Abandoned Abhazia

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This was once a Southernmost part of Russia, close to Turkey and Iran lying on the shores of the Black Sea. Very popular Soviet resorts situated there. Now it’s a part of Georgia, though they consider themselves to be an independent part of Georgia. But the most important fact the Soviet structures that were left there 20 years ago after USSR started to collapse stay there untouched and unmaintained because budgets of these small countries sometimes are not enough even to supply electricity and heat to its citizen. There were many periods of time when people of these places lived without any centralized electricity for months, almost every apartment had to be equipped with independent diesel generator of electricity, and that task was not easy when there are no jobs and the average salary is ten dollars per month.

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photos by Vsevolod Putnik

97 thoughts on “Abandoned Abhazia”

    • Actually Abkhazia is independent since the end of the war with Georgia in 1992-93 and wishes to became a part of Russia. Georgians should give back to Russia Abkhazia and take our Chechnia to have a lot of fun.

      • Hm… There was not war between Georgia and abkhasia, the abkhasian terrorists with help of russian troops droped out all Georgian ppl from there (over 300 thousends) and said that they’re independent. “Abkhazian nation” doesnot exists, they came from north caucasian mountains at the end of 19th century and only they call themselwes “abkhazians”. But historically all the west Georgia’s name was “abkhazia”.

        • You where dumbed by mass media!!! read history books written NOT yesterday – but for example in 1990th – Abhazia was ALWAYS an independant country and they HAVE therir own language and EVEN in USSR they was quite independant not only from Russia, but even from Georgia…they HAVE and ALWAYS has even own FLAG!!!


      • Go on, mr.Kartveli. The medical emergency in Russia is free of charge, just call 03 and you’ll be O’K.
        And if you don’t need it, tell me your point of view about this problem. I haven’t got it.

      • Learn your history! All of Georgia was part of Soviet Union at one point and it was Russia that took Abkhazia from Georgia. Abkhazia should be given back to Russia?:)) Russia can’t ask for something back when it never belonged to them! But never the less who do you think is in control of Abkhazia? I will answer for you, Russia! And look at it now; what used to be a beautiful place where people lived happily is now nothing. I wonder how happy Abkhazians are now for trusting Russia.

      • As to me I don’t care if it is independent or not. Chechnia always was a big problem for Russia since it was conquered 1n 19th century. But I do beleive that independence will be worse for Chechnia. Remember those disorder,chaos and violence that have been taken place in Chechnia when the russian troops leaved it.

    • It would be more appropriate to say, being SEPARATED from Georgia has brought to Abkhazians that tragedy (plus AIDS, bird flu, TBS, massive visitor kidnapping, general crime rate is one of the highest in the world, etc.)

      • I’ve never heard anything about it but about the same things in Chechnia a lot. But these pictures is telling much more than words.

        • I’ve never been in Chechnia, though I can’t discuss that topic. However I’ve been in Abkhazia long before their separation from Georgia. It was WAY BETTER under Georgia supervision. Also if you like to see the thruth about Georgia-Russia war, please follow the links below:


          RUSSIA IS AGGRESSOR, and still tries to occupy by so called “piece kippers” a part of Georgia. In reality they are OCCUPANTS.

          • I think that Russia officially didn’t support the parts of that conflict. And peace keepers are located there not for only abkhasian’s benefit but the georgian’s too. The same things are taking place all over the world.

        • yes, this pictures show that actually Abkhazians would be better of if they had state within Georgia. now, being illegitimate and defacto, its abandoned and isolated. Russia does not really care. what Russia cares is to make mass in the South Caucasus. So, i think if Abkhazians would think twice, they would understand that for economic progress and cultural independence they have no alternative than Georgia

          • As for Peace keepers, come on, dont you listen to news, read paper or books? have not you heard those facts that are associated with Russian peace keepers? Everyone, knows what kind of peacekeeping they do their. be realistic guys

      • there is NO visitor’s kidnapping. it’s a fantasy, spread by weak people and Georgians, who don’t wish Abhazia to prosper. I’ve been there after war and it’s the quietest and one of the most hospital places I’ve ever been to!

    • I would have to agree. Georgia has been nothing but a menace and a headache for these poor people. Yet they are still insisting on forcing them to live under an oppressive regime which has sought to exterminate them in the past, strip them of their basic rights, and force them to undergo a process under which they would forget their culture and be forced to adopt Georgian customs. What a true shame. And these very people were themselves the victims of Soviet oppression not even 20 years ago. Irony, anyone?

      FREE ABKHAZIA. The world must help us achieve freedom from Georgian and Russian oppression and colonialist attitudes! Abkhazia cannot become another Srbenica or Darfur, but it will if the Georgian aggression won’t stop!

  1. Now you can see why Mr. Putin identified collapse of USSR as the greatest geopolitical and humanitarian disaster in XX century.

    • When he made that statement I don’t really think he was concerned about a few peasants in far-flung provnces. Actually, I don’t remember ‘humanitarian’ being mentioned at all, but it could be faulty memory on my part. I’m curious where he would rank major wars and engineered famines on the list of geopolitical disasters in the twentieth century.

