.

They also say that if you repeat a lie a hundred times it becomes true. Maybe that’s the reason why a certain part of the Russian media is purposefully and with conviction misleading society as though in 1774 not only a part but the whole of historical Ossetia voluntarily joined Russia. Also "Ossetia" in a geographical sense (there was no such state then) contained so-called South Ossetia as well. As it is known, predecessors of the Ossetians - Alans lived much further in the North. Later they were pushed down to the South. Historical truth is that in 1774 three Ossetian communities – of gorges of Allagir, Kurtat and Tagaur – joined Russia. The forth historical Ossetian province of Digor that then was under Kabardian authorities merged with Russia in 1781 (History of N. Ossetian ASSR, Ordzhonikidze 1987, pages 190-192). Naturally, there was not and could not be any mention of "South Ossetia" (no such concept existed then) there for as a part of the Kartl-Kakhetian Kingdom it was annexed by Russia in 1801. Ossetian that started to settle in Georgia from the middle of the XIX century had no ethno-political territorial unit until 1922. They were just other ethnic minorities (like Armenians, Azeri, Jews, Greek, and Curds etc.). And according to "Caucasian Calendar" of 1900 in the beginning of the XX century only Georgians, Jews and Armenians were living in Tskhinvali.

Let’s see when and how exactly Ossetia started.

The Ossetians have been conducting a step-by-step annexation of lands of their neighboring nations – Georgians, Kabardians, Cossacks and Ingushs over the last 250-300 years. Even today there are forces possessed with a sense of exceptionality of their nation – their “old Arian descend” in Ossetia.

Russian Army officer Schteder wrote in 1871: "the Ossetians border the Ingush and Terek River in the East, Georgians and Imeretians –in the South, Lesken River and big Kabarda -in the West and in the North - small Kabarda".

Exactly the same was a description by Guldenstadt ("Description of Caucasian lands", page 89).

Later Ossetian expansion under a motto of "revival of Great Alania" had been happening at the expense of the robbing the neighboring nations of their territories. Although V. A. Kuznetsov, a Russian writer in his work "Alan Tribes of the North Caucasus" writes: "Alans are not an ethnic concept. It is a collective name. Respectively, thesis about Alan descend of the Ossetians is devoid of all sense".

There were two main components participating in the formation of the "Ossetian nation" local ethnic masses speaking Caucasian (Nakh) languages who anthropologically were part of the broad faced flat headed Caucasian type and sturdy, Iranian language speaking narrow faced long headed Alans. In the end, language of strangers and local physical type were victorious (see "Origin of the Peoples of the Caucasus" by V.P. Alekseyev, Moscow, 1974, page 198). Therefore, it is ungrounded to identify Ossetians with Alans as it would be in case of French and Gauls, Hellenic and Greek.

Even academician N. Marr wrote about Ossetians that "we cannot identify them with Caucasian Alans or more specifically Als as it seems that Alans is one of the forms of a plural of a fundamental Caucasian term..." (N.I. Marr "History of Movement of Japhetic People from South to the North of Caucasus", Newspaper of the Imperial Academy of Science, series VI, Petrograd, No 15, page 1395, citation I. C. Vagapov "Some of Nakh Toponims and Ethnonims with root "A'. "Questions of Nakh Vocabulary", Grozny, 1980, page 72).

Coming from the above "Iranian speaking Alans and Nakhs are two ethnic substance who played a very significant role in the ethno genesis of modern Ossetians especially Iron and Kudar people" (I. M.Sigauri "Essays about State Organza ton of the Chechens from Old Times", Moscow, Publishing House "Russkaya Zhizn", 1997).

We would not have remembered the ethno genesis of Ossetian – strangers who came and the formation of Ossetian nation if the Ossetian scientists on the pages of different publications were not trying for several decades to convince the entire world that they had created Empire of Alans and they are direct heirs to its glory and Caucasian Aryans while other Caucasian nations – its indigenous population have nothing to do with "Great Alania".

History of Ossetian people is one persistent and permanent annexation of territories of neighbouring nations. There is not even one neighbour that they have not taken significant part of their land from. As we already stated these were Georgians, Kabardians, Ingush, Chechens and Cossacks. Notwithstanding that and using lies and falsifications Ossetians are complaining that these people all have territorial claims against them and that they have been living on these land since creation of the universe.

