Prior to the Russian-Georgian conflict in August, the Upper Kodori Gorge was the sole part of Abkhazia that still answered to Tbilisi. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. However, the three-kilometer-wide, 50-kilometer-long region fell to Abkhaz forces on August 12. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Tbilisi had promoted the Upper Kodori Gorge as a symbol for what Abkhaz residents could expect if the entire territory opted to return to Georgian control. For many, its loss signaled a new era in Abkhazia's interactions with Georgia.
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Elizabeth Owen is EurasiaNets Caucasus news editor in Tbilisi.