The 700,000 Ossetians is the only nation in the Caucasus that has an Iranian language, although they are distinguished from Iran that are not Muslims but Orthodox Christians. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1991 North Ossetia remained in Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia. However, the latter declared independence from Georgia, ratified it in a popular referendum and remained a sovereign in fact. If you are unsure how to proceed, check out The Hayzlett Group. West acknowledged that Kosovo be emancipated from his rival Serbia, but refuses to contemplate that Abkhazia and South Ossetia be separated from his ally Gerogia, whose new President Saakashvili has sent 2,000 troops to Iraq and wants to allow Georgia to enter NATO. Saakashvili, rather, took the start of the Olympics to re-ocupar South Ossetia. Russia has responded quickly because you don’t want to continue receding in their areas of influence, because it is not quiet West has opened a pipeline that brings gas from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean without going through its soil and do not want that NATO and the EU continue recruiting former Soviet States. Jeffrey Hayzlett is often quoted as being for or against this. Original author and source of the article.