Sukhumi or Sokhumi (Abkhazian: Аҟәа, Aqwa; Georgian: სოხუმი, [sɔxumi] (listen); Russian: Сухум(и), Sukhum(i) [sʊˈxum(ʲɪ)]) is a city on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia which has controlled it since the 1992-93 war in Abkhazia, although most of the international community considers it legally part of Georgia.

Sukhumi's history can be traced back to the 6th century BC, when it was settled by Greeks, who named it Dioscurias. During this time and the subsequent Roman period, much of the city disappeared under the Black Sea. The city was named Tskhumi when it became part of the Kingdom of Abkhazia. Contested by local princes, it became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1570s, where it remained until it was conquered by the Russian Empire in 1810. Following a period of conflict during the Russian Civil War, it became part of the Soviet Union, where it was regarded as a holiday resort. As the Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990s, the city suffered significant damage during the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict. The present-day population of 60,000 is only half of the population living there towards the end of Soviet rule.


Аҟәа  (Abkhazian)
სოხუმი  (Georgian)
Сухум(и)  (Russian)
Sokhumi Collage
Official seal of Sukhumi

Sukhumi is located in Abkhazia
Location of Sukhumi in Georgia
Sukhumi is located in Georgia
Sukhumi (Georgia)
Coordinates: 43°00′12″N 41°00′55″E / 43.00333°N 41.01528°E
Partially recognized stateAbkhazia[1]
Settled6th century BC
City Status1848
 • MayorAdgur Kharazia
 • Total27 km2 (10 sq mi)
Highest elevation
140 m (460 ft)
Lowest elevation
5 m (16 ft)
 • Total62,914 [2]
Time zoneUTC+4 (MSK)
Postal code
Area code+7 840 22x-xx-xx
Vehicle registrationABH


In Georgian, the city is known as სოხუმი (Sokhumi) or აყუ (Aqu),[3] in Megrelian as აყუჯიხა (Aqujikha),[4] and in Russian as Сухум (Sukhum) or Сухуми (Sukhumi). The toponym Sokhumi derives from the Georgian word Tskhomi/Tskhumi, meaning beech.[5] It is significant, that "dia" in several dialects of the Georgian language and among them in Megrelian means mother and "skuri" means water.[5] In Abkhaz, the city is known as Аҟәа (Aqwa) which according to native tradition signifies water.[6]

In the ancient Greek sources (Pseudo-Skilak of Kariand- IV c. B. C. ) the city is referred to as Dioscurias. According to the antique traditions this name originates from the mythical Dioskouri, the twin brothers Castor and Pollux, sons of Zeus. It was believed that the town had been established by Castor's and Pollux's coachmen, the Argonauts Telkius and Amphyst. However the names of the town may simply be the Greek comprehension of the old Georgian word combination.

The medieval Georgian sources knew the town as Tskhumi (ცხუმი).[7][8][9] Later, under the Ottoman control, the town was known in Turkish as Suhum-Kale, which can be derived from the earlier Georgian form Tskhumi or can be read to mean "water-sand fortress".[10][11] Tskhumi in turn is supposed to be derived from the Svan language word for "hot",[12] or the Georgian word for "hornbeam tree".

The ending -i in the above forms represents the Georgian nominative-suffix. The town was initially officially described in Russian as Сухум (Sukhum), until 16 August 1936 when this was changed to Сухуми (Sukhumi). This remained so until 4 December 1992, when the Supreme Council of Abkhazia restored the original version, that was approved in Russia in autumn 2008,[13] even though Сухуми is also still being used.

In English, the most common form today is Sukhumi, although Sokhumi is increasing in usage and has been adopted by sources including Encyclopædia Britannica,[14] MSN Encarta,[15] Esri[16] and Google Maps.[17]

General information

Sukhumi is located on a wide bay of the eastern coast of the Black Sea and serves as a port, rail junction and a holiday resort. It is known for its beaches, sanatoriums, mineral-water spas and semitropical climate. Sukhumi is also an important air link for Abkhazia as the Sukhumi Dranda Airport is located nearby the city. Sukhumi contains a number of small-to-medium size hotels serving chiefly the Russian tourists. Sukhumi botanical garden was established in 1840, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the Caucasus.

