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This category has the following 7 subcategories, out of 7 total.
1. Transcaucasia – Transcaucasia, or the South Caucasus, is a geopolitical region in the vicinity of the southern Caucasus Mountains on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Transcaucasia roughly corresponds to modern Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, Transcaucasia and Ciscaucasia together comprise the larger Caucasus geographical region that divides Eurasia. All of present-day Armenia is in Transcaucasia, the majority of present-day Georgia and Azerbaijan, including the exclave of Nakhchivan, parts of Iran and Turkey are also included within the region of Transcaucasia. Goods produced in the region include oil, manganese ore, tea, citrus fruits and it remains one of the most politically tense regions in the post-Soviet area, and contains three heavily disputed areas, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Between 1878 and 1917 the Russian controlled province of Kars Oblast was also incorporated into the Transcaucasus, Transcaucasia is a Latin rendering of the Russian-language word zakavkazie, meaning the area beyond the Caucasus Mountains. This implies a Russian vantage point, and is analogous to similar terms such as Transnistria and Transleithania, other forms of this word include Trans-Caucasus and Transcaucasus. The region is referred to as Southern Caucasia and the South Caucasus. Located on the peripheries of Turkey, Iran and Russia, the region has been an arena for political, military, religious, throughout history, Transcaucasia was usually under the direct rule of the various in-Iran based empires and part of the Iranian world. In the course of the 19th century, Qajar Iran had to cede the region as a result of the two Russo-Persian Wars of that century to Imperial Russia. Ancient kingdoms of the region included Armenia, Albania and Iberia, later, the Orthodox Christian Kingdom of Georgia dominated most of Transcaucasia. The region was conquered by the Seljuk, Mongol, Turkic, Safavid, Ottoman, Afsharid. The 1826-1828 conquerings were confirmed in the 1828 Treaty of Turkmenchay, in 1801, what is now Georgia was formally incorporated into the Russian Empire. After 1828-1829 war, Ottomans ceded Western Georgia except Adjaria, which was known as Sanjak of Batum, finally after Russo-Turkish War, Russians completed conquest of Transcaucasus. In 1844, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were combined into a single czarist government-general, Transcaucasia, in particular where modern-day Turkey, Georgia, Armenia and Iran are located, is one of the native areas of the wine-producing vine Vitis vinifera. Some experts speculate that Transcaucasia may be the birthplace of wine production, archaeological excavations and carbon dating of grape seeds from the area have dated back to 7000–5000 BC. Wine found in Iran has been dated to c. 7400 BC and c. 5000 BC, the earliest winery, dated to c. 4000 BC, was found in Armenia
2. Caucasus Mountains – The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Caucasus region. The Caucasus Mountains include the Greater Caucasus in the north and Lesser Caucasus in the south, the Greater Caucasus runs west-northwest to east-southeast, from the Caucasian Natural Reserve in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea nearly to Baku on the Caspian Sea. The Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the Greater about 100 km south, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges are connected by the Likhi Range, and to the west and east of the Likhi Range lie the Colchis Plain and the Kur-Araz Lowland. The Meskheti Range is a part of the Lesser Caucasus system, in the southeast the Aras River separates the Lesser Caucasus from the Talysh Mountains which straddle the border of southeastern Azerbaijan and Iran. The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbrus in the Greater Caucasus, Mountains near Sochi hosted part of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Geologically, the Caucasus Mountains belong to a system that extends from southeastern Europe into Asia, the Greater Caucasus Mountains are mainly composed of Cretaceous and Jurassic rocks with the Paleozoic and Precambrian rocks in the higher regions. Some volcanic formations are found throughout the range, on the other hand, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are formed predominantly of the Paleogene rocks with a much smaller portion of the Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks. The Caucasus Mountains formed largely as the result of a plate collision between the Arabian plate moving northwards with respect to the Eurasian plate. As this happened, the rocks that had been deposited in this basin from the Jurassic to the Miocene were folded to form the Greater Caucasus Mountains. This collision also caused the uplift and the Cenozoic volcanic activity in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, the entire region is regularly subjected to strong earthquakes from this activity. While the Greater Caucasus Mountains have a mainly folded sedimentary structure, the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau in Georgia and the surrounding volcanic ranges which extend well into central Armenia are some of the youngest features of the region. The Kazbek is no active, but the Elbrus erupted in postglacial times. Contemporary seismic activity is a prominent feature of the region, reflecting active faulting, clusters of seismicity occur in Dagestan and in northern Armenia. Many devastating earthquakes have