Status: 05/13/2022 9:00 p.m.
In Georgia, the authorities of the separatist region of South Ossetia are planning a referendum to decide whether to join Russia. The Georgian government condemned the project as “unacceptable”.
Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia has announced a referendum on joining the Russian Federation for July 17. The still-incumbent president of the region, Anatoly Bibilov, signed a corresponding decree. This was announced by his office. This corresponds to the “historical aspirations” of the people of South Ossetia.
The plans had already emerged in recent days. Newly elected President Alan Glagoev had also come out in favor of a referendum, but wanted to wait for Moscow’s approval. The Georgian government has condemned such a plan as “unacceptable”.
The population was offered Russian citizenship
South Ossetia, which has about 60,000 inhabitants, borders North Ossetia, which belongs to Russia. After a short war against Georgia in 2008, Russia recognized not only South Ossetia but also the coastal region of Abkhazia as independent.
Russia already provides financial support to the two regions and has also stationed thousands of troops there. The population was offered Russian citizenship.
Bibilov’s announcement comes in the context of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. At the end of March, he had already spoken on Russian television. He also announced in March that he had sent South Ossetian soldiers to Ukraine to “help protect Russia”. At the election