Military of South Ossetia

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Military of South Ossetia
Coat of arms of South Ossetia.svg
Service branches

South Ossetian Army

South Ossetian Air Corps
Headquarters Tskhinvali
Supreme Commander in Chief Anatoliy Bibilov
Minister of Defense Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Gazseev
Domestic suppliers  South Ossetia
Foreign suppliers  Russia
Related articles

The Military of South Ossetia is the military of the partially recognised state of South Ossetia, the force numbers about 2,500 men, or 16,000, including reservists.[1]


2008 South Ossetia war[edit]

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]

Partial incorporation into Russian Armed Forces[edit]

In March 2015, members of the Parliament of South Ossetia put forward a proposal to dissolve South Ossetia's military and fold it into the Russian Armed Forces, but the proposal was ultimately rejected by Leonid Tibilov and Defense Minister Ibragim Gassayev. The South Ossetian units were to be incorporated into the Russian military but remain separate units.[7]

On 31 March 2017, defence ministers of the two countries signed agreements whereby some units of the armed forces of South Ossetia would go under Russia′s command.[8]


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:[9][10][11][12][13]

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[edit]


  1. ^ "What will be the outcome of the Georgian-Ossetian war?". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b The Russian Air Force didn't perform well during the conflict in South Ossetia Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies 2008-11-15
  3. ^ Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia(September 2009), 211 Archived February 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Barabanov, Mikhail (2008-09-12). "The August War between Russia and Georgia". Moscow Defense Brief. Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. 3 (13). Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Moscow Defense Brief". Archived from the original on 4 April 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Russia had plan to rebuff Georgian aggression – Putin. The Voice of Russia. August 8, 2012.
  7. ^ Kucera, Joshua (January 19, 2017). "South Ossetia Keeps Its Military, For Now". EurasiaNet. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017. South Ossetia's armed forces will become part of the Russian armed forces but will retain separate units, the self-declared republic's authorities have announced. The plan appears to be a compromise worked out between the de facto leadership in Tskhinvali and their patrons in Moscow [...] In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his de facto South Ossetian counterpart Leonid Tibilov signed an agreement on "alliance and integration" which included a provision calling for "certain units of the armed forces of South Ossetia to enter the structure" of the Russian military. 
  8. ^ Подписано соглашение о вхождении части подразделений армии Южной Осетии в ВС РФ TASS, 31 March 2017.
  9. ^ [1] Archived June 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "— —". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "N 98 (4 2008):  :  :". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "CryptoGSM : СМИ о прослушивании GSM : Грузия : Война в Южной Осетии: сколько на самом деле потеряла Россия". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Статьи: Наука и техника: Расстановка сил". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 

External links[edit]