The Ossetians or Ossetes (//, //; Ossetian: ир, ирæттæ, ir, irættæ, дигорӕ, дигорӕнттӕ, digoræ, digorænttæ), are an Iranian ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, indigenous to the ethnolinguistic region known as Ossetia. They speak Ossetic, an Eastern Iranian (Alanic) language of the Indo-European language family, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language. Ossetic, a remnant of the Scytho-Sarmatian dialect group which was once spoken across the Pontic–Caspian Steppe, is one of the few Iranian languages inside Europe.
|Regions with significant populations|
|(in North Ossetia–Alania)||480,310|
(excluding South Ossetia)
|Turkey||20.000 - 50,000|
|Predominantly † Eastern Orthodox Christianity|
with a sizeable minority professing Uatsdin and Islam
|Related ethnic groups|
|The Jassic people of Hungary and other Iranian peoples|
a. ^ The total figure is merely an estimation; sum of all the referenced populations.
The Ossetians mostly populate Ossetia, which is politically divided between North Ossetia–Alania in Russia and South Ossetia, a de facto independent state with partial recognition, closely integrated in Russia and claimed by Georgia. Their closest relatives, the Jász, live in the Jászság region within the north-western part of the Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County in Hungary.