The city has a number of research institutes, the Abkhazian State University and the Sukhumi Open Institute. From 1945 to 1954 the city's electron physics laboratory was involved in the Soviet program to develop nuclear weapons.

The city is a member of the International Black Sea Club.[18]

A number of pilots that fought during the Great Patriotic War of 1942-1945 were born in Sukhumi, including famous female pilot Meri Avidzba.


Colchis coin
Colchian Coin of Dioscurias, late 2nd century BC. Obverse: Two pilei surmounted by stars Reverse: Thyrsos, ΔΙΟΣΚΟΥΡΙΑΔΟΣ

The history of the city began in the mid-6th century BC when an earlier settlement of the second and early first millennia BC, frequented by local Colchian tribes, was replaced by the Milesian Greek colony of Dioscurias (Greek: Διοσκουριάς). The city is said to have been so named for the Dioscuri, the twins Castor and Pollux of classical mythology. It became busily engaged in the commerce between Greece and the indigenous tribes, importing wares from many parts of Greece, and exporting local salt and Caucasian timber, linen, and hemp. It was also a prime center of slave trade in Colchis.[19] The city and its surroundings were remarkable for the multitude of languages spoken in its bazaars.[20]

The new encyclopaedia or Universal Dictionary of arts and sciences. vol. XIX. London, 1807
The new encyclopaedia or Universal Dictionary of arts and sciences. vol. XIX. London, 1807

Although the sea made serious inroads upon the territory of Dioscurias, it continued to flourish until its conquest by Mithridates VI Eupator of Pontus in the later 2nd century. Under the Roman emperor Augustus the city assumed the name of Sebastopolis[21] (Greek: Σεβαστούπολις). But its prosperity was past, and in the 1st century Pliny the Elder described the place as virtually deserted though the town still continued to exist during the times of Arrian in the 130s.[22] The remains of towers and walls of Sebastopolis have been found underwater; on land the lowest levels so far reached by archaeologists are of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. According to Gregory of Nyssa there were Christians in the city in the late 4th century.[23] In 542 the Romans evacuated the town and demolished its citadel to prevent it from being captured by Sassanid Iran. In 565, however, the emperor Justinian I restored the fort and Sebastopolis continued to remain one of the Byzantine strongholds in Colchis until being sacked by the Arab conqueror Marwan II in 736.

Afterwards, the town came to be known as Tskhumi.[12] Restored by the kings of Abkhazia from the Arab devastation, it particularly flourished during the Georgian Golden Age in the 12th–13th centuries, when Tskhumi became a center of traffic with the European maritime powers, particularly with the Republic of Genoa. The Genoese established their short-lived trading factory at Tskhumi early in the 14th century. The city of Tskhumi became the summer residence of the Georgian kings. According to Russian scholar V. Sizov, it became an important “cultural and administrative center of the Georgian state.[24] Later Tskhumi served as capital of the OdishiMegrelian rulers, it was in this city that Vamek I (c. 1384-1396), the most influential Dadiani, minted his coins.[25]

Gamba - view of sukhumi fortress
The Sohum-Kale fort in the early 19th century.

Documents of the 15th century clearly distinguished Tskhumi from Principality of Abkhazia.[26] The Ottoman navy occupied the town in 1451, but for a short time. Later contested between the princes of Abkhazia and Mingrelia, Tskhumi finally fell to the Turks in the 1570s. The new masters heavily fortified the town and called it Sohumkale, with kale meaning "fort" but the first part of the name of disputed origin. It may represent Turkish su, "water", and kum, "sand", but is more likely to be an alteration of its earlier Georgian name.[12]

At the request of the pro-Russian Abkhazian prince, the town was stormed by the Russian Marines in 1810 and turned, subsequently, into a major outpost in the North West Caucasus. (See Russian conquest of the Caucasus). Sukhumi was declared the seaport in 1847 and was directly annexed to the Russian Empire after the ruling Shervashidze princely dynasty was ousted by the Russian authorities in 1864. During the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878, the town was temporarily controlled by the Ottoman forces and Abkhaz-Adyghe rebels.

