Separatist South Ossetia may be abolished due to total absence of people

15.05.24 14:53

The dissolution of communities and the occupation of territory are the most rapid routes to the extinction of indigenous populations, particularly when the occupying power is an "empty" country with thousands of abandoned villages. It is well-known that the vast Russian Federation has a long history of abolishing settlements due to the absence of people in the area. Russia's current involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, which has resulted in the loss of life on both sides, is a tragic consequence of its historical and cultural ties to the region. A vast expanse of depopulated and abandoned villages and hamlets extends for approximately 100 kilometres from Moscow. A considerable number of these settlements have already been officially abolished and crossed out of the registers. The houses in these areas are gradually being "finished," and the abandoned fields and vegetable gardens are overgrown with bushes and forests.


It is becoming increasingly evident that the Russian authorities will soon be required to abolish not only the empty and abandoned villages and hamlets that they have previously designated as their own, but also the empty and depopulated "independent" and "allied" separatist states that have been under "friendly" occupation.


One particularly distressing situation is unfolding in the Georgian Tskhinvali region. Here, under Russian occupation, a separatist entity known as the "republic of South Ossetia" has emerged, despite the fact that its purported "independence" is still recognized by the Russian Federation. However, should the current situation persist, the necessity for a fictitious "independence" will be rendered moot.


A note by Diana Vaneev about the catastrophic decline in the number of residents of the Tskhinvali region is currently circulating on separatist resources.


In South Ossetia, the electoral roll has been reduced in accordance with the decline in the population. While elections are elections, the fact that the psychological figure of 20,000 has already been breached represents a significant demographic catastrophe. The Victory Parade was held in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, which is home to the majority of the population. Should this trend continue, there is a possibility that the republic may be abolished due to its small population.


Diana Vaneyeva subsequently presents her argument as follows: The situation in South Ossetia is rapidly deteriorating, yet the authorities are taking no action to halt the decline. It is therefore unsurprising that those in power are content with the status quo. Some officials are exploiting the budget to engage in ostentatious displays of activity, while the higher-ups are primarily concerned with the territory, which can be used in various ways. Furthermore, cigarette smuggling is conducted for the benefit of an influential criminal group. Earlier, alarming figures were published regarding the scale of smuggling and the income allocated monthly to the shadow treasury of President Alan Gagloev, which is estimated to be approximately 40 million rubles. This implies that the head of state had sufficient additional funds to ensure that pensioners were not impoverished and that they would have sufficient resources to celebrate the holidays. However, this did not occur. It has been reported that salaries have not been paid for several months. One might inquire as to the whereabouts of the funds in question. It is therefore pertinent to inquire as to the whereabouts of the monies that the state is entitled to receive at the very least in the form of taxes. One might inquire as to the destination of these funds. It would be beneficial to ascertain in which banks the budgetary funds of South Ossetia are being managed in accordance with the scheme devised by the former leadership. Concurrently, those in positions of authority exploit the fact that this matter is beyond the purview of civilian oversight, including parliamentary control. It is evident that those in power believe they can engage in a wide range of illicit activities with impunity. And why not, if it was effective for their predecessors?


The issues of significant corruption and non-payment of salaries to public sector employees, as articulated by Diana Vaneyeva, are well-known to those residing in the occupied Tskhinvali region. Alternatively, they are merely surviving in Tskhinvali and a few empty villages and settlements (in the presence of dozens of completely abandoned and crumbling Ossetian villages in occupied Samachablo).


The separatist territory is characterised by total unemployment and a lack of means of subsistence for many residents. Even those who are fortunate enough to secure employment on meagre salaries, which are nevertheless above the lowest regional wage in the Russian Federation, must wait for months for their wages to be paid. The income received is insufficient to meet the most basic necessities, with prices for goods in the region sometimes 1.5–2 times higher than in the Russian North Caucasus. It is evident that the separatist territory is devoid of any substantial industrial or agricultural production. Consequently, the majority of goods are imported through the Roki tunnel.


The remnants of the Ossetian population are leaving their so-called "independent" state due to their exhaustion with the conditions of hopeless poverty that prevail there. The actual population of the state is believed to be slightly less than the figure of 20,000 that was voiced by Diana Vaneyeva, and is likely to be less than 10,000 people.


Let's consider that approximately 100,000 people lived in the South Ossetian Autonomous District within the borders of Georgia. We can conclude that this represents one of the most catastrophic depopulation rates in modern history. Furthermore, it can be argued that the South Ossetian ethnos has been subjected to a form of "quiet self-genocide" as a result of the actions of separatist forces. Furthermore, should the status of the Tskhinvali region remain as it is, the ongoing depopulation and migration to the Russian Federation may result in the complete absence of a local population, with the exception of the occupying troops.



George Kvinitadze

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