Abkhazia is a break-away region of Georgia with about 250,000 inhabitants. It is situated in the north-western corner of Georgia with the Black Sea to the south-west and the Caucasus mountains and Russia to the north-east.
As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate towards the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between the Abkhaz and Georgians over Georgia's moves towards independence. This led to the 1992–1993 war in Abkhazia that resulted in a Georgian military defeat.
Abkhazia declared independence in 1999 but is not recognized internationally except by a few countries. Abkhazia together with Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia are post-Soviet "frozen conflict" zones.