On quay. Sukhum
Sukhumi quay

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the town and Abkhazia in general were engulfed in the chaos of the Russian Civil War. A short-lived Bolshevik government was suppressed in May 1918 and Sukhumi was incorporated into the Democratic Republic of Georgia as a residence of the autonomous People's Council of Abkhazia and the headquarters of the Georgian governor-general. The Red Army and the local revolutionaries took the city from the Georgian forces on 4 March 1921, and declared Soviet rule. Sukhumi functioned as the capital of the "Union treaty" Abkhaz Soviet Socialist Republic associated with the Georgian SSR from 1921 until 1931, when it became the capital of the Abkhazian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Georgian SSR. By 1989, Sukhumi had 110,000 inhabitants and was one of the most prosperous cities of Georgia. Many holiday dachas for Soviet leaders were situated there.

Suhumi Prokudin-Gorskii
Sukhumi in 1912. Early color photo by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii

Beginning with the 1989 riots, Sukhumi was a centre of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, and the city was severely damaged during the 1992–1993 War. During the war, the city and its environs suffered almost daily air strikes and artillery shelling, with heavy civilian casualties.[27] On 27 September 1993 the battle for Sukhumi was concluded by a full-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing against its majority Georgian population (see Sukhumi Massacre), including members of the pro-Georgian Abkhazian government (Zhiuli Shartava, Raul Eshba and others) and mayor of Sukhumi Guram Gabiskiria. Although the city has been relatively peaceful and partially rebuilt, it is still suffering the after-effects of the war, and it has not regained its earlier ethnic diversity. Its population in 2003 was 43,716, compared to about 120,000 in 1989.[28]



Historic population figures for Sukhumi, split out by ethnicity, based on population censuses:[29]

Year Abkhaz Armenians Estonians Georgians Greeks Russians Turkish Ukrainians Total
1897 Census 1.8%
1926 Census 3.1%
--- 10.4%
1939 Census 5.5%
--- 4.6%
1959 Census 5.6%
--- 31.1%
--- 4.3%
1979 Census 9.9%
--- 38.3%
--- 3.4%
1989 Census 12.5%
--- 41.5%
--- 21.6%
--- --- 119,150
2003 Census 65.3%
--- 1.6%
2011 Census 67.3%
(42,603 )
--- 2.8%
--- --- 62,914


Ancient Sebastopolis was a Latin bishopric, but the diocese ceased to exist with the advent of Orthodoxy.

Titular see

The diocese of Sebastopolis in Abasgia (meaning 'in Abchasia') was nominally restored as a Catholic Latin.

It has had the following incumbents, but is now vacant:

  • Celestino Annibale Cattaneo, Capuchin Franciscans (O.F.M. Cap.) (1936.03.03 – 1946.02.15)
  • Henri-Édouard Dutoit (1949.04.23 – 1953.04.17)
  • Aluigi Cossio (1955.08.12 – 1956.01.03)
  • Giuseppe Paupini (1956.02.02 – 1969.04.28), later cardinal

Main sights

Beslet bridge
Medieval bridge over the Besletka river known as the Queen Tamar Bridge.

Sukhumi houses a number of historical monuments, notably the Besleti Bridge built during the reign of queen Tamar of Georgia in the 12th century. It also retains visible vestiges of the defunct monuments, including the Roman walls, the medieval Castle of Bagrat, several towers of the Great Abkhazian Wall constructed by the early modern Mingrelian and Abkhazian princes amid their territorial disputes; the 14th-century Genoese fort and the 18th-century Ottoman fortress. The 11th century Kamani Church (12 kilometres (7 miles) from Sukhumi) is erected, according to tradition, over the tomb of Saint John Chrysostom. Some 22 km (14 mi) from Sukhumi lies New Athos with the ruins of the medieval city of Anacopia. The Neo-Byzantine New Athos Monastery was constructed here in the 1880s on behest of Tsar Alexander III of Russia.

Northward in the mountains is the Voronya Cave, the deepest in the world, with a depth of 2,140 meters.[30]


Sukhumi has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), that is almost cool enough in summer to be an oceanic climate.


