"...Leaders of the Georgian, Abkhaz, and Ossetian national movements even consider Soviet federalism to be one of the main causes of the exacerbation of ethnic conflicts in Georgia and are not eager to reinstitute a federal structure. From the Georgian perspective, the Moscow leadership used federalism as an instrument to divide and rule and weaken the Georgian movement for national independence. From the Abkhaz and South Ossetian perspectives, Soviet federalism has put the various national communities in a hierarchical relation toward each other. This kind of ethnic stratification runs contrary to the principle of national self-determination, which pre-supposes the equality of all national communities. The exacerbation of ethnic conflicts in Georgia during the first half of the 1990s and the failure of existing federal arrangements to address these problems led to war in South Ossetia and then in Abkhazia. These wars resulted in the creation of two de facto states in these regions...."