      • I’d say that the series of at least six “minor” wars, outburst of crimes and murders, massive emigration from Russia abroad and from Asian republics to Russia, no money and no work experienced by many former Soviet citizens for years, particularly outside capital cities, effectively results in a social disaster comparable to that of a major war.

  2. It may appear that the collapse of the USSR was a tragedy in narrowly defined terms, but in the long lense of history we will look back and identify this sea change as one of the greatest movements to happen during the 20th century. People need freedom, they deserve freedom, but unfortunately freedom does not come cheaply. To a people that have not lived free for a thousand years (check your history books) they will learn to love freedom, but it will take generations.

    • apply some intelligence to your comments. Идиоты в любой другой стране, вы прекрасный пример

    • You are right.
      I have only objections to give right to Putin’s speech about a ‘geo-political tragedy’ of USSR collapsing. Putin was KGB agent and was closely related with soviet establisment – his point of view is specific.
      In narrowly defined terms we should agree, that ‘collapsing’ of III Reich was a great geo-political tragedy. In narrowly defined terms it’s true.

  3. Great pictures. Fantasic!

    In pic #8, there is a woman in white shorts at the far left. Please have her call me… I suddenly want to father Ruskie kids.

    • Free WTF???

      It will only be free when Georgia will give it independence, as its people have been craving for, for years!!!

  4. Is there any city in this area ?
    I can see only one picture with buildings, and another with houses … these are only pictures of a Train station 🙁

    is there life in this area ?
    what do they live from ?
    Is there any administration for this region ?
    do police come ?
    do they pay taxes ?
    do they work ?
    how do they eat ?

    sorry for all these questions, but it really seems like this place is empty of Organisation … (is it what the title of the topic means ? 😉

  5. YEAH! This is the type of stuff I come here for. This is the awesome stuff I first fell in love with looking at this site. This is what I think most of us want, not pictures of a elevator in a bathroom. How do we know that’s even in Russia? Who cares about an elevator? This stuff is what is truly beautiful to gaze at.

    • yes but what can you do here ?
      it’s just abandonned hman stuff, not even pure nature.

      is it possible do live there, to have something to eat at dinner ? I am not talking about “Occidental Life”, but simple life with food and houses …

      • You can go there and marvel at the old ruins. I don’t know why. I would love to go there and just explore anything. In a true city you cant go somewhere and explore every single room, explore things such as the locomotive.

        And I can’t explain it but to me, this is absolutely gorgeous. I would love to visit that place some day. I find it strangely beautiful.

    • Сompletely agree with you if you are talking about the film by Andrey Tarkovskiy. If he is live now there will be no need for him to build a scenery.

  6. Yes, please, let us reconstitute CCCP. Undo that geopolitical disaster. One thing the Soviets were really good at was keeping their citizens within the borders. Lets revive the Union and the old ways, repatriate the diaspora and cancel all passports for international travel. The world will be so grateful and London will smell so much better!

  7. Pic #18 is interesting. The train’s lights are on. That means either of the following:

    1. Soviet battery can sustain charge for 20 years!

    2. Some of these trains are still being used, they just don’t look too good.

    Gagra is a resort mentioned in a famous Soviet movie.. it’s incredible that it would look like this today. It seems like they’re working on reconstructing at least some of the railroad (construction workers on one of the pics).

  8. Wow. Mother nature taking over. This looks like an apocalypse movie – civilisation that once was, has perished, some survivors searching for food and other necessities.

    Well, it depends what those people want. Make peace deal with Georgia and start receiving aid and even European Union neighbourhood policy aid, or live like this. Maybe in 20 years we see a jungle instead of those buildings. Angkor Vat or some lost Aztec temple in the rainforest.

    • Abkhazia will never make peace with Georgia because of a genocide of abkhazian civilians by georgian troops during the war in 1992-93.

  9. I was there in 2000. so sad to see what happened to a wonderful and extremely hospital country! I mean Abhkazia. I believe they won the right to call themselves independent. Georgians don’t go there.
    But still, the people are wonderful there, it’s cheep and very beautiful. I’d highly recommend people to visit t, if you’re not afraid of unique experience.

      • if you’re lookin for all-inclusive hotels – you won’t find them there. if you’re afraid of the war – I don’t think it’ll happen there. they had enough. they’re just trying to make a descent living.
        but i’m sure they’ll be more then happy to see another tourist there and show him/her their hospitality.

          • No, you have to take a plane to Adler, (Sochi), then go to the border by cab (it’s not far, about 30 km or less, I don’t remember. And from there you can take their shuttle busses to any city or town. And it’s cheap there. Make sure you have a lot of rubles, ’cause when I was there in 2000, they didn’t have much other currency and exchange places for them. maybe only a few around the whole country. But rubbles is you safe way.

            • Thanks man, maybe I will go there in october>>>

              What would you say a reasonable budget would be for a week with travel expenses from moscow and accomodation???

              • can’t tell you, i was there 7 years ago. but for sure much cheaper then moscow. by then 1 littre of home wine in a restaurant costed $1, regular pension for old folks – $2… for 2 weeks stay at a friends house we left him 500 rubles. my friend bought there a 1 bedroom apartment in capital for $2,000. So, all that was 7 years ago.

