“Behind the Sochi Curtain: The hidden country of Abkhazia” – Yahoo Sports
07 February, 2014
Yahoo Sports reporter Martin Rogers and video producer Alan Springer traveled to Russia during July and September 2013 to get an up-close look at Sochi and its surroundings, plus focus on the bigger social issues facing these Winter Olympics. This is Part 2 of our seven-part "Behind the Sochi Curtain" series.
“Sukhumi, Abkhazia – Less than five miles from the heart of the 2014 Olympic Village is a hidden nation.
It has its own passport, language, flag and anthem. It
has lingering scars of a bloody civil war and even an Olympic medalist. But most Westerners have never heard of Abkhazia, which is a shorter drive to Sochi's Olympic Stadium than MetLife Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLVII, is to Manhattan.
But Abkhazia might as well be on another planet from these Winter Olympics. Don't expect Olympic visitors to get to know it, either. Abkhazia's borders are closed for the duration of the Games.
Abkhazia is a nation-state whose status is deeply complicated. It has no official standing with the United Nations, U.S. foreign policy nor Western internet maps. The region is considered part of Georgia, one of the 15 republics created when the Soviet Union disbanded in the early 1990s.
Reality is different, though. Georgia has wielded no political control over Abkhazia's territory since a bloody civil war two decades ago. What's more, a bloc of six countries led by Russia, and including Nicaragua and Venezuela, does recognize Abkhazia's status as a full-fledged nation.
For Abkhazia and its citizens who crave full international acceptance, the arrival of the world's winter athletes and biggest media organizations on its doorstep should be a dream come true. Instead, the Games have become nothing more than a sad reminder of what they don't have.
In September, Yahoo Sports video producer Alan Springer and I crossed the ramshackle border post just down the one-lane highway that runs along Sochi's coast. We walked past slumbering stray dogs and bored-looking customs officers, took a local taxi and stumbled into a national remembrance day that seemed to include every one of Abkhazia's nearly 300,000 citizens.
Abkhazia's capital of Sukhumi was in the midst of the 20th anniversary of its liberation from Georgian control, and we received the warmest of welcomes. They don't get a whole lot of visitors here – a ministry official reported that only 112 Americans came in the year of 2012, most of them people with Abkhaz relatives or spouses. Children, soldiers and even the president of the country offered a handshake and a smile.
"We know a lot about Americans, but Americans do not know about us," said president Alexander Ankvab, who agreed to an impromptu interview and seemed remarkably cheerful for a man who has reportedly survived nine assassination attempts – allegedly by criminal gangs who fear the impact of his reforms.
Around him schoolchildren laid wreaths to commemorate those who perished in the 1990s conflict that led to Abkhazia's current limbo as a marginalized state, free of Georgian influence but hamstrung from connecting with the wider world.
"The Olympics will be a huge celebration and we are open for everyone who will visit us," Ankvab said back in September.
It will not turn out that way for the president and his fellow citizens.
Abkhazians can see the mountains where the alpine medals will be won. You need only go a mile from the Abkhaz border to see in full view the futuristic Fisht Olympic Stadium, where the Opening Ceremony will be celebrated Friday night in Russia (Friday morning in the U.S.).
Yet that short journey is now closed off to Abkhazians, after the Russian government ended the uncertainty of what would happen to the border during the Olympics. Leaders ordered it shut on security grounds due to fears that terrorists could use the gateway to access gain easy access to Sochi.”
For further information follow the link

Related Stories:

