Timeline Abkhazia

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Ahkhazia is an administrative division  of northwestern Georgia. Its capital is Sukhumi, and it measures 3,320 sq. miles.
(AHD, 1971, p.3)

1014        May 7, Bagrat III (b~960) of the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty, died. He was King of the Abkhazians from 978 on (as Bagrat II) and King of Kings of the Georgians from 1008 on. He is known to have constructed a magnificent cathedral, the Bagrati Cathedral, at Kutaisi, western Georgia. Its ruins named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

1918        South Ossetians made a bid to break away from Georgia and thousands fled in the ensuing violence. Menshevik Georgia waged a brutal war to absorb Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In 1921 the Red Army regained control and absorbed all three into the Soviet Union.
    (WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)(Econ, 10/23/10, p.102)

1931        USSR leader Joseph Stalin turned Abkhazia into an autonomous region of Georgia. Beria, his secret police chief, later resettled Georgians from the western part of the country in Abkhazia.
    (Econ, 7/5/08, p.64)

1992-1993    Separatists in the northwestern province of Abkhazia took over control in a civil war. War between Abkhaz forces and Georgians killed 10,000 and left the Black Sea region as a de facto independent but unrecognized state. The Georgian inhabitants, who had numbered 45% of the population, were forced out of the region.
    (SFC, 2/21/98, p.A10)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.A8)(Econ, 8/21/04, p.41)(Econ, 7/5/08, p.64)

1993        Mar 19, Georgia shot down a Russian warplane over the separatist Abkhazia region, killing its pilot and heightening tensions.
    (AP, 3/19/03)

1993        Sep 22, An aircraft operated by Transair Georgia was shot down by Abkhazian separatist forces. It crashed onto the runway and caught fire, killing 108.
    (AP, 6/11/13)

1993        Georgia became a member of Russia's Commonwealth of Independent States; Russia, in return, backed Shevardnadze against Abkhaz rebels.
    (http: ICL)

1994        Nov, Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia and set up its own government. No other country gave recognition. Residents of the area numbered about 200,000 and spoke their own language. Vladislav Ardzinba became president.
    (SSFC, 9/24/06, p.A20)(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3261059.stm)

1994        Georgia reached a cease-fire with Abkhazia.
    (SFC, 11/24/03, p.A11)

1998        May 25, Fighting between Abkhaz forces and Georgian irregulars raged inside a Russian patrolled buffer zone despite an agreed 1993 cease-fire. Georgia later claimed that 100 people died and that 38,000 Georgians were driven from their homes.
    (SFC, 5/26/98, p.A8)(WSJ, 5/26/98, p.A1)(WSJ, 5/28/98, p.A1)

2001        Dec, Abandoned Soviet nuclear batteries were found in the mountains of Abkhazia filled with strontium 90. Efforts followed to retrieve the devices.
    (SFC, 2/1/02, p.A14)

2002        Mar 21, It was reported that Georgian fighters expected to use their US training against secessionists in Abkhazia, which was unofficially protected by Russia.
    (SFC, 3/21/02, p.A1)

2002        Apr 12, Russia sent troops into the Kodori gorge of Georgia to watch the Abkhazia border. The move was condemned by Georgian officials and troops were soon withdrawn.
    (SFC, 4/13/02, p.A11)(WSJ, 4/15/02, p.A1)

2002        Russia changed its citizenship law to allow massive distribution of passports to people in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia.
    (Econ, 10/3/09, p.65)

2004        Feb 26, Mikhail Saakashvili, the new president of Georgia, said he is ready to negotiate full autonomy for the separatist Abkhazia region to end the decade-long conflict.
    (AP, 2/26/04)

2004        Dec 5, In Abkhazia (Georgia) the two candidates vying for the region's presidency agreed to conduct new elections and run on a joint ticket.
    (AP, 12/6/04)

2007        Aug 25, A senior official of the separatist region said a plane of uncertain origin went down over Abkhazia, a day after Georgia reported that its forces fired on a plane believed to be Russian that had violated the country's airspace.
    (AP, 8/25/07)

