About political and legal status of Tskhinvali region (part of Shida Kartli)
11/05/2010 12:52
Gogi Maisuradze
"Experts' Club"

Georgian-Russian war actions in 2008 in Tskhinvali region and other parts of Georgia, as well as official recognition of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia by Russia clearly showed to the entire world true face of Russia and unconcealed imperial intentions of this country towards small Georgia. It became absolutely clear that behind slogans of democracy Russia continues politics of Tsarist Russia and Soviet regime towards Georgia and its population. But it would not have been excessive to once again remind the world community one very important historical fact that will help to understand logic of certain events of today and to correctly plan and carry out counter-measures in the future. We also want to, with the help of separate historical facts, juridical norms and other documents to reveal that arsenal of today's anti-Georgian politics of the Russian Federation that Putin-Medvedev leadership inherited from Tsarism and Soviet leadership.

It is universally known that empires strive towards conquering other countries for several purposes simultaneously. In particular, to get new territories, resources and other material wealth, as well as to improve and strengthen geo strategic and military positions and change of demographic situation in one's favour etc. With the abovementioned factors linguistic, cultural, religious and ethnic assimilation of the conquered peoples are also very important in order to prevent those people from becoming irreconcilable towards the conquerors.

On the border of the XVIII-XIX centuries Russia started conquest of Georgia. So all goals that were make starting from real assimilation and finishing with abolishing Georgian statehood became acute for it.

Starting from the XIX century Russian authority was carrying out planned conquest of the Caucasian peoples and keeping them in subjugation. And all this was done with genocides, ethnic cleansing, deportations and demographic expansion. It strengthened its authority in the entire Caucasus but in the first place it was the coastline of the Black Sea. According to the" project" of the Tsarist authority and also that of "the Decembrists" (Pestel, 1891) a question of deportation of troublesome peoples (Georgians, Chechens, Dagestanis, Adyges, Circassians, Kabardians, Apsua/Abkhaz..) to the central Russia was seriously on the agenda. Only people that would have been allowed to remain in the Caucasus would have been obedient and "calm" towards Russia together with settled Russians. This process to some extent continued through the entire course of the Soviet era and it continues even today with genocide and ethnic cleansing of Georgians, Chechens, and Ingush and so on.

In the course of the entire history of Georgian statehood no legitimate Georgian authorities (Pharnavazian dynasty, Bagrationi dynasty, the Democratic Republic of Georgia and government of the Republic of Georgia) never recognized existence of an autonomous unit of any kind inside the country - in Shida Kartli (Tskhinvali region).

In February-March 1921 and in 1991-1993 after the occupation of independent Georgia by Russian armed forces of the Russian empire (VIII, IX, XI armies, armed forces of the military Transcaucasian Okrug and security services, navy of the Black Sea, Rostov unit of special forces, Dzerzhinsky division, the 345 paratroopers division) and local renegades created anti-constitutional so-called South Ossetian autonomous district and later so-called Republic of South Ossetia.

In 1918-1921 and 1990-1991 legitimate Georgian authorities based on the Georgian constitutions and norms of international law prevented attempts to detach the territory of Shida Kartli from Georgia.

In 1989-1991 as a result of the Russian (Kremlin) propaganda and other actions false information were being spread abroad about alleged harassment of ethnic minorities living in Georgia by Georgians and their extreme oppression. For example, one Georgian citizen by orders of Russian security services presented photo materials of members of the group of Georgian patriot Mindiashvili being burnt alive by Ossetians abroad as though it were Ossetians that were burnt alive. In the same period and by orders of the same forces members of so-called National Congress accused Georgian nation of attempt of genocide of Ossetian people and discrimination of ethnic minorities at the international congress of dissidents in Prague.

In addition, under pretext of protection of ethnic minorities living in Georgia Russian security services by orders of their own authorities in 1989-1991 in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region created political and military organizations such as "Aidgilara", "Adamon Nikhas", Krunk", "Soyuz", "Union of Kazaks, "Slav house", "Union of Mountainous people", "Mashtotz" and so on that they were providing methodological and material assistance. After provoking and intensification of confrontation among people allegedly on ethnic grounds in both Georgian regions Russian security services were practically coordinated their anti-government and anti-Georgian activities. As later events demonstrated their attempts were not unsuccessful as their majority was significantly awarded by Russian authorities and separatist leaders that were brought to power by Russians.

In 1921-1922 and 1991-1993 as a result of aggression against sovereign Georgian republic fundamental requirement of the UN charter, the UN declarations of 1965 and 1974, as well as OSCE conventions, elementary norms of international law were violated. Russian Federation once again carried out occupation of Abkhazia and Shida Kartli.

On April 1922 Russian occupational regime created South Ossetian Autonomous District. As numerous materials show its creation was greatly opposed by 20 000 Georgians and 1.100 ethnic Ossetians (majority of Ossetians) that lived in the region.

In 1988-190 Communist authorities of Georgia practically lost control over South Ossetian Autonomous District that was supported by the Russian military base that was stationed in the region and it was almost left outside jurisdiction of Soviet Georgia.