Brown water and Putin's portrait in rooms - situation in Sochi hotels


CNN: Dacha, chacha and a gay bar: 9 ways Sochi surprises
Print
Other Stories
Georgia’s young rugby team beats Japan at 2018 Rugby World Cup
Georgia’s Under-20 national rugby team have claimed their second victory at the ongoing Rugby World Cup in Japan
PM congratulated Georgian sumo wrestler Tochinoshin on claiming Ozeki title
You can be hopeful of us like we are of you, - sumo wrestler Tochinoshin (Levan Gorgadze) told Georgian Prime Minister
Renowned Georgian sumo wrestler Tochinoshin returns to his homeland
On June 4, world-famous Georgian sumo wrestler Tochinoshin (born Levan Gorgadze) arrived in his homeland.
Georgian Rugby Team beats French Barbarians 16:15 at Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi
Georgian rugby team claimed yet another historic victory over French Barbarians – the second national team of the French Rugby Federation.
Georgian sumo wrestler wins historic Emperor’s Cup in Japan
For the first time in the history of Sumo wrestling, a Georgian national has become the owner of the Emperor’s Cup.
Georgian chess grandmaster’s triumph at World Chess Championship
Renowned Georgian chess player Nana Dzagnidze claimed the gold medal
Georgia’s Dinamo Arena - Once the third most attended stadium in Europe
It was in the beginning of the 1980s, when FC Dinamo Tbilisi was enjoying their best
 Georgian rugby team beats U.S. 21:20
The Georgian national rugby team defeated the U.S. squad at the Mikheil Meskhi stadium in Tbilisi on November 25.
Prince Harry celebrating with Georgian athletes winning gold at Invictus Games
Georgian athletes defeated British in sitting volleyball at the Invictus Games Toronto, Canada, 2017.
Georgian national basketball team defeats Israel at Eurobasket
The national basketball team of Georgia defeated Israel at the Eurobasket
 Zaza Pachulia’s Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship
The Golden State Warriors, where Georgian basketball player Zaza Pachulia plays, regained the NBA title
Georgian wrestler becomes European champion in sambo: Watch her celebration dance
Georgian team won three medals at the Sambo Championship, which was held in the capital of Belarus, Minsk
Rugby without rules - Ancient tradition of Leloburti in Georgia
Easter in Georgia has numerous traditions and rituals associated with it, but for inhabitants of Guria the greatest Christian holiday would be incomplete
Romania v Georgia: ‘Oscars fail’ at Rugby Europe Championship 2017
On March 19, Georgian National Rugby Team lost their last and decisive Rugby Europe Championship game against Romania (7-8)
Let’s meet Russia in good shape! – Motivational video of Georgian Rugby team
On March 12 Georgian National Rugby Team will play against Russia. Georgian fans have always supported the Lelos and this time will be no exception.
Nikoloz Basilashvili makes it to the Sofia Open semifinals
Georgian tennis player Nikoloz Basilashvili has won another game at Sofia Open yesterday and went through to the semifinal.
Nikoloz Basilashvili’s victory over top seed Dominic Thiem against all odds
Georgian tennis player Nikoloz Basilashvili has won another game at Sofia Open yesterday, defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem, who was the tournaments No.1 player
That’s Zaza! – Pachulia’s best moments with Golden State Warriors
The voting for the 2017 NBA All-Star game ended on January 17, at 8:59 Georgian time (GMT+4).
Meet the Street Workout Kings of Tbilisi - VOGUE
VOGUE published an article along with an awesome footage demonstrating Georgian boys ,known as the team called Bar Warriors, performing street workout in Tbilisi.
“Georgians have a big heart” – Zaza Pachulia thanks fans for support in NBA All-Star
Golden State Warriors Georgian player Zaza Pachulia shared his opinion about the intermediary results of NBA All-STAR voting.
 Georgian weightlifter becomes European champion, sets 2 records, wins 3 medals
The Junior & Under 23 Weightlifting Championship in the city of Eilat, Israel, ended with total Georgian triumph as the country earned 22 medals overall
10 most emotional moments in football – Georgian Jaba Kankava’s heroic act among them
The Daily Football has gathered the most emotional moments that have taken place in football history. Captain of Georgian National team Jaba Kankava’s
Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili celebrates his first top 10 victory defeating Tomas Berdych
Yesterday, on Vienna Open tennis tournament, the prize pool of which is 1.8 million Euros, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Czech player Tomas Berdych,
Georgian Olympic champion’s national dance at his wedding
A few days ago, the famous Georgian judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili and Salome Arabuli had a lavish wedding.
Merab Kvirikashvili’s comeback to rugby after the tragic incident
Matchday 5 in Georgian rugby championship saw the reigning champions Lelo play against Aya in Kutaisi.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
12.08.2020
13.08.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0747
3.0747
EUR
1
EUR
3.6272
3.6272
GBP
1
GBP
4.0294
4.0294
RUB
100
RUB
4.2244
4.2244
Other Stories
Former lightweight champion David Kiria has signed a contract with the prestigious organization ONE Championship.
Giga Chikadze, a Glory successful sportsman and kickboxer is an outstanding UFC fighter.
It is around three months since 61-year-old Pete Drewett has become Georgia’s general manager of high performance in rugby.
Georgia's popular winter resort Gudauri will host Snowboard Cross Europa Cup this weekend
Tato Grigalashvili has won a historic gold at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam
Three-times World Champion in Freestyle Wrestling, Geno Petriashvili, won a gold medal at European Championship in Rome
Georgians received two silver and two bronze medals at the European Championship.
Georgian professional basketball player Tornike Shengelia has been recognized as the best basketball player and was awarded "Premio Gigante del Año" (Giant of the Year) by the top professional basketball division of the Spanish basketball league system.
"This coming week marks the 10th anniversary of the death of the Olympics of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili."- BBC publishes an episode remembering Nodar.
Georgian athlete Lasha Talakhadze defeated his rivals at the World Cup.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.0747
EUR
1
EUR
3.6272
GBP
1
GBP
4.0294
RUB
100
RUB
4.2244
August 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31