Georgia Brief History

Georgia Brief History

According to Wedding in Fashion, Georgia is a state of Transcaucasia. The current Georgia roughly corresponds to the regions that the ancients called Colchis and Iberia. The Georgians formed their first nation state at the fall of the Macedonian empire and in the 4th century. their conversion to Christianity began. The social order based on the division into tribes was then replaced in the plain by a feudal regime with a dominant aristocracy and differentiated social classes. The Arab conquest (mid-7th century) left direct power to the local aristocracy and the weakening of the caliphate allowed the gradual formation of a national monarchy, which reached its apogee with King David II (1089-1125) and with Queen Tamara (1184-1213). The Mongol and Timurid invasions produced an era of decline. The rise of Ottoman power and the appearance of the Russian empire to the North led to Georgia since the 16th century. seeking the protection of the tsars and the formal annexation of the country to Russia (1801) allowed for considerable civil and industrial development. Starting in 1917, the revolutionary movement gained an ever stronger position in the country; in 1918-21 a democratic republic led by the Mensheviks was born in Georgia, but a communist uprising then led to the proclamation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia. Georgia entered the USSR in 1922 as part of the Transcaucasian Federation, and then from 1936 as a federated republic. Having become an independent Republic in 1991, Georgia experienced a prolonged phase of internal instability, determined both by political conflicts and by ethnic clashes which re-exploded with violence after the detachment from the USSR. With the collapse of the composite nationalist front that had led the country to independence, the opposition to President Z. Gamsakhurdia escalated into civil war. After the election to head of the country of EA Ševardnadze, the followers of Gamsakhurdia were overwhelmed also thanks to the Russian intervention, made possible by the approach to Moscow promoted by Ševardnadze, which also led to the entry of Georgia into the Community of Independent States (1993). The situation in South Ossetia and Abhazija remained conflicting, supported in their separatist aspirations from Russia and effectively made independent. Mainly Christian, Georgia was also affected by the growing conflict with the autonomous Republic of Adžarija, of Muslim religion. At the end of 1994 the relative improvement of the economic condition favored the re-establishment of central authority and the strengthening of presidential powers, sanctioned by the Constitution approved in 1995. Ševardnadze was elected president of the Republic (1995) and reconfirmed in the presidential elections of 2000, but in 2003 the fraud reported after the legislative elections by the opposition led by M. Saakašvili and the consequent street movements (Revolution of the Roses) forced him to resign; he was succeeded by Saakashvili himself, elected with over 95% of the votes in 2004 and reconfirmed in 2008. The integration program of the new president in the Western bloc and the growing Western influence have aroused the concerns of Russia. Tensions between Tbilisi and Moscow exploded dramatically in the summer of 2008, when the Georgia tried to re-establish its control over South Ossetia, in support of which Russia sent its troops. After the brief conflict, which ended with the mediation of the European Union, Russia formally recognized the independence of Abhazija and South Ossetia, while Georgia left the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The ‘five day war’ for control of South Ossetia

The ‘five day war’ between Georgia and Russia (7-12 August 2008) was provoked by Tbilisi’s attempt to militarily regain control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia. After the 1991-92 conflict, the Ossetian authorities had initiated a process of state and institutional building, culminating in the referendum on independence in November 2006. What made this process possible was above all the political and economic support provided by Moscow, whose peacekeeping troops they had been deployed on the territory in 1992, after the end of hostilities. As in the case of Abkhazia, Russia has granted its citizenship to almost the entire Ossetian population. Compared to the 2008 conflict, the Russian intervention was justified by the need to protect its citizens and troops from Georgian aggression. After five days of conflict, during which Abkhazian forces supported the Russian-Ossetian counterattack, on 12 August the parties signed an agreement for a ceasefire brokered by the European Union. Although the Russian troops withdrew from the occupied Georgian territories, they maintained the positions they had acquired in South Ossetia. After officially recognizing the Republic of Ossetia,Osce, active in the region since 1992.

Since September 2008, a European civilian monitoring mission has been present in Georgia, the European Union Monitoring Mission, with tasks of stabilization, normalization and confidence-building.

A report commissioned by the EU Council and published in September 2009 blamed Georgia for the conflict, while condemning Russia’s “disproportionate” reaction.

Georgia Country Brief History

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