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Yearbook 1998

Georgia. According to Countryaah, President Eduard Shevardnadze was subjected to an attack in February in the capital Tbilisi. He escaped unharmed, but two bodyguards were killed when grenades and automatic fires were fired at the president's car cortege. Suspicions were directed at the incumbent President Zviad Gamsachurdia's supporters but also against Russian forces who wanted to prevent a new oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea from being pulled through Georgia.

1998 Georgia

Shortly after the attack, four UN observers, including a Swedish officer, were kidnapped by armed militia loyal to Gamsachurdia. The hostage was released without meeting the kidnappers' demands: the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia and the release of political prisoners.

The conflict around the outbreak republic of Abkhazia caught fire in May. For a few days, Abkhaz forces and the Georgian army fought the most difficult fighting since the 1993 war. Extensive negotiations followed, and in October the parties agreed on confidence building measures, including the military commanders decided to establish communications. A minor military revolt broke out in western Georgia in October, where Gamsachurdia has its strongest support. The uprising was fought after a few days, but was given, among other things. as a result, Shevardnadze dismissed his Minister of Security. He was accused of knowing in advance about the revolt without intervening. Shevardnadze claimed that the uprising was controlled by forces that wanted to prevent the Caspian Sea oil pipeline from being pulled through Georgia to Turkey.

The country's finance minister resigned in November after harsh criticism that long-term payments of pensions and public servants' wages were delayed. At the same time, the country's largest electricity company announced that it could only afford electricity supply three days a week to Tbilisi and other cities. Unpaid electricity bills were stated as a cause.

South Ossetia

South Ossetia on the border between Georgia and Russia has declared itself independent from Georgia, but is considered an outbreak republic by the government of Tbilisi. Independence is only supported by Russia and a handful of other states. The capital is called Tschinvali.

Geography and climate

South Ossetia lies on the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus mountain range. The terrain is mostly mountainous but also includes plains further south to the Mtkvari River. The highest peak is Khalatsa at nearly 4,000 meters. In total, South Ossetia covers 3,900 square kilometers, which corresponds to three times the area of ​​Íland.

In South Ossetia, around 70,000 people live today. More than half live in the capital Tschinvali.

Before the uprising against Georgia and the subsequent civil war of 1990-1992 (see History), about 100,000 people were estimated to have lived in South Ossetia, of which about two-thirds were Ossetians and the rest were Georgians. 30,000 of the inhabitants fled during the unrest. Most of them never came back.

The short war between South Ossetia / Russia and Georgia in the fall of 2008 (see History) gave rise to a new refugee stream on both sides. Over one hundred thousand people were reported to have been forced to leave their homes in South Ossetia and in adjacent areas of Georgia. About 35,000 South Ossetians fled to North Ossetia, while the Georgians of the area applied to Georgia. Most of the South Ossetians were able to return home when the fighting was over, while many Georgians remained at refugee centers in Georgia.

The Ossetians are a Caucasian minority people who speak an Iranian language. Most are Orthodox Christians but a minority are Muslims.

In 2012, the South Ossetian Parliament passed a law that allows residents to exchange Georgian or Russian last names with Ossetians. Names ending with the Georgian endings -jvili or -dze, or Russian -ov / -ova can be given the ostetic endings -ty, -ti or -on.

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