34 Facts About Abkhazia


Between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia was part of the ancient Georgian kingdom of Colchis.

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Western Georgian kingdom of Abkhazia flourished between 850 and 950, which ended by unification of Abkhazia and eastern Georgian states under a single Georgian monarchy ruled by King Bagrat III at the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century.

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The territory of contemporary Abkhazia formed part of the duman administered by Tsotne Dadiani.

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Since the 1570s, when the Ottoman navy occupied the fort of Tskhumi, Abkhazia came under the influence of the Ottoman Empire and Islam.

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Abkhazia sought protection from the Russian Empire in 1801, but was declared "an autonomous principality" by the Russians in 1810.

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Abkhazia joined the Russian Empire as an autonomous principality, in 1810.

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The autonomy of Abkhazia, which had functioned as a pro-Russian "buffer zone" in this troublesome region, was no longer needed by the Tsarist government and the rule of the Shervashidze came to an end; in November 1864, Prince Michael was forced to renounce his rights and resettle in Voronezh.

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Later that same year, Abkhazia was incorporated into the Russian Empire as a special military province of Sukhum-Kale which was transformed, in 1883, into an okrug as part of the Kutais Governorate.

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Abkhazia remained part of Georgia after a peasant revolt supported by Bolsheviks and a Turkish expedition were defeated in 1918 and the 1921 Georgian constitution granted Abkhazia autonomy.

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Abkhazia was made a Socialist Soviet Republic with the ambiguous status of a treaty republic associated with the Georgian SSR.

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Abkhazia changed his mind, however, and decided to flee when separatist snipers fired on the hotel where he was staying.

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Georgian troops have been accused of having committed looting and murders "for the purpose of terrorising, robbing and driving the Abkhaz population out of their homes" in the first phase of the war, while Georgia blames the Abkhaz forces and their allies for the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia, which has been recognised by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summits in Budapest (1994), Lisbon (1996) and Istanbul (1999).

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Russian support of Abkhazia became pronounced when the Russian ruble became the de facto currency and Russia began issuing passports to the population of Abkhazia.

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Abkhazia is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

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On 18 October 2006, the People's Assembly of Abkhazia passed a resolution, calling upon Russia, international organisations and the rest of the international community to recognise Abkhaz independence on the basis that Abkhazia possesses all the properties of an independent state.

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Entry into Abkhazia should be carried out from the Zugdidi District and into South Ossetia from the Gori District.

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However, on 16 April 2008, the outgoing Russian president Vladimir Putin instructed his government to establish official ties with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, leading to Georgia's condemnation of what it described as an attempt at "de facto annexation" and criticism from the European Union, NATO, and several Western governments.

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Extent of Russian influence in Abkhazia has caused some locals to say Abkhazia is under full Russian control, but they still prefer Russian influence over Georgian.

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Any settlement must be freely negotiated and based on autonomy for Abkhazia legitimised by referendum under international observation once the multi-ethnic population has returned.

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US rejects the unilateral secession of Abkhazia and urges its integration into Georgia as an autonomous unit.

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Abkhazia is diverse geographically with lowlands stretching to the extremely mountainous north.

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The highest peaks of Abkhazia are in the northeast and east and several exceed 4, 000 metres above sea level.

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Abkhazia is richly irrigated by small rivers originating in the Caucasus Mountains.

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Also, due to its position on the windward slopes of the Caucasus, Abkhazia receives high amounts of precipitation, though humidity decreases further inland.

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Abkhazia is a presidential republic, and the second elected president of Abkhazia was Sergei Bagapsh.

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Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia is the government in exile that Georgia recognises as the legal government of Abkhazia.

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Republic of Abkhazia is divided into seven raions named after their primary cities: Gagra, Gudauta, Sukhumi, Ochamchira, Gulripshi, Tkvarcheli and Gali.

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Economy of Abkhazia is integrated with Russia as outlined in a bilateral agreement published in November 2014.

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Abkhazia has experienced a modest economic upswing since the 2008 South Ossetia war and Russia's subsequent recognition of Abkhazia's independence.

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Languages spoken in Abkhazia are Abkhaz, Russian, Mingrelian, Svan, Armenian, and Greek.

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Pressures have been placed upon teachers in areas of Abkhazia which retain large Georgian populations to abandon the use of the Georgian language in education and adopt Russian textbooks.

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On 18 September 2013, the Parliament of Republic of Abkhazia adopted a resolution instructing the prosecutor's office to carry out a "sweeping" probe into passport offices of the interior ministry and where wrongdoings were found in the distribution of passports to refer those violations to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for "annulment of illegally issued passports.

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Until the 19th century, young people from Abkhazia usually received their education mainly at religious schools, although a small number of children from wealthy families had opportunity to travel to foreign countries for education.

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The first modern educational institutions in Abkhazia were established in the late 19th-early 20th centuries and rapidly grew until the second half of the 20th century.

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