Georgia. According to Countryaah, the capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. President Eduard Shevardnadze was subjected to an attack in February in the capital Tbilisi. He escaped unharmed, but two bodyguards were killed when grenades and automatic fires were fired at the president’s car cortege. Suspicions were directed at the incumbent President Zviad Gamsachurdia’s supporters but also against Russian forces who wanted to prevent a new oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea from being pulled through Georgia.
Shortly after the attack, four UN observers, including a Swedish officer, were kidnapped by armed militia loyal to Gamsachurdia. The hostage was released without meeting the kidnappers’ demands: the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia and the release of political prisoners.
The conflict around the outbreak republic of Abkhazia caught fire in May. For a few days, Abkhaz forces and the Georgian army fought the most difficult fighting since the 1993 war. Extensive negotiations followed, and in October the parties agreed on confidence building measures, including the military commanders decided to establish communications. A minor military revolt broke out in western Georgia in October, where Gamsachurdia has its strongest support. The uprising was fought after a few days, but was given, among other things. as a result, Shevardnadze dismissed his Minister of Security. He was accused of knowing in advance about the revolt without intervening. Shevardnadze claimed that the uprising was controlled by forces that wanted to prevent the Caspian Sea oil pipeline from being pulled through Georgia to Turkey.
The country’s finance minister resigned in November after harsh criticism that long-term payments of pensions and public servants’ wages were delayed. At the same time, the country’s largest electricity company announced that it could only afford electricity supply three days a week to Tbilisi and other cities. Unpaid electricity bills were stated as a cause.
Conquerors and Merchants in the “Golden Thread Land”
The Georgian territory is known in Greek mythology as the mysterious Kolkhina, from which the hero Jason and his brave warriors, the Argonauts, seek the golden ram of a marvelous ram. Amazingly, the ancient legend describes the landscapes between the snow-capped Great Caucasus and the forested Lesser Caucasus. The heroes moved smoothly with their Argo ship from the Black Sea towards the eastern Rionijoki and the Kurajoki (also: Mtkvarijoki) flowing into the Caspian Sea. A golden hoist was found in the west on the shores of the Black Sea. This rainy subtropical region is a Georgian granary where tea, tobacco and citrus fruits, among other things, grow. The cultivation areas of the country’s number one product, wine, are east of the capital, Tbilisi, in the central highlands. Georgia’s main industry is agriculture based on small farms. There are hardly any other natural resources, but for tourism the country offers an excellent setting with its varied landscapes and old churches and monasteries. The tourist is fascinated by the culture born of the isolation of mountain villages. In fiery dances, proud warriors and beautiful maidens show off their skills. Two-thirds of the country’s population are Georgians who speak Georgia, or Kartula, and belong to the Orthodox Church. However, there are several linguistic and religious minorities in Georgia. Repeated clashes have arisen between the majority population and especially the Abkhazians and Ossetians, but also on the Turkish border in Islamic Ajaria.
Georgia’s history is very similar to that of its Caucasian neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan. The fertile areas along the main trade routes have attracted the interest of the Greeks, Romans, Persians and Byzantine conquerors. Only once, a thousand years ago, Georgia itself has risen to the position of conqueror when King Bagrat and the legendary Queen Tamara succeeded in subjugating most of the fighting tribes in the Caucasus. A hundred-year period of prosperity ended with the arrival of the Mongols, and after their departure, the Persian and Turkish Ottomans divided Georgia. In the 19th century, power changed again when rapidly expanding Russia annexed what it called Georgia to its territory. After the Russian Revolution in 1918, the country became independent for a moment, but it was soon annexed, along with Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the Soviet Union as the Soviet Republic of Transcaucasia. The alliance of the three countries disintegrated in 1936, after which Georgia continued as its own Soviet republic until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the country’s independence in 1991.
The road to independent Georgia has not been easy. Poor country politics has been fraught with accusations of corruption, fraudulent elections, separatist groups and ethnic conflicts. The desire of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, located in the north on the border with the Russian Federation, to become independent from Georgia and seek Russian alliance has led to serious armed clashes. Mikhail Saakashvili, who served as president from 2004 to 2013, both militarily and economically active, maintained strong tensions in the Russian border region, which have been reflected in dissatisfaction and unrest in Georgia’s domestic politics as well.
South Ossetia on the border between Georgia and Russia has declared itself independent from Georgia, but is considered an outbreak republic by the government of Tbilisi. Independence is only supported by Russia and a handful of other states. The capital is called Tschinvali.
South Ossetia lies on the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus mountain range. The terrain is mostly mountainous but also includes plains further south to the Mtkvari River. The highest peak is Khalatsa at nearly 4,000 meters. In total, South Ossetia covers 3,900 square kilometers, which corresponds to three times the area of Öland.
In South Ossetia, around 70,000 people live today. More than half live in the capital Tschinvali.
Before the uprising against Georgia and the subsequent civil war of 1990-1992 (see History), about 100,000 people were estimated to have lived in South Ossetia, of which about two-thirds were Ossetians and the rest were Georgians. 30,000 of the inhabitants fled during the unrest. Most of them never came back.
The short war between South Ossetia / Russia and Georgia in the fall of 2008 (see History) gave rise to a new refugee stream on both sides. Over one hundred thousand people were reported to have been forced to leave their homes in South Ossetia and in adjacent areas of Georgia. About 35,000 South Ossetians fled to North Ossetia, while the Georgians of the area applied to Georgia. Most of the South Ossetians were able to return home when the fighting was over, while many Georgians remained at refugee centers in Georgia.
The Ossetians are a Caucasian minority people who speak an Iranian language. Most are Orthodox Christians but a minority are Muslims.
In 2012, the South Ossetian Parliament passed a law that allows residents to exchange Georgian or Russian last names with Ossetians. Names ending with the Georgian endings -jvili or -dze, or Russian -ov / -ova can be given the ostetic endings -ty, -ti or -on.
The climate zones range from a subtropical, humid climate in the west to a dry and temperate continental climate in the east. The Caucasus protects Georgia from cold air waves from the north and allows the Black Sea to warm the country. The average air temperature fluctuates between 15 ° C in the west and 11 to 13 ° C in the east. The average precipitation in the west is 3,000 mm, in the east 400 mm. Spring in Georgia is short with abrupt climatic fluctuations, and summer is often scorching hot. Autumn is warm and sunny, winter with little snow.