Exclusive report from occupied Abkhazia by Rustavi 2
In an exclusive report from Georgia`s occupied region of Abkhazia Rustavi 2 TV-channel shows the current situation in the breakaway region. Cameraman of the Courier News shot the footage putting his own life at risk.
The footage shows the Church of St. George of Ilori, the Medieval, originally Georgian Orthodox Church in the village of Ilori, Abkhazia. The architectural monument of the 11th century has been completely defaced. The church with new metal-plastic window frames has its dome changed with a Russian one. Unique frescos inside the church have been deleted.
So long as Georgian specialists after the region`s occupation are not let into Abkhazia, the occupational forces have completely removed all signs confirming the Georgian origins from the monuments in the region.
Along with the unique Georgian monument, the footage also shows the infrastructures of several towns of teh region. Only ruins have remained in Tkvarcheli, which used to serve as one of the main industrial centers of Abkhazia 20 years ago. Only 3 thousand locals are now living in the town inhabited with 22 thousand before the war in 1992-1993.
Only military bases are being intensively constructed in Abkhazia, especially Gali district. The Russian troops are constructing the military settlements on the sites of former Georgian houses. Some of the bases are constructed in the citrus plantations.
The footage shows another destroyed town in Abkhazia. Ochamchire is used only for conducting military trainings. The sanatoria, which used to host thousands of tourists before the war, are destroyed now and the beaches of the town are empty.