CHAPTER 27 NEW HOT BEDS OF CONFLICT IN CAUCASUS

It was extremely beneficial to Russia that it was the Chechens who fought in Abkhazia, as in this way they were led as tray from participating in a Chechen rising for the time being, trying to help their ethnic brethren. Many other Chechens joined the Azerbaijani army to fight against the Karabakh Armenians.

Besides being an ethnical confrontation, this war added not only to the difficulties of both Georgians and Abkhaz but also of Armenians as the main routes to Russia became blocked up. The blockade of Armenia thus grew into a disaster, a thing that was beneficial to Turkey and Azerbaijan. There was also the blocking up of one of the main routes of the Caspian oil pipeline. Georgia was already a zone of unstability and the pipeline couldn’t go through its territory to Poti and Batumi.

Concluding an agreement of the pipeline passing through their territory with Azerbaijan the Georgian authorities dragged their country into a war.

Besides the Abkhaz confrontation, another problem arose for the Georgian authorities. It was Osset confrontation.

The Alans lived on the bank of the river Lkhava. They had never had any political status. As all the Alan tribes, the Ossetes too (they are ancient Iranian people) were constantly engaged in wars. They were the most numerous in the Georgian army. In this situation they managed to preserve their ethnic identity. During the Soviet rule the Ossets, scattered all over Georgia, were assimilated into the Georgians. There was an Osset rising in 1918, when the Bolsheviks instigated Georgian-Osset clashes aiming at the abolishment of German influence. The German had penetrated into the region as Georgian patrons. During the year of sovietization the Ossetes obtained a status of an autonomous region, which calmed them down. In this way Russia succeeded to separate the Ossets. Fragmantation of ethnicity occured. The Northern portion joined Russia as an Autonomous Republic within the Russian Federation and the Southern – within Georgia as an Autonomous Region.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Southern Ossetia rose in a demand to quit Georgia and join Northern Osset Autonomous Republic.

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