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Abkhazia one year on from ‘independence’
The breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia is marking its first year since Russia recognised the territory as independent.
26 Aug 2009
Many Russians are now returning to Abkhazia's Black Sea resorts, once the favourite holiday destination of the former Soviet Union's elite.
Although conflict has ended in the region, reminders of the war with Georgia last year remain scattered around the territory.
Abkhazia split from central Georgian rule during fighting in the 1990s, but it was not recognised as independent by any nation until last year.
Russia retains a heavy military presence in the territory, and many people say they are grateful to leaders Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.
The region has its own trappings of statehood including a flag, postage stamps and licence plates.
Many residents are enjoying a growth in stability and confidence in the region [Guy Degen]
But the Abkhaz army belives the threat of conflict with Georgia still looms large [Guy Degen]
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