The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
19 Points

Abkhazia and South Ossetia should not be independent from Georgia

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,673 times Debate No: 12167
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (5)




In August, 2008, the Russian Federation recognised the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia following the crushing defeat of the Georgian army during the Second War in South Ossetia. Since then, this act has been followed by Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru.

However, I do not believe those so-called republics should be independent. First of all, there is no historical background to support the independence of the regions from the Georgian center. Also, it must be argued that it would be the worst situation for the Caucasus if these lands do get their independence, since it would bring a never-ending conflict between Georgians, Ossetians, and Abkhazs. Finally, I believe Abkhazia and South Ossetia's population are not aware of their own cultural and historical background and it would be a tragedy once they learn the truth about Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts.


I would like to thank my opponent, Crevaux, for providing me with the opportunity to debate this very interesting topic. I also see that he is new to the site, so I would like to be the first to say, Welcome to DDO!

I will begin with a summary and rebuttal to Pro's first round. I will then make my own case.

Crevaux opposes the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as legitimate sovereign nations. His argument is as follows:
1. "There is no historical background to support the independence" of these regions from Georgia.
2. The independence of these regions is not in the best interest of the Caucasus because it will lead to conflict.
3. The population of the regions in question are not aware of their own cultural and historical background.

I will respond to each point in the order that they are listed.

1A. The history of the region does indeed support independence for these regions - especially recent history. South Ossetia attempted to secede from Georgia almost immediately after Georgia became independent from the Soviet Union. Georgia became independent in 1991. The same year, Ossetians in South Ossetia tried to secede, leading to armed conflict from 1991 - 1992. (

Conflict between the two ethnic groups dates back even further. In 1921, South Ossetia and Georgia were both independent nations. Ossetians asserted their independence as a Soviet Republic. Georgia did not recognize their independence and attacked the region, viewing it as an uprising. Ossetians view this as the first genocide committed by the Georgians. South Ossetia soon allied with the Soviets and the Red Army conquered and annexed Georgia. ( - 4.2: History, para 15 - 19).

Of course, we all know about the secession of South Ossetia in 2008.

These conflicts clearly shows that there is a history of animosity between these two ethnic groups. Therefore, the historical background supports an independent South Ossetia.

1B. What about Abkhasia? The Abkhaz people also have a history of conflict with Georgians. The War in Abkazia in 1992 - 1993, like the conflict a year earlier in South Ossetia, was an attempt at secession by the Abkhaz. This onflict is marked by many human rights violations reported by both sides, culminating in the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in the region. Like the Ossetians, this history of violence and conflict between the two ethnic groups contradicts the claim by Pro. (

2. There is already a great deal of conflict in the region, as shown by a total of four separatist movements in the span of 17 years (1991 - 1992; 1992 - 1993; and two simultaneously in 2008). The number conflicts will likely decrease as a result of the independent status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Abkhazians and Ossetians will have no reason to stir up trouble because they have what they want - autonomy. Georgians are unlikely to invade either region since they both have the support of Russia's army, and the west has already shown that it will not support Georgia militarily. If the two regions remained a part of Georgia, then conflict will almost certainly continue.

Georgian domination of the Abkhaz and the Ossetians may be in the best interest of the Georgians, but it is certainly not in the best interest of all of the Caucasus.

3. This is a bit of an absurd and unsubstantiated claim. If Pro wishes to claim that the Abkhaz and Ossetian people do not know their own history and culture, he is going to have to provide some strong evidence. Otherwise, we have no reason to suspect that these ethnic groups are not more aware of their own history and culture than are we.


The following are just a couple of the reasons why Abkhazia and South Ossetia should be independent from Georgia.

A decline in conflict, separatist and ethnic, in the region. As mentioned above, independence for these two regions will cause violence and conflict to decline.

I have shown that there is not a shared history or culture between these groups. Since there is no shared culture, why should each ethnic group not have the ability to govern themselves as they see fit? Why should the Georgians be allowed to dominate them and impose their culture and law on Ossetians and Abkhaz? If the Ossetians and the Abkhaz were alright with it and accepted Georgian rule then it would be a different story. But as we have seen, both regions do not want to accept Georgian rule and have violently resisted it.

In the west we value the principle of self determination. So why does Pro deny this same principle to the Abkhaz and the Ossetians?
Debate Round No. 1


First of all, I would like to thank Con for his warm welcome and I wish him to have a good debate with I.

