TIMELINE: Conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia

Author : Mircea Birca | Saturday, August 9, 2008
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(Reuters) – Russian armored vehicles have entered the northern edges of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, the separatists’ press service reported on its website on Friday.Here is a chronology of events in South Ossetia:

November 1989 – South Ossetia declares its autonomy from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, triggering three months of fighting.

December 1990 – Georgia and South Ossetia begin a new armed conflict which lasts until 1992.

June 1992 – Russian, Georgian and South Ossetian leaders meet in Sochi, sign an armistice and agree the creation of a tripartite peacekeeping force of 500 soldiers from each entity.

November 1993 – South Ossetia drafts its own constitution.

November 1996 – South Ossetia elects its first president.

December 2000 – Russia and Georgia sign an intergovernment agreement to re-establish the economy in the conflict zone.

December 2001 – South Ossetia elects Eduard Kokoity as president, in 2002 he asks Moscow to recognize the republic’s independence and absorb it into Russia.

January 2005 – Russia gives guarded approval to Georgia’s plan to grant broad autonomy to South Ossetia in exchange for dropping its bid for independence.

November 2006 – South Ossetia overwhelmingly endorses its split with Tbilisi in a referendum. Georgia’s prime minister says this is part of a Russian campaign to stoke a war.

April 2007 – Georgia’s parliament approves a law to create a temporary administration in South Ossetia, raising tension with Russia.

June 2007 – South Ossetian separatists say Georgia attacked Tskhinvali with mortar and sniper fire. Tbilisi denies this.

October 2007 – Talks hosted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe between Georgia and South Ossetia break down.

March 2008 – South Ossetia asks the world to recognize its independence from Georgia, following the West’s support for Kosovo’s secession from Serbia.

March 2008 – Georgia’s bid to join NATO, though unsuccessful, prompts Russia’s parliament to urge the Kremlin to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

April 2008 – South Ossetia rejects a Georgian power-sharing deal, insists on full independence.

August 2008 – Georgian forces attack South Ossetia’s capital Tskhinvali to re-take the breakaway region. Russia says its troops were responding to the assault and Georgia’s Saakashvili says the two countries were at war.

– Russian armored vehicles enter the northern edges of Tshkinvali.

– Eduard Kokoity, president of South Ossetia, says about 1,400 people have died as a result of the assault.

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