Appendix 1: Chronicle of Events of the Conflict, 1989-1992
8 List of Literature
Anderson, Benedict: Imagined Communities, Verso London 1983.
Besancon, Alain in Conquest, Robert (ed.): The Last Empire, Hoover
Institution Press 1986.
Brass, Paul R.,: Ethnicity and Nationalism, Theory and Comparison,
Sage Publications, New Delhi 1991.
Bremmer, Ian and Ray Taras: Nations and Politics in the Soviet
Successor States, Cambridge University Press 1993.
Brown, Michael E. (ed.).:Causes and Implications of Ethnic
Conflict in Ethnic Conflict and International Security, Princeton University Press
Connor, Walker: The National Question in Marxist-Leninist Theory and
Strategy, Princeton University Press 1984.
Cousens, Daniel: Preparations for rehabilitation actions in South
Ossetia and the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, internal EU document, Tbilisi, 1997.
Dale, Catherine: Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Dynamics of the
Conflicts in Pavel Baev and Ole Berthelsen Conflicts in the Caucasus, PRIO
Report no. 3/96, Oslo, 1996.
Dehdashti, Rexane: Gewaltminderung und Konfliktregelung in
ethnosozialen Konflikten. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen internationaler Akteure in der
Kaukasusregion, unpublished dissertation, Frankfurt am Main 1997.
Diuk, Nadia and Karatnycky, Adrian: The Hidden Nations, William
Morrow and Company 1990.
d'Encausse, Hélène Carrère, in Denber, Rachel (ed.): The Soviet
Nationality Reader, Westview Press 1992.
Draculic, Slavenka: Balkan Express, Viborg 1993.
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland: Ethnicity and Nationalism. Anthropological
Perspectives, London, Pluto Press 1993.
Gagloiti, Yu. S.: Yuzhnaya Osetiya, Tskhinval(i), 1993.
Gellner, Ernest: Nations and Nationalism, Blackwell Publishers
Gurr, R. Ted: Minorities at Risk, United States Institute of Peace
Press, Washington D.C, 1993.
Hall, Stuart: Old and New Identities, Old and New
Ethnicities in King, Anthony D. (ed.) Culture Globalization and the World-System,
Macmillan Education LDT, 1991.
Helsinki Watch: Bloodshed in the Caucasus, Violations of Humanitarian
Law and Human Rights in the Georgia-South Ossetia Conflict, Human Rights Watch, New York,
Hobsbawm, Eric and Terence Ranger: The Invention of Tradition,
Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Hobsbawm, Eric: Nations and Nationalism Since 1780, Cambridge
University Press, 1990.
Hunter, Shireen T.: The Transcaucasus in Transition Nation-Building
and Conflict, CSIS, 1994.
Ignatieff, Michael: Blood and Belonging, Journeys into the New
Nationalism, Vintage, London, 1994.
Jones, Stephen, in Gitelman, Zvi (ed.): The Politics of Nationality
and the Erosion of the USSR, St. Martin's Press, 1992.
Jones, Stephen, in Bremmer, Ian and Ray Taras (ed.): Nations and
Politics in the Soviet Successor States, Cambridge University Press 1993.
King, Charles: Ending Civil Wars, Adelphi Paper 308, Oxford
University Press, 1997.
Krag, Helen, in Kühl, Jørgen (ed.): Mindretalspolitik, DUPI,
Krag, Helen and Funch, Lars: The North Caucasus: Minorities at a
Crossroad, Minority Rights Group International, Manchester Free Press, 1994.
Lieven, Dominic and McGarry, John: The Politics of Ethnic Conflict
Regulation, Routhledge 1990.
Lomouri, Nodar: A History of Georgia, Tbilisi, 1993.
Menteshashvili, Avandil: Some National and Ethnic Problems in Georgia
Parsons, Robert in Smith, Graham (ed.): The Nationalities Question in
the Soviet Union, Longman 1990.
Posen, Barry R.: The Security Dilemma and Ethnic
Conflict, in Brown, Michael E. (ed.) Ethnic Conflict and International Security,
Princeton University Press 1993
Roe, Paul: The Intra-State Security Dilemma: Ethnic Conflict as a
Tradegy?, COPRI working papers 18, 1997.