been documented in historical times, including the Spitak earthquake in December 1988 which destroyed the Gyumri-Vanadzor region of Armenia, europes highest mountain is Mount Elbrus 5,642 m in the Caucasus Mountains. Elbrus is 832 m higher than Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps at 4,810 m, the Caucasus Mountains are defined as the continental divide between Asia and Europe for the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. The table below lists some of the highest peaks of the Caucasus, with the exception of Shkhara, the heights are taken from Soviet 1,50,000 mapping. There are higher and more prominent, but nameless, peaks than some of the peaks included below, the climate of the Caucasus varies both vertically and horizontally. Temperature generally decreases as elevation rises, average annual temperature in Sukhumi, Abkhazia at sea level is 15 °C while on the slopes of Mt. Kazbek at an elevation of 3,700 metres, average annual temperature falls to−6.1 °C
3. Black Sea – The Black Sea is a body of water between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, bounded by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. It is supplied by a number of rivers, such as the Danube, Dnieper, Rioni, Southern Bug. The Black Sea has an area of 436,400 km2, a depth of 2,212 m. It is constrained by the Pontic Mountains to the south and by the Caucasus Mountains to the east, the longest east-west extent is about 1,175 km. The Black Sea has a water balance, that is, a net outflow of water 300 km3 per year through the Bosphorus. Mediterranean water flows into the Black Sea as part of a two-way hydrological exchange, the Black Sea drains into the Mediterranean Sea and then the Atlantic Ocean, via the Aegean Sea and various straits. The Bosphorus Strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and these waters separate Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The Black Sea is also connected to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch, the water level has varied significantly. Due to these variations in the level in the basin. At certain critical water levels it is possible for connections with surrounding water bodies to become established and it is through the most active of these connective routes, the Turkish Straits, that the Black Sea joins the world ocean. When this hydrological link is not present, the Black Sea is a basin, operating independently of the global ocean system. Currently the Black Sea water level is high, thus water is being exchanged with the Mediterranean. The Turkish Straits connect the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea, and comprise the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Black Sea as follows, On the Southwest. The Northeastern limit of the Sea of Marmara, a line joining Cape Takil and Cape Panaghia. Strabos Geographica reports that in antiquity, the Black Sea was often just called the Sea, for the most part, Graeco-Roman tradition refers to the Black Sea as the Hospitable sea, Εὔξεινος Πόντος Eúxeinos Póntos. This is a euphemism replacing an earlier Inhospitable Sea, Πόντος Ἄξεινος Póntos Áxeinos, strabo thinks that the Black Sea was called inhospitable before Greek colonization because it was difficult to navigate, and because its shores were inhabited by savage tribes. The name was changed to hospitable after the Milesians had colonized the southern shoreline and it is also possible that the epithet Áxeinos arose by popular etymology from a Scythian word axšaina- unlit, dark, the designation Black Sea may thus date from antiquity. A map of Asia dating to 1570, entitled Asiae Nova Descriptio, from Abraham Orteliuss Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, english-language writers of the 18th century often used the name Euxine Sea to refer to the Black Sea
4. Caspian Sea – The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the worlds largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is in a basin located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, the Caspian Sea lies to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the vast steppe of Central Asia. In its northern part, the Caspian Depression lies 28 to 130 m below sea level, the sea bed in the southern part reaches as low as 1023 m below sea level, which is the second lowest natural depression on earth after Lake Baikal. The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness, the sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It has a salinity of approximately 1. 2%, about a third of the salinity of most seawater, the word Caspian is derived from the name of the Caspi, an ancient people who lived to the southwest of the sea in Transcaucasia. Strabo wrote that to the country of the Albanians belongs also the territory called Caspiane, which was named after the Caspian tribe, as was also the sea, but the tribe has now disappeared. Moreover, the Caspian Gates, which is the name of a region in Irans Tehran province, the Iranian city of Qazvin shares the root of its name with that of the sea. In fact, the traditional Arabic name for the sea itself is Bahr al-Qazwin, in classical antiquity among Greeks and Persians it was called the Hyrcanian Ocean. In Persian antiquity, as well as in modern Iran, it is known as the دریای خزر, Daryā-e Khazar, ancient Arabic sources refer to it as Baḥr Gīlān meaning the Gilan Sea. Turkic languages refer to the lake as Khazar Sea, in Turkmen, the name is Hazar deňizi, in Azeri, it is Xəzər dənizi, and in modern Turkish, it is Hazar denizi. An exception is Kazakh, where it is called Каспий теңізі, old Russian sources call it the Khvalyn or Khvalis Sea after the name of Khwarezmia. In modern Russian, it is called Каспи́йское мо́ре, Kaspiyskoye more, the Caspian Sea, like the Black Sea, Namak Lake, and Lake Urmia, is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea. It became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to tectonic uplift and a fall in sea level. Due to the current inflow of water, the Caspian Sea is a freshwater lake in its northern portions, and is most saline on the Iranian shore. Currently, the salinity of the Caspian is one third that of Earths oceans. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world, the coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct regions, the Northern, Middle, and Southern Caspian
