Ossetia

views updated

Ossetia Region of the central Caucasus. The region is divided along the Terek River. North Ossetia is an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation, whose capital is Vladikavkaz. South Ossetia is an autonomous region of Georgia, whose capital is Tshkinvali. Ossetia is a mountainous agricultural region. North Ossetia has rich mineral deposits. Ossetia became part of the Russian empire in the early 19th century. In 1861, it was annexed to Russia as the Terek region. In 1918, Ossetia became a republic of the Soviet Union and two years later was incorporated into a greater Mountain Autonomous Republic. In 1922, South Ossetia was made a region within the Republic of Georgia. In 1924, North Ossetia became part of the Russian republic, and in 1936 was made an autonomous republic. In 1990, Georgia abolished South Ossetia's autonomous status, but it was restored in 1995. Area: North Ossetia, 8000sq km (3090sq mi); South Ossetia, 3900sq km (1505sq mi). Pop. North Ossetia (2000), 673,800; South Ossetia (2002 est.) 99,700.