Rana, Swadesh: Small Arms and Intra-State Conflicts, UNIDIR, Geneva,
Saakashvili, Mikhail: Conflicts Related to Ethnic Groups in Georgia,
Description and possible ways to peaceful and constructive settlements, unpublished paper,
Sakvarelidze, Avtantil, et al.: On Ethnic Composition of the
Population of the Georgian Republic, Tbilisi 1993.
Siukayev, N.V.: Dve Tragedii Yuzhnaya Osetiya, Vladikavkaz 1994.
Skurbaty, Zelim: A Letter to an Editor, p.4, unpublished paper,
Malmö, Sweden, 1991.
Smith, Anthony: National Identity, Penguin Books, London, 1991.
Smith, Graham: The Nationalities Question in the Soviet Union,
SNU: Nationalitetsproblemerne i Sovjetunion, 1990.
Snyder, Jack: Nationalism and the Crisis of the Post-Soviet
State in Brown, Michael E. (ed.) Ethnic Conflict and International Security,
Princeton University Press 1993
Suny, Ronald Grigor: The Revenge of the Past - Nationalism,
Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, Stanford University Press 1993.
Suny, Ronald Grigor: The Making of the Georgian Nation, London 1989.
Suny, Ronald Grigor in Cohen, Stephen F. (ed.): The Soviet Union
Since Stalin, London 1980.
Totadze, Anzor: The Population of Abkhazia - The Ossetians in
Georgia, Tbilisi, 1994.
Vioti, Paul R. and Kauppi, Mark V.: International Relations Theory,
Macmillian Publishing Company, New york, 1993
Wallensteen, Peter: Från krig til fred, Om konfliktlösning i det
globale systemet, Almqvist & Wiksell Förlag AB, 1994.
Weston, Marta Cullberg and Burns, A.: Georgia On Our Minds, Report of
a Fact-Finding Mission to the Republic of Georgia, July 1994.
Wind, Marlene, in Sørensen, Christen: Europa. Nation - Union, Fremad
Wæver, Ole et al.: Identity, Migration and the New Security Agenda
in Europe, Pinter, London, 1993.
Zaslavsky, Victor, Success and collapse: traditional Soviet
nationality policy in Bremmer, Ian and Ray Taras (ed.): Nations and Politics in the
Soviet Successor States, Cambridge University Press 1993.
Zhorzholiani, G., et al.: Historic, Political and Legal Aspects of
the Georgian-Ossetian Conflict, Tbilisi 1995.
Journals and Papers:
Birch, Julian, Ossetia: a Caucasian Bosnia in microcosm,
Central Asian Survey, 1995, 14 (1).
Fuller, Elizabeth, South Ossetia: Analysis of a Permanent
Crisis, Report on the USSR, 15 Feb., 1991.
Forsber, Tuomas, Terrible Territoriality? In Nielsen, Ib, et al.,
Intra State Conflict: Causes and Peace Strategies. Report from a COPRI Symposium,
3-4 May 1997, COPRI Working Papers, no.:16, 1997.
Habermas, Jürgen, Citizenship and National Identity,
Praxis International, 12:1 April 1992.
Hansen, Greg, Humanitarian Action in the Caucasus: A Guide for
Practitioners, Humanitarianism and War Project & Local Capacities for Peace
Project, Occasional Papers of the Watson Institute no.:32, Brown University, 1998.
Henze, Paul, The Demography of the Caucasus according to 1989
Soviet Census Data, Central Asian Survey, vol.10, No.1/2, 1991.
Hobsbawm, Eric, Whose Fault-Line is it Anyway, New
Stateman & Society, 24 April 1992.
Hobsbawm, Eric, What is Ethnic Conflict and how does it differ
from other Conflicts, Anthropology Today, February 1993.
Jung, Dietrich: From Inter-State to Intra-State War: Patterns
and Trends in War Development since 1945, in Nielsen, Ib, et al., Intra State
Conflict: Causes and Peace Strategies. Report from a COPRI Symposium, 3-4 May 1997, COPRI
Working Papers, no.:16, 1997.
Kaldor, Mary, Yugoslavia and the New Nationalism,
New Left Review, 147, 1993.
Kaufman, J. Stuart, An international theory of
inter-ethnic war, Review of International Studies, 22, 1996.
Nielsen, Ib, et al., Intra State Conflict: Causes and Peace
Strategies. Report from a COPRI Symposium, 3-4 May 1997, COPRI Working Papers, no.:16,
MacFarlane, Neil S., et al.: Armed Conflict in Georgia: A Case
Study in Humanitarian Action and Peacekeeping, Occasional Papers of the Watson
Institute no.:21, Brown University, 1996.
