On August 8, Georgia and Russia started a serious fight in a region called South Ossetia in Georgia. The two sides fought for five days, hurting many people in the process. The fighting has stopped for now. Do you know why these countries were at war?
Russia and Georgia were both part of the same country called USSR (also known as the Soviet Union). In 1991, the Soviet Union started splitting into several countries, two of which were Georgia and Russia. A year later, a part of Georgia called South Ossetia tried to break away and create its own country. But other countries did not officially treat it as a new country, and so it is technically still part of Georgia. South Ossetia has not been happy about this and there have been strong disagreements between South Ossetia and the rest of Georgia. This eventually resulted in Georgia attacking South Ossetia on August 8.
Wait, so what does Russia have to do with this? Now many of the people living in South Ossetia have accepted passports that Russia has been offering them. So Russia claimed that it needs to defend those Russian citizens living in South Ossetia, and it went ahead and attacked Georgia. The Russian army is very powerful compared to Georgia’s, and the Georgians withdrew from South Ossetia.
Georgia is famous for its wines – some of the earliest wines known to humans were made in Georgia more than 8,000 years ago! Georgia also has the deepest known cave in the world – the Krubera-Voronia cave. This cave is almost 2 kilometers (1.3 miles) deep, and explorers take several days just to get to the bottom!
Will South Ossetia become a new country? We don’t know, but these events give us a sense of the ups and downs that usually happen before new countries are created.
Image Credits: USEA for Georgia map