ტყვარჩელი, Тҟəарчал, Ткварчели
Tqvarcheli, Tqwarchal, Tkvarcheli
|Partially recognized |
|Time zone||UTC+03:00 (MSK)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+04:00|
Tkvarcheli (Georgian :ტყვარჩელი [tʼqʼʷaɾtʃʰeli] ( listen ); Abkhaz : Тҟəарчал, Tqwarchal; Ткуарчал (Tkuarchal) Russian : Ткварчели, Tkvarcheli) is a town in Abkhazia. It is situated on the river Ghalidzga (Aaldzga) and a railway connects it with Ochamchire. Akarmara, an area within the town, is a ghost town with abandoned apartments and factories which became uninhabited in the early 1990s due to the War in Abkhazia (1992-93), and is home to just 35 residents today.
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Coal mining, which began in the area in 1935, grew in importance during the Second World War, especially after the Donbas was lost during the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Tkvarcheli was given town status on 9 April 1942.
During the War in Abkhazia (1992–93), Tkvarcheli withstood, through Russian military aid, a siege by the Georgian forces. Since 1995, it has been the centre of the newly formed Tkvarcheli District. On 27 September 2008, President Sergei Bagapsh awarded it the honorary title of Hero City.
Coal-mining has been the town's main industry, although now the Soviet mines are closed and coal is quarried only by the Abkhaz-Turkish Tamsaş company using the open pit method.Tamsaş's tax payments account for 75% of the Tkvarcheli district's budget however, the company was criticised for neglecting environmental requirements. Georgia regards all this investment as illegal, in clear violation of the 1996 CIS restrictions and has arrested several vessels, loaded with coal from Tkvarcheli, in its territorial waters, a measure that has reportedly brought Tamsaş to the verge of bankruptcy.
The town's population was 21,744 in 1989. The three main ethnic groups were Abkhaz (42.3%), Russians (24.5%) and Georgians (23.4%). [ citation needed ] By the time of the 2011 census, it had increased to 5,013. Of these, 66.5% were Abkhaz, 17.4% Georgian, 9.7% Russian, 1.3% Ukrainian, 1.1% Armenian and 0.4% Greek.As a result of the War in Abkhazia the town's industries all but stopped and its population decreased greatly and was between 7,000 and 8,000 in 2004 according to some sources and only 4,800 according to others. At the time of the 2003 census, its population was 4,786.
Gali is a town in Abkhazia, Georgia 77 km southeast to Sukhumi. It is the centre of Gali District and was in the United Nations security zone prior to the Russian veto of the UNOMIG Mission in 2009. As of 2011 the town has a population of 7 605 inhabitants.
The Abkhazian Armed Forces are the military forces of Abkhazia. The forces were officially created on 12 October 1992, after the outbreak of the 1992–1993 war with Georgia. The basis of the armed forces was formed by the ethnic Abkhaz National Guard. The Abkhaz military is primarily a ground force but includes small sea and air units. According to the authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia, the Abkhazian Land Forces are organised along the Swiss model – in time of peace they have personnel of 3,000 to 5,000 and in case of war further 40–50,000 reservists are called out. Georgia regards the Abkhaz armed forces as "unlawful military formations" and accuses Russia of supplying and training the Abkhaz troops.
Tkvarcheli District is one of the districts of Abkhazia. It has no equivalent Georgian district, as it was newly formed in 1995 from parts of Ochamchira District and Gali District, centered on its eponymous capital, Tkvarcheli. The population of the district was 14,477 at the time of the 2003 census. By the 2011 census, it had increased to 16,012. Of note is Bedia Cathedral located within the district.
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Lashkendari Church is a ruined medieval church on Mount Lashkendar in Abkhazia, an entity in the South Caucasus with a disputed political status. It is located near the small village of Khuhkuni in the Ochamchire Municipality/Tkvarcheli District, some 5-6 km south-east of the town of Tkvarcheli. The site is revered as a holy shrine by both Abkhaz and Georgians.
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