[UPDATE]This post has been featured at Sky News. Check out more information here.

[UPDATE]As events occur, I will do my best to add them to the map. It seems that Russia is no longer focusing on South Ossetia, but instead has started attacking all areas of the country of Georgia. The attacks are marked on the map and it can be seen that they are spread throughout the country.

[UPDATE]Cyberattacks have been commencing against various governmental and news organizations for the country of Georgia. The website for the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (mfa.gov.ge) has been defaced, for example. Instead of a website, you are treated to an image of Hitler and Saakashvili. More details (including the image) can be found in this post.

Though the conflict has been going on for some years, today the region of South Ossetia has fallen victim to levels of violence not seen for quite some time.

Russia has decided to attack Georgia for their response against the South Ossetians. Many of whom, Russians say, are still Russian citizens.

It seems a bit too convenient that just a month ago, thousands of troops were meeting with other countries in the region for training exercises called “Immediate Response 2008.” You can see some photos of the event here. In addition, Russia has recently been critical of Georgia for wanting to join up with NATO.

I thought I might be able to get a decent view of the area with Google maps. However, there is very little data for the region. So, as I have done before, I created my own map to further my understanding of what is going on in the region. The map was created through research and the use of a map that was uploaded to Wikipedia detailing the region.

I tried my best to locate the various towns and villages that are scattered throughout the area. In addition, if you click on the View Larger Map link, then you can see the list of conflicts in the order they occurred along the left. I hope that others will be able to use this map to further their understanding of the region and what is really taking place.

In this map, you can find small towns and villages marked with a small green indicator, larger towns with a yellow indicator and capitals marked with reddish indicators. The area known as South Ossetia is highlighted in orange. In addition, if you zoom in, you can see the approximate route that the refugees are most likely taking to flee the area to Russia. The exclamation points mark where conflicts/attacks occurred and the tent-looking images represent military bases that have been attacked:

Now that I have completed the map I feel like I have a much better idea of what is going on over there. I hope that this map will help provide others with the same kind of knowledge.

Please let me know if there are any corrections that need to be made and I would be glad to make them. Also, if you liked this post, please be sure to subscribe to my feed.

  • Hi,

    I’m a journalist working on http://www.skynews.com – your map of South Ossetia is fantastic!

    I wonder whether you’d allow us to use it on our site, we’d obviously give you credit and links etc.

    Can you also tell me where you are based – I’d like to hear more about your perspective on the crisis in Ossetia.

    Kind regards


  • Alex Wierbinski

    Great work on the Ossetia article.

    I run a radical (american rev, the next) website, and I linked to your awesome map, and good article.

    check out my site, I hope you like it as much as I like yours!
    Thanks for the great work,


  • It’s very interesting to know that we can comment on this issue.
    I happen to have a small daughter in TBilissi and very good contacts suh as human rights watch, people who are on the field and know very well how bad the situation is at the moment.
    To many people reading daily freshly publish news on the subject, might be easy to take a site, and blame the Russians for everything.

    From what I know, the governament worries a lot more with spending in weapans, then to spend on social reforms…

    This is an opinion based on facts.