I will also summarize the points Con is trying to make and the arguments he is using, before continuing the debate. His arguments are as follows:
1. There is a historical background for the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Tbilisi as the two have already entered into separatist conflicts in the past.
2. The independence of those regions would actually make the Caucasus calmer.
3. The Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples are aware of their history and do truly want their independence.
4. The inhabitants of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have a right to self-determination.

Now, I will equally debate those points in the order they have been listed.

1. The fact that there has already been separatist conflicts between the two peoples and Georgia does not mean there is a "historical background" for the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is true that South Ossetia had already seceded from Tbilisi in 1991, but this does not imply that Ossetians have ever been independent in the past. I also agree that there was a ethnical conflict between Ossetians and Georgians in 1918-1921, but South Ossetia was NOT independent at that time, it was a part of the Gori district of the Georgian Democratic Republic. There was a conflict because Ossetians were supporting Bolsheviks and had nothing to do with the ethno of the minority (in fact, the Georgian administration had good relations with non-Bolshevik ethnos, such as Armenians, Azeris, Muslims, and even Abkhazs), and the Georgians were right, as in 1920, Ossetians would rise a red flag over the Georgian city of Tskhinvali, raided Gori, and blocked the Surami tunnel, crucial link between Eastern and Western Georgia which had nothing to do with South Ossetia's geographic claims, while many former rebel leaders will help the Soviets invade Georgia in 1921. There was no "genocide" of Ossetians by Georgia. In fact, there were much more ethnic Georgians killed in 1992 than Georgians.

Also, there is the issue of Abkhazia. Abkhazia did secede in 1992, but only because the local legislative body was only made up of ethnic Abkhazs and Russians, who agreed to vote secretly for the independence while the Georgian deputies, who represented the majority of the organ, were in vacation.

In 1919, Abkhazia's (which was a part of Georgia) parliament entered into a political crisis as a part of its Abkhaz pro-Bolshevik members decided to secede in order to enter Soviet Russia, but the fact that they were in a minority allowed pro-Georgian Abkhazs to take control of the region and the Georgians gave autonomy to Abkhazia.

2. I am not sure of your claim that conflicts will decrease in case of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence. At least, not for South Ossetia. There is litteraly no natural border between Georgia and South Ossetia. People from both sides cross the political frontier everyday to sell their products on local markets. Villages are divided in two by the Russian military and South Ossetian militia posts. And every time crossing happens, South Ossetian authorities arrest people for "illegaly crossing the border" or "spying on behalf of Georgia". This doesn't create an appeasement situation. As of today, there is at least 2,500 Georgians living in South Ossetia. For there to be peace, the 15,000 Georgian IDPs that followed the 2008 war will need to go back in their homes, while another 10,000 Georgian refugees coming from the 1990s conflict will have to get back, too, if South Ossetia wants to join the U.N. The population shift would thus make the Georgian population go up to almost 30% of South Ossetia's entire population. This is a lot and, considering the nationalism that both the Georgians and Ossetians have, neither one of them will agree to live peacefully together, as one will claim that the other is usurpating its historical lands.

Moreover, take a look at this quote of the Ossetian scholar Vasil Abaev, "No authorities of Georgia will agree with this [the separation of South Ossetia]. And they will be right, because this will mean violation of Georgia's territorial integrity [...] Who wants peace between South Ossetians and Georgians, should reject for ever the idea of South Ossetia joining North Ossetia. Who wants peace between Georgia and Russia, should also put this idea aside. This is the reality." (

And this argument can also be argued with Abkhazia. In case of worldwide recognition of Abkhazia, the country's authorities will have to agree with the return of some 250,000 ethnic Georgians expelled from Abkhazia in 1993 and 2008. In case they do return, which is supposed to happen in the near future, the Georgian population would make up more than 50% of the total population of Abkhazia, which is also a lot and again, won't allow a peaceful situation to come into force unless Abkhazia joins Georgia back.

Moreover, in a historical point of view, Georgia was seen as a guardian of peace in the entire Caucasus. That is how she was known in the Middle Ages, as well as during the Soviet Union. That is why Russia started its annexation of the Caucasus in 1801 with that of Georgia, before invading North-Caucasus. This is because of facts that are above of realpolitik and above of some Moscow or Washington politics and can only be explained by long-aging cultural and spiritual ties between all the Caucasian peoples and Georgia. Keeping Georgia unable to achieve her mission is a mistake, as has shown the many wars in Chechnya, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Karabagh, Ingushetia, and others, all somehow provoked by Russia.

