Abkhazia

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Abkhazia Autonomous republic on the Black Sea coast of Georgia; the capital is Sukhumi. The area was conquered by Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Turks before becoming a Russian protectorate in 1910. It was made a Soviet republic in 1921, and an autonomous republic within Georgia in 1930. In 1992, after the establishment of an independent Georgia, the Abkhazian parliament declared independence. The following year, Abkhazian forces seized the capital from the Georgian army. In 1995, its independent status was confirmed by a new Georgian constitution. Tobacco, tea, and grapes are the main crops. Area: 8600sq km (3320sq mi). Pop. (1993 est.) 516,600.

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