One of the first lessons any child learns during their early years in school is geography and civics. At first students are taught the geography of the country they live in, but eventually they are introduced to the world as a whole through textbooks and globes. The location and number of countries in planet Earth has changed numerous times during the course of human history through politics and war. One of the newest nations on planet Earth is South Ossetia.
South Ossetia you say? Don’t be surprised if most people react to the name of this nation with confusion. Most people are likely unaware it even exists, much less where it exists. So the question is where is South Ossetia in the world?
The nation of South Ossetia was first carved out of the map in 1991. South Ossetia is located almost entirely within the independent nation of Georgia. The nation of Georgia is located along the Black Sea in the former Soviet Union. Georgia’s borders come in contact with the Black Sea in the west, Turkey and Armenia in the south, Azerbaijan in the south and east, and Russia to the north.
South Ossetia carved out its borders as a separatist nation from Georgia. The nation is located within the north-central region of Georgia and shares three of its four borders with Georgia as a result. South Ossetia’s northern border is shared with Russia, its biggest ally.
South Ossetia is separated from North Ossetia, a territory that is still part of Russia, by the Caucasus to the north. The Mtkvari River to the south largely serves as the border between South Ossetia and Georgia, though it does not strictly follow the path of the river. South Ossetia lies along the southern edge of the Caucasus, resulting in a nation that is very rugged and mountainous. Most of the land in South Ossetia is located at least 3,281 ft. above sea level with its highest point at Mount Khalatsa reaching 12,920 ft. above sea level.