Georgia (Republic of), independent country in the Caucasus region, bordered by Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, and the Black Sea. The capital is Tbilisi.
Land and climate
The Caucasus Mountains run across the north of the republic. Georgia has a subtropical climate.
Georgians form the majority of the population (70%), and with the remainder comprised of Armenians, Russians, Azerbaijani, Ossetians, Greeks, and Abkhazians. The official language is Georgian. Most inhabitants belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church.
The lowland areas near the Black Sea produce tea, fruit, wine, tobacco, and cereals. There is much heavy industry, iron, steel, textiles, and chemicals constituting the main products.
The ancient kingdom of Georgia, dating from the 4th century B.C., reached its height in the 12th and 13th centuries but was partitioned by Turkey and Persia in 1555. Georgia fell under Russian influence in the late 18th century and was annexed in 1801. An attempt to regain independence after the Revolution of 1917 was crushed in 1921. Independence was attained in 1991. Since 1992, president Shevardnadze endeavours to regain the country's former prosperity.
See also: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.