Let us look how Ossetians paid nations of the Caucasus the favor for saving them from extinction threatening them from the hands of Mongols and Tamerlane and gave them shelter on their land. They indeed paid a very high price...

By following a "move along a bit" principle and with support of the Tsarist Russia and Soviet authorities and now already that of the Russian Federation Ossetians have been creating their residence space at the expense of their neighbours.

So let’s look at the Georgian-Ossetian relations and we will mainly use Ossetian sources.

As we know Georgian state (in the historical sources known as Georgian Kingdom – Iberia, Georgia so on) was created before the III century B.C. and consisted of the entire territory of modern Georgia and also territories that are today parts of other countries. Therefore, political and cultural processes happening on its territory should be considered as Georgian and not in the aspect of geography as some of the scientists (mainly Ossetians) would like to present (G.Kokiev, "Essays about Ossetian History", Vladikavkaz, 1926, page 22; History of North Ossetian ASSR, Ordzhonikidze, vol.1, 1987, page 131).

With respect to relations between Georgians and Ossetians the biggest attention should be paid to Shida Kartli - territory where most of the Ossetians live and where neither archeological nor historical sources dated back to Ancient and Middle Ages show the existence of the foreign elements. Sources and descriptions of the later period are also very interesting. Vakhushti Bagrationi, a historian of the first half of the XVIII century writes: "Down Tashiskari and Mount of Likhi and between Argveta and Tiflis there are three Saspaspetos (land of Spaspet - high Constable). On the left there is a Mukhrani Saspaspeto and on the right - Kingdom of Kartli, Above Tiflis and on the South side of River Kura and Trialeti up until Paravani belongs to church hierarch of Mtskheta and it was named Shida Kartli – Zena Sopeli by the sovereign. And they were the first saspaspetos and above all the saspaspetos" ("Description of the Kingdom of Georgia", Tbilisi, 1981, page 121). There is no direct reference to the north border of Shida Kartli. Vakhushti where he describes borders of land of Kartlos (eponym of Kartli) says that the north border of Kartli is the Caucasian Range (CAG, IV, 48). If we look at Vakhushti’s maps we can see that Shida Kartli consisted of Khevi and Dvaleti (Upper side of River Ardon and Fiagdon that today is on the territory of North Ossetia) situated on the north slope of the Caucasian Range. Zena Sopeli - ancient name of Shida Kartli is mentioned in early Georgian hagiographic monuments and also the VII century Armenian geography that describes situation in the IV century. When describing Kartli the Armenian author says that "Aragvi falls into River Kura and that completes the Georgian upper country" (Johann Guldenstadt "Travels in Georgia", vol.1, Tbilisi, 1962, pages 185,267). There are many sources that can be serve as an example that Shida Kartli – Zena Sopeli is historically a Georgian territory.

In the second half of the XIII century during the war between two Mongolian states - The Golden Horde and the Ilkhanate – military units of Ossetians that came from the direction of Derbent and were fighting under the command of the Ilkhanate were standing in Shida Kartli.

Units of Ossetian feudals who were functioning as Mongol soldiers and associates were obliged by their official position to oppose those who were fighting against Nains – nobility of Kartli. But in the time of rivalries inside Kartli units of Ossetians feudals were given an opportunity to "spread their activities". Namely, according to historians, in 1922 when the country was ruled by Eristavis and nobility only "Ossetians started to rob, raid and destroy Kartli and they conquered a city of Gori" ("Kartlis Tskhovreba", vol. 2, Tbilisi, 1959, page 296). According to the same data decisive attack against Ossetian feudals that was started by George the V in the twenties of the XIV century aimed at restoration of internal peace and return of Georgian territories that were lessened as a result of land grabbing. George the V "destroyed and scattered Ossetians, took seized castles and villages away from them". As a result of active measures Ossetian military unit that were running riot on Georgian territories were evicted from Georgia.

Ossetians who survived Mongol and later Tamerlane invasions in XIII and XV centuries found shelter in the mountainous regions of the central Caucasus. Living conditions there were not so agreeable. Tragedy of the Ossetian people was told in more details by Vakhushti Bagrationi: "During invasions of Khans of Genghis their towns and buildings were destroyed and the kingdom of Ossetians disintegrated into parts and Ossetians were fleeing into deep of the Caucasus. The most of the country became a desert and after that Ossetia is called Kabardino-Balkaria" (Vakhushti , Geography of Georgia, Tiflis, 1904, page 153, citation from B. P.Berosov "Migration of Ossetians from Mountains to Plain", Ordzhonikidze, 1980).

