Political Status: Formerly the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, a constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); renamed Republic of Georgia on November 14, 1990; declared independence on April 9, 1991; became sovereign member of the Commonwealth of Independent States on March 1, 1994; renamed Georgia under new constitