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Georgia controls S. Ossetia, Abkhazia by 2028

Question

South Ossetia and Abkhazia are two regions on the border of Russia and Georgia. The two regions were under Georgian control after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, though separatist movements in both regions challenged Georgian authority. These tensions reached a climax in the 12-day Russo-Georgian War, after which Russia formally recognized both states as independent nations. Georgia and the vast majority of UN nations regard both states to be part of Georgia, though Georgia does not have control over the regions.

In January 2021, the European Court of Human Rights determined that Russia has held "effective control" of the two regions since August 2008, and is thus responsible for acts of torture and human rights abuses which since occurred there. The court estimated that in 2020, Russia had as many as 1 soldier per 8 residents in South Ossetia.

On March 30, 2022, South Ossetian President Anatoliy Bibilov proposed a referendum on formally joining the Russian Federation, stating "Unification with Russia is our strategic goal, our path, the hope of our people, and we will move on this path". Abkhazian Parliamentary Speaker Valery Kvarchia, in response to questions on whether Abkhazia would follow this path, stated, "Russia is our strategic partner, a dear and close state, but we in the republic (of Abkhazia) have no intention of joining the Russian Federation"

Will Georgia control South Ossetia and Abkhazia before 2028?

This question will resolve as "Yes" if, at any time between April 1, 2022 and January 1, 2028, Georgia controls more than half (by area) of South Ossetia and more than half of Abkhazia (according to their de facto borders on January 1, 2022). Control of these regions must be simultaneous, and be sustained for at least 30 consecutive days.

The government of Georgia must itself not be de facto controlled by Russia during this period in order to resolve the question as "Yes".

To determine resolution, Metaculus Admins will consider information from all credible sources, including media reports and statements by government intelligence agencies.

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