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Abkhazia

Abkhazia is a de facto sovereign state, internationally recognized as an autonomous republic of Georgia. It lies in the South Caucasus on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, south of the Greater Caucasus mountains in northwestern Georgia, it covers 8,660 square kilometres and has a population of around 240,000. Its capital is Sukhumi; the status of Abkhazia is a central issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict and Georgia–Russia relations. The polity is recognised as a state by Russia, Nicaragua and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations member states consider Abkhazia part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia; the region had autonomy within Soviet Georgia at the time when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the late 1980s. Simmering ethnic tensions between the Abkhaz—the region's "titular ethnicity"—and Georgians—the largest single ethnic group at that time—culminated in the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia which resulted in Georgia's loss of control of most of Abkhazia, the de facto independence of Abkhazia, the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from Abkhazia.

Despite the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the dispute remains unresolved. The long-term presence of a United Nations Observer Mission and a Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States peacekeeping force failed to prevent the flare-up of violence on several occasions. In August 2008, Abkhaz and Russian forces fought a war against Georgian forces, which led to the formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 ceasefire agreement, the termination of the UN mission. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia declared Abkhazia a Russian-occupied territory, with most United Nations member states concurring; the Abkhazians call their homeland Аԥсны, popularly etymologised as "a land/country of the soul", yet meaning "a country of mortals". It first appeared in the seventh century in an Armenian text as Psin referring to the ancient Apsilians. Although the term "Abkhazeti" first appeared in the Georgian annals, giving rise to the name Abkhazia, it was used to denote Abasgia proper and entire Western Georgia within the Kingdom of Georgia.

In various medieval sources the term "Abkhazia" was used in the meaning of Georgia. The Russian Абхазия is adapted from the Georgian აფხაზეთი. Abkhazia's name in most languages are derived directly from the Russian; the state is formally designated as the "Republic of Abkhazia" or "Apsny". Between 1000 and 550 BC, the Greeks established trade colonies along the Black Sea coast of present-day Abkhazia, in particular at Pitiunt and Dioscurias, to become the capital of modern-day Abkhazia. Classical authors described various peoples living in the region and the great multitude of languages they spoke. Arrian and Strabo have given accounts of the Abasgoi and Moschoi peoples somewhere in modern Abkhazia on the eastern shore of the Black Sea. Between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia was part of the ancient kingdom of Colchis; this kingdom was subsequently absorbed in 63 BC into the Kingdom of Lazica. The Roman Empire conquered Lazica in the 1st century AD and ruled it until the 4th century, following which it regained a measure of independence, but remained within the Byzantine Empire's sphere of influence.

Although the exact time when the population of the region of Abkhazia was converted to Christianity has not been determined, it is known that the Stratophilus, Metropolitan of Pityus participated in the First Ecumenical Council in 325 in Nicaea. Around the mid 6th century AD, the Byzantines and the neighbouring Sassanid Persia fought for supremacy over Abkhazia for 20 years, a conflict known as the Lazic War. In 550, during the Lazic War, the Abasgians revolted against the Eastern Roman Empire and called upon Sasanian assistance. General Bessas however suppressed the Abasgian revolt. Abkhazia, or Abasgia in classic sources part of Colchis and of Lazica until the late 690s, was a princedom under Byzantine authority. Anacopia was the princedom's capital; the country was Christian, with the archbishop's seat in Pityus. An Arab incursion into Abkhazia led by Marwan II, was repelled by Leon I jointly with his Lazic and Iberian allies in 736. Leon I married Mirian's daughter, a successor, Leon II exploited this dynastic union to acquire Lazica in the 770s.

Considered as a successor state of Lazica, this new polity continued to be referred to as Egrisi in some contemporary Georgian and Armenian chronicles. The successful defense against the Arabs, new territorial gains, gave the Abkhazian princes enough power to claim more autonomy from the Byzantine Empire. Towards circa 778, Leon II won his full independence with the help of the Khazars. During this period the Georgian language replaced Greek as the language of culture; the western Georgian kingdom flourished between 850 and 950 when it annexed significant parts of central Georgia. A period of unrest ensued, which ended as Abkhazia and eastern Georgian states were unified under a single Georgian monarchy, ruled by King Bagrat III at the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century. In 12th century, king David the Builder appointed the son of shah Shirvan Otago as an Eristavi

Laura Caller

Laura Caller Union lawyer, defender of peasants and politicians. She was born in Cusco in a home frequented by intellectuals of the city due to the activities of her father, a journalist and writer, she studied primary and started secondary school in the Colegio María Auxiliadora, where she was expelled at age twelve for resistance to the "almost monastic" rules. She entered the College of Sciences Cusco for men, with the support of famous Cusco intellectual José Uriel García. In 1938 she came to Lima to study at university, intending to study agronomy, but decided on Law at the National University of San Marcos, where she majored in Agricultural Law, her professional work was dedicated from the start to the defence of the rights of peasant communities, political prisoners. Her fight against the exploitation of the defenceless defined her political ideas for socialism, her reputation for social advocacy dates back to the 40s and 50s, however it was in 1963, when defending 200 political prisoners confined in the island prison of El Frontón, that she achieved notoriety because it was the first time a woman had faced a military tribunal as a defender.

In 1966 she became internationally known. In 1975 she endorsed the case of the rural community of Huayanay, on the heights of Huancavelica, who had killed the village leader in the main square, according to their ancestral customs, they were exonerated by the Velasco government, but some of them were imprisoned in Lima. She never married because she considered herself married to the law and led a life of austerity and sacrifice; as a social activist she travelled around the country visiting rural communities and remote mining camps. She and her famous poncho were seen in the villages as a sign of hope, she herself was imprisoned for the crime of defending the poor. Campaigner for women's votes and defender of peasants, she never obtained a seat in Parliament, but in 1980 joined the board of the FOCEP political group as vice-president. In 1985 she had a leg amputated due to gangrene, a result of diabetes. Months she travelled to Cuba for rehabilitation from which she returned with a prosthesis to continue working in the defence of the needy.

She died in Lima on March 15, 1988 due to a worsening of her disease, 48 hours before she was due to receive an award from the Ministry of Labour. She is commemorated by name in the village of Laura Caller, San Luis District, Peru

Sydney Russell-Wells

Sir Sydney Russell-Wells, FRCP was a British physician and politician. He served as Member of Parliament for London University from 1922 as a Unionist, he attended Dorset County School. He graduated from University College London with a BSc in 1889 and studied medicine at St George's Hospital, he was House Surgeon, House Physician and Registrar at St George's Hospital based at Hyde Park Corner in central London. He was physician at the Seaman's Hospital, Greenwich and at the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart, he was Vice Chancellor of the University of London from 1919-1922. He served as Member of Parliament for London University from 1922 until 1924. In 1921, he was appointed Knight Bachelor. List of Vice-Chancellors of the University of London London University Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sydney Russell-Wells