In the aftermath of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Russia recognized Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia, as a fully independent country.
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)
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)