[QODLink]
PEOPLE & POWER
Abkhazia: A forgotten country
Michael Andersen reports on a country caught between independence and isolation.
Last Modified: 13 May 2009 07:38 GMT

Watch part two 

Although Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian president, has been holding talks with opposition leaders this week, the sense of crisis surrounding him shows little sign of diminishing.

Protestors in Tbilisi, the capital, have been calling for his resignation, furious at Georgia's humiliation by Russia in South Ossetia last August.

But the defeat in South Ossetia is only part of the problem.

When Russian tanks crossed Georgia's borders, 10,000 Russian soldiers were also moving into Abkhazia, another breakaway republic.

A few weeks later Russia recognised both South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

Nationalists in Abkhazia have always underpinned claims for its independence, by citing a distinct history, culture and political identity.

The West refused to accept these claims for autonomy and has now severed almost all relations with the breakaway Georgian state, though this seems only to have pushed the state deeper into Moscow's embrace and increased tensions in the region.

What lies behind Abkhazia's bid for independence? And could it lead to another war and yet more pressure on Saakashvili?

Michael Anderson reports for People & Power.

This episode of People & Power aired from Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 0130, 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530; Monday: 0830.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Russia is expected to be the main topic of the two-day NATO summit this week in Wales.
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
join our mailing list