On 2 February 2000, President Ardzinba dismissed temporary Mayor Leonid Osia and appointed Leonid Lolua in his stead.[33] Lolua was reappointed on 10 May 2001 following the March 2001 local elections.[34]

On 5 November 2004, in the heated aftermath of the 2004 presidential election, president Vladislav Ardzinba appointed head of the Gulripsh district assembly Adgur Kharazia as acting mayor. During his first speech he called upon the two leading candidates, Sergei Bagapsh and Raul Khadjimba, to both withdraw.[35]

On 16 February 2005, after his election as President, Bagapsh replaced Kharazia with Astamur Adleiba, who had been Minister for Youth, Sports, Resorts and Tourism until December 2004.[36] In the 11 February 2007 local elections, Adleiba successfully defended his seat in the Sukhumi city assembly and was thereupon reappointed mayor by Bagapsh on 20 March.[37]

In April 2007, while President Bagapsh was in Moscow for medical treatment, the results of an investigation into corruption within the Sukhumi city administration were made public. The investigation found that large sums had been embezzled and upon his return, on 2 May, Bagapsh fired Adleiba along with his deputy Boris Achba, the head of the Sukhumi's finance department Konstantin Tuzhba and the head of the housing department David Jinjolia.[38] On 4 June Adleiba paid back to the municipal budget 200,000 rubels.[39] and on 23 July, he resigned from the Sukhumi city council, citing health reasons and the need to travel abroad for medical treatment.[40]

On 15 May 2007, president Bagapsh released Alias Labakhua as First Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee and appointed him acting Mayor of Sukhumi, a post temporarily fulfilled by former Vice-Mayor Anzor Kortua. On 27 May Labakhua appointed Vadim Cherkezia as Deputy Chief of staff.[41] On 2 September, Labakhua won the by-election in constituency No. 21, which had become necessary after Adleiba relinquished his seat. Adleiba was the only candidate and voter turnout was 34%, higher than the 25% required.[42] Since Adleiba was now a member of the city assembly, president Bagapsh could permanently appoint him Mayor of Sukhumi on 18 September.[43]

Following the May 2014 Revolution and the election of Raul Khajimba as President, he on 22 October dismissed Labakhua and again appointed (as acting Mayor) Adgur Kharazia, who at that point was Vice Speaker of the People's Assembly.[44] Kharazia won the 4 April 2015 by-election to the City Council in constituency no. 3 unopposed,[45] and was confirmed as mayor by Khajimba on 4 May.[46]

List of Mayors

# Name From Until President Comments
Chairmen of the (executive committee of the) City Soviet:
Vladimir Mikanba 1975 [47] 1985 [47]
D. Gubaz <=1989 >=1989
Nodar Khashba 1991 [47] First time
Guram Gabiskiria 1992 27 September 1993
Heads of the City Administration:
Nodar Khashba 1993 [47] 26 November 1994 Second time
26 November 1994 1995 [47] Vladislav Ardzinba
Garri Aiba 1995 2000
Leonid Osia 2 February 2000 [33] Acting Mayor
Leonid Lolua 2 February 2000 [33] 5 November 2004 [35]
Adgur Kharazia 5 November 2004 [35] 16 February 2005 [36] Acting Mayor, first time
Astamur Adleiba 16 February 2005 [36] 2 May 2007 [38] Sergei Bagapsh
Anzor Kortua May 2007 15 May 2007 Acting Mayor
Alias Labakhua 15 May 2007 29 May 2011
29 May 2011 1 June 2014 Alexander Ankvab
1 June 2014 22 October 2014 Valeri Bganba
Adgur Kharazia 22 October 2014 Present Raul Khajimba Second time


Railway station Suhum
Railway station

The city is served by several trolleybus and bus routes. Sukhumi is connected to other Abkhazian towns by bus routes.

There is a railway station in Sukhumi, that has a daily train to Moscow via Sochi.