              • the ticket from moscow top sochi costs abot 100$,from sochi to the border with Abkhazia about 10-15 $, from border to Sukhum, the capital of Abkhazia 7-10$ you can take a bus or minibus which is more comfortable or taxi more expensive 30-40$. Hotels in Sukhumi are different prices vary from 5 to 100 dollars per night food will cost about 10-20$

    • Looks fantastic!!

      How about a Plane, can you get there by plane???

      If so, – where from and how much could it cost??

      • I think, you can’t go there by plane – the airports are even more ruined (if there were any airports in Soviet times).
        But the place is really good, wonderful weather, the sea is cleaner, than in Sochi. If there was no war in Abkhazia, the whole Europe would spend leaves and holidays there.
        By the way, not everything is ruined now, there are caves in Novy Afon, a lot of tourists watch the underground world and a small railway is working there.

        • The Sukhum airport is not destroyed. It works for the United Nations. Georgia forbids to use the airport on political grounds.

      • There is 3 km from Adler (Sochi) airport to Rissia-Abkhazia border. The planes fly to Sochi from all big towns of Russia. Moscow-Sochi flight costs about $250 (two way ticket)

  10. These awful destructions grow out war which there has begun Georgia in 1992 against Abkhazia.
    People of Abkhazia wanted independence, Georgia has decided to drown Abkhazia in blood. As a result in Abkhazia enormous destructions. Georgians have killed 4 % Abkhazians (Apsua). It is the real genocide.
    Till now on demand of Georgia there is an economic and political blockade of Abkhazia.

    [url=http://abkhaziya.org/foreign/georgian-abkhaz-conflict.html]READ HERE[/url]
    [url=http://abkhaziya.org/foreign/separatism-or-terrorism.html]READ HERE[/url]

  11. @ apsua: You’re right about genocide, BUT the genocide was against GEORGIAN people. They were killed like an animals by RUSSIAN troops and abkhasian separatists.

    But your children will pay for it…

    • guys be reasonable, around 6000 Georgians and 3000 Abkhazians died n the war, Georgian casualties were mostly civilians (with women, children and elderly) who could not escape from there. number of those who could escape is around 300 000. So tell me where is genocide???

  12. tqveni dedas sheveci yvelasi, rusi bozebi xarT yvelani, mogityanT dedebi!


  13. Abramov do you know our countres history????
    abkhasia is heart of georgia…
    we will see what happen but georgia never hes been under of abkhasia !!!!!!!!!

  14. it’s wonderful that Abhkazians know English and can use computers, cause i have seen nickname APSUA , but i dont belaive that he is Abhkazian, he is a Kozlik From Russia and please Kozlik Write Your real Name,




  15. hallow to everyone-my name is epro im from israel-my father came from suxumi(abxazia today)i would like to visit there with him-could someone give some info about it-is it safe?what is the economic status up there-is there any tourisem up there?how pepole live there etc/madlobt-

    ra xdeba mand?rava aris mdogamareoba?sheilba chamosla mand?
    aba kargat iyavit/

  16. Hello everyone.
    Friend of mine gave me link to this web page.
    I’ve read some of the messages here and found it too funny and futuristic, to be true. Especcially it sounds funny, when I imagined people, so dumb to belive, that Abkhazia ever was a part of Russia…

    I live in Georgia, Tbilisi, about four years and I can tell you surely, that we will help you to return to your motherland. We are working on that all 24/7.
    People who am I working with have met problems harder then Abkhazia.
    We all just need a litlle more patience and your activity, and I can tell surely, everything will be ok.
    Whole world is helping you Georgians, there is even official support from Russia…
    Its just all about civilians.
    So give us some more time.
    Good luck.
    Jack L. Kenneth

  17. These photos are beautiful… I live in America, there are no places like this here. A couple buildings but no cities…

  18. This place looks like East Germany looked during the Unfication! (1989) Things over there have been dormant for 60+ years and will remain that way! While visiting Germany I saw many Polish and Russian people lining up at grocery stores every AM very early. They would go in and buy up everything and by 9 AM the store would be empty! Then they would take their groceries to their country and resell them for 5-!0 times more money as food was hard to obtain! These photos are typical of that regime! It does not surprise me at all! The poor people are all too scared to speak their opinions so they almost starve to death! The government supplimented their needs when Communism was there, but now these people are in bad shape. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer!

  19. Maybe it’s easier for me to say this, since I don’t live there, but those look like fun places to play. I bet there are a lot of ghost stories.

  20. the place is incredible in my opinion, I would really like to check it out……what is fascinating is how many places like this exist in post USSR territories. What’s interesting is that if that area had oil or other valuable resources… more people probably would have died defending it from gready oil industrialists that would try to take it for nothing. their independence would not have happened. On the opposite side If they would find some resources now, they would be doing better. oil can have some real negative effects but there are some real possitive ones too.By the way, Abkhazia sounds like it would be a place in a Harry Potter story….I wish the people there ..Lots of fortune…


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