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Abkhazia, Once Called the "Russian Riveria"

In the aftermath of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Russia recognized Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia, as a fully independent country.
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The sun sets over a pier and the waterfront quay in the Black Sea port of Sukhumi, a landscape that prompted early 20th century painters and vacationers to call Abkhazia ‘the Russian Riviera.’ (V. Undritz/VOA)
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The sun sets over a pier and the waterfront quay in the Black Sea port of Sukhumi, a landscape that prompted early 20th century painters and vacationers to call Abkhazia ‘the Russian Riviera.’ (V. Undritz/VOA)

Gagra train station was built to welcome Soviet leader Joseph Stalin who vacationed at a villa on the shores of Lake Ritsa, high in the Caucasus Mountains. (V. Undritz/VOA)
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Gagra train station was built to welcome Soviet leader Joseph Stalin who vacationed at a villa on the shores of Lake Ritsa, high in the Caucasus Mountains. (V. Undritz/VOA)

At Pitsunda, an observation deck and disco entertained 1970's vacationers from East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.(V. Undritz/VOA)
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At Pitsunda, an observation deck and disco entertained 1970's vacationers from East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.(V. Undritz/VOA)

Used as a warehouse during the Soviet era, New Athos Monastery how has newly restored gold domes and freshly painted white walls. It is the pride of contemporary Abkhazia. (V. Undritz/VOA)
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Used as a warehouse during the Soviet era, New Athos Monastery how has newly restored gold domes and freshly painted white walls. It is the pride of contemporary Abkhazia. (V. Undritz/VOA)

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