Location of Georgia (including Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and Russian North Caucasus
Fragment of the 1856 map by J. H. Colton, showing the territory of modern South Ossetia within Georgia and Imeria. Modern North Ossetia corresponds to "Ossia" (Ossetia) in the North Caucasus. Ossetia became part of the Mountain ASSR in 1921 and was renamed into North Ossetia only in 1924.
The Kingdom of Abkhazia was united through dynastic succession with the newly formed Kingdom of Georgia in 1008 when Bagrat II of Abkhazia became Bagrat III of Georgia.
"Gorgania" i.e. Georgia on Fra Mauro map
Creation of the South Ossetian AO in the place of Georgian regions in 1922.
U.S. President George W. Bush and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, May 2005
The borders of the Sukhumi District of the Kutaisi Governorate in 1899 when Abkhazia was part of the Russian Empire.
Patera depicting Marcus Aurelius uncovered in central Georgia, 2nd century AD
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2008 Bucharest Summit
Abkhaz and Georgian generals in the Imperial Russian Army, 19th century
Northwestern Georgia is home to the medieval defensive Svan towers of Ushguli
Situation in Georgia before the war
Map of the Soviet Caucasus (1957–91) showing the Abkhaz ASSR within the Georgian SSR.
Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Russian BMP-2 from the 58th Army in South Ossetia
Georgian Civil War and the War in Abkhazia in August–October 1993
Queen Tamar, the first woman to rule medieval Georgia in her own right.
Destroyed Georgian tank in Tskhinvali
Exhibition at the 2005 commemoration of the ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia, held on its 12th anniversary in Tbilisi.
King Vakhtang VI, a Georgian monarch caught between rival regional powers
Nearly-intact Russian missile booster in a Gori house
Abkhazians carrying the republic's flags in a parade.
The reign of George XII was marked by instability.
Destroyed apartment houses after air raid of Russian army at Gori, picture taken 10 September 2008.
Seaside in Pitsunda, Abkhazia in 2006
Noe Zhordania, Prime Minister of Georgia who was exiled to France after the Soviet takeover
An air raid of the Russian army in August 2008 destroyed this house in Gori
Map of Georgia highlighting Abkhazia (green) and South Ossetia (purple).
The Bolshevik Red Army in Tbilisi on 25 February 1921. Saint David's church on the Holy Mountain is visible in the distance.
"The Price of Independence", artwork on a residential building damaged by Russian strikes during the war in downtown Gori
The Russian embassy in Sukhumi
Georgian Civil War and the War in Abkhazia in August–October 1993
Russian guided-missile ship 12341 Mirazh (Mirage) in Sevastopol
Dmitry Medvedev (centre, with dark tie) visited the Russian military base in Gudauta in 2010
The Rose Revolution, 2003
Joint press conference by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy after negotiations on the plan
The leaders of Abkhazia, Russia and South Ossetia, shortly after the 2008 war. Left to right: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity; Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice holding a joint press conference with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili during the Russo-Georgian war
Georgian police (left) and Russian soldiers evacuating destroyed Russian tank (right) after war of August 2008 (north of Gori, 10 October 2008).
Border checkpoint on the Psou River
Salome Zourabichvili, the first woman elected as president of Georgia
Russian forces stayed in South Ossetia after the conflict, including at the Java base (pictured)
The breakaway republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh within the Caucasus region
Presidential residence at the Orbeliani Palace in Tbilisi
Sergey Bagapsh (left), Dmitry Medvedev (middle) and Eduard Kokoity (right) shortly after the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab with Transnistrian President Yevgeny Shevchuk in September 2013
Pro-NATO poster in Tbilisi
BTC pipeline (green) and planned Nabucco gas pipeline (tangerine)
"View of Mount Agepsta and Turyi gory (Tur Mountains) from the top of Kamennyi Stolb, Aibga Ridge.", 2014.
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President of Moldova Maia Sandu, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the European Council Charles Michel during the 2021 Batumi International Conference. In 2014, the EU signed Association Agreements with all the three states.
South Ossetian refugees in a camp in Alagir, North Ossetia
View from Pitsunda cape
Georgian built Didgori-2 during the military parade in 2011
A burning house in the Georgian village of Kekhvi, on the road from Tskhinvali to Java.
Logo of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.
A Ford Taurus Police Interceptor operated by the Georgian Patrol Police.
After the Russian-Georgian war of August 2008, the construction of houses for refugees started very soon (near Gori, 10 October 2008)
1) Gagra
2) Gudauta
3) Sukhumi
4) Gulripshi
5) Ochamchira
6) Tkvarcheli
7) Gali
Map of Georgia highlighting the disputed territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region (South Ossetia), both of which are outside the control of the central government of Georgia
Tserovani, one of the villages built by the Georgian government for IDPs from the conflict zone
Beach in Gagra in May 2014
Köppen climate classification map of Georgia
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili at a Tbilisi press conference, August 2008
New Athos monastery in Abkhazia
Mount Kazbek in eastern Georgia
Georgian Coast Guard patrol boat P-24 Sokhumi passes the USS McFaul (DDG-74) on its arrival at the port of Batumi
Russian Drama Theatre. Sukhumi, Abkhazia.
Svaneti region of Georgia
Buk-M1 air defence system
Daur Akhvlediani Stadium, Gagra
View of the cave city of Vardzia and the valley of the Kura River below
Georgian DANA howitzer
Georgia's diverse climate creates varied landscapes, like these flat marshlands in the country's west
Russian Tu-22M3
Southwest Georgia has a subtropical climate, with frequent rain and thick green vegetation
Woman crying for help during the bombing of Gori
Georgian Shepherd Dog
GDP per capita development since 1973
A proportional representation of Georgia's exports in 2019
One of several plants operated by HeidelbergCement in Georgia
Wine-making is a traditional component of the Georgian economy.
The most visited ski resort of Georgia, Gudauri
The Georgian Railways represent a vital artery linking the Black Sea and Caspian Sea – the shortest route between Europe and Central Asia.
Port of Batumi
Ethno-linguistic groups in the Caucasus region
Tbilisi State University, Corpus I
Illuminated manuscript from medieval Georgia, showing a scene from nativity
Old Tbilisi – Architecture in Georgia is in many ways a fusion of European and Asian.
Rather than serving food in courses, traditional supras often present all that a host has to offer
Château Mukhrani, one of the centres of Georgia's viticulture in the 19th century, has recently been restored to produce its eponymous wine.
Dinamo Tbilisi, winner of 1981 European Cup Winners' Cup on stamp of Georgia, 2002
Château Mukhrani, one of the centres of Georgia's viticulture in the 19th century, has recently been restored to produce its eponymous wine.

