Press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia on the 15th anniversary of the recognition of the state independence of the Republic of South Ossetia by the Russian Federation

On August 26, South Ossetia celebrates one of the main state holidays – the Day of Recognition of the Independence of the Republic of South Ossetia by the Russian Federation.

Exactly fifteen years ago, the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree recognizing the independence and state sovereignty of the Republic of South Ossetia. This day, the people of the Republic of South Ossetia have been waiting for almost 18 years, is the most important date in the recent history of South Ossetia. It was preceded by years of the hardest struggle against Georgian aggression, came with acts of genocide and terror against the civilian Ossetian population, the blockade of the capital of South Ossetia, the city of Tskhinval and districts of the republic. Thousands of citizens of South Ossetia, Ossetian and Russian peacekeepers and rebels, law enforcement officers and armed forces have given their lives in the name of freedom and independence. Tens of thousands of crippled destinies, the pain and bitterness of the loss of relatives and loved ones , hundreds of destroyed social facilities – this is the price that the long-suffering Ossetian people had to pay.

In the memory of our heroic people, who suffered the genocide of 1920, 1989-1992, 2004 and the August war of 2008 in a short historical period, these tragic events left an indelible mark.

The armed aggression in August 2008 clearly showed that even in the third millennium, Georgian nationalism, elevated to the rank of state policy, backed up by caveman slogans about the superiority of one nation over others, has not gone anywhere, and Georgian leaders continue to think in categories of the wild Middle Ages, using barbaric methods to achieve their ambitions.

Incredibly, the attack on South Ossetia was met in Georgia with truly national rejoicing, on the night of August 7-8, 2008, when hundreds of innocent people were killed under Georgian artillery fire in Tskhinval, residents of Tbilisi staged mass folk festivals with music and dances.

Georgia's demonstrative act of aggression, war crimes, the deaths of Russian citizens and compatriots, peacekeepers, and massive human rights violations in August 2008 forced Russia to take the only right and necessary decisions of a military-political nature. The operation to force Georgia to peace and the recognition of the state independence of the Republic of South Ossetia became a response to the violation of the agreements reached within the framework of the internationally recognized negotiation format. It was the Russian Federation that was the only real guarantor of regional security, carried out a peacekeeping mission in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone and stopped an unprecedented in its cruelty attempt by the Georgian leadership to completely destroy the population of South Ossetia. The entire Ossetian people will be eternally grateful to the Russian Federation and all Russians who unanimously came out in support of them.

There is no doubt that August 2008 was made possible thanks to the active military support of Georgia by the "collective West". The same countries continue to support Georgia in its revanchist aspirations. On their part, attempts to falsify the obvious facts of recent history and the application of the policy of "double standards" observed, in particular, in the actions of the ICC do not stop. Rather than prosecuting Georgia for the war crimes committed in South Ossetia in August 2008, contrary to the documented facts, this organization completely distorts the real state of things, taking the path of bias and politicization of its actions.

Over the past fifteen years, South Ossetian-Russian relations have shown high dynamics in the development of overall co-operation. The Russian Federation has been and remains a reliable ally of South Ossetia, a guarantor of peace and security in the region, and as a responsible partner, fully fulfills the obligations assumed in the framework of bilateral documents in all sphere of interaction.

In the grateful memory of the people of South Ossetia, this day will forever remain a day of greatness of spirit and fraternal solidarity of the peoples of South Ossetia and Russia, a day that brought us a great victory and hope for peaceful development.

Tskhinval, August 26, 2023