5. Abkhazia – Abkhazia is a partially recognised state on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus Mountains, south of Russia and northwest of Georgia proper. It covers 8,660 square kilometres and has a population of around 240,000, the separatist Abkhazian polity, formally the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny, is recognised only by Russia and a small number of other countries. The status of Abkhazia is an issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict. The region enjoyed autonomy within Soviet Georgia at the time when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the late 1980s, despite the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the dispute remained unresolved. The long-term presence of a United Nations Observer Mission and a Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States peacekeeping force failed to prevent the flare-up of violence on several occasions. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia declared Abkhazia a Russian-occupied territory, the Abkhazians call their homeland Аҧсны, popularly etymologised as a land/country of the soul, yet literally meaning a country of mortals. It possibly first appeared in the century in an Armenian text as Psin. The state is designated as the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny. The Russian Абхазия is adapted from the Georgian აფხაზეთი, in Mingrelian, Abkhazia is known as აბჟუა or სააფხაზო. Between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia was part of the ancient Georgian kingdom of Colchis and this kingdom was subsequently absorbed in 63 BC into the Kingdom of Egrisi, known to Byzantine Roman sources as Lazica. Classical authors described various peoples living in the region and the multitude of languages they spoke. Arrian, Pliny and Strabo have given accounts of the Abasgoi and Moschoi peoples somewhere in modern Abkhazia on the shore of the Black Sea. Around the mid 6th century AD, the Byzantines and the neighbouring Sassanid Persia fought for supremacy over Abkhazia for 20 years, Abkhazia, or Abasgia in classic sources, formerly part of Colchis and later of Egrisi until the late 690s, was a princedom under Byzantine authority. The country was mostly Christian, with the seat in Pityus. An Arab incursion into Abkhazia led by Marwan II, was repelled by Leon I jointly with his Egrisian and Kartlian allies in 736, after acquiring Egrisi via a dynastic union in the 780s the Kingdom of Abkhazia was established and became a dominant power in western Caucasus. During this period the Georgian language replaced Greek as the language of literacy, the western Georgian kingdom flourished between 850 and 950 when it annexed significant parts of central Georgia. In the 16th century, after the break-up of the Georgian Kingdom into small kingdoms and principalities, since the 1570s, when the Ottoman navy occupied the fort of Tskhumi, Abkhazia came under the influence of the Ottoman Empire and Islam. Under Ottoman rule, the majority of Abkhaz elite converted to Islam, the principality retained a degree of autonomy
6. Armenia – Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia, Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia, in the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion, in between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation. The official date of adoption of Christianity is 301 AD. The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century, under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the fell in 1045. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, during World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the worlds oldest national church, as the countrys primary religious establishment. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD, Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which was proclaimed in 1991, the native Armenian name for the country is Հայք. The name in the Middle Ages was extended to Հայաստան, by addition of the Persian suffix -stan, the further origin of the name is uncertain. It is also postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina, the ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a descendant of Hayk
7. Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic state in the Muslim orient world. The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920 as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, the modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, prior to the official dissolution of the USSR in December 1991. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. These regions are recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic, the country is a member state of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the NATO Partnership for Peace program. It is one of six independent Turkic states, a member of the Turkic Council. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations and it is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Its term of office began on 19 June 2006, Azerbaijan is also a member state of the Non-Aligned Movement, holds observer status in World Trade Organization and is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union. The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all political forces in the country are secularist. However, the majority of the population are of a Shiite Muslim background, Azerbaijan has a high level of human development which ranks on par with most Eastern European countries. It has a rate of economic development and literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. According to the Davos World Economic Forum, Azerbaijans economy has scored 37th place within 138 countries in 2016, Global Competitiveness Index 2015 indicates that Azerbaijan scores highest in its region. ASAN services, established with Presidential Decree, are known for eliminating bribery. ASAN Service has been awarded with United Nations Public Service Award 2015, the ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses. The original etymology of name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism. In the Avesta, Frawardin Yasht, there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, the name Atropates itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old Iranian, probably Median, compounded name with the meaning Protected by the Fire or The Land of the Fire
8. Georgia (country) – Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi, Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres, and its 2016 population is about 3.72 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy, during the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity in the early 4th century, a unified Kingdom of Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 12th and early 13th centuries. Thereafter the kingdom declined and eventually disintegrated under hegemony of various powers, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire. Russian rule over Georgia was eventually acknowledged in various treaties with Iran. Since the establishment of the modern Georgian republic in April 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil, the countrys Western orientation soon led to the worsening of relations with Russia, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian War in August 2008. Georgia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and it contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and a part of the international community consider the regions to be part of Georgias sovereign territory under Russian military occupation. Georgia probably stems from the Persian designation of the Georgians – gurğān, in the 11th and 12th centuries adapted via Syriac gurz-ān/gurz-iyān, starting with the Persian word gurğ/gurğān, the word was later adopted in numerous other languages, including Slavic and West European languages. This term itself might have established through the ancient Iranian appellation of the near-Caspian region. The self-designation used by ethnic Georgians is Kartvelebi, the medieval Georgian Chronicles present an eponymous ancestor of the Kartvelians, Kartlos, a great-grandson of Japheth. However, scholars agree that the word is derived from the Karts, the name Sakartvelo consists of two parts. Its root, kartvel-i, specifies an inhabitant of the core central-eastern Georgian region of Kartli, ancient Greeks and Romans referred to early western Georgians as Colchians and eastern Georgians as Iberians. Today the full, official name of the country is Georgia, before the 1995 constitution came into force the countrys name was the Republic of Georgia. The territory of modern-day Georgia was inhabited by Homo erectus since the Paleolithic Era, the proto-Georgian tribes first appear in written history in the 12th century BC. The earliest evidence of wine to date has found in Georgia. In fact, early metallurgy started in Georgia during the 6th millennium BC, the classical period saw the rise of a number of early Georgian states, the principal of which was Colchis in the west and Iberia in the east
9. Republic of Artsakh – Nagorno-Karabakh, officially the Republic of Artsakh, is an unrecognised republic in the South Caucasus. The region is considered by the UN to be part of Azerbaijan, the dispute was largely shelved after the Soviet Union established control over the area and created the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast within the Azerbaijan SSR in 1923. During the fall of the Soviet Union, the region re-emerged as a source of dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, in 1991, a referendum held in the NKAO and the neighbouring Shahumian region resulted in a declaration of independence. Large-scale ethnic conflict led to the 1991–1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War, which ended with a ceasefire that left the current borders, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is a semi-presidential democracy with a unicameral legislature. Its reliance on Armenia means that in many ways it functions de facto as part of Armenia, the country is very mountainous, averaging 1,097 metres above sea level. The population is predominantly Christian, most being affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church, several historical monasteries are popular with tourists, mostly from the Armenian diaspora, as most travel can take place only between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is a democracy, whereby