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Country Profiles: Georgia

A brief summary on Georgia.

Official name: Republic of Georgia

Official language: Georgian

Land area: 26,911 sq mi/69,700 sq km

Population:  4,292,000

Dominant religion:  Christianity

Capital: Tbilisi


Georgia is a country is southwestern Asia with a small amount of territory in Europe. It is bordered by Russia to the north, Azerbaijan to the southeast, Armenia to the south, Turkey to the southwest and the Black Sea to the west. The Caucasus Mountains run through much of the country, giving it a very rugged and mountainous terrain with a lot of forests.

 Most of the population is ethnic Georgian. There are also a significant number of Russians as well as people from other former Soviet republics.

 Much of Georgia’s economy is dependent on industry and manufacturing. The oil industry is one of the country’s main sources of income and the country has many gas and oil pipelines that help provide energy to Europe.

 Georgia’s early years were marked by constant foreign conquest. It had spent time as part of the Mongol Empire from the 1200’s to the 1400’s. It became part of Russia in the early 1800’s. It temporarily gained independence from Russia after World War I but was then invaded by the Soviet Union and, with Armenia and Azerbaijan, was made part of the Soviet Union’s Transcaucasian Republic in 1922. In 1936, Georgian, Armenia and Azerbaijan were granted status as separate republics and Georgia became the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

 Georgia declared independence in April 1991 from Moscow as the Kremlin’s grip on the Soviet Union was loosening.

 It wouldn’t be the last time Georgia would have to deal with Moscow, however. In 2008, it fought a five-day war with Russia over control of South Ossetia, suffering much damage from the Russian invasion.

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