The official name is the Republic of Abkhazia (Abkhazia) (in Georgia it is called the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia).
It is located in the Caucasus at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The area is 8665 km², the population is 240.7 thousand people. (2011). The official languages are Abkhazian and Russian. The capital is the city of Sukhum (64.47 thousand people, 2011). Public holiday – Day of Liberation of the Republic of Abkhazia on September 30. The monetary unit is the Russian ruble.
According to topschoolsintheusa, Abkhazia is an unrecognized state and is not a member of international organizations.
Population of Abkhazia
At the time of the 1989 census, the population of the Republic of Abkhazia was 525 thousand people, of which only 95.8 thousand were Abkhazians. According to the 2011 census, 240.7 thousand people permanently lived in the republic. Several hundred thousand inhabitants left the country during the Georgian-Abkhaz war, and only a small proportion of them eventually returned.
About 93% of the population of Abkhazia is concentrated in the foothills and on the coastal plain, where all the cities of the republic are located and the main part of the rural population lives. In 1989, the proportion of urban residents was 47.1%, but after the conflict with Georgia, there was a partial deurbanization. As a result, the share of the urban population has significantly decreased.
The modern ethnic composition of the population of Abkhazia cannot be called homogeneous: as of 2011, Abkhazians made up only 50.71% of all inhabitants, Georgians – 19.26%, Armenians – 17.32%, and Russians – 9.17%. In total, representatives of more than 60 peoples live in the country.
The population of Abkhazia, along with Abkhazian, uses the second official language – Russian.
The educational level of the population is quite high.
The main part of the population of Abkhazia, according to polls in 2003, are Orthodox Christians (64%) and Muslims (14%, mostly Sunnis).
History of Abkhazia
The tribes that are the ancestors of the Abkhazians (self-name – Apsua) lived in the Western Caucasus as early as the III millennium BC. From the middle of the 1st millennium BC. e. the territory of Abkhazia was part of the Colchis kingdom. In the VI century. BC. Hellenic fortress cities were founded on its territory, and Christianity was officially adopted in the 1st half of the 6th century.
In the 8th century A.D. the history of Abkhazia as an independent state began. At this time, the Abkhazian kingdom was founded, whose first king under the leadership of Leon II. In the second half of the 10th century, for the first, but not the last time in its history, Abkhazia became part of the unified Georgian state on the initiative of King Bagrat III.
In the XV-XVI centuries, after the collapse of Georgia, Abkhazia was part of the Principality of Sabediano, after which it separated into the Abkhazian Principality. In the XVII-XVIII centuries it was controlled by Turkey, from February 17, 1810 it became part of the Russian Empire on the rights of autonomy.
From 1864 to 1917, the Abkhaz principality, known as the “Sukhumi district”, was under the rule of the tsarist administration.
On March 4, 1921, a new page began in the history of Abkhazia – it became one of the Abkhaz SSR, and on December 16 it united with the Georgian SSR on a federal basis.
From February 1931, Abkhazia was downgraded in status to an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR.
In 1990, it became the sovereign Abkhazian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1992, the opinions of Abkhazia and Georgia regarding the current version of the Constitution diverged and the Patriotic War began. A peace agreement between them was signed only in April 1994. On November 26, a new constitution was adopted, declaring the independence of the republic, which, however, was not recognized by the world community.
In 2008, the Russian Federation recognized the independence of Abkhazia. In 2014, the presidents of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation R. Khadzhimba and V. Putin signed a ten-year agreement on alliance and strategic partnership.
At the moment, only 4 UN member states have recognized the independence of Abkhazia: Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru. The republic is not a member of any international organization, but has received observer status at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
Economy of Abkhazia
The economy of Abkhazia is now going through a transitional stage, the process of establishing market relations, complicated by the consequences of the military conflict with Georgia and the lack of international recognition. The transformational period is also complicated by a partial economic blockade, which is carried out within the framework of the sanctions undertaken by the CIS. Such an important episode in the history of Abkhazia as the Patriotic War of 1993-94 caused material damage to the country in the amount of 11.3 billion dollars, which is fifty times more than the current volume of the republic’s GDP.
In 2011, the volume of GDP was 219.99 million rubles, and in 2013 – 248 million rubles.
The first place in the volume of the republic’s GDP is occupied by construction. As of 2013, it accounted for only 35% of GDP. More than 250 companies and 3 thousand people work in this area.
In 2011, the backbone of the republic’s economy was tourism, which brought in one third of all taxes, and retail trade, which provided 50% of Abkhazia’s GDP. In 2013, trade accounted for 23% of the country’s GDP, and about 300 trading companies operated in Abkhazia. The volume of retail trade operations exceeded 345.1 million rubles.
In 2013, there were 89 sanatorium and resort facilities for 14.15 thousand beds, including 45 hotels, in the territory of the republic. The most famous sights of Abkhazia – the New Athos Cave and the Ritsa Relic National Park – were visited by 246.3 thousand and 17.4 thousand people during the year. Most foreign tourists come to the country from Russia.
The industrial production of Abkhazia is mainly oriented to the domestic market. About 160 enterprises operate in this area. Over 40% of them are located in the capital of the republic.
There is no national emission center in the country, since the Russian ruble acts as an official means of payment. Russia annually provides financial assistance to Abkhazia – in 2016 it plans to allocate another 7.9 billion rubles for the development of the republic.
Culture of Abkhazia
Abkhazia is considered an eastern country, but its modern culture is a synthesis of Islamic and Christian traditions.
The cultural life of the Abkhaz has always been diverse. Their culture is rich in folklore, folk music, songs and dances. An important part of the cultural heritage of the Abkhazians are pagan songs, legends, legends and myths, magical and labor songs. Well-known literary and musical works have been created on the basis of folklore, some of which are dedicated to the legends and history of Abkhazia.
Dmitry Gulia is considered to be the founder of Abkhazian literature, Iua Kogonia, Samson Chanba and Aleksey Gogua are also the most famous representatives of the creative intelligentsia.
The most popular art form among the population is folk dances. There are children’s and professional dance ensembles in the republic.
Since 1930, the Abkhaz State Drama Theater named after S. Chanba has been operating in the country.
The development of fine arts in the country is associated with the name of the famous artist, art critic and set designer Alexander Chachba-Shervashidze (1868–1968).
The most ancient objects of the country’s cultural heritage are dolmens and cromlechs, atsanguara and necropolises. The most famous sights of Abkhazia are also the site of primitive people (Kva-Chara) and the ruins of medieval fortresses.
A number of sights of Abkhazia, including the ruins of the princely palace of Chachba-Shervashidze and the temple of the Assumption of the Virgin, are presented in the village. Lykhny.
Of particular value is the New Athos Simono-Kananitsky Monastery, on the territory of which the main religious building and religious landmark of Abkhazia, the Panteleimon Cathedral, is located.