Abkhazia ( or ), officially the Republic of Abkhazia, is a partially recognised state in the South Caucasus, recognised by most countries as part of Georgia, which views the region as an autonomous republic.

- Abkhazia

The 2008 Russo-Georgian War was a war between Georgia, on one side, and Russia and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, on the other.

- Russo-Georgian War

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.

- Abkhazia

For most of the subsequent decade, post-Soviet Georgia suffered from economic crisis, political instability, ethnic conflict, and secessionist wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

- Georgia (country)

The country's Western orientation soon led to worsening relations with Russia, which culminated in the Russo-Georgian War of 2008; Russia has since been occupying a portion of Georgia.

- Georgia (country)

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South Ossetia

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Landlocked and partially recognised state in the South Caucasus.

Landlocked and partially recognised state in the South Caucasus.

Fragment of 1856 map by J. H. Colton depicting Caucasus region. Modern South Ossetia is located below the green "Ossia", which approximately corresponds to modern North Ossetia
Historical Russian map of the Caucasus region at the beginning of the 19th century
Ossetian migration over time
Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918–1921) in 1921
Creation of South Ossetian AO on historical Georgian regions in 1922
Map of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast in 1922
Map of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1957–1991
Georgian Civil War in October–December 1993
South Ossetia before the war
Tskhinvali in August 2008
Map of Georgia highlighting South Ossetia (purple) and Abkhazia (green)
Topographic map of South Ossetia (Polish transcription)
Russian Presidential Decree No. 1261 recognising South Ossetian independence.
Ethnic map of the Caucasus from 1995 Ossetians live in North and South Ossetia.
Palm Sunday procession in Tskhinvali
The Dzuarikau–Tskhinvali pipeline, delivering natural gas from Russia to South Ossetia, went online in 2009.

Although Georgia does not control South Ossetia, the Georgian government and the United Nations consider the territory part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as "the former autonomous district of South Ossetia", in reference to the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast disbanded in 1990.

The latter conflict led to the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, during which Ossetian and Russian forces gained full de facto control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast.

Russian forces left the buffer areas bordering Abkhazia and South Ossetia on 8 October and the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia assumed authority over the buffer areas.

1994 map of Caucasus region prepared by the U.S. State Department

South Caucasus

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Geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, straddling the southern Caucasus Mountains.

Geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, straddling the southern Caucasus Mountains.

1994 map of Caucasus region prepared by the U.S. State Department
Possible definitions of the boundary between Europe and Asia on the territory of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan
Contemporary political map of the Caucasus (including unrecognized states)
Administrative map of Caucasus in the USSR, 1957–1991.

The South Caucasus roughly corresponds to modern Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, which are sometimes collectively known as the Caucasian States.

It remains one of the most politically tense regions in the post-Soviet area, and contains three heavily disputed areas: Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia.

The Russo-Georgian War took place in 2008 across the South Caucasus, contributing to further instability in the region, which is as intricate as the Middle East, due to the complex mix of religions (mainly Muslim and Orthodox Christian) and ethno-linguistic groups.

Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

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The process of internal disintegration within the Soviet Union (USSR) which resulted in the end of the country's and its federal government's existence as a sovereign state, thereby resulting in its constituent republics gaining full sovereignty.

The process of internal disintegration within the Soviet Union (USSR) which resulted in the end of the country's and its federal government's existence as a sovereign state, thereby resulting in its constituent republics gaining full sovereignty.

Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987
The first exhibition on the crimes of Stalinism, called "Week of Conscience", was held in Moscow on November 19, 1988
Environmental concerns over the Metsamor nuclear power plant drove initial demonstrations in Yerevan.
Figure of Liberty on the Freedom Monument in Riga, focus of the 1986 Latvian demonstrations
Anti-Soviet rally in Vingis Park of about 250,000 people. Sąjūdis was a movement which led to the restoration of an Independent State of Lithuania.
Andrei Sakharov, formerly exiled to Gorky, was elected to the Congress of People's Deputies in March 1989.
The Eastern Bloc
Baltic Way 1989 demonstration in Šiauliai, Lithuania showing coffins decorated with national flags of the three Baltic republics placed symbolically beneath Soviet and Nazi flags
Photos of victims (mostly young women) of an April 1989 massacre in Tbilisi, Georgia
Meeting in Kurapaty, Belarus, 1989
Nursultan Nazarbayev became leader of the Kazakh SSR in 1989 and later led Kazakhstan to independence.
Lithuania's Vytautas Landsbergis
Estonia's Edgar Savisaar
Latvia's Ivars Godmanis
Azerbaijani stamp with photos of Black January
Viacheslav Chornovil, a prominent Ukrainian dissident and a lead figure of Rukh
Leonid Kravchuk became Ukraine's leader in 1990.
Saparmurat Niyazov, last head of the Turkmen SSR and first president of Turkmenistan
Following Georgia's declaration of independence in 1991, South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared their desire to leave Georgia and remain part of the Soviet Union/Russia.
Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically elected president
Barricade erected in Riga to prevent the Soviet Army from reaching the Latvian Parliament, July 1991
Tanks in Red Square during the 1991 August coup attempt
Signing of the agreement to establish the Commonwealth of Independent States, 8 December
The state emblem of the Soviet Union and the СССР letters (top) in the façade of the Grand Kremlin Palace were replaced by five double-headed Russian eagles (bottom) after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the eagles having been removed by the Bolsheviks after the revolution.
The upper chamber of the Supreme Soviet in its ultimate session, voting the USSR out of existence, December 26
Russian GDP since the end of the Soviet Union (from 2014 are forecasts)
Russian male life expectancy, 1980–2007
Animated map showing independent states and territorial changes to the Soviet Union in chronological order
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, May 9, 2018
Changes in national boundaries after the end of the Cold War

Lithuania was the first republic to declare full independence restored from the Soviet Union by the Act of 11 March 1990 with its Baltic neighbours and the Southern Caucasus republic of Georgia joining it in a course of two months.

On April 7, 1989, Soviet troops and armored personnel carriers were sent to Tbilisi after more than 100,000 people protested in front of Communist Party headquarters with banners calling for Georgia to secede from the Soviet Union and for Abkhazia to be fully integrated into Georgia.

Russia under Vladimir Putin, who has termed the dissolution of the USSR as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century” begin to revive Russian nationalism and irredentism, leading them to invade Georgia in 2008, Ukraine in 2014 and Ukraine again in 2022.

The EUMM patrols the South Ossetian administration boundary line in armored SUVs in February 2012.

European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia

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The EUMM patrols the South Ossetian administration boundary line in armored SUVs in February 2012.
EUMM signs

The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia) is an unarmed peacekeeping mission operated by the European Union in Georgia.

EUMM was conceived in September 2008 following the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement, which ended the Russo-Georgian War.

EUMM started its monitoring activities on 1 October 2008 and has since been patrolling both day and night, particularly in areas adjacent to the Administrative Boundary Lines with the Russian-backed separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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Georgia–Russia relations

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Russia has supported separatist movements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia since the early 1990s. This is arguably the greatest problem of Georgian–Russian relations
Vladimir Putin with Mikheil Saakashvili in 2006
The Georgia–Russia border zone at Upper Lars has been closed since 2006
Restricted Weapons Zone
Russian military bases in Tskhinvali Region as of 2015
Protest sign in Tbilisi reads "Russia is an occupant".

Georgia and Russia have had no formal diplomatic relations since August 2008, largely due to the Russo-Georgian War and Russian recognition of separatist regions.

Bilateral relations between Georgia and Russia date back hundreds of years and remain complicated despite certain religious and historical ties that exist between the two countries and their people.

The tensions between Georgia and Russia, which had been heightened even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, climaxed during the secessionist conflict in Abkhazia in 1992–93.