2007        Sep 20, A clash between Georgian and separatist Abkhazian forces too place some 330 yards inside Abkhaz-held territory. Several Abkhaz soldiers were wounded and 2 former Russian military officers were killed.
    (SFC, 10/30/07, p.A6)

2007        Oct 15, The Security Council voted unanimously to extend the UN observer mission in Georgia, expressing "serious concern" at violence that has escalated tensions between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia.
    (AP, 10/15/07)

2008        Mar 6, A lawmaker said Abkhazia, a region that broke away from Georgian government control in the 1990s, intends to seek international recognition as an independent nation, citing Kosovo as a precedent.
    (AP, 3/6/08)

2008        Apr 20, A Georgian unmanned reconnaissance flight was shot down over the Georgian rebel region of Abkhazia. The next day Georgia's air force commander said a Russian fighter jet shot down the spy plane as it flew over Abkhazia, but Russia said it had been shot down by separatist forces and that the flight violated UN ceasefire agreements. A UN report on May 26 said a Russian jet shot down the spy drone.
    (Reuters, 4/22/08)(AP, 4/22/08)(SFC, 5/27/08, p.A12)

2008        Apr 29, Russia announced it was beefing up its peacekeeping force in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, saying it had evidence Tbilisi was readying its forces for an attack.
    (Reuters, 4/29/08)

2008        May 1, Russia said an extra contingent of its troops had begun arriving in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia, a move Tbilisi said was an illegal act of military aggression.
    (AP, 5/1/08)

2008        May 4, Abkhazian anti-aircraft forces shot down 2 unmanned Georgian spy planes. A Georgian Foreign Ministry official, dismissed the claims as "completely absurd disinformation" aimed at increasing tension in the area.
    (AP, 5/4/08)

2008        May 8, Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia said it had shot down another Georgian spy drone.
    (Reuters, 5/8/08)

2008        Jun 5, The European Parliament called for the peacekeeping mandate for Russian troops in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to be revised. The chamber also demanded the EU sends its own border mission into the conflict zone in Abkhazia.
    (AP, 6/5/08)

2008        Jul 8, Abkhazia's leader Sergei Bagapsh rejected a US proposal to deploy an international police force there.
    (AP, 7/8/08)

2008        Aug 9, Separatist forces in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia launched air and artillery strikes to drive Georgian troops from their bridgehead in the region. The Abkhazian move was prompted by Georgia's military action to regain control over another breakaway province, South Ossetia.
    (AP, 8/9/08)

2008        Aug 11, Swarms of Russian jets launched new raids on Georgian territory and Georgia faced the threat of a second front of fighting as Russia demanded that Georgia disarm troops near the breakaway province of Abkhazia.
    (AP, 8/11/08)

2008        Aug 12, Georgia's Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili said his government will declare that its breakaway regions are occupied territories and will designate Russian peacekeepers as occupying forces. Russia ordered a halt to military action in Georgia, after five days of air and land attacks sent Georgia's army into headlong retreat and left towns and military bases destroyed. A Dutch television journalist was killed overnight when Russian warplanes bombed the central Georgian city of Gori. Russia later counted 133 civilian deaths in South Ossetia. Rights activists later said fewer than 100 civilians were killed in South Ossetia. The war cost some 850 lives and left over 35,000 displaced civilians, mot of the Georgian.
    (AP, 8/12/08)(Econ, 8/23/08, p.43)(WSJ, 9/12/08, p.A1)(Econ, 10/3/09, p.65)

2008        Aug 16, Russian forces pulled back from the center of a town not far from Georgia's capital after Russia's president signed a cease-fire deal. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later suggested there would be no immediate broader withdrawal. Georgia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that Russian-backed separatists from the province of Abkhazia had taken over 13 villages in Georgia and a power plant. Russian troops blew up a key railroad bridge linking the Caucasus to the Black Sea coast.
    (AP, 8/16/08)(SSFC, 8/17/08, p.A4)