    Caught in the crossfire in Georgia
    by Daily Hampshire Gazette
    There were many clear indications that the Georgian government was planning to wage war against its separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
    Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is full of spies and everyone wants information. Since 2003, Georgia has been something of a U.S. colony controlled by Russian intelligence agencies. The current conflict has much to do with networks of patronage that are linked to the Kremlin and Moscow city government, and it appears that President Mikheil Saakashvili’s mission is to play both sides, especially the U.S., for his own political and financial benefit.
    Within the past year, Georgia experienced a serious political crisis, pitching Saakashvili against the “United Opposition,” a popular movement that grew in numbers after the government violently cracked down on peaceful protesters organized on Tbilisi’s Rustaveli Avenue on Nov. 7, 2007. This sparked the beginning of the end for independent TV news coverage, and occurred during a time of rapid and increased military buildup and authoritarianism in the country. Large-scale protest rallies continued on a daily basis after highly contested presidential elections were held on Jan. 5. Saakashvili, who officially lost the vote in Tbilisi, was re-elected for a second term.
    In the lead-up to the Parliamentary elections on May 21, the Georgian government accelerated a low-level war and secret PR campaign within its two breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This was a time when a small team and I investigated military infrastructure in the process of being constructed by the Georgian Ministry of Defense within the demilitarized zone near the de facto border with Abkhazia, one of Georgia’s breakaway regions. It was evident that concrete plans were being laid for an armed attack supported by a massive disinformation campaign.
    On Election Day itself, Georgian voters from the Gali region of Abkhazia were filmed being shot at while they fled two burning buses. Following an extensive investigation, Human Rights Centre and Norwegian journalists in collaboration with the U.N. determined that this was a staged provocation with the Georgian authorities to blame.
    An even deeper investigation revealed that the Potomac Institute, a U.S. neoconservative think tank, had much to do with the planning and execution of the subversive attack on innocent civilians. Damage control was in full swing
    Staged provocations were not uncommon in Georgia. Lack of sound domestic policies required an external distraction and threat. Saakashvili came to power in 2003 on the promise that he would regain territorial integrity.
    Prior to the heated Parliamentary elections and as his popularity withered, focus had always been drawn to events in the conflict zones, so as to give Saakashvili more airtime, and to mobilize all citizens for the need to protect territorial integrity and drive home the importance of supporting the president.
    Following the elections, many Georgians began to feel betrayed by the West, especially the U.S. for its rubber stamping of yet another contested victory. In an atmosphere of fear and violence, the opposition parties decided to boycott Parliament, essentially leaving a one-party system headed by a one-man band.
    The Georgian government has always had two options regarding the breakaway regions: peaceful conflict resolution or use of force. Both options were supported and encouraged by international stakeholders.
    Confronted with an increased Russian peacekeeping presence and de facto annexation of the breakaway territories, as well as a deep internal political crisis, many believed Saakashvili only had one choice – save face domestically while driving forth U.S. foreign policy objectives before it was too late.
    In mid-June, it appeared that war was unavoidable. A major intelligence leak took place in Tbilisi’s Marriott Hotel. Members of a U.S. military team who described themselves as a 13-member “anti-terrorism unit” who were training Georgians seemed to have all the specifics of the looming war. They talked about their heroic mission as part of the U.S. Train and Equip program, which used the cover of anti-terrorism to get more involved in Georgia; one of them even explained that Aug. 14 was the date slated for an invasion of Abkhazia and said that South Ossetia was going to be a “cake walk.”
    In addition, Davit Kezerashvili, Georgia’s minister of defense, is a former resident of Israel who reportedly has close ties to that country’s Shin Beth secret service. Israel contributed to the buildup by selling mobile rocket systems to Georgia.
    Exchanges of shooting along the borders with the breakaway republics have always occurred, but on Aug. 4 the Georgian army attempted to establish a strategic outpost and artillery battery on a hilltop surrounding Tskinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. They were met with a devastating response by the separatists and 29 Georgian troops were killed. Rocket systems were quickly moved in and the shelling of Tskinvali began on Aug. 8.
    If South Ossetia really had been a “cake walk” as described by the U.S. advisers, then Aug. 14 would have seemed a realistic date for an even larger operation in Abkhazia. It is my understanding that the U.S. military personnel in Tbilisi never expected that the Russians could or would react so quickly.
    The Russians knew that they couldn’t miss the opportunity that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili presented them, which makes me and many Georgians wonder for whom Saakashvili is really working. A number of Georgian parliamentarians secretly hold Russian passports but the government’s connections to Russian military intelligence (GRU) are most shocking and raise serious concerns as to what the true end games are in this mess, the extent of the various side plots and where the U.S. really stands.
    The Russians are now in control of all east-west transportation in Georgia, including rail and oil. Many analysts may be wondering why Georgia’s largest seaport of Batumi saw little aerial bombing from Russia.
    In 2004, during my first visit to the country, Saakasvhili had ousted the leader of Batumi and president of Achara, Aslan Abishidse. However, he has never really lost power and maintains control of the port’s vital infrastructure (including an oil testing lab) from Moscow, along with Moscow Mayor Yuri Lushkov. He is part of the inner network that controls Georgia and the shell game of geopolitical friends and foes.
    Saakasvhili may eventually be overthrown by Georgians who have close contact with Russian intelligence and the international arms and drug trades.
    There is more than meets the eye when discussing the situation in Georgia and the waters become rather murky.

    Ian Carver is a native of Florence who has spent the past two years working in the Georgia Republic as an investigative reporter.