Møller, Bjørn, Ethnic Conflict and Postmodern Warfare. What
Is the Problem? What Could Be Done?, COPRI Working Papers, no.:12, 1996.
Nodia, Gia, Political Crisis in Georgia, Current Politics
and Economics of Europe, Vol.2, No. 1/2, 1992, p.39.
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Georgian-Ossetian Conflict, unpublished paper, Tbilisi, July 1996.
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Mobilization", World Politics, Vol.43, No.2 1991.
Sampson, Steven, Kiss Me Im Serbian!:Etniske konflikter i
Østeuropa, Politica, 24. årg., nr.4, 1992.
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Mass Violence, COPRI Working Papers, no.:22, 1997.
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Policy: The Case of Abkhazia, Central Asian Survey, vol.4, No.4, 1985.
Slider, Darrell, The Politics of Georgias
Independence, Problems of Communism, No.-Dec. 1991.
Suny, Ronald, "The Revenge of the Past: Socialism and Ethnic
Conflict in Transcaucasia", New Left Review, No.184, 1990.
The Current Digest, South Ossetia: A Georgian vs. Russia
War?, Vol.XLIV, No.24, 1992.
Vorkunova, Olga, The Genesis of Intra-State Conflicts at the
Threshold of the Third Millenium, Nielsen, Ib, et al., Intra State Conflict:
Causes and Peace Strategies. Report from a COPRI Symposium, 3-4 May 1997, COPRI Working
Papers, no.:16, 1997.
Besides events directly concerning
the Georgian - South Ossetian conflict I have also added major events concerning Abkhazia
and the political civil war of Georgian - these in italics.
South Ossetian movement Adamon Nykhaz
formed by Alan Chochiev.
60 leading Abkhaz sent a letter to the 19 Party Conference of the CPSU in Moscow
requesting the recreation of an independent
Abkhaz Union Republic - with special treaty ties to
Massive demonstrations in Tbilisi (100,000); demanding an end to discrimination
against Georgians in the autonomies.
18 March 1989
Mass meeting of Abkhaz at Lykhny, Abkhaz ASSR, demanding restoration of the
sovereignty of Abkhazia as existed prior to 1931.
Alan Chochievs open letter to the Abkhaz people supporting their struggle for
independence against Georgia.
9 April 1989
Demonstrations in Tbilisi in protest of Abkhaz demands and for Georgian
independence. Soviet Interior Ministry troops interferes and kills 22 people, mainly women and young people.
26 May 1989
Anniversary of the declaration of Georgian independence in 1918. Clashes between irregular groups of Georgians, encourage by
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, and local Ossetians.
Armed clashes in the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi over the establishment there of a
branch of Tbilisi State University.
The Supreme Soviet of Georgia puts forward a new language programme for the Republic: Georgian language to be used in all
public spheres of society.
Adamon Nykhaz and a group of Ossetian workers address an appeal to the USSR Council of Ministers, the USSR Supreme Soviet, and
the CPSU Central Committee protesting that the Georgian language programme is
anti-democratic and unconstitutional; they ask for the question of unification
of North and South Ossetia to be discussed at the CPSU Central Committee plenum of
nationalities. Later that month, the Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia announces that
Ossetian will be the official language of the region.
10 November 1989
The Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia demands that the status of South Ossetia be changed from autonomous oblast to autonomous
Supreme Soviet of Georgia calls the claims illegal and put forward a law on sovereignty, stating that the Supreme Soviet of Georgia
has the right to veto any Soviet law which goes
against Georgian interests. Georgian authorities respond by firing the First Party
Secretary of the oblast.
23 November 1989
Zviad Gamsakhurdia organises what he calls a peaceful meeting of
reconciliation. Takes thousands of people, in buses and cars, to Tskhinvali;
Ossetians block the road and clashes take place, several people are wounded.
Representations of informal groups from North and South Ossetia apply for
membership to the Assembly of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus, and are admitted.
Georgian Parliament annuls all of Georgias treaties with the Soviet Union and adopts the Georgian constitution of 1921.
Djaba Ioseliani, leader of the Georgian paramilitary group Mhedrioni, comes to Tskhinvali, in his own
words, in order to calm fears and assure that Georgia has no hostile intentions.