3. I will keep claiming my point that Abkhazs and Ossetians aren't aware of their true background because of the fact that they believe Georgia was an imperialistic country in the Middle-Ages and invaded their lands in that period. The truth is different : Ossetians came into South Ossetia in the 17-18th century, while Abkhazs are ethnically more related to ethnic-Georgian Mingrelian and Svan tribes than anything else. Children's history textbooks are deliberatly changed, all old maps drawn by European travelers in the 17th century are being taken off the historical sources and changed by 20th century Russian-drawn maps. (You can check here

4. I agree with Con on the fact that self-determination is an important doctrine, but so is territorial integrity. For the Ossetians, self-determination cannot be argued as the Ossetian nation already has its historical home in today's North Ossetia-Alania. They came into Georgian lands from the 17th century all the way to the 20th century. Look, for instance, the unbelievable increase of the Ossetian population in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, where, at the time of the establishment of the autonomous region by Moscow in 1922, there were only 613 Ossetians against 1,436 Georgians, against 12,432 Ossetians in 1959 and 4,652 Georgians. This shows that a policy of 'Ossetianization' obviously occured in Georgian lands. On the other hand, Abkhazs were made to believe by Russian imperial authorities that their nation was different from that of Georgians' in the 19th century. But culturally, religiously, and even ethnically, most Abkhazs are Georgians and Abkhazia is a part of the Georgian nation.

In the West, we also value the principle of territorial integrity. So why is it that Georgia is not able to benefit from this principle and has to suffer the division of its territory, while 300,000 Georgians are now living in poor conditions and even in the streets all around Georgia because they cannot live in their fathers' homes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. I do not believe any culture believe in such a doctrine...

I look forward for a deep answer coming from Con.


Thank you, Pro, for your quick and able response in the second round of debate. I apologize for the delay in posting my argument. I have been quite busy is recent days.

I will continue responding to each point in the same order as they appear above.

a) I see now that by "historical background for independence" he meant prior status as a sovereign nation. On this point, it depends... At what point do you call a region an independent state?
Is it when they claim independence and then exercise autonomy? This is generally how Americans view their own history. We consider the Declaration of Independence as the mark of the beginning of our status as a sovereign nation.
Or is a nation considered independent only when they are recognized as such by the international community? As Pro surely knows, that would change our own understanding of when our nation became independent.

This point is relevant to this debate because South Ossetia declared its indeendence from Georgia on June 8, 1920. This was followed by the armed conflict mentioned in my first round, point 1A ( - 4.2: History, para. 16). This contradicts the claim by Pro that South Ossetia has never been independent.

b) The other main point to be taken under this heading is that the two ethnic groups are distinct. I hope that the reader will note that Pro agrees here. If he agrees that Ossetians and Georgians are different, then Ossetians deserve self determination.

c) Pro goes on to show that many more ethnic Georgians were cleansed in South Ossetia in the 1921 and 1991 conflicts. This actually helps my case, not his. It is irrelevant as to who was better at violating human rights. The point is that there is a volatile past that will likely continue in a similar fashion unless South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain independent from Georgia.

Pro says that he is not sure about my claim that conflict will decrease. I will restate my hypothesis because I do not feel that it was sufficiently addressed. Conflict will decrease with independence because South Ossetia and Abkazia have the backing of a major military force (Russia). Georgia does not have similar backing from a large military power. This will serve as a disincentive for Georgian attacks on the two breakaway regions.

As for population shifts. Pro is assuming that all of the refugees from the conflict in the 1990s and 2000s will want to return to a S. Ossetia under S. Ossetian government, thus making the population of S. Ossetia 30% Georgian. This seems highly optimistic. Even if they do return and violence follows, the principle of self determination for S. Ossetians is more important than complete peace. If the S. Ossetians are willing to fight off aggression from Georgian nationals in exchange for their independence, then that is their choice. The same concept applies to Abkhaz as well.

Pro claims that Georgia's role historically was to be the guardian of peace in the Caucasus. That may be the role that they assign to themselves. That may even be the role that much of the Caucasus assign to them for much of their history. This raises questions as to how they managed to guard this peace. Was it through oppression of the other ethnic groups? Did they repress nationalist movements like they did in 1921, the early 1990s, and attempted to do in the late 2000s? Georgians are certainly not viewed as the guardians of peace in these two regions today. Today they are accused of genocide and other human rights violations.

I will note that the source provided by Pro is a Georgian source. We can expect that the writer will be biased in favor of Georgia. Unfortunately, the article does not cite or link to any of the historical evidence that the author claims exists. Are we supposed to just take the word of a Georgian nationalist that Georgian history has been peachy and that the Abkhaz and Ossetians have been happy under their rule for centuries? The author repeatedly claims that the historical data that they DO use is misinterpreted. Since we can't see the data in question, why should we not believe that it is simply a different interpretation of the same data? Why does one perspective have to be wrong?

Even if this is true, it does not reflect the feelings and views of Ossetians and the Abkhaz today.

I hope that the reader will note that Pro values the principle of self determination.

Where we disagree is on which s more important, self determination or territorial integrity. I will agree that territorial integrity is quite important. However, in this case, self determination trumps it.

Pro's argument centers around the fact that an Ossetian and Abkhaz majority in each region is a recent phenomenon. The influx came between the 17th century and the 20th century - the majority occurring in the 20t century.

Let us take the Ossetian example. Pro points out that Ossetians have spilled into S. Ossetia between 1922 (when they were a small minority) and 1959 (when they became an overwhelming majority). It is my position that it matters not what the population USED to be. Take, for example, North America. Prior to 1492 there were almost no Europeans in N. America. Native Americans made up an overwhelming majority until the late 1700s. Does Pro advocate that N. American nations should return these lands to the natives?

There are numerous other examples of population shifts that changes the politics of a region. Tejas-Texas (1830s) is just one such examples.

If Georgians wished to maintain a Georgian majority in each of these regions then they should have had more strict immigration laws and enforcement. Abkhaz and Ossetians legally moved into these regions and the politics changed. Prior to this population shift the regions may have accepted Georgian rule. Now they do not.
Debate Round No. 2


Crevaux forfeited this round.


Pro missed the third round of debate, which is unfortunate. However, there are plenty of more rounds left n this debate. I ask the reader to not penalize Pro.

My arguments extend.
Debate Round No. 3


I apologize for not answering to the third round - I explained myself in the comments: I had tests to prepare - and thank JBlake for such a polite response to my mistake.

I now have to prove why JBlake's opinion, even though well-argumented, is wrong. So, here is a summary of his arguments for the last round:
*There is a historic background for the independence of South Ossetia as the latter was already independent from Georgia before the 1990s;
*Russia's presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia guarantees peace for the Caucasus. The regions can always fight in case of a significant change in their population diversity.
*The Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples do know their history and the words of a Georgian nationalist should not be taken into account.
*Self-determination is a more important principle than territorial integrity.

=== Historic background ===
Note, by the way, than Con could not find a historical background for Abkhazia's independence.
In order to answer your question, I will use your own source (, which states that in Eastern Europe, a nation is based on mystical values and on cultural principles, differentiating from the Western Hemisphere, where a declaration of independence is enough to give birth to a legitimate state.

In the Caucasus, as well as in the rest of Eastern Europe, there has to be a cultural base for a nation to exist. Now, if you look at Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's histories, you will find only a Georgian background, including churches, ancient scriptures, names of locations, etc. There is no such thing as an old Abkhazian writing in Abkhazia, while for South Ossetia, well there is just no Ossetian presence evidence dating before the Soviet period.

In 1920, Ossetians did declare independence but this was not based on a nationalistic basis, but rather on a Menshevik-Bolshevik conflict, hence the pretense of Ossetians of that time of establishing the "Workers' power" from north Georgia to the middle of the country, that is the city of Gori. So I don't think this counts as a nationalistic position.

=== Conflict ===
Also note that Con neither proves how the Caucasus will be peaceful in case of the regions' independence. He only states that for this to happen, Abkhazia and South Ossetia will have to give up their military institutions and probably more to Russia, which, first of all, doesn't guarantee anything seeing what happened in Chechnya, and is not a very good example of... independence. Moreover, Con agrees that the return of Georgians in the conflict regions, which is a condition for their independence, would rather bring violence than peace there.

