Georgia is a country in Eurasia, located on the crossroads of Eastern Europe and West Asia. Nestled between the Greater Caucasus and Lesser Caucasus mountain ranges, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and northeast by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2015 population is about 3.75 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.
During classical antiquity, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity as their state religion in the early 4th century, leading to the decline and elimination of previously dominant paganism, Zoroastrianism, and Mithraism. A unified Kingdom of Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar from the late 11th to the early 13th centuries. Thereafter and throughout the early modern period Georgia became fractured and fell into decline due to the onslaught of various hostile empires, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, and successive dynasties of Iran. In 1783, the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an ill-fated alliance with the Russian Empire, which led to the gradual annexation of Georgia by Russia starting in 1801. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the first Georgian Republic was occupied by Soviet Russia in 1921, and absorbed into the Soviet Union as the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1922. After restoring its independence in 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil unrest and an economic crisis for most of the 1990s. Following a peaceful change of power in the Rose Revolution of 2003, Georgia pursued a strongly pro-Western foreign policy, introducing a series of political and economic reforms.
Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and a major part of the international community consider the regions to be part of Georgia's sovereign territory under Russian military occupation.
Iako Khomeriki |
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