2008        Aug 25, Russia's parliament voted unanimously to urge the president to recognize the independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions, a move likely to stoke further tensions between Moscow and the small Caucasus nation's Western allies. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned ex-Soviet Moldova against repeating Georgia's mistake of trying to use force to seize back control of Transdniestria, a pro-Moscow breakaway region.
    (AP, 8/25/08)(Reuters, 8/25/08)

2008        Aug 26, Russia formally recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the breakaway Georgian territories at the heart of its war with Georgia, heightening tensions with the West as the US dispatched a military ship bearing aid to a port city still patrolled by Russian troops. In a direct challenge to Russia, the US announced it intends to deliver humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Georgian port city of Poti, which Russian troops still control through checkpoints on the city's outskirts.
    (AP, 8/26/08)

2008        Aug 27, A US military ship docked at the southern Georgian port of Batumi. Meanwhile, Russia's missile cruiser, the Aurora, and two missile boats, anchored at the port of Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia. The moves by both sides underscored an escalating standoff between Moscow and the West over this small Caucasus nation devastated by war with Russia.
    (AP, 8/27/08)

2008        Aug 31, President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will follow the recognition of Georgia's breakaway provinces with agreements on economic and military aid.
    (AP, 8/31/08)

2008        Sep 8, French President Nicolas Sarkozy pressed Moscow to honor its pledge to withdraw troops from Georgia, while Russian soldiers prevented international aid convoys from visiting Georgian villages in a tense zone around the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Pres. Medvedev and Sarkozy revised the EU-brokered deal to end the fighting between Russia and Georgia. Medvedev said 200 EU monitors would deploy to regions surrounding South Ossetia and Abkhazia by next month. After that, Russian troops would pull out of those regions by Oct. 11 to a line that preceded last month's fighting.
    (AP, 9/8/08)(AP, 9/9/08)

2008        Sep 9, Russia said it will station 7,600 troops in South Ossetia and in Abkhazia, announcing an imposing long-term presence less than a day after agreeing to pull forces back from areas surrounding the provinces.
    (AP, 9/9/08)(WSJ, 9/10/08, p.A1)

2008        Sep 13, Hundreds of Russian forces packed up and withdrew from positions in western Georgia. A Georgian official said Russia had met a deadline for a partial pullout a month after the war between the two former Soviet republics. A Georgian policeman at a post near Abkhazia was killed by gunfire that came from the direction of a position where Abkhazian and Russian forces have been based. Some 1,200 Russian servicemen still remained at 19 checkpoints and other positions, 12 outside South Ossetia and seven outside Abkhazia.
    (AP, 9/13/08)

2008        Sep 17, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed friendship treaties with Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and promised them the backing of Russia's armed forces.
    (AP, 9/17/08)

2008        Oct 29, Russia's parliament quickly ratified treaties cementing close economic and military ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces.
    (AP, 10/29/08)

2008        Nov 15, A Georgian policeman was shot dead by a group of armed Abkhazians. The group was said to have entered Georgian-controlled territory to plant land mines. Abkhazian presidential envoy Ruslan Kishmariya said police from the separatist side killed one and wounded two Georgian "saboteurs" in the tense Gali district.
    (AP, 11/15/08)

2008        Nov 20, Georgian officials said Russian and separatist forces attacked a Georgian police checkpoint near the village of Ganmukhuri, near the breakaway province of Abkhazia. Anatoly Zaitsev, the chief of staff for the Abkhaz armed forces, said that a group of Abkhaz troops patrolling the area were shelled from the Georgian side and returned fire, and no Russian troops were involved.
    (AP, 11/20/08)

2008        Nov 29, Georgia said it is cutting diplomatic relations with Nicaragua after the Central American nation recognized the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
    (AP, 11/29/08)

2008        Dec 22, OSCE talks on the Georgia collapsed, when Russia demanded the group join Moscow in recognizing the statehood of the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The mission will expire on Dec 31.
    (AP, 12/23/08)