As for Georgia's role as a peace mediator in the Caucasus, the conflicts of the 1920s, 1990s, and 2000s have nothing to do with what Georgia achieved in the prior centuries. For Con to know, Georgia actively participated to the cultural development of the North Caucasus, protected Caucasians against Turkish agressors as long as it could do so. It built roads, cities, developed commerce. That is how it had an influence in the whole region and made it possible for Chechens to have relations with Armenians, Abkhazs with Ossetians... in peace. But Russia's imperial policy of "divide to rule" canceled all that and created anti-Georgian feelings among other Caucasian peoples.

=== Ignorance ===
Now, it is a fact that in Abkhazia, historical sources are being written so that Abkhazia is differentiated from the rest of Georgia. So, unless Con has any evidence of the Abkhazian, or Ossetian, historiographic truthfulness, well it is not of my duty to show how propaganda has changed the locals' minds, but rather of JBlake's to show why it hasn't.

And yes, I affirm it is true (for instance, Lakoba's 2007 book on Abkhazia's history). And this fact does change the people's minds, and mostly that of the young and learning generation.

=== Self-Determination v. Territorial Integrity ===
And once again, I do support the principle of self-determination, and I do value the doctrine of territorial integrity at the same time. This is my position, and probably that of the rest of the international community: a people has the right to live in a free nation and has the right to fight for it, as long as it DOES NOT ALREADY HAVE A HOME! And Ossetians do have a home: on the other side of the Caucasus, in a republic named North Ossetia, which is actually the only place where Ossetian history and national culture can be seen. Same thing with the Abkhaz people, who are not actually Abkhaz but Apsua -Abkhaz is the name of a Georgian tribe living in Eastern Georgia, while Apsua is the name of the North Caucasian settlers that came in the 17th-18th centuries. They have their own national home in Cherkessia.

By the way, I believe it is the same thing with Kosovo. The people living there did suffer a tragedy, but Serbia's historical heritage, the only thing it can leave to its children, should not be destroyed, especially when the Albanians actually have their own independent country -Albania.

Now, Con is using the example of Native Americans. It is not the same thing, because there were wars and history just kept going. But now, where is history's hands when a bigger power divides a small nation by forcing hundreds of Ossetian families to enter Georgia. It is not the country's immigration policy's weakness in question but rather, the heritage the Russian and Soviet empires left to such a nation, enslaved by a treason made in 1801.

Now, let me ask JBlake the following hypothetical question. Let us imagine he lives with his wife in a beautiful house. He knows his neighbors are in danger of being killed by someone, so he agrees to hide them at his own house. Weeks pass, and the threat disappears. JBlake offers the neighbors the opportunity to return home, or, if they feel safer there, remain there. However, those neighbours, out of nowhere, just start to destroy JBlake's furnitures. Since they are three (a guy, his wife, and their child) against two, they decide to stay in his house and expel the owner and his wife. Would JBlake just leave and live in the street because those rude neighbours have their right to "self-determination"? Or would he want to return his house?

Think about it.


I would like to thank my opponent for his quick response to the third round of debate. I hope the reader will not penalize him for missing a single round in a five round debate. There is still plenty of space for both of us to make our arguments.


I will address each point in the order that Pro uses above.

=== Historical Background ===

Pro attempts to confuse the point on what makes a legitimate state. It matters not what the mystical values and cultural principles of Eastern Europe constitute legitimacy. We are discussing a legal question, not a mystical or cultural one. If we are to use Pro's logic, then all ethnic groups are stuck in their current state of (possible) oppression forever. They are at the mercy of the government with no way to change things, specially if they are in the minority.

Pro again mentions that the Ossetians and Abkhaz did not make up majorities in the districts in question until fairly recently (within the last century or so). Again I counter that the time frame in which a group becomes a majority is not relevant. The relevant point is that they are the majority AT PRESENT.

Finally, Pro claims that the Ossetians declared independence because of the Menshevik-Bolshevik conflict, not due to nationalist tendency. Once again, relevance is the issue. It does not matter what reason the Ossetians wanted independence from the Georgians. In this case it would seem that they had different ideas as to how the government should operate and treat the working class. This is no less legitimate of a reason for self determination than any other. The point here is that the Ossetians do indeed have a historical background of both independence (1921) and of desiring independence from Georgia (1921, 1991, 2008).

=== Conflict ===
Pro has misrepresented my position on this point. Abkhazia and South Ossetia do not have to give up their military institutions in order to gain protection from Russia. So far, the two regions have determined on their own that they wish to give up some of that control to Russia. This is not much different than the U.S. presence in nation like South Korea and Japan.

