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South Ossetia is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.
The Republic of South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia in 1990. The Georgian government responded by abolishing South Ossetia's autonomy and trying to retake the region by force. This led to the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War. Georgia tried to retake South Ossetia by force on two other occasions, in 2004 and 2008. The last attempt led to the 2008 South Ossetia war, during which Ossetian separatists and Russian troops gained full, de-facto, control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast.
In the wake of the 2008 South Ossetia War, Nicaragua, Russia, Venezuela and Nauru recognized South Ossetia as an independent republic. Georgia does not recognize South Ossetia's existence as a political entity, and considers most of its territory a part of the Shida Kartli region within Georgian sovereign territory.