2009        Feb 18, Georgia and Russia agreed to let monitors visit anywhere they want in Georgia and its 2 breakaway provinces.
    (WSJ, 2/19/09, p.A1)

2009        Apr 30, Russia signed a deal with Georgia's two breakaway regions giving Moscow the power to guard the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a move sharply criticized in Tbilisi.
    (AP, 4/30/09)

2009        Jun 15, Moscow vetoed a Western-proposed resolution to extend the mandate of UN monitors in the breakaway region of Abkhazia. It designed to buy time to negotiate a long-term plan for the 16-year-old monitoring mission in the Black Sea rebel region.
    (Reuters, 6/16/09)

2009        Aug 8, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hailed the Russian victory in a war with Georgia a year ago, saying the war had redrawn the map of the Caucasus for good.
    (Reuters, 8/8/09)

2009        Aug 12, Russian PM Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Abkhazia and said Russia will spend at least 15 billion rubles ($470 million) next year to build Russian military bases in Abkhazia and tighten the separatist Georgian region's borders.
    (AP, 8/12/09)

2009        Sep 10, In Russia Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez recognized the pro-Russian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, a rare boost to the Kremlin's campaign for their international acceptance.
    (Reuters 9/10/09)

2009        Sep 15, Russian news agencies said the country's coast guard warned that it will detain Georgian ships entering the territorial waters of Abkhazia. Viktor Turfanov, the head of the coastal division of the border guards service, said that Georgia this year has intercepted more than 20 ships in Abkhazian waters.
    (AP, 9/15/09)

2009        Dec 12, Abkhazia held elections. Preliminary results indicated that President Sergei Bagapsh defeated four other candidates. About 70% of the 130,000 registered voters took part in the vote. The province is also home to some 40,000 ethnic Georgians who are not eligible to vote because they don't hold Abkhazian passports. An estimated 200,000 ethnic Georgians fled Abkhazia in the 1990s.
    (AP, 12/13/09)

2009        Dec 15, The tiny Pacific island of Nauru recognized the rebel Black Sea region of Abkhazia, throwing its weight behind a Russian drive to win international recognition for Georgia's breakaway territories.
    (Reuters, 12/15/09)

2010        Feb 16, Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region said it would allow sponsor Russia to build a military base on its soil for land troops, strengthening the region's dependence on Moscow and provoking ire from Tbilisi..

2010        Aug 11, Russia said it has deployed high-precision air defense missiles in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia, sending a defiant signal to Tblisi and the West two years after a war with Georgia.
    (Reuters, 8/11/10)

2010        Thomas de Waal authored “The Caucasus: An Introduction."
    (Econ, 10/23/10, p.102)

2011        May 29, Sergei Bagapsh (62), the leader of Abkhazia, a separatist region of Georgia aligned with Russia, died in a Moscow hospital where he was being treated for lung cancer. Bagapsh had led Abkhazia since 2005 and was credited with leading the region to de facto independence.
    (AP, 5/29/11)

2011        Aug 26, Abkhazia, once dubbed the Soviet Riviera, held elections for a new president, with three veterans of the early 1990s separatist war against Georgia vying for the post. Candidates Vice President Alexander Ankvab (59), PM Sergei Shamba (60) and opposition leader Raul Khadjimba (53) fiercely rejected reunification with Georgia. Alexander Ankvab obtained 55 percent of the vote.
    (AP, 8/26/11)(AP, 8/27/11)

2012        Feb 22, Abkhazia Pres. Alexander Ankvab survived an assassination attempt. At least one bodyguard was killed and 2 wounded.
    (SFC, 2/23/12, p.A6)

2012        May 5, Russia's secret service agency FSB discovered ten caches of arms and ammunition over the last 48 hours in Abkhazia. The region is very close to Black Sea resort of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The FSB said it suspects the attacks targeting Sochi were being masterminded by Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov.
    (AP, 5/10/12)

2013        Sep 9, A senior Russian diplomat in Georgia's Moscow-backed breakaway Abkhazia region was shot dead by an unidentified gunman.
    (Reuters, 9/9/13)

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