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The Military of South Ossetia is the military of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, whose independence is recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru, but which Georgia considers to be its territory and occupied by Russia. The force numbers about 2,500 men, or 16,000, including reservists.[1]

2008 South Ossetia war

The South Ossetian military fought against the Georgian forces in the 2008 South Ossetia war. At the time of the major Georgian offensive, the bulk of the Ossetian force was concentrated in the settlement of Java to the north of Tskhinvali.[2] According to Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, what thwarted the Georgian operation in the end was the resistance offered by peacekeepers and lightly armed South Ossetian units that stayed behind to defend the capital.[2] Also Russian regular army forces entered the fighting on August 8 and drove deep into Georgia proper, occasionally accompanied or followed by South Ossetian militia who allegedly committed serious human rights violations, particularly in the Georgian villages of South Ossetia.[3]

According one estimate, the losses of the South Ossetian military forces, militia, and volunteers in the war amounted to 150 dead.[4][5] According to the 2012 statement by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Russia had been training the South Ossetian militias as part of the Russian General Staff's 2006-2007 plan to rebuff Georgia in case of war.[6]


Members of the South Ossetian armed forces during a parade in Tskhinvali in May, 2009

Armoured vehicles during the September, 2009 parade in commemoration of the declaration of independence in Tskhinvali

The South Ossetian military has a total of 16,000 soldiers. 2,500 soldiers are on active duty and 13,500 are reservists.

At the beginning of the 2008 South Ossetia war, the armed forces possessed the following equipment:[7][8][9][10][11]

After the 2008 South Ossetia War, some of the tanks captured from Georgia's forces have been transferred to the South Ossetian military.

Service Branches


External links

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