the executive power resides with both the President and the Prime Minister. The president is elected for a maximum of two-consecutive five-year terms. The current President is Bako Sahakyan, in the most recent presidential elections, held on 19 July 2012, Sahakyan was reelected to a second term. The President appoints a potential Prime Minister who is approved by a majority vote in the National Assembly. The National Assembly is a unicameral legislature and it has 33 members who are elected for 5-year terms. Three organisations have members in the parliament, the Democratic Party of Artsakh has 18 members, Free Motherland has 8 members, Nagorno-Karabakh is heavily dependent on Armenia, and in many ways de facto functions and is administered as part of Armenia. On 3 November 2006, the then-President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Arkadi Ghukasyan and it was held on 10 December of the same year and voters overwhelmingly approved the new constitution. According to official results, with a turnout of 87. 2%. The First article of the document describes the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a sovereign, more than 100 non-governmental international observers and journalists who monitored the poll evaluated it positively, stating that it was held to a high international standard. Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terry Davis asserted that the poll will not be recognized, and is therefore of no consequence. The outcome was also criticised by Turkey, which traditionally supports Azerbaijan because of common ethnic Turkic roots, another referendum was held on 20 February 2017, with a 87. 6% vote in favour on a 76% turnout for instituting a new constitution. The new name implies a claim to the areas controlled beyond the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, the referendum is seen as a response to the 2016 Nagorno-Karabakh clashes
10. South Ossetia – It has a population of 53,000 people which live in an area of 3,900 km2, south of the Russian Caucasus, with 30,000 living in its capital city of Tskhinvali. South Ossetia declared independence from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, the Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetias autonomy and trying to re-establish its control over the region by force. The crisis escalation led to the 1991–92 South Ossetia War, Georgian fighting against those controlling South Ossetia occurred on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008. The latter conflict led to the Russo–Georgian War, during which Ossetian and Russian forces gained full de facto control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. In the wake of the 2008 war, Russia, followed by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Georgia and a significant part of the international community consider South Ossetia to be occupied by the Russian military. South Ossetia relies heavily on military, political and financial aid from Russia, Russia does not allow European Union Monitoring Mission monitors to enter South Ossetia. South Ossetia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Abkhazia are sometimes referred to as post-Soviet frozen conflict zones, the Ossetians are believed to originate from the Alans, a Sarmatian Iranian tribe. In the 17th century, Ossetians started migration from the North Caucasus to Georgia, Ossetian peasants, who were migrating to the mountainous areas of the South Caucasus, often settled in the lands of Georgian feudal lords. The Georgian King of the Kingdom of Kartli permitted Ossetians to immigrate, in the 1770s there were more Ossetians living in Kartli than ever before. This period has been documented in the diaries of Johann Anton Güldenstädt who visited Georgia in 1772. The Baltic German explorer called modern North Ossetia simply Ossetia, while he wrote that Kartli was populated by Georgians, Güldenstädt also wrote that the northernmost border of Kartli is the Major Caucasus Ridge. The Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, part of which was the territory of modern South Ossetia, was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1801. Following the Russian revolution, the area of modern South Ossetia became part of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, although the Ossetians were initially discontented with the economic policies of the central government, the tension soon transformed into ethnic conflict. The first Ossetian rebellion began in February 1918, when three Georgian princes were killed and their land was seized by the Ossetians, the central government of Tiflis retaliated by sending the National Guard to the area. However, the Georgian unit retreated after they had engaged the Ossetians, Ossetian rebels then proceeded to occupy the town of Tskhinvali and began attacking ethnic Georgian civilian population. During uprisings in 1919 and 1920, the Ossetians were covertly supported by Soviet Russia, but even so, were defeated. Between 3,000 and 7,000 Ossetians were killed during the crushing of the 1920 uprising, according to Ossetian sources ensuing hunger, the drawing of administrative boundaries of the South Ossetian AO was quite a complicated process. Many Georgian villages were included within the South Ossetian AO despite numerous protests by the Georgian population, while the city of Tskhinvali did not have a majority Ossetian population, it was made the capital of the South Ossetian AO
11. Transcaucasian mole vole – The Transcaucasian mole vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, the karyotype has a low, odd, diploid number, 2n =17, X