The lost paradise 6# -
The story behind the photo:
The Abkhaz flag on the roof of the abandoned and derelict parliament building, Sukhumi.
Abkhazia is a non-place. However, it was once considered a paradise. In the years of the Soviet Union, this strip of land spanning 200 kilometres by 100 and facing onto the Black Sea was the chosen holiday destination of the political elite, who could enjoy hospitality of the highest standards. Figures such as Stalin, Beria, Khrushchev and Brezhnev had dachas there.
Following the fall of the USSR, Georgia proclaimed independence, and in turn, in July 1992, Abkhazia attempted to secede from Georgia. There followed a ferocious war that, over the course of one year, devastated Abkhazia, leaving 30 thousand dead and tens of thousands displaced. Today Abkhazia is an autonomous republic to all intents and purposes, but neither the United Nations nor the European Union recognise its independence. Only five UN member states (including Russia) and three other disputed territories acknowledge its legitimacy as an independent nation. An international embargo continues to stifle economic development and foreign investment in the country. In spite of the fact that more than 25 years have passed since the end of the war, at least half of the buildings and towns remain abandoned.
From the story "Abkhazia, the lost paradise", Abkhazia 2019
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