South Ossetia or Tskhinvali Region is a disputed region and partially recognised state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian SSR of the Soviet Union.
South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in 1990, calling itself the Republic of South Ossetia. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia's 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 Russia–Georgia 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 South Ossetia War, Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru recognised South Ossetia's independence. Georgia does not recognise the existence of South Ossetia as a political entity, including most of the area in its Shida Kartli region, however under the administration of the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia. 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 post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.