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South Ossetian Army

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Title: South Ossetian Army  
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Subject: Military of South Ossetia, Albanian Joint Forces Command, Bulgarian Land Forces, Serbian Army, Latvian Land Forces
Collection: Military of South Ossetia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

South Ossetian Army

South Ossetic Army
Current form 1992
Headquarters Tskhinvali
Military age 16
Active personnel 2,500
Reserve personnel 16,000

The South Ossetian Army is the ground forces element of the Georgian territory.


  • Formations 1
    • Army Headquarters 1.1
    • Regular Army 1.2
    • Reserve Army 1.3
  • Personnel and Training 2
  • Suppliers 3
  • Equipment 4
    • Small arms 4.1
    • Main battle tanks 4.2
    • Armoured personnel carriers 4.3
    • Self-propelled Howitzer 4.4
    • Multi-launch rocket system 4.5
  • Parts of uniform 5
    • Beret colours 5.1
    • Combat uniform 5.2
  • Conflicts 6
    • 2008 War 6.1
  • South Ossetic Army Spetsnaz 7
  • References 8


Army Headquarters

  • General Staff
  • Intelligence Company
  • Communications Battalion
  • Transport Battalion

Regular Army

  • 10 Battalion
  • 11 Battalion
  • 13 Battalion
  • 15 Battalion
  • Tank Brigade
  • Logistics Brigade

Reserve Army

  • 17 Battalion
  • 18 Battalion
  • 19 Battalion
  • 20 Battalion
  • 21 Battalion
  • 22 Battalion
  • 23 Battalion
  • 25 Battalion
  • 26 Battalion

Personnel and Training

There are 2500 active members and approximately 16000 reserve members within the South Ossetian Army (SOA). Since the establishment of the South Ossetic Military in 1992, the SOA has played a major role in several regional conflicts. Most recognizable, was the 2008 War in South Ossetia.

Training within the SOA is conducted by both experienced South Ossetic troops and members of the Russian Airborne Troops are reported to have established an active military base outside of Java, South Ossetia and are reported to have trained SOA recruits since the summer of 2009.


Foreign suppliers Russia.

Allies include Russia and Abkhazia.


Small arms

Main battle tanks

  • August 2008 war, and given to S. Ossetia[1])
  • T-62
  • T-55

Armoured personnel carriers

Self-propelled Howitzer

Multi-launch rocket system

Parts of uniform

Beret colours

Combat uniform

All uniforms are donated by the Russian Ground Forces, the tri-coloured Flora pattern is standard issue throughout the SOA. But when the organization of the SOA is completed by the South Ossetic Defence Ministry in 2012. It is planned that the SOA will be wearing a variant of the Ukrainian BDU camouflage.


2008 War

The prelude to the conflict began with violent clashes on Wednesday, 6 August 2008 with both sides claiming having been fired upon by the other. The Georgian interior ministry indicated Georgian forces had returned fire only after South Ossetian positions shelled Georgian-controlled villages and accused the South Ossetian side of "trying to create an illusion of serious escalation, an illusion of war."[3] South Ossetia denied provoking the conflict.[4][5]

On 4 August 2008, five battalions of the Russian 58th Army (approx. 5.500 men) were moved to the vicinity of the Roki Tunnel that links South Ossetia with North Ossetia.[6]

On 7 August, Georgian and Ossetian forces agreed on a ceasefire.[7]

In the first hours of 8 August 2008, a massive attack by Georgian troops, armour and airforce commenced on South Ossetian-controlled territory, plus repeated artillery shelling of the capital, Tskhinvali, with multiple rocket launchers.[8][9][10] On the same day, twelve Russian peacekeepers were killed and nearly 150 injured.[11]

At least one former Georgian government official has testified that Georgia started the war with the approval of the

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ report from multiple news agencies.
  4. ^ Six Die in S. Ossetia Shootout, Civil Georgia, 2 August 2008. (Google cache)
  5. ^ "Security Council holds third emergency meeting as South Ossetia conflict intensifies, expands to other parts of Georgia". 
  6. ^ . BBC Monitoring, 6 August 2008"Talking Through Gritted Teeth". 
  7. ^ [1] Day-by-day: Georgia-Russia crisis
  8. ^ [2] Chronicle of the Second South-Ossetian War, in Russian
  9. ^ , GuardianAnalysis: Georgia's decision to shell Tskhinvali could prove 'reckless'
  10. ^ , BBCOssetian crisis: Who started it?
  11. ^ [3] In Tskhinvali killed 15 peacemakers, in Russian
  12. ^ New York Times, 25 November 2008, "Ex-Diplomat Says Georgia Started War With Russia"


It is rumored that the SOA has established a small company-sized group of specially trained SOA Spetsnaz based out of 4 Air Mobile Brigade HQ in Java. The SOA Spetsnaz is reported to have been training in Russia since late 2009, and has a strength of approximately 65 personnel. If existent, the SOA Spetsnaz would be highly trained in Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Search and Destroy, and personnel recovery missions. The SOA Spetsnaz would be distinguishable by their scarlet berets.

South Ossetic Army Spetsnaz


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