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Talk:Abkhazia

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Everyone should be aware that travel warnings for Abkhazia issued by Georgia are subject to extreme bias as tourism strengthens the Abkhaz economy, therefore ensuring greater autonomy from Georgia. Such warnings should be considered propaganda and are generally untrue. There is a noticable increase in such warnings (which are often bizarre) before the tourist seasons. Abkhazia is generally safe, however it is difficult to travel there without knowledge of Russian language, as little English is spoken. As a foreigner you will be welcomed by almost all that you will meet. Many thousands of Russians visit Abkhazia every year with little trouble.

This is nonsense. In the past few days there have been multiple explosions in and around the official lines of control, prompting the Abkhaz government to declare a state of emergency and to completely close the de facto border with Georgia. In addition, Russia is instituting a military buildup, the Georgian government has been ratcheting up military operations in the border areas, and the Russian foreign ministry warns that a war may begin soon.
The multiple travel advisories that exist for Abkhazia are not issued by Georgia, but rather by multiple Western governments—these can be exaggerated, but it's not a good idea to dismiss them out of hand. It's also not safe to cross from Abkhazia to Georgia even in better times, since the Georgian officials are very suspicious of foreigners moving about that area. In recent years there have been bombings along the border in Gali & Zugdidi, road mines placed without warning, and international workers and observers have come under attack and have been kidnapped.
Whether its reasonably safe for Russian-speaking tourists entering Abkhazia from Russia is a more open question, and not one that I can answer (I've heard very mixed reports, leaning towards the "risky, but doable"). But a warning on this page should definitely remain. Indeed, few separatist regions of the world should be without one, especially those over whom a war could be brewing. --Peter Talk 00:15, 10 July 2008 (EDT)

My comments were not nonense. However there were a few small bomb blasts in the past weeks accross the country killing about 3 but this has affected the feeling of safety and security little and the Russian tourists continue to flock, indeed such attacks are very rare for Abkhazia and Much bigger attacks have occured in major cities across the world but have not majorly affected tourism to these places, therefore one should not feel discouraged from visiting for this reason. The closure of the border with Georgia should not be a cause for alarm because the main crossing into the country is not from Georgia but from Russia, and this has not been affected at all.

The Russian military buildup is small one, just a few hundred being added to just 1500 in the country. This should infact increase the feeling of safety within the country as it gives more assurance that Georgia wont attack. The current situation is a political deadlock, but doesnt looks like it will spill into war at this time. The border areas with Georgia should be avoided, however these areas are not the tourist areas of Abkhazia which are far away from Georgia. As was mentioned, Georgia is suspicious about foriegners entering Abkhazia from its border, so therefore tourists should not enter from Georgia, but this is a widely accepted fact and one that I do not dispute, but as mentioned, 99% of people entering cross from Russia which is perfectly safe and easy to cross.

I have just left Abkhazia from a three week visit there, and I am English and do not speak Russian. I felt safer in Abkhazia than I do in London, my own city. I had no difficulty crossing the border from Russia and I found the country to be reasonably well maintained with a very well administered tourist industry. I did not see any kind of violance and only a few Russian soldiers in isolated places. I felt there to be no animosity towards me from locals despite my governments support for Georgia, on the countrary, people were more hospitable to me than I have ever experienced. During my stay there, I did not see anything or hear anything from people there to substantiate any of the Western travel warnings or Georgian propoganda. I found that it operated very well as a country with its own civil service, police force, health service and everything else that any soverign country has. It did not conform to a stereotyped image of a "seperatist state."

As a western citizen who has just left Abkhazia (November 2008) I must say that this article is very biased to say the least. I agree with the person above, I felt safer than I do in most Western cities. I would like to suggest that travel warnings are removed. The people here were among the most peaceful and kind people I've met during my travels.

