Press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia

Pertaining to the 25th Anniversary of the referendum on independence of the Republic of South Ossetia

The 25th Anniversary of the historic referendum on independence of the Republic of South Ossetia is celebrated on January 19, 2017. 25 years has passed since South Ossetia nation took that crucial political step on its way to building statehood. At a nation-wide vote, organized in full compliance with legal norms, in presence of many international observers, our people executed its inalienable right for the independence and the right for choice of free and safe development.

The referendum was anticipated by a tough situation on whole territory of former USSR, when in early 90s the Union Republics started acquiring sovereignty.

Year 1990 saw Supreme Council of Georgia unilaterally aboulishing all laws adopted in the GSSR after 1921, including the Decree on establishment of South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the GSSR, dated April 22, 1992, the only legal document, based on which South Ossetia was considered as a part of GSSR.

Demonstratively having left the legal framework of the USSR before legal dissolution of the Union, Georgia couldn't become the successor of GSSR and lost any basis for claims to South Ossetia territory. However, instead of settling legal relations with its neighbor, Georgia unleashed armed aggression against people of South Ossetia that culminated in tragic events of 1992, 2004 and 2008.

Facing aggression, ethnic cleanings and genocide from Georgian side, political authorities of South Ossetia adopted on December 21, 1991 – the next day after the Soviet Union dissolution the Declaration on Independence of South Ossetia. Results of the referendum, conducted on January 19, 1992 in conditions of full blockade and military aggression from Georgian side became nation-wide confirmation of the correctness of that step. More than 99% votes were for the independence of South Ossetia from Georgia and its further entry into the Russian Federation.

Results of the Referendum proved the correctness of the policy, pursued by the authorities of the Republic of South Ossetia and the high level of national solidarity. In development and consolidation of the results of the Referendum dated January 19, 1992 Act of Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Ossetia was approved on May 29, 1992.

Being created as a result of a unanimous national choice, the Republic of South Ossetia paid for its freedom and independence the incredibly high price of many lives of defenders and civilians. However, it precisely were the 25 year-old political events, that gave the Republic of South Ossetia today’s possibility to step ahead confidently on its way to development and building modern statehood and further strengthening cooperation and integration with the Russian Federation.


January 19, 2017, Tskhinval