• ALEKSANDRE MGEBRISHVILI Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor and deputy rector at Gori State Teaching University, Gori, Georgia


During the long period of coexistence of Georgians and Ossetians residing in Georgia, it can be noted that there were no separatist intentions among Ossetians before Bolshevik Russia entered the arena. On the contrary, at the beginning of the XIX century, they stood faithfully alongside the Georgian nobles, gave support to them and fought against Russian Tsarism.

            Later, from 1918, after the declaration of independence by Georgia, the main goal of the Russian Bolshevik government became the re-annexation of the territories separated from the Russian Empire. Georgia was part of this insidious plan. The Russian Bolshevik government, which was hostile to the Democratic Republic of Georgia, assisted the separatist forces opposed to the Georgian government with financial, weapononry and all other means. Due to this seditious policy, several armed forces of the Ossetians organized demonstrations against Georgia, in the Ossetian-populated area of Shida Kartli.

            All this was accompanied by the intensive settlement of the Ossetian population in Tskhinvali and its surroundings from the first decades of the new century. In spite of the presented picture, although the so-called “Ossetia”, in particular the separate administrative unit “South Ossetia” did not exist, in the common conversations and official documents, the historical territory of Shida Kartli inhabited by Ossetians had been gradually introduced as "South Ossetia". Naturally, Georgia may have an Ossetian-populated area, but to refer to this part of the country, as Ossetian, is unnatural and historically unacceptable.

            Despite the fact that according to the agreement signed between Georgia and Russia on May 7, 1920, Russia recognized Georgia's independence and made a commitment to not interfere in its internal affairs, it still fought against the country's independence with various tricks, legal or illegal. Russia's main support in this battle was the separatist forces operated as according to the instructions of the Central Committee of the Russian Bolshevik Party.

            Ossetian armed demonstrations had quite serious consequences. Insurgent armed forces massacred, looted, and troubled the population of Tskhinvali and its surroundings as well as the representatives of the administration and government. Many of the Georgian “National Guard” fighters were among the dead.

            The main part of the insurgents' plans was to block the Surami tunnel and continue the march in the direction of Gori. If the Georgian government used to be loyal to the Ossetians in the past, now it was obliged to protect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

            Fortunately, this did not refer to the entire Ossetian community residing in Georgia. Ossetian separatist outbursts were once strongly criticized by progressive Ossetian citizens.

            It is completely groundless to talk about the 1920 Ossetian genocide from individual Ossetian authors of different times. Punishment measures taken after the suppression of Ossetian armed demonstrations and the restoration of statehood were counter-balanced by the criminal acts committed by these armed groups against the civilian population, the sovereignty and security of the country, and not on ethnic grounds.

            At various times, the Georgian authorities have used similarly strict measures against other criminal elements, including Georgian citizens.