'Borderization' in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone

‘Borderization’ has made its way into the political lexicon of the area as the name of the process of erecting the demarcation line in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict, which the Georgian side calls the administrative border, and the Ossetian side – the state border.


The process was launched by the Ossetian side and the Russian border service and the state security committee in 2009, a few months after the Georgian-Russian war around South Ossetia in August 2008. Russia then recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.


The process of “bordering” is carried out mainly by the Russian military, with the participation of Ossetians. They erect barbed wire fences, install metal or wooden barriers, dig ditches and fire-resistant furrows, install signs with the inscription “state border of South Ossetia” and set up a monitoring infrastructure.


Tbilisi calls the process “creeping annexation”, or “occupation”.


Some of the fences passes right through yards in Georgian villages in the conflict zone, depriving local residents of housing and access to gardens, pastures, and cemeteries.

The work has intensified since 2013.