Babushara Airport now handles only local flights due to the disputed status of Abkhazia.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Sukhumi is twinned with the following cities:

See also


  1. ^ Abkhazia is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Abkhazia and Georgia. The Republic of Abkhazia unilaterally declared independence on 23 July 1992, but Georgia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Abkhazia has received formal recognition as an independent state from 7 out of 193 United Nations member states, 2 of which have subsequently withdrawn their recognition.
  2. ^ "п╫п╟я│п╣п╩п╣п╫п╦п╣ п╟п╠я┘п╟п╥п╦п╦". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  3. ^ Abkhaz Loans in Megrelian, p. 65
  4. ^ Otar Kajaia, 2001–2004, Megrelian-Georgian Dictionary (entry aq'ujixa).
  5. ^ a b Assays from the history of Georgia. Abkhazia from ancient times to the present day. Tbilisi, Georgia: Intelect. ISBN 978-9941-410-69-7.
  6. ^ Colarusso, John. "More Pontic: Further Etymologies between Indo-European and Northwest Caucasian" (PDF). p. 54. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
  7. ^ Vita Sanctae Ninonis. TITUS Old Georgian hagiographical and homiletic texts: Part No. 39
  8. ^ Martyrium David et Constantini. TITUS Old Georgian hagiographical and homiletic texts: Part No. 41
  9. ^ Kartlis Cxovreba: Part No. 233. TITUS
  10. ^ Goltz, Thomas (2009). "4. An Abkhazian Interlude". Georgia Diary (Expanded ed.). Armonk, New York / London, England: M.E. Sharpe. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7656-2416-1.
  11. ^ (in Russian)
  12. ^ a b c Room, A. (2005), Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for 6,600 Countries, Cities, Territories, Natural Features and Historic Sites. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, and London, ISBN 0-7864-2248-3, p. 361
  13. ^ Абхазию и Южную Осетию на картах в РФ выкрасят в "негрузинские" цвета
  14. ^ "Sokhumi". (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 November 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:
  15. ^ "Sokhumi". (2006). In Encarta. Retrieved 6 November 2006: Archived 30 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Esri ArcGis WebMap". Esri. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  17. ^ "Google Maps changes Sukhumi to Sokhumi following Georgia's request". 10 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  18. ^ International Black Sea Club, members
  19. ^ Blair, William (1833). An inquiry into the state of slavery amongst the Romans. T. Clark. p. 25.
  20. ^ Strabo, The Geography, BOOK XI, II, 16
  21. ^ Hewitt, George (1998) The Abkhazians: a handbook St. Martin's Press, New York, p. 62, ISBN 0-312-21975-X
  22. ^ Dioscurias. A Guide to the Ancient World, H.W. Wilson (1986). Retrieved 20 July 2006, from
  23. ^ Vinogradov, Andrey (2014). "Some Notes On The Topography Of Eastern Pontos Euxeinos In Late Antiquity And Early Byzantium".
  24. ^ "ABKHAZIA – UNFALSIFIED HISTORY" Giorgi Sharvashidze.
  25. ^ "Abkhazia – Unfalsified History" Zurab Papaskiri.
  26. ^ "THE ABKHAZIANS AND ABKHAZIA" Mariam Lordkipanidze.
  27. ^ "The Human Rights Watch report, March 1995 Vol. 7, No. 7". Retrieved 4 July 2010.
  28. ^ 2003 Census statistics (in Russian)
  29. ^ Population censuses in Abkhazia: 1886, 1926, 1939, 1959, 1970, 1979, 1989, 2003 (in Russian)
  30. ^ Voronya Peshchera. Show Caves of the World. Retrieved on 29 July 2008.
  31. ^ "Sukhumi, Georgia Travel Weather Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Georgia, Sukhumi climate information". Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  33. ^ a b c "СООБЩЕНИЯ АПСНЫПРЕСС". Apsnypress. 2 February 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  34. ^ "Выпуск № 92". Apsnypress. 10 May 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  35. ^ a b c "MAYOR SUGGESTS ABKHAZ PRESIDENTIAL RIVALS SHOULD WITHDRAW". RFE/RL. 10 November 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  36. ^ a b c "Указ Президента Абхазии №5 от 16.02.2005". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 16 February 2005. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  37. ^ "Президент Сергей Багапш подписал указы о назначении глав городских и районных администраций". Апсныпресс. 20 March 2007. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  38. ^ a b "Abkhazia's anti-corruption drive". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. 20 March 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  39. ^ "Экс-мэр Сухуми вернул в бюджет двести тысяч рублей". REGNUM. 5 June 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  40. ^ "Экс-мэр Сухума намерен покинуть Столичное городское Собрание". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 23 July 2007. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  41. ^ "Заместителем главы администрации столицы Абхазии назначен Вадим Черкезия". Caucasian Knot. 27 May 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  42. ^ "АЛИАС ЛАБАХУА ИЗБРАН ДЕПУТАТОМ ГОРОДСКОГО СОБРАНИЯ СУХУМА". Апсныпресс. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  43. ^ "СЕРГЕЙ БАГАПШ ПОДПИСАЛ УКАЗ О НАЗНАЧЕНИИ АЛИАСА ЛАБАХУА ГЛАВОЙ АДМИНИСТРАЦИИ ГОРОДА СУХУМ". Апсныпресс. 18 September 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  44. ^ "Адгур Харазия назначен исполняющим обязанности главы администрации г. Сухум". Apsnypress. 22 October 2014. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  45. ^ "Итоги выборов". Избирательная комиссия по выборам в органы местного самоуправления г.Сухум. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  46. ^ Khajimba, Raul. "УКАЗ О главе администрации города Сухум" (PDF). Retrieved 19 September 2015.
  47. ^ a b c d e Lakoba, Stanislav. "Кто есть кто в Абхазии". Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  48. ^ "Сайт Администрации г.Подольска – Побратимы". 15 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  49. ^ "Новости". Archived from the original on 25 June 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  50. ^ "12 мая между городами Абхазии и Италии были подписаны Протоколы о дружбе и сотрудничестве". Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  51. ^ "Il Sulcis rafforza il legame con i paesi dell'Est europeo, sottoscritto questa sera un protocollo d'amicizia con l'Abkhcazia". 9 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2016.

