National Geographic : 1992 May
A bloodied but lucky survivor of the Ossetian conflict receives treatment in the Tskhinvali hospital. Mean while, a hastily built coffin (below) awaits one of those less fortunate. Georgians believe that South Ossetia-formed in 1922 when Stalin was nationalities commissar of the Soviet Union-was invented to limit Georgian power. Ossetians, however, base their claims of sover eignty on a historic presence in the region.