Abkhazia facts for kids

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Republic of Abkhazia

  • Аҧсны Аҳәынҭқарра (Abkhazian)
    Apsny Ahwyntkarra
  • Республика Абхазия (Russian)
    Respublika Abkhaziya
Flag of Abkhazia
Flag
Emblem of Abkhazia
Emblem
Anthem: Аиааира (Abkhazian)
Aiaaira
Victory
Map centered on the Caucasus indicating Abkhazia (orange)and Georgia proper and South Ossetia (both grey).
Map centered on the Caucasus indicating Abkhazia (orange)
and Georgia proper and South Ossetia (both grey).
Capital
and largest city
Sukhumi
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Official languages
Spoken languages
Demonym(s)
  • Abkhaz
  • Abkhazian
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
Vacant
Valeri Bganba
Legislature People's Assembly
Partially recognised independence from Georgia
• Georgian annulment of Soviet-era laws and treaties
20 June 1990
• Abkhazian declaration of sovereigntyb
25 August 1990
• Georgian declaration of independence
9 April 1991
• Dissolution of the Soviet Union
26 December 1991
• Abkhazian declaration of Independence
23 July 1992
• Act of state independencec
12 October 1999
• First
international recognitiond

26 August 2008
Area
• Total
8,660 km2 (3,340 sq mi)
Population
• 2015 estimate
243,206
• 2011 census
240,705
• Density
28/km2 (72.5/sq mi)
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
• Total
US$0.5 billion
• Per capita
US$2,000
Currency
(RUB)
Time zone UTC+3 (MSK)
Driving side right
Calling code +7 840 / 940 and +995 44
  1. (Article 6 of the Constitution) guarantees the right to use their mother tongue for all ethnic groups.
  2. Annulled by Georgia immediately thereafter.
  3. To establish, retroactively, de jure independence since the 1992–1993 war.
  4. 5 UN member states recognize Abkhazia's independence.
  5. De facto currency. Several Abkhazian apsar commemorative coins have been issued. The apsar is on a fixed exchange rate, pegged to the Russian ruble (1 ruble = 0.10 apsar).

Abkhazia (Listeni/æbˈkɑːziə/, /æbˈkziə/;) is a de facto sovereign state that is 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 (3,340 sq mi) 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, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations member states consider Abkhazia legally 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, and 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 (CIS) 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, and 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.

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