Pro states that the recent conflicts are not relevant to the peace achieved by Georgia in past centuries. Think about that for a moment. The Georgians achieved peace in the distant past, but not during the past century. That means the Georgians are no longer able to keep the peace. Additionally, such "arrangements" are usually the result of one ethnic group dominating others (see Russian history). Their role in the past as a "peace keeper" does not entitle them to control the territory of other ethnic groups.

=== Ignorance ===
Pro has challenged me to produce sources proving the history claimed by the Abkhaz and Ossetian version of events. This, of course, would be an impossible undertaking. I neither speak the language, nor do I have access to their historical documents. Besides, it is not my responsibility to show that their interpretation of their own history is correct. I ask the reader to ponder this question: Whose interpretation of the Abkhaz and Ossetian perspective of Caucasus history is more accurate - the Abkaz' and Ossetians'; or their overlords, the Georgians?

=== Self Determination vs. Territorial Integrity ===
This is a legal question, and perhaps the most important issue for this debate. Pro's position is easily refuted. He claims that since the Ossetians already have a home, that the Ossetians in S. Ossetia do not deserve self determination (presumably because they can migrate to N. Ossetia-Alania). That is like saying that the English in N. America in the 1500s - present already have a home in the United Kingdom, so they do not need the U.S. and Canada. The English violated the territorial integrity of the Native Americans. Does Pro advocate returning these lands to their traditional occupants and for the English and French to return to their home in Europe?

Pro once again asserts that the Ossetians and Abkhaz majority in their respective regions is a recent occurrence. However, Ossetian and Abkhaz culture expanded into what used to be a Georgian majority, while the Georgians in these regions migrated away. This is the reality on the ground now. The reality on the ground now is what is relevant to independence, not what the reality used to be over a century ago.

Pro again tries to confuse the question by relating it to personal property. The analogy is not a good one, either. The Abkhaz and Ossetians are not trying to take over the entire nation (house). They are just trying to control their own region. Besides that, the house analogy grossly oversimplifies the question. It does not take into account the changes in demographics and culture over generations.
Debate Round No. 4


I would also like to thank JBlake for his own quick response and his attitude toward my mistake of the third round. This being the last round of our debate, I shall address the issues for the last time.

=== Historical Background ===

I am not trying to confuse anyone by misexplaining the definition of a legitimate state. The point I am doing here is that the world does not work in a single way and the way the United States gained their independence does not constitute the ultimate way for gaining supreme autonomy, especially in such regions as the Caucasus. There is, as your Danish report explained, a mystical origin to the nations of Eastern Europe. It would destabilize the region if a nation just creates itself without centuries of establishment. That is how Georgia was born. And if we are to use this logic, every ethnic group in the Caucasus must have their own motherland. And once again, Ossetians already have their own country, named Alania, in the Northern Caucasus, and taking Georgian lands to make a new Ossetia would just make no sense. It is the same thing with Abkhazs, whose nation is Adyghe.

Con mentions that what matters is what the current population is. Well, sir, it is not. Georgians make up the majority of the population in the Gali and Kodori regions of Abkhazia. Should those regions join Georgia back? If one day, Russians make up the majority in a local district, should the latter be independent too? Etc., etc.

A short-living state, lasting a couple of months, is not a nation. Wishing to be independent is not relevent neither. What matters is the development of a nation in the centuries, not how a political party wanted to separate from the center because of an ideological concept. This has nothing to do with the issue.

=== Conflict ===

Con does not seem to understand what is happening today in those regions. Many reports made by Human Rights Watch, the European Union, and Amnesty International show that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are looking more like North Caucasian Russian republics than independent nations. About 10% of the inhabitants of South Ossetia are Russian soldiers. How can you compare that with South Korea-Japan-US relations?

And to end this part of the debate that doesn't have anything to do with the issue, the role of Georgia as a peacekeeper in the Caucasus is only undemined because Russia wants to overthrow Georgia from this position. And even if it succeeded in doing so, Russia still can't maintain peace in the region. If Russia gave Georgia a chance to retake its position and maintain peace, it would be easy for Tbilisi to do so.

