Tskhinvali (tskhĭnˈvälĭ) [key], city (1989 pop. 42,934), capital of South Ossetia, a region of N Georgia that has had de facto independence since the 1990s. The city has lumber mills and electrical products plants. Its name was changed to Staliniri in 1934 but was changed back to Tskhinvali in 1961. Georgian troops shelled and occupied the city in 1992 during fighting with Ossetian rebels; Georgia again shelled and invaded the city in 2008, and Tskhinvali suffered significant damage.