Gali District in Pictures

On September 18 a special commission of breakaway Abkhazia’s Parliament is expected to present its findings of four-month long investigation into distribution of Abkhaz passports to the residents of predominantly ethnic Georgian-populated Gali district, as well as in Tkvarcheli and Ochamchire districts. On the same day activists from recently united Abkhaz opposition plan to rally outside the Parliament building in Sokhumi to demand ethnic Georgian population of the breakaway region to be stripped of their Abkhaz passports. Abkhaz leadership is now facing a tough choice to either yield to the demands of opposition, which is gaining momentum, making ‘illegal passportization’ the central issue of its political struggle for power, or to give way to an opposite approach that can possibly contribute to integration, rather than to further isolation, of Georgians living in eastern Abkhazia. According to 2011 official Abkhaz census there are over 46,000 ethnic Georgians in Abkhazia. This photo story from the Gali district, documenting life of locals, combines pictures from August, 2012 and August, 2013 by reporter of RFE/RL’s Ekho Kavkaza Olesya Vartanyan.

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