South Ossetia was at the center of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, following which the Kremlin recognized its independence as well as that of another Georgian breakaway region, Abkhazia, and set up bases there authorities of the separatist Georgian pro-Russian region of South Ossetia announced on Friday that they would hold a referendum on July 17 on its integration into Russia. “President” Anatoly Bibilov “signed a decree on the holding of a referendum in the Republic of South Ossetia”, declared its services in a press release, evoking the “historic aspiration” of the inhabitants of this small Caucasian territory to join Russia, of which it is bordering. South Ossetia has been at the center of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, following which the Kremlin recognized its independence as well as that of another Georgian separatist region, Abkhazia, and set up military bases there. Ukraine’s separatist regions of Donetsk and L ugansk, whose independence has also been recognized by Moscow, have also expressed their interest in integrating with Russia. . The latter had already in the past described as “unacceptable” the plan of South Ossetia to organize a referendum on its entry into the Russian Federation. In August 2008, Russia attacked Georgia whose government was fighting against pro-Russian militias in this area, after they shelled Georgian villages. The fighting ended after five days with the establishment of a European Union-brokered ceasefire, but did more than 700 dead and caused the displacement of tens of thousands of ethnic Georgians.
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