Sources and external links

Coordinates: 43°00′N 41°01′E / 43.000°N 41.017°E

Abkhazia national football team

The Abkhazia national football team is the team representing the partially recognised state of Abkhazia. They are not affiliated with FIFA or UEFA (AFC), and therefore cannot compete for the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championships.

They competed at the first ConIFA World Football Cup in 2014 finishing 8th overall. They hosted and won the second ConIFA World Football Cup in 2016.

Abkhazian Orthodox Church

The Abkhazian Orthodox Church (Russian: Абхазская Православная церковь) is an Eastern Orthodox church outside the official Eastern Orthodox ecclesiastical hierarchy. It came into existence when the Sukhumi-Abkhazian Eparchy declared on 15 September 2009 that it no longer considered itself part of the Georgian Orthodox Church and that it was "re-establishing the Catholicate of Abkhazia disbanded in 1795".

Abkhazian State University

The Abkhazian State University is the only university in Abkhazia. It was founded in 1979 on the basis of the Sukhumi Pedagogical Institute. Its first rector was Zurab Anchabadze.The university consists the departments of physics and mathematics, biology and geography, history, philology, economics, law; pedagogical and agro-engineering departments.

The first college in Abkhazia, Sukhumi Agro-pedagogical Institute was founded in 1932 and transformed into Maxim Gorky Pedagogical Institute the following year. Following the rallies and street demonstrations in 1978 it was transformed into Abkhazian State University with Abkhaz, Georgian and Russian sectors. In 1989 Georgian students demanded that the Georgian sector be transformed into a branch of the Tbilisi State University. This was opposed by the Abkhaz and eventually led to the clashes in the city.

Abkhazian railway

Abkhazian railway (Abkhazian: Аҧсны Аихамҩа; Russian: Абхазская железная дорога) is a rail operator in the partially recognised state of Abkhazia. Under a monopoly agreement, it is fully managed and partially owned by Russian Railways for a ten year contract from 2009-2019.

In 2016, 307,748 people traveled between Abkhazia and Russia by rail.


Apsnypress is the de facto state press agency of Abkhazia. Its stated goals is to assist in development of democracy, sovereignty and independence of the breakaway Abkhaz republic and to ensure the information security thereof.

