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Georgia's breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia marked four years of de facto independence on August 26.

In South Ossetia, parliamentary speaker Stanislav Koriev referred to the region's "unbroken spirit" and called its people citizens of a "heroic nation."

President Leonid Tibilov handed out awards to "citizens who made contributions to the establishment and strengthening of sovereignty" in South Ossetia.

In Abkhazia, Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba warned that the conflict with Georgia, which still claims both republics as part of its territory, was not finished.

August 26 is the day the Russian Federation recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent nations.

Only a few nations have followed Moscow in recognizing the two republics as independent countries.


Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

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