In August 1990 Georgian Communist regime that was actually Russian occupational administration by recognizing occupation of Georgia by Soviet Russia in 1921 declared self-liquidation. As a result, all legal acts that were approved in the course of those 70 years , and among others resolutions about creation of autonomies, were automatically became devoid of juridical power (resolution, 20.08.1990);

From August 28th 1990, from the first days of legitimate and democratic national authorities of Georgia Russian authorities with the help of Ossetian separatists and its military occupational forces were trying to halt processes of building of Georgian statehood. On December 9th 1990 Ossetian separatists conducted elections of Supreme council of so-called South Ossetian Soviet republic and thus putting territorial integrity of Georgia into serious jeopardy;

The 363 law of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia "on abolishing of south Ossetian Autonomous District" (law, 12.12.1990) that was approved on December 11th 1990, states that separatist forces in South Ossetian Autonomous District by creating so-called South Ossetian Soviet republic are trying to usurp state power, appropriate historical and integral part of Georgia that clearly opposes the constitution of the Republic of Georgia and fundamental norms of international law.." According to clauses 3 and 11 of the 104 article of the constitution of the Republic of Georgia the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia states:

1. Abolish South Ossetian Autonomous district;
2. ...
3. declare devoid of juridical power the decree of April 20th 1922 of the central executive committee of Georgia and Council of people's commissars "on establishment of South Ossetian Autonomous District" and the law of November 12th 1980 of the Georgian SSR "on South Ossetian autonomous district" ;

On March 23rd 1991 a term "former South Ossetian Autonomous District" was registered in the document signed in the town of Kazbegi between the heads of the Republic of Georgia and RSFSR respectively Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Boris Yeltsin. At the same time Russia recognized resolution of the issue of former South Ossetian autonomous district as of an integral part of Georgia as internal affair of Georgia and agreed to withdraw military units of the USSR from this zone (Sakartvelos Respublika newspaper, 24.03.1991).

In May 1991 the Supreme Council of the USSR, representatives of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federative republic and the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia with presence of Ossetian side as an observer initialed the agreement according to which resolution of the conflict of the Tskhinvali region was declared to be a prerogative of the Republic of Georgia. Based on this the Presidium approved the resolution of similar content;

In the referendum of March 31st 1991 99.68 % of population of Tskhinvali district voted for restoration of Georgian independence and in Akhalgori district this figure was 99.44 %. The vast majority of Ossetians that lived on the territory of Georgia three times - on October 28th 1990, March 31st 1991 and May 26th 1991 voted for Georgian independence, territorial integrity, the program of "Round table –Free Georgia" , state politics of Zviad Gamsakhurdia ("Khma Erisa ", 1995, 94-98, 470-475);

Given the results of the referendum of March 31st 1991 and based on the act of restoration of Georgian independence of April 9th 1991 and the constitution of Georgia and norms of international law, on September 15th 1991 the Supreme Council of Georgia approved resolution 657 about Soviet Armed forces in the republic of Georgia which says the following:

"1. Armed forces of the USSR deployed on the territory of Georgia to be declared occupational military forces";
2. Government of the Republic of Georgia to start negotiations on withdrawal of armed forces of the USSR ";
3. Before complete withdrawal of the USSR armed forces from the territory of Georgia an issue to be raised before the USSR about immediate withdrawal of units of Soviet Army from territories of Abkhazian ASSR and former South Ossetian Autonomous district as their presence and activities prevents stabilization of the situation in the region" (resolution, 16.09.1991).

Having ignored the Constitution of Georgia, as well as the results of the referendum of March 31st 1991, the act of the restoration of independence of April 9th 1991, the UN Charter, the Vienna summery document of OSCE , the resolutions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia of September 1992 and March 13th 1992, on June 24th 1992 in Dagomis Eduard Shevardnadze signed an agreement with Russia according to which Russian military forces were allowed to be deployed in the Tskhinvali region with the status of "peacekeepers". Since back in 1991 legitimate Georgian government gave military units of the Russian empire stationed on the territory of Georgia status of the occupational forces, obligations undertaken by the Dagomis agreement was an anti-state act - a crime against the Georgian state; In addition, it was the act that had no legal power as it was signed by the head of illegitimate, illegal government;

As we know in this period there was the government of the republic of Georgia (the first President of Georgia, the legislative body, the government of the republic of Georgia and local authorities ) that were functioning in exile;

Simultaneously, the regime of Shevardnadze's actions to some extent supported so-called South Ossetian parliamentary elections and at meetings of Borjmi, Tskhinvali, Vladikavkaz, Moscow was mentioning state unit of South Ossetia in Shida Kartli. At the same time he was trying together with officials of the Russian government and representatives of Ossetian separatists to blame the legitimate government of Georgia for the conflict in the Tskhinvali region that was planned and provoked by Russian security services;

The Shevardnadze regime also unduly gave Russian occupation forces the status and role of "peacekeepers" in the Abkhazian autonomous republic.

And, ultimately, today after carrying out ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Tskhinvali region military police regime of Putin and Medvedev is trying to juriducally register the de-facto situation there and by registering state units of "two Ossetias" to create political and legal grounds for formation of united Ossetian state within the Russian empire with all ensuing consequences;

From August 7th 2008 the Russian Federation together with main requirements of the constitutions of its own and that of Georgia also grossly violated main principles of and fundamental requirements of international law. In particular:

1. Territorial integrity of the state;
2. Sovereignty and equality of states;
3. Non-use of force in inter-state relations;
4. Inviolability of borders;
5. Non-interference into internal affairs of another state;
6. Respect for human tights and freedoms of a person;
7. Equality and self-determinations of peoples;
8. Peaceful resolution of conflicts;
9. Compliance with agreements and duties defined by international law and so on.

Russia itself annexed Ksani gorge – Akhalgori district with use of force what is a clear demonstration of violence and cynicism. As there are neither legal nor political grounds for inclusion of Shida KArtli into Russia. Russian occupants themselves know this very well but it seems that they do not intend to give up anything voluntarily...

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