Avtandil Gogoberidze

Avtandil Nikolozis dze Gogoberidze (Georgian: ავთანდილ ნიკოლოზის ძე ღოღობერიძე, Russian: Автандил Николаевич Гогоберидзе; born 3 August 1922 in Sukhumi; died 20 November 1980 in Tbilisi), nicknamed "Basa", was a Georgian and Soviet football player. He was a Grigory Fedotov club member. His son Tengiz Gogoberidze played one game in the Soviet Top League for FC Dinamo Tbilisi.

Catholic Church in Abkhazia

The Catholic Church in Abkhazia is the third largest Christian denomination in the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia, which is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in communion with the Pope. Most Christians in Abkhazia are Orthodox, see Religion in Abkhazia. Due to Abkhazia's partial recognition, administration of Catholics comes from Catholic dioceses in Russia.

The Catholic Church in Abkhazia mainly consists of≥ Armenians, Poles, and expatriates living in Abkhazia. The Holy See does not have diplomatic relations with Abkhazia, but has enjoyed two high level visits from the apostolic nuncio.

FC ASMC Sukhumi

ASMC Sukhumi is a Georgian football club. It was formed by IDP from Abkhazia, as Dinamo Sukhumi. It's named after the most successful club from Abkhaz ASSR, FC Dinamo Sukhumi.

From 2000–01 to 2004–05 season, the club played in the Regionuli Liga, but after the season, was invited to play in Umaglesi Liga 2005–06.In 2006, the club changed its name to ASMC Sukhumi and played in Regionuli Liga 2006–07.

FC Dinamo Sukhumi

For the current club formed in Tbilisi, see FC ASMC Sukhumi.FC Dinamo Sukhumi (Georgian: სკ სოხუმის დინამო) was a Georgian football club based in Sukhumi, Georgia and one of the most successful clubs of the country, currently is not playing anymore. Dynamo's traditional kit colours were blue and white. Their crest was of a blue letter "D", written in a traditional cursive style, on a white background with the name of their home town "Sukhumi" written in front of a football underneath.

FC Tskhumi Sukhumi

FC Tskhumi Sokhumi is a Soviet and Georgian association football club. The club was based in Sokhumi and re-found by IDP from Abkhazia in Tbilisi.

History of the Jews in Abkhazia

The Jewish population of Abkhazia consisted of Ashkenazi, Georgian and other Jews. It grew after the incorporation of Abkhazia into the Russian Empire in the middle of the 19th century. Most of the Jews left or were evacuated from Abkhazia as a result of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict of 1992–1993.

A Russian garrison was installed in Sukhumi in the 1840s, as its fortress was part of the Black Sea defence line, and Jews from many regions of Georgia, particularly from Kulashi, settled in the town. As the 1897 census results indicate, there were also many Ashkenazi Jews in Sukhumi. A synagogue was built in the first decade of the 20th century.

In Soviet times, the Jewish population of Abkhazia increased greatly, but the Sukhumi Jewish community remained the largest in Abkhazia. According to the 1926 census, there were about 1,100 Jews in Abkhazia, most of them Ashkenazi (702) or Georgian (215). The Jewish community of Sukhumi was officially recognised by Soviet authorities in 1945, at the very end of World War II. Abkhazian Jews suffered like the other Jews of the Soviet Union during the massive anti-Jewish campaign in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sukhumi synagogue was razed in October, 1951 (according to the official version, its territory was needed for urban development). The Jewish population increased to about 3,500 in 1959, but many of them emigrated to Israel and elsewhere in the 1970s.

As the Soviet Union was disintegrating in the late 1980s, ethnic tensions began to grow in Abkhazia and the number of Jewish emigrants increased greatly. There were still many Jews in Abkhazia at the outbreak of the Georgian-Abkhaz War in August, 1992. All of the Jews who wished to flee the fledgling republic were evacuated by the Jewish Agency and settled in Israel. Most of the few who remained were Ashkenazi. Those who remained had to endure the capture of Sukhumi by Abkhaz separatists and their allies.As of 2009, there are about 150 Jews in Abkhazia, nearly all of them Ashkenazi. The community maintains a synagogue in Sukhumi. The majority of them are elderly, with their average age being 72 in 2004.Rivka Cohen, Israel's ambassador to Georgia, visited Abkhazia in July, 2004.