Viza v abhaziyu[edit]

The prominent "Visa Information" link [1] on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs homepage [2] is giving a 404. Guess that says it all about how much they want tourists... =P Jpatokal 10:52, 28 January 2009 (EST)

Not only that, but I remember a year or two ago, there was a website in English regarding travel to Abkazia. !!! AHeneen 12:16, 29 January 2009 (EST)
Well well, looks like we've got the Ministry of Foreign Affairs editing now! This will need some cleaning up, I particularly liked the replacement of the {{warningbox}} with a {{Welcome Box}}... Jpatokal 10:27, 2 April 2009 (EDT)

isIn[edit]

I think it's appropriate to direct the isIn chain back to Northwestern Georgia. The vast majority of native English speakers have only heard of Abkhazia (if they've heard of it at all) in the context as a break-away republic of Georgia. The breadcrumb trail gives useful geographical context, especially to readers unfamiliar with the conflict, and who would be surprised to see a country on Wikitravel that they've never heard of. To just direct it straight to the top level region seems to me a little too political of a statement, given that it's state status is almost universally unrecognized—we're already using a country-style Quickbar, and I think that's enough to get the point across. --Peter Talk 17:45, 20 July 2009 (EDT)

I don't know, Caucasus seems pretty appropriate to me. As much as sympathize with the Georgians, despite their hapless miscalculations leading up to the conflict, I can't ever see Abkhazia returning to Georgian administration - it's a Russian showcase for what they regard as their sphere of influence, and from what I know about Russian politics, they are as likely to back down from this, as China is from their claims over Taiwan. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 19:04, 20 July 2009 (EDT)
Can you still travel there via Georgia? Wikipedia says it's only recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, and Hamas. If you can still get there from Georgia, it should probably remain listed under Georgia. If routes from Georgia are blocked/not possible, then maybe the Caucuses is the best place for it. ChubbyWimbus 19:51, 20 July 2009 (EDT)
No, the border is effectively sealed. Jpatokal 22:45, 20 July 2009 (EDT)
I disagree with Peter with similiar arguments as Stefan. Abkhazia is de facto governed by Russia and has no links (borders, money, public administration etc.) to Georgia. It depends like Kosovo on the power of an international dominant player (here Russia, in Kosovo the EU & the US). The situation is not new (10+ years) and it will not return (like it or not) to Georgia anytime soon. From a travellers point of view Abkhazia it is independant because you need a separate visa (can't enter via Georgia unless you are suicidal) and that is very important to know for any travellers who wants to visit that region. If you want to raise the point of the political tensions/history then put it in the understand section. I think concensus is that we switch back to Caucasus? jan 05:43, 21 July 2009 (EDT)
Well, if I'm in the minority, I'll drop it. But my perspective is that the territory of Georgia is something commonly understood (in the English speaking world anyway), and Abkhazia sits right on that territory—it's as much a part of Georgia as Canada is of North America. I wish we'd steer clear of these political recognition games, since they perpetuate a certain delusion that Wikitravel's opinion matters, and thus attract political edit warriors, turns off potential contributors, etc. Just another reason why I'd like to get rid of those quickbars... --Peter Talk 10:35, 21 July 2009 (EDT).
Well, the political undertones was not the primary point I was trying to make. For all practical purposes Abkhazia is a seperate entity from Georgia located in Caucasus, I was trying to underline that I think it will stay that way far into foreseeable future (because of politics), not dive into a international recognition game. And with a region as small a Caucasus, isn't it directive enough really? It's not that I believe we are in any way authoritative, but from a travellers perspective it would probably group better with Krasnodar_Krai than Georgia. And honestly, most people aren't even able to point out Georgia on a map anyway. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 11:10, 21 July 2009 (EDT)
Peter: I understand your point that Abkhazia is based on common sense part of Georgia but due to political games on both sides (Russians & Georgians have their fair share in that trouble...) in reality it's now a satellite state based on the will of Moscow. I like the current way the quickbars work because they focus on the real world and de facto borders travellers has to cross and not the de jure status of international law and politics (that wikipedia's job). It's not political correct or even common sense sometimes but based on international law Russia and Japan are still legally at war due to some minor islands in the north pacific... When politicians starts to behave responsible then the gap between de jure and de facto could be way smaller! Keep smiling, jan 11:12, 21 July 2009 (EDT)

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