200 inhabitants, spotted pigs and a foothold for the German army during World War II " />

Photo report from the alpine village of Pskhu in Abkhazia

200 inhabitants, spotted pigs and a foothold for the German army during World War II

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In the highland village of Pskhu in Abkhazia there are only about two hundred inhabitants, largely the descendants of Russian peasants who settled here in the middle of the 19th century.

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Pskhu is located between the Main Caucasian and Bzyb ranges, at an altitude of 760 meters above sea level.

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During the Second World War, this village was one of the goals of the German army; indeed, it managed to capture the village for a short time in September 1942. From here, several strategically important passes were controlled.

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In winter, it can be difficult to get here, as a result of which locals have problems with food and medicine.

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To arrive at another time of the year - there are two options:

It can be reached partly by car, partly by horse. This takes about eight hours.

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Or you can fly on a 12-seater corn-picker, in 30 minutes - and for 28 thousand rubles [about $450]. Tourists say that it’s not expensive, but for local people the amount is enormous.

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Locals live mainly on what they get from selling their produce and other goods: cheese, honey, wine, chacha, fruits and vegetables. The local administration helps them in this process
Mobile phones do not work here. But satellite communications and therefore the Internet and TV work.

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There is a small hotel in the village that costs 500 rubles [about $8] per night. Local residents also rent rooms for tourists, for 250-300 rubles [about $ 5] per night per person.

There is also a school, about 30 children study there. There are two to three students in each class, and only three to four teachers for the entire school.

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Three years ago, the church of John the Baptist was built in the village. A liturgy is held here every Sunday.

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Near the temple, on the site of the mass grave, there is a restored monument to fallen soldiers during the Second World War. And here is a monument to the Muhajirs, which was installed in July 2014 [Muhajirs - Abkhazians / Circassians, who in the 19th and early 20th centuries were forced to relocate to Turkey after the conquest of these territories by the Russian Empire - JAMnews].

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The village has one store and has its own bakery. The bakery has another purpose - it cooks all the food on wedding days.

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Among the residential buildings is the old abandoned Holy Trinity Church, tucked away. Locals say that a priest bought it many years ago. He made a small extension for the altar and built an iconostasis inside.

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And the main attraction of Pskhu is a narrow river running right through the main long street.

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