[2012] 1992-1993, years of war that made of Abkhazia a de facto independent territory. In spite of the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Georgians that took place during the war, today's Abkhazia is still multi-ethnic. In this dossier, a feature story, an interview with a well known Abkhazian writer and with a representative of the local Armenian community. But also photos with the stories of those Georgians that twenty years ago were forced to leave their homes.

Feature story

In Abkhazia, worried about the language law

Giorgio Comai

The law "On the state language", approved by the authorities in Sukhumi in 2007, risks exacerbating inter-ethnic relations in Abkhazia, a territory that remains largely multi-ethnic, even after the ethnic cleansing that happened during the war. Our correspondent went to Abkhazia to find out more about it. A feature story

Aleksey Gogua is one of the most notable Abkhaz-language writers of the twenty-first century. During the Soviet era, his novels were translated into Russian and hundreds of thousands of copies were printed. Literature in Abkhazia today, relations with Russia, the situation of the Abkhaz language. An interview 

At home they speak Hamshen, a variety of western Armenian. At school, they study eastern Armenian, as spoken in Yerevan. According to Sukhumi authorities, they will need to speak Abkhaz within a few years. Most of them, though, prefer to just speak Russian. An interview with Suren Kerselian, former president of the Armenian community in Abkhazia

Crossing the de facto border on the Inguri

During the war in Abkhazia in 1992-1993, more than 200.000 Georgians were forced to leave their homes. Many of them have been living since then in Zugdidi, the Georgian city closest to the de facto border. Some of them managed to start a new life, other live in precarious conditions to this day. A photo feature

Sukhumi, September 30 - Giorgio Comai

September 30 in Abkhazia is met as "Independence day". On that day, in 1993, the whole territory of Abkhazia (with the exception of the Kodori gorge) got under the control of Abkhazian forces. In Georgia instead, September 27 of the same year is remembered with sorrow, as the day when Sukhumi fell. In those weeks, almost all of the ethnic Georgian population of the region was forced to leave their homes.