The independent republic where everything depends on Moscow. How a Kremlin lifeline aided by separatist Ukraine is developing South Ossetia

After the war with Georgia in 2008, Russia became the first of five UN member states to recognize the independence of South Ossetia, effectively taking the breakaway republic under its wing. Ten years later, the territory’s governance and economy are largely controlled by Moscow, which has spent billions of rubles to keep South Ossetia afloat. Meduza special correspondent Ilya Zhegulev traveled to Tskhinvali to find out where that Russian money ended up, how the territory’s businessmen make ends meet, and how South Ossetia’s budget depends on the unrecognized republics in eastern Ukraine.