Russia has approved legislation to permit citizens of South Ossetia to sign up for Russian military service. They will be enrolled on a military base in South Ossetia. That reports Ria Novosti.
The step is controversial because South Ossetia is disputed territory. Most countries still recognize South Ossetia as a part of Georgia, but after the 2008 war it has been controlled by Russia and South Ossetian separatists.
Many countries are likely to look at this as a step towards formal annexation of South Ossetia into Russia. It is one thing for Russia to have forces in South Ossetia to keep things under control. It is a different thing to enroll South Ossetians into the force because that almost makes the Russian military the national army of South Ossetia.
This is not the full integration of the South Ossetian armed forces into the Russian military that has earlier been discussed. To sign up for the Russian armed forces, an individual will have to leave the South Ossetian Army. For now, the Russian military will also not establish dedicated South Ossetian units, but the law seems to make such a step possible in the future.