6th Century B.C


The Greeks established trading posts in Abkhazia, a Caucasian land, then known as Colchis at the Eastern end of the Black Sea. Their cities, especially Dioscurias (now modern day Sukhum) grew to be a prosperous trade center.


First Century B.C.


The Romans fortified Sukhum. The peoples' longevity was reported.


523 A.D.


Abkhazia became part of the Byzantine Empire. Christianity was adopted.


780 - 978


The Kingdom of Abkhazia flourished and the Abkhazia Dynasty extended its way over much of what is now Western Georgia.




A portion of Abkhazia was under the Mingrelian Rule


1500 - 1680


The Abkhazian Chachba Dynasty drove the Mingrelians out and established the boundaries that exist to this day.




Abkhazia was invaded by the Ottoman Empire


18th Century


Abkhazia, in alliance with Georgia, made repeated efforts to drive out the Turks.


1801 - 1804


Various Georgian areas (Kartli and Kakhetia-1801, Mingrelia-1803, Imeretia and Guria-1804) came directly under Russian Rule (voluntarily seeking protection from Ottoman Turks and Iran).




Tzar Alexander the First, issued a Charter to the ruling Prince of Abkhazia acknowledging Abkhazia as an autonomous principality under the protection of Russia.




After prolong fighting across the entire region of the Caucasus, Abkhazia was the last Caucasian principality to be forcibly annexed to the Russian Empire. Russian oppression was so severe that over the next few decades more than half of the Abkhazian population fled to Turkey and the Middle East.


1917 - 1918


Abkhazia joined the Republic of North Caucasus. The Mensheviks took over the government of Georgia and succeeded in annexing Abkhazia.


March 1921


The Bolsheviks overthrew the Mensheviks in Georgia. The Abkhazian Soviet Socialist Republic was established separate from Georgia and headed by Nestor Lakoba.



Abkhazia was a signatory to the formation of the USSR acting as a sovereign Abkhazian Republic.




Abkhazia adopted its first Constitution under which it was united by a Special Treaty of Alliance with Georgia.




Stalin (Georgian) and Beria (Mingrelian) reduced Abkhazia to the status of an autonomous Republic within Georgia.


1937 - 1953


Forced mass immigration into Abkhazia was carried out from Western Georgia (Mingrelia) by Stalin and Beria. In Abkhazia, as well as other regions of the USSR, mass oppression was carried out, thousands of intellectuals were persecuted. Abkhazian schools were closed. Abkhazians were punished for speaking their own language. The Cyrillic based Abkhazian script was replaced by one based upon the Georgian alphabet during this period.




Abkhazian intellectuals signed a letter of protest to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR complaining about the status of Abkhazia and blamed the Georgian leaders for pursuing a "Beria" policy aimed at the "Georgianization" of the Republic. Major demonstrations at Lykhny ( a sacred place in Abkhazian tradition) followed. The Abkhazian campaign, to be incorporated in the Russian Federation, was rejected by Russia and Georgia. Instead, concessions were made to the Abkhaz, including the opening of the University and TV broadcasting in Abkhazia. During that year (1978), Moscow allocated millions of rubles to help Abkhazia. The Abkhazian government never received the moneys. The sum was dispersed to restrain the Abkhazian people's protest at the existing conditions.


1988 - 1989


Leaders of the National Movement in Georgia demanded the abolition of the "Autonomies within Georgia along with the secession from the USSR


1989 - 1990


Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic unilaterally adopted a number of measures which essentially affected the secession of Georgia from the USSR and abregated all legal acts that united Georgia and Abkhazia under the Soviet power.




On the eve of the signing of the new Soviet Union Treaty, Abkhazia, like all of the other autonomous Republics, declared its sovereignty. On the next day Georgia declared the abrogation of the Abkhazian Declaration of Sovereignty. Georgia abrogated the autonomy of Ossetia leading to the armed conflict between South Ossetia and Georgia.




Abkhazia declares its sovereignty of its on territory and proposes a federative treaty to Georgia to fill in the "legal vacuum" that emerged after Georgia's unilateral abregation of all Soviet legal documents. Exactly 20 days after being accepted by the United Nations, on August 14, Georgian troops entered the territory of Abkhazia without any notification to the Abkhazian government and launched a land and air attack on the southeast part of Abkhazia ant is capital city. 

Bloody fighting continued for 14 months.




On September 30, Abkhazian forces - backed by the Confederation of the Peoples of the North Caucasus Organization finally ousted the Georgian troops from the territory of Abkhazia




In April, joint Declaration of the Political Settlement was signed by the parties to the conflict - the UN, Russia and OSCE, in the presence of the UN Secretary General. The Declaration outlined principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict on the basis of equality of the parties. 


In May, negotiations under the auspices of the UN sanctioned the deployment of the CIS peace-keeping troops to separate the parties to the conflict.


November 26, Abkhazia ratifies its Constitution as a sovereign state.