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Georgia Geography 1996

    • Note:
      Georgia has been beset by ethnic and civil strife since independence. In late 1991, the country's first elected president, Zviad GAMSAKHURDIA was ousted in an armed coup. In October 1993, GAMSAKHURDIA, and his supporters sponsored a failed attempt to retake power from the current government led by former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard SHEVARDNADZE. The Georgian government has also faced armed separatist conflicts in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. A cease-fire went into effect in South Ossetia in June 1992 and a joint Georgian-Ossetian-Russian peacekeeping force has been in place since that time. Georgian forces were driven out of the Abkhaz region in September 1993 after a yearlong war with Abkhaz separatists. Nearly 200,000 Georgian refugees have since fled Abkhazia, adding substantially to the estimated 100,000 internally displaced persons already in Georgia. Russian peacekeepers are deployed along the border of Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia.

    • Location:
      Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia

    • Map references:
      Middle East

    • Area:

        total area:
        69,700 sq km

        land area:
        69,700 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than South Carolina

    • Land boundaries:
      total 1,461 km, Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km

    • Coastline:
      310 km

    • Maritime claims:

    • International disputes:

    • Climate:
      warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast

    • Terrain:
      largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhida Lowland opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland

    • Natural resources:
      forest lands, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ores, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      4,660 sq km (1990)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        air pollution, particularly in Rust'avi; heavy pollution of Mtkvari River and the Black Sea; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil pollution from toxic chemicals

        natural hazards:

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Desertification

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