History of Abkhazia, Georgia

By | July 14, 2022

Archaeological finds testify to the presence of a person on the territory of present-day Abkhazia more than 150 thousand years ago. Abkhazians are the most ancient inhabitants of the Western Caucasus. Their ancestors are mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions of the second half of the first millennium BC. At the same time, the beginnings of a class society began to appear here. Before the advent of our era, the territory of present-day Abkhazia was controlled by the Colchis kingdom, the Greeks, the Pontic kingdom, and in 65 BC. e. the Romans came here. Beginning of AD was marked by the creation of local independent tribal formations – principalities. In the 4th-6th centuries A.D. e. This territory became part of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines converted the Abkhazian tribes to Christianity, and already in the 4th century a Greek department was established in Pitsunda.

In the 6th century, the formation of the Abkhazian kingdom began, which achieved complete independence from Byzantium in the 8th century. By this time, the Abkhazian kingdom included not only the territory of present-day Abkhazia, but also the whole of Western Georgia. The kingdom reached its peak in the 10th century. At the end of the 10th century, King Bagrat III united the eastern and western parts of Georgia into a single state and the Abkhazian kingdom became part of the united feudal Georgia.

From the 13th century, Georgia was subjected to attacks by the Tatars, because of which the state repeatedly broke up into separate principalities. In the 15th century, after the collapse of Georgia, the Abkhaz princes declared their territory independent, forming the Abkhaz principality. However, at the end of the 15th century, it fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. During the Turkish rule, a significant part of the population of the principality was converted to Islam. Abkhazians sought protection from neighboring states and found it in the form of Russian patronage. In 1806, the war between the Russian Empire and Turkey began, and in July 1810, a Russian naval landing besieged the fortress of Sukhum-Kale and coastal Abkhazia was annexed to Russia. From 1810 to 1864, the Abkhaz principality was part of the Russian Empire on the rights of autonomy, that is, it had the rights of internal self-government. In 1864, Russia introduced military administration in the Abkhaz principality, and since then it has become subordinate to the Russian administration in the Caucasus. This caused discontent among the princes of Abkhazia and the local population. Some Abkhaz rebellions were successfully suppressed by the Russian military, and some simply left their land.

After the February Revolution of 1917, Soviet power in Abkhazia was not established immediately. First, Abkhazia joined the Union of United Highlanders of the Caucasus. On May 11, 1918, Abkhazia, together with Dagestan, Chechnya, Ossetia and Kabarda, became part of the Mountain Republic (North Caucasian Republic). In the same month, Georgia declared its independence and was immediately occupied by Germany. In June 1918, Georgian troops, with the direct military support of Germany, occupied the territory of Abkhazia. On July 11, Abkhazia was forced to conclude an agreement with Georgia on the accession of the Sukhumi district to Georgia. In 1921, the Bolsheviks were able to raise an uprising and overthrow the Georgian government, after which the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic was created. On March 28, 1921, Abkhazia was also proclaimed an independent Soviet Socialist Republic, however, Already on December 16, 1921, under the onslaught of Stalin and Ordzhonikidze, Abkhazia became part of the Georgian SSR. On December 13, 1922, Abkhazia and Georgia became part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. On April 1, 1925, the first constitution of Abkhazia was adopted as a sovereign republic in agreement with the Georgian SSR. In 1931, this status was lost – Abkhazia became an ordinary autonomous republic (Abkhaz ASSR) within the Georgian SSR. Georgians began to be resettled en masse in Abkhazia. In 1937, the Abkhazian alphabet was liquidated, the Abkhazian script was translated into the Georgian basis from the previously adopted Latin alphabet. All children in Abkhazia were required to learn the Georgian language. This led to more and more rallies and demonstrations taking place in the republic.

In the late 1980s, according to electronicsmatter, the Georgian parliament declared illegal and invalid all state structures of the Soviet era since February 1921. In response, on August 25, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Abkhaz ASSR adopted the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of Abkhazia. In 1991 Georgia withdrew from the USSR. In the summer of 1992, the Supreme Council of Georgia decided to return to the constitution of 1921, and the Supreme Council of Abkhazia decided to return the republic to the constitution of 1925, which contained contractual relations between Abkhazia and Georgia. Disagreements led to an armed conflict, when thousands of civilians were shot and almost all of Abkhazia was occupied. From November 1993 to the present, under the auspices of the UN, with the mediation of Russia and with the participation of the OSCE, Georgian-Abkhazian negotiations have been going on. In 1994, the republic’s parliament adopted a new constitution for the sovereign Abkhaz state. The independence of Abkhazia was not recognized either by the leadership of Georgia, which considers Abkhazia a part of Georgian territory, or by other states. Now Abkhazia is a de facto independent republic. On August 26, 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

History of Abkhazia, Georgia