People's Assembly of Abkhazia

The People's Assembly of the Republic of Abkhazia (Abkhazian: Аҧсны жәлар реизара, Georgian: აფხაზეთის რესპუბლიკის სახალხო კრება, Russian: Народное Собрание Республики Абхазия) is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Sport in Abkhazia

Football is a major sport in Abkhazia (a territory in the Caucasus). During Soviet times the main club within Abkhazia itself was FC Dinamo Sukhumi, but Abkhazian footballers were prominent in the Georgian team FC Dinamo Tbilisi and in other Soviet teams. After Abkhazia declared itself independent from Georgia, in 1994 it organised a nine-team amateur league.

Outside football, many Abkhazian sportsmen participate in international competitions as Russian citizens, especially in boxing and freestyle wrestling. A basketball team based in the capital Sukhumi plays in a Russian league.

Sukhum Okrug

The Sukhum Okrug (Russian: Сухумский округ) was an okrug (district) of the Kutais Governorate of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire. It roughly corresponded to most of present-day Abkhazia.

Sukhumi Babushara Airport

Sukhumi Babushara Airport (IATA: SUI, ICAO: UGSS), previously known as Sukhumi Dranda Airport, is the main airport of Abkhazia. It is located in the village of Babushara next to the larger village of Dranda and some 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Sukhumi, the capital of the autonomous republic.

Sukhumi District

Sukhum District is one of the districts of Abkhazia, Georgia’s breakaway republic. It corresponds to the eponymous Georgian municipality. Its capital is Sukhumi, the town by the same name, which is also the capital of entire Abkhazia. The population of the district is 11,531 according to the 2011 census. The city of Sukhumi is a separate administrative entity with more than 60,000 inhabitants.

Sukhumi massacre

The Sukhumi massacre took place on September 27, 1993, during and after the fall of Sukhumi into separatist hands in the course of the War in Abkhazia. It was perpetrated against Georgian civilians of Sukhumi, mainly by militia forces of Abkhaz separatists, their North Caucasian and Russian allies. It became part of a violent ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the separatists.

Viktor Saneyev

Viktor Danilovich Saneyev (Russian: Виктор Данилович Санеев; born 3 October 1945) is a retired triple jumper, who competed internationally for the USSR and won four Olympic medals; three golds (1968, 1972 and 1976) and one silver (1980). He was born in Sukhumi, Georgian SSR, and trained in Sukhumi and later in Tbilisi.

War in Abkhazia (1992–1993)

The War in Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993 was fought between Georgian government forces for the most part, and Abkhaz separatist forces, Soviet Russian government armed forces and North Caucasian militants. Ethnic Georgians who lived in Abkhazia fought largely on the side of Georgian government forces. Ethnic Armenians and Russians within Abkhazia's population largely supported the Abkhazians, and many fought on their side. The separatists received support from thousands of North Caucasus and Cossack militants and from the Russian Federation forces stationed in and near Abkhazia.The handling of this conflict was aggravated by the civil strife in Georgia proper (between the supporters of the ousted Georgian president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia – in office 1991–1992 – and the post-coup government headed by Eduard Shevardnadze) as well as by the Georgian–Ossetian conflict of 1989 onwards.

Significant human-rights violations and atrocities were reported on all sides, peaking in the aftermath of the Abkhaz capture of Sukhumi on 27 September 1993, which (according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) was followed by a large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing against the ethnic Georgian population. A fact-finding mission dispatched by the UN Secretary General in October 1993 reported numerous and serious human rights violations committed both by Abkhazians and by Georgians.

From 13,000 to 20,000 ethnic Georgians and approximately 3,000 Abkhaz have been reported killed, more than 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced or refugees and 2,000 are considered missing.

The war heavily affected post-Soviet Georgia, which suffered considerable financial, human and psychological damage. The fighting and subsequent continued sporadic conflict have devastated Abkhazia.

Climate data for Sukhumi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8
Average low °C (°F) 2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 137
Average rainy days 17 15 16 15 12 11 10 10 10 12 16 16 160
Source #1: Weatherbase[31]
Source #2: Georgia Travel Climate Information[32]
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