Supreme Soviet of Georgia passes an election law banning any party whose activity
is confined to specific areas of Georgia from participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
20 September 1990
South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast declares independence as the South Ossetian
Democratic Republic. Appealing to Moscow to be recognised as independent subject of the Soviet Union.
21 September 1990
Supreme Council of Georgia declares South Ossetian move illegal and
25 September 1990
Abkhazia adopts a Declaration of Sovereignty (not independence).
28 October 1990
Election to the Georgian Supreme Soviet, boycotted by South Ossetia and Abkhazia , ends in victory for the Round Table-Free
Georgia coalition headed by Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
9 December 1990
Elections to the parliament/Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia. According to Ossetian
sources 72% of the republics population took part in the elections, which exceeds the percentage of the Ossetian population.
11 December 1990
Georgian Supreme Soviet cancels the result of the elections in South Ossetia and
votes to abolish the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast as a separate
administrative unit within the Republic of Georgia.
12 December 1990
Shooting episode in Tskhinvali, two Georgians and one Ossetian dead; one is
Gamsakhurdias bodyguard (Ossetian version). Unidentified men open fire on a car with passengers of Georgian nationality,
killing three and seriously wounding two (Georgian version). State of emergency declared
the Georgian parliament in the Tskhinvali and Djava regions, Russian and Georgian
MVD troops dispatched. Commander of Georgian MVD troops, General-Major G. Kvantaliani
appointed as mayor of Tskhinvali. According
to South Ossetian sources, with the consent of the ministry of internal affairs of
USSR, Georgian militia disarm the South Ossetian militia.
16 December 1990
South Ossetian Supreme Soviet confirms the decision made on 20 September 1990.
At the end of the month, following talks between officials from Georgia, Ossetia
and Moscow, a conciliation commission is created; without results.
Supreme Soviet of Georgia passes a law on the formation of a National Guard.
In the first days of the year several Georgian militiamen allegedly assassinated in
5-6 January 1991
Several thousand Georgian troops enter Tskhinvali and commit atrocities overnight;
the war starts.
7 January 1991
Soviet president Gorbachev, issues decree condemning South Ossetian declaration of
independence and Georgian parliaments abolition of South Ossetian autonomy; calls for
withdrawal of Georgian troops. Georgian Parliament
refuse to comply.
At the end of the month, Ossetians succeed in forcing the Georgian troops out of Tskhinvali to the hills around the cit. According
to Ossetians, Georgians start shelling the city. According to Georgians, Ossetians start burning down Georgian houses in Tskhinvali.
29 January 1991
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia is invited for talks outside
Tbilisi but as he gets there he is arrested and put to jail.
Georgians cut electricity supplies to Tskhinvali and block the road by which
the city receives food and other supplies. At the same time, Ossetians block the Georgian-populated villages around Tskhinvali from
the rest of Georgia.
5 February 1991
Russian central television describes the situation in Tskhinvali as worse
than Leningrad in 1942. The entire city is without heating and electricity....there
is no food.
Moscow and Tbilisi sign a protocol pledging to establish a joint commission of the
Russian and Georgian Ministries of Interior Affairs to assess the situation in the region,
to disarm all illegal armed formations and settle the refugee question.
17 March 1991
All-Union Referendum on Gorbachevs proposed Union Treaty. Georgia refuses to
participate - Abkhazia and South Ossetia participates and vote in favour.
31 March 1991
Referendum on independence held in Georgia. 98% in favour - neither South Ossetia
nor Abkhazia participates.
9 April 1991
Formal declaration of the restoration of the state of independence of Georgia.
The Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia votes to abolish the self-proclaimed South
Ossetian Democratic Soviet Republic and to restore the oblast status under the Russian
Failed coup attempt in Moscow, heralds the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Opposition to Gamsakhurdia taking shape, following his failure to condemn the
August coup in Moscow and Gamsakhurdias increasingly undemocratic rule.
Russian Parliament threatens Georgia with economic sanctions if failed to take steps to end the conflict and restore South
The Soviet Union dissolves; Gamsakhurdia refuses to ally Georgia to the Commonwealth of Independent States (SNG).
Russian MVD troops leave Tskhinvali and, according to Georgian sources, give their arms to the Ossetians.
21 December 1991
Uprising and fighting in Tbilisi between opposition and supporters of Gamsakhurdia.
19 January 1992
Referendum in South Ossetia to join the Russian Federation and reunite with North Ossetia.