=== Ignorance ===

There is just no Abkhaz or Ossetian sources talking about Abkhazia or South Ossetia as independant countries in the past. Byzantine, French, English, German, Arab, Turkish, Persian, Russian references and maps all show the opposite of what the "History of Abkhazia" by Abkhaz historian Lakoba, taught in Abkhaz schools, is saying. Is that enough of an evidence? Check Byzantine historian Stylitzkes. Crusaders' accounts. Check the real historical sources. And if Con can't verify what I am saying because he cannot read a certain language, it should not be considered as a relevant evidence against me.

=== Self-Determination v. Territorial Integrity ===
I only have a short time to finish my argument so I will short it up. Self-determination is very important, but there is no issue of Ossetians lacking a nation and thus they do not fit the definition of self-determination. What if one day Cubans make up the majority of the inhabitants of South Florida? Would they fit the requirement of self-determination and should they declare independence from the United States? No, and even if the majority of Cubans want so. Because they already have a country, named CUBA.

Con is himself trying to confuse the reader by changing the meaning of house as I put it. In my analogy, the house is actually the region, i.e. South Ossetia or Abkhazia. This is not an oversimplification of the question because, on the contrary of what Con said, there is no Ossetian culture in South Ossetia. Only Georgian churches, scriptures, buildings, etc.

I hope the reader will vote for the best contender and thank again JBlake for this very useful and interesting debate.


Since this is the final round, I would like to thank Crevaux for this interesting debate. Good in the voting, but not too much luck!

=== Historical Background ===

Despite what Pro says about a "mystical origin" requirement for Caucasus independence, there are internationally recognized methods of obtaining legitimacy. The peoples of the Caucasus region should not be given extra requirements.

I hope the reader will note that my point about there being no way for an oppressed minority, such as the Ossetians and Obkhaz, to escape said oppression and separate into a new state by Pro's requirements for statehood.

Pro mentions a few regions that are have a Georgian majority. My response to his question is that if those regions wish to rejoin Georgia, then yes.

Finally, Pro once again misrepresents my position. He tries to take my argument to an extreme and say that a population majority lasting but a few months is not legitimate grounds for changing the boundaries. On that he would be correct, but that is not what I have argued. The Ossetians and Abkhaz have lived in their respective regions for generations, not months.

One final point to reiterate is that I have shown a long historical background of Ossetians and the Abkhaz desiring and fighting the Georgians for independence. These ethnic groups clearly cannot live in peace, so why should they be forced to remain a single nation?

=== Conflict === Ignorance ===

There is nothing more to be said on these topics that has not already been said.

=== Self Determination vs. Territorial Integrity ===

Pro once again makes a claim that have several times countered. An ethnic group is not limited to a singe nation, otherwise the English, Irish, Scots, Germans, etc. living in North America should either migrate back to Europe and give the land back to native tribes, or submit to new governments run by native tribes. The point is, there is no rule or precedent that says that an ethnic group should be limited to one and only one nation. There is plenty of precedent to say otherwise.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Generall 4 years ago
If you look at a census of Abkhazia before and after the 1992 genocide they committed on the Georgians, you will see that ethnic "Abkhazians" only constituted about 20% of the population of the Abkhazia region, while Georgians made up the remaining 80%. Historically Abkhazia has always been part of Georgia, and Georgians have always lived in Abkhazia, because Georgian ARE Abkhazians (I.e people living in Abkhazia). There was no such this as an ethnic Abkhazian movement until Russia invented it. Russia gave weapons to the 20% minority of Abkhazians so that they could commit atrocious genocide on the Georgians, and commit they did- the Georgian population in Abkhazia eerily dropped from over 60,000 in 1990 to less than 1,000 in 1994. There is no such thing as an independent state of "Abkhazia", there never has been, and there never will be. A279;
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
t s not likely that we'll get many votes. When there is a forfeit, the debate does not appear on the front page.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
Not a problem. There are 5 rounds, so we don't lose any space. The debate won't be on the front page, though.
Posted by Crevaux 7 years ago
Sorry to JBlake. I had exams to take, so I couldn't answer you. But don't worry, I'll do the next round :)
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
Neither have I. haha.

This one sounds like it will be interesting.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Damn you JBlake. It's been so long since I was in a debate.
Posted by Volkov 7 years ago
Crevaux, if you limit it to three rounds, I'll gladly take this.
Posted by Zetsubou 7 years ago
If I didn't have an exam I would have taken this.

I agree with Pro but I have some arguments.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
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Vote Placed by Crevaux 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
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