In the later period in the search of accommodation and means for existence Ossetians tend to find place in mountainous Georgian villages. Often they used to settle on lands of Georgian feudals as their peasants. Vakhushti writes: "there were many Ossetians registered in the mountainous places. Before them Georgian peasants were settled upon those places but landowners settled Ossetians there and Georgian left for planes because they were significantly depopulated as a result of invasions of enemies" (Vakhushti, "Description of Kingdom of Kartli", Tbilisi, 1941, page 71).

Unquestionable proof of a compact settlement of Ossetians on the Georgian territory is dated by the beginning of the XVII century. According to M.I. Tatishchev, Russian Ambassador that visited Georgian territories of Zaka and Magran-Dvaleti (upper side of Big Liakhvi) was already settled with Ossetians (C. A. Belokurov, "Relations of Russia with the Caucasus", Moscow, 1989, page 508).

Significant information can also be found in "Religious Tolerance of King Luarsab" by Cathalicos Besarion who served in the period between the XVII and XVIII centuries. The author reflects on the period of martyrdom of Luarsab (1622) when there was a very difficult situation with regards to foreign policy. In connection with this the author characterizes situation at the North borders of Kartli. He writes that "King was trying with all means to deter enemy that was invading Georgia: first Ottomans who conquered the Byzantine, later Persians and last neighbouring mountainous people – Ossetians who settled near Georgia and where frequently disturbing Georgians especially in the period from the beginning of summer to winter. They were killing and abducting Georgians some times secretly and some times openly". (S. Kubaneishvili, "Old Georgian Literature", Tbilisi, 1946, page 408).

In the seventies of the 18th century situation someway changed. Arrival of more increased number of Ossetians was noticed in Kartli. The situation of this period is described in diaries of I. Guldenstadt. As opposed to North Ossetia that he refers as Ossetia Guldenstadt characterizes it as a province of Shida Kartli that is populated with Ossetians who are living side by side with Georgians in the mountainous regions of this province. According to Guldenstadt in the seventies of the XVIII century the upper part of the Liakhvi gorge along with Georgians was populated with Ossetians (Travels of Guldenstadt in Georgia, vol. 1, Tbilisi, 1962, pages 277-279; 1964, page 67).

Georgian kings and feudals themselves were interested in settling Ossetians in Georgia. By settling Ossetians in Georgia they were solving two problems - economic and demographic. There are many documents of the second half of the XVIII century confirming that landowners in Shida Kartli were settling Ossetian migrants on the places of former residence of Georgian population (History of South Ossetians in documents and materials (1880- 1846). vol. 2, Stalinir, pages 154-155, G. Kusov, "Poiski Kraeveda". Publishing House "Ir", Ordzhonikidze, 1975).

Later, when Tsarist regime were refashioning territories of peoples living there in order to make governing them more manageable. They were not taking into account ethnic structure and were forming special "okrugs" (district) with military-public governance. Thus "Ossetian Okrug" was created as a territorial-administrative unit although later this territory was remodeled many times. After the February Bourgeois-Democratic Revolution of 1917 National Council and People’s Assembly of South Ossetia were formed which aimed at separating Ossetia as a separate territorial-administrative unit in the form of a national or autonomic unit.

In March 1918 rebellion of South Ossetians happened and it served as provoking force for bloody fighting with Georgians. Raging crowds of Ossetians invaded Tskhinvali from every side and created bloodshed there. The town was destroyed and looted and they completely crushed the Red Guards. And after all this Ossetian want to paint themselves as angels who are oppressed by every neighboring nation who have been laying territorial claims to "poor Ossetians" for "centuries".

Continuing this topic it should be noted that another rebellion of Ossetians aimed at adding of South Ossetia to Russia happened in October 1919 and was supported by the Caucasian regional committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks). But the Georgian government crushed this rebellion as well.

In May 1920 South Ossetians started yet another rebellion. They announced about joining of South Ossetia to Russia. The Georgian army again quelled the rebellion. They were forced to be extremely severe towards the Ossetians who rebelled against the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Therefore it can be said with full impartiality that that a goal of orginizers of this rebellion - the Bolsheviks even then was “national self-determination” of Ossetians, establishing Soviet authority there and adding it to the Soviet Russia. More, they even then were considering it an integral part of the Soviet Russia.

