Life in limbo land

Rustam Anshba on a breakaway state whose people are trapped

The World Today Published 4 April 2019 Updated 6 November 2020 2 minute READ

Rustam Anshba

Former Academy Robert Bosch Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme

The freedom of movement taken for granted by young people in Europe is non-existent in certain parts of the continent. These are the ‘white spots’ – territories with disputed status where generations grow up in limbo. Abkhazia, in conflict with Georgia since it declared independence in 1992, is one such place.

Abkhazia is a picturesque strip of land squeezed between the southern slopes of the Caucasus mountains and the warm waters of the Black Sea, bordering Russia in the north and Georgia in the south. Its population is roughly 300,000, barely half the number before the 1992-3 war with Georgia, since which it has run its own affairs.

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