The modern history of South Ossetia is a tragic one in which a generally peaceful region was first dragged into an unnecessary war with Georgia in the 1990s, then became the centre of the Georgian-Russian conflict of 2008. Since then it has been granted what has been described as “unwanted independence,” which in practice means isolation, economic depression and de facto Russian military annexation. On a personal level, this isolation hurts Ossetians as much or even more than Georgians. Many mixed Georgian-Ossetian families have been divided. The South Ossetian economy has withered, deprived of its traditional economic links with neighbouring Georgian towns.