South Ossetia is a Country

In the medical profession there is a term for one who refuses to accept reality and tries to behave as if things were otherwise: it is called “denial”, and it is considered a pathological condition. Geopolitics, unfortunately, is rife with it. To cite but one of many possible examples, South Ossetia (official name: Republic ofContinue reading “South Ossetia is a Country”

Vladikavkaz: Gateway to Ossetia

Pretty much anyone coming to Ossetia will arrive first in Vladikavkaz (Oss. Dzæudzhyqæu), the capital of North Ossetia-Alania. The easiest way is by plane; the airport at Beslan, 14 kilometres north of Vladikavkaz, is served by four or five flights a day from Moscow and a couple of times a week from St. Petersburg. TheyContinue reading “Vladikavkaz: Gateway to Ossetia”

Is Ossetia Safe to Visit?

I was always interested in the northern Caucasus but my impression was that it was a no-go region, plagued by war and terrorism. The government websites of Canada, the US and the UK all warn against travelling there, and the Canadian site says “If you are there, you should leave.” When several years ago IContinue reading “Is Ossetia Safe to Visit?”

Introducing Ossetia

Ossetia is a region of the central Caucasus that is divided between two political entities: North Ossetia-Alania, which is a republic within the Russian Federation, and the Republic of South Ossetia-State of Alania, which is a de facto independent state that declared its independence from Georgia in 1991 and — due to geopolitical factors whichContinue reading “Introducing Ossetia”