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Flag of Abkhazia
Coat of Arms for Abkhazia
Location of Abkhazia

Abkhazia (Abkhaz: Аҧсны Apsny, Russian: Абха́зия Abkhazia, Georgian: აფხაზეთი Apkhazeti) is a partially recognised state and breakaway region of Georgia on the southern flank of the Caucasus, on the north-eastern shore of the Black Sea. It borders Russia's Krasnodar Krai and Karachay-Cherkess Republic to the north and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region to the east.

Since the 1992-1993 war with Georgia Abkhazia has viewed itself as independent but it is considered part of Georgia by every other country in the world except Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, and the partially recognized republics of South Ossetia, Transnistria, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The 1992-1993 war devastated Abkhazia and saw large scale Human rights violations and ethnic cleansing on both sides. It eventually led to the flight and forced expulsion from Abkhazia of its Georgian, Pontic Greek and Estonian populations, of which only some have since been able to return. Even after these population changes Abkhazia remains ethnically diverse, with large Armenian, Mingrelian (Georgian) and Russian minorities and native Abkhaz only forming a plurality. Despite numerous talks Abkhazia and Georgia have not found a political solution to the conflict, which has flared up violently several times throughout the years.

Abkhazia is extremely mountainous. The landscapes of Abkhazia range from coastal forests and citrus, tea, tobacco and wine plantations, to eternal snows and glaciers. The country is richly irrigated by many small rivers originating in the Caucasus Mountains.

Because of Abkhazia's proximity to the Black Sea and the shield of the Caucasus Mountains, its climate is very mild, and in Soviet times it was a popular tourist destination. In recent years tourism has again become a significant factor in Abkhazia's economy.

Selected article

The Abkhazian Armed Forces is illegal armed formation of Abkhazian separatists. The Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the Abkhazian "armed forces" were created on 12 October 1992, after the outbreak of the 1992-1993 war with Georgia. The basis of the "armed forces" was formed by the ethnic Abkhaz National Guard created early in 1992 prior to the outbreak of the war. During the war, the Abkhazian forces with the critical support from the Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus, Cossack volunteers and the Russian regular military units stationed in or near Abkhazia. After the war, about 80% of the ethnic Georgian population were displaced from the territory controlled by Abkhazian separatists. Most of the weapons come from the Russian airborne division base in Gudauta.

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