Gamsakhurdia ousted and an Interim State Council is established. Fighting continues
Shevardnadze appointed as Chairman of the Interim State Council. Subsequent
international recognition of Georgia, despite the fact that Tbilisi did not control all of
claimed Georgian territory (e.g. South Ossetia and Western Georgia (Mingrelia)
Gamsakhurdias regional powerbase) and that Shevardnadze had been invited to assume power
on the back of an illegal coup detat.
May - June 1992
Zviadists (supporters of Zviad Gamsakhurdia) rally in Tbilisi, armed clashes in the streets.
15 June 1992
Statement by the Chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbulatov,
describing the Georgian actions in South Ossetia as genocide, which could force Russia to
consider the South Ossetian authorities request to join the Russian Federation.
18 June 1992
Near Tskhinvali, three combat helicopters, with Russian Air Force identification marks launch attack on Georgian units and
villages. At the same time, armed formations begin to attack from the direction of Tskhinvali using tanks and armoured personnel
20 June 1992
Shevardnadze makes a statement condemning Russian armed forces open participation
in the conflict on South Ossetian side.
3 June 1992
Abkhaz Supreme Soviet passes a resolution terminating the validity of the 1978
Abkhaz Constitution and thereby reinstating their 1925 Constitution.
24 June 1992
Shevardnadze and Yeltsin meets to discuss the question of South Ossetia and agree
in principle on a cease-fire and the establishment of a Joint
14 July 1992
Russian peace-keeping operation starts (three-sided peace-keeping forces - Russians, Georgians and South Ossetians) upon agreement
between Russian government, the Georgian State
Council and of the Supreme Soviet of South Ossetia.
Mid July 1992
Escalation in the political civil war in Western Georgia, between Zviadist forces
and government forces.
Early August 1992
Georgian Interior Minister and a member of Parliament taken hostage by Zviadist
forces who reputedly held them in Gali, Abkhazia.
13 August 1992
Georgian troops enter Abkhazia in order to control acts of terrorism on the
railroad (main link to Russia) and to release the taken hostages. Meeting no further resistance they continue to the Abkhaz
capital of Sukhumi where they attack the Abkhaz
Parliament building. The situation escalates into major
military confrontation and soon into outright war.
17 September 1992
UN mission in Abkhazia established.
3 December 1992
CSCE (now OSCE - Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) mission
established in Georgia. The OSCE and the UN in this way decided on a division on labour between the two conflicts.
25 March 1993
Law adopted by the Georgian Parliament guaranteeing citizenship to all currently
living on Georgian territory and willing to sign an oath of loyalty. Abkhaz recognised as a state language in Abkhazia equal to
Gamzakhurdias forces launch attack on Shevardnadzes forces in western
Georgia and takes control of three key towns there and subsequently the strategic port of
Poti at the Black Sea coast, as well as parts of Abkhazia. Leaving
the government forces of Georgia in Abkhazia squeezed between these forces and the forces
of the Abkhaz.
27 September 1993
Abkhaz forces takes the capital of Abkhazia - Sukhumi. Tens of thousands of
Georgians flee (total estimates say up to 240.000). Simultaneously Gamzakhurdias forces
advance and soon after begins moving east towards Tbilisi.
8 October 1993
Georgia joins the Commonwealth of Independent States (SNG) and makes agreement on
Russian military bases in Georgia. This agreement is however not ratified yet as Georgia
holds it as a bargaining chip for a final settlement on
South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
14 October 1993
Russian seaborn force lands at Poti in western Georgia and helps defeat
Fighting continued in Abkhazia as the Abkhaz took control of the whole territory
determined as the Abkhaz ASSR prior to the conflict. Gamzakhurdias
forces defeated by the end of December.
Parliamentary elections in South Ossetia leading to the replacement of the radical nationalist leadership by the former leaders of
the Communist Party there. Line of independence form Georgia is maintained along with
unification with North Ossetia within the Russian Federation.
CSCE initiates dialogue between Georgia and South Ossetia in North Ossetia.
15 August 1994
proposal for a framework for a constitutional model as a political solution for the
Georgian - South Ossetian conflict. The proposal is rejected by both parties.
Shevardnadze and the South Ossetian leader Ludwig Chibirov sign a Memorandum
on measures for providing security and joint confidence in which the two sides
renounce the use of force. This has been followed up by several meetings between the two
leaders and their respective heads of governments.