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Photo archive: Georgian families leaving Abkhazia during the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhaz war

The exodus of 300,000 people in photos

These images were captured between 1992 and 1993 during the Georgian-Abkhaz war. They are currently kept in the archives of the Georgian National Library. They depict Georgian families leaving their homes in Abkhazia.

We dedicated this photostory to the 26th anniversary of the end of the armed conflict, a date that is commemorated by both sides from polar-opposite perspectives.

A solution to the conflict has not been reached to this day. It is far from settled as the sides’ positions remain the same: Georgia insists on its territorial integrity, while Abkhazia insists on it independence.

So far, Abkhazia’s status as an independent state has been recognised by Russia and five other nations. All western countries and the rest of the international community support Georgia’s territorial integrity.

The armed conflict began on 14 August 1992 and ended on 27 September 1993 with the defeat of the Georgian military forces.

According to incomplete data, more than 13,000 people lost their lives. More than 1,000 people are missing. Their families still have no knowledge of where many of them are buried.

As many as 300,000 people were displaced from Abkhazia as a result of the war, a majority of whom were ethnic Georgians. This photo essay is about them.

Abkhazia, 1993.

Ochamchire railway station in Abkhazia, 1993. Photo: Shah Aivazov.

Abkhazia, 1993.

Georgian displaced persons, 1993. Georgian National Library Archive. Photo: Shah Aivazov.

Abkhazia, 1993. Georgian National Library Archive.

Georgian displaced persons, 1993. Georgian National Library Archive. Photo: Shah Aivazov.

Georgian displaced persons, 1993. Georgian National Library Archive. Photo: Shah Aivazov.

Displaced persons in Sukhumi airport, 1993.

Displaced persons leaving Abkhazia. Bridge across the Inguri river, 1993.

Displaced persons leaving Abkhazia. Bridge across the Inguri river, 1993.

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