So it can be said with certainty that rebellions of 1918-1920 in South Ossetia were aimed at secession of South Ossetia from Georgia and its joining to the Soviet Russia. After establishing the Soviet rule in Georgia issue of awarding South Ossetia a status of autonomy was raised. And after formation of this artificial entity Ossetians are laying claims to creation of a big Ossetia. Where and to whose land? To "their" land in the middle of Georgia – in Shida Kartli? This, my friends, is called chauvinism and more, chauvinism with bared teeth.

Come to your senses people! What happened to you? What is bothering you? Remember (and those who have never read it - familiarize yourself with it) that famous specialist of Iranian linguistics wrote: "historical and language facts are confirming that settlements of Ossetians of Ksani in the Ksani gorge were formed not so long time - around the last 200 years ago. They came fleeing scarceness of land and poverty of some of the North Ossetian mountainous regions and brought mixture of accents and dialects with them". (V. I. Abaev "Ossetian Language and Folklore", Moscow, 1940, page 501).

Dear friends, we do not want to appear too didactic but we cannot not bring an extract from a speech of I. Dzutsev that was published in the 38th issue of the newspaper "Ossetia – Svobodni Vzgliad" on the 26th of July 2005:

"Ossetians, come to your senses!

The Ingush are bad for us, Chechens are terrorists, and Georgians are our enemies. Is there any nation left around us that we do not see as enemy? If even Beslan tragedy did not teach us anything then, I am afraid, we are doomed for loneliness. Let none of us have a hope that in case of aggravation of the situation in Northern Caucasus anybody will come to our help. I am looking months, years ahead and see that "Russia is sliding into abyss!" The Kremlin has no policy on the Northern Caucasus! The situation is getting worse every day. There nothing positive in either economy or politics. The only thing that makes me glad is existence of sensible and politically aware leaders in our society. Undoubtedly personal ambitions will not interfere with their consolidation. It’s not the time for inner fights. We should be united as never before. There is still time to halt collapse of Russia. And taking all the above into account I am in favour of maintaining territorial integrity of Georgia. We do not have anything to fight about with Georgia. Georgians are our brothers after all. Let’s not burn bridges. Let’s not make ourselves opponents of the whole civilized world! Russia is seriously ill! Let us, Ossetians, be careful not to become real refugees from their hands. (As M. Gorki says: "there was a boy, or there was not..." – were Ossetians living there or not). I will leave Russia at any time but I’m not indifferent towards the fate of my relatives living in both North and South Ossetia. Neither Georgia and its authorities nor anybody else is trying to build a big Wall of China between us. They simply want to see Georgia united and undivided and to live in peace and agreement with Ossetians.

Is there something wrong with that?

Georgians do not need Russian bases and that is their right. They desperately need western investments but there will be no investments without properly determined borders. It seems that only Ossetians are responsible for that and nobody else. Such behaviour is unacceptable. We are not gods to decide a fate of the Georgian nation and nobody will forgive us that! Do not give anybody a right to manipulate with you. There are eternal values and one of them is to live in peace with neighbours. And, for us, first of all, these are peoples of Caucasus and not that of Russia! We are Caucasians! Do not forget this! Today we, Ossetians, are like a small child who is hiding behind a step-mother –Russia in the house. And Chechens, Ingushs and Georgians are our neighbours. Until we realize it we might be blown up from time to time and no Russia will be able to help us. Beslan massacre is a clear confirmation of that! Do not rely on anybody other than yourselves otherwise blood will be shed again. For the current Russian leadership we are only savages. Don’t be naive and create illusions of being a chosen nation. It is my duty to tell you all this and then do not say I have not warned. You are the ones to decide your own fate".

That’s it my friends. That’s how every farsighted person thinks! And you – those who were received on the Georgian land with open arms, preserved your language , culture and even have your own scientific and study centres – "in order to maintain your national identity" are expressing a desire to join the your "north brothers" who are completely assimilating you. Would you like some examples? There are plenty!!! If you do not see them you really deserve to be pitied as in the near future an issue of even existence of the Ossetian ethnos can be put under a big question mark. (It will be a right place to remember that there was just one non-Russian School and it was Georgian - school No 1. Why do you think is that?)

Think, Ossetians, and redeem in front of the Caucasian nations (Kabardians, Ingush, Cossacks) in the name of the future of your children and grandchildren. Let God clear your mind and save you!

And in the end, peace and prosperity to those seeking the truth.

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