Dec 7, 2006

Abkhazia Rallies For Independence

Thousands of people staged a rally calling for Abkhazia’s independence from Georgia yesterday, after The Abkhaz separatist president, Sergei Bagapsh, said the region would never be part of the same state as Georgia. Abkhasia is an autonomous republic of Georgia but which proclaimed independence after a civil war in the 1990’s. It has not been internationally recognized as a separate nation but it remains de facto independent from Georgia.

Russia maintains strong political, economical and military influence over Abkhasia, and during the Georgian civil war supported the Abkhasian separatists against the Georgia government. During the war, the Georgian majority that inhabited the Abkhaz region has been displaced, and today the Abkhaz population consists of en ethic mix of Russian (45%), Armenians, Georgians, Jews, and Greeks. The majority of the non-Georgian population holds Russian citizenship.

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