Press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia in connection with the 30th anniversary of the Referendum on the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia

January 19 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first referendum on the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia. Thirty years ago, the people of South Ossetia took a fateful political step towards the formation of their statehood. The holding of the referendum became a great holiday for the people of South Ossetia. In a popular vote held in perfect accordance with legal norms and in the presence of a large number of international observers, the inalienable right of our people to independence and to choose the path of their free and safe development was realized.

The 1992 referendum on the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia is a unique legal confirmation of the republic’s legitimacy. The referendum was preceded by a very difficult situation that had developed by the beginning of the 1990, when nationalist movements noticeably intensified in the republics of the USSR. 

In 1990, the Supreme Council of Georgia unilaterally took a number of legal actions to dismantle the format of its stay in the USSR. On June 20, 1990, Georgia canceled all laws and legislative acts adopted by the GSSR after 1921, which was a violation of the principle of the integrity and inviolability of the borders of the USSR, since it was the USSR, and not the Georgia, that was the subject of international law.

Having left the legal field of the USSR before the legal collapse of the Union, Georgia could not become the successor of the GSSR. In fact, Georgia returned to the legal field in which it was before joining the USSR. Having cancelled all normative legal acts after 1921, including the “Decree on the formation of South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast as part of the GSSR” dated April 22, 1922, the only legal document on the basis of which South Ossetia considered part of the Georgian SSR, Georgia forever lost all legal rights to the entire territory of South Ossetia.

Subsequently, instead of settling legal and civilized relations with its neighbor, Georgia unleashed a long-term war against the people of South Ossetia.

The Council of People’s Deputies of south Ossetia – a legitimate body of power at that time – in the face of aggression, ethnic cleansing and genocide by Georgia adopted the Declaration of Independence of South Ossetia on December 21, 1991, on the second day after the demise of the Soviet Union. The nationwide confirmation of the correctness of this step was the results of the referendum held on January 19, 1992, which took place in the conditions of a complete blockade and military aggression by Georgia. 99% of the population of the Republic voted for the sovereignty of South Ossetia and the prospect of its entry into the Russian Federation.

The results of the referendum convincingly proved the correctness of the political goals pursued by the leadership of the Republic of South Ossetia, and are still the most important political component in all political scenarios.

In development and consolidation of the Referendum, on January 19, 1992, the Supreme Council of the Republic of South Ossetia on May 29, 1992 adopted the Act of Declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Ossetia. On August 26, 2008, these historical steps, verified and irreproachable from the point of view of international law, allowed the Russian Federation to recognize the independence of the Republic of South Ossetia.

The Republic of South Ossetia paid a high price for the right to freedom and independence with many lives of defenders of the fatherland and civilians. Thanks to the correct decisions made by thirty years ago, the Republic of South Ossetia took shape and established its statehood. The country is confidently moving along the path of socio-economic development, building a modern legal democratic state and further strengthening the alliance with the Russian Federation.


Tskhinval, January 19, 2022