Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
region, north-central Georgia. South Ossetia occupies the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountains. The region is populated largely (about two-thirds) by the Ossetes, a Caucasian people speaking an eastern Iranian language. (Many Ossetes also live in the neighbouring republic of North Ossetia-Alania in Russia, which occupies the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus.) Most of the remaining inhabitants of South Ossetia are Georgians. Its capital is Tskhinvali. Pop. (1989) 98,500; (2005 est.) 49,200