The Black Sea port of Sukhumi (Sukhum in Abkhaz) is the capital of the autonomous republic of Abkhazia. A once-popular tourist resort, it has been at the centre of a guerilla war since the early 1990s.
The earliest settlement, known as Dioscurias, was founded by the Greeks in the sixth century BC. Called Sebastopolis during the Roman and Byzantine periods, in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries it was ruled by the Ottomans who named it Sukhum-Kale. It fell under Russian control in 1810.
In the civil war between Georgia and the secessionist Abkhazia in 1992–3, Sukhumi was seized by separatist Abkhazian forces. Up to 250,000 ethnic Georgians joined a mass exodus. The city is still in a state of post-war ruin.
Industries include electrical manufacturing, food processing and wine-making. Sukhumi has a local airport, a port and road and rail links.
Places of Interest
A once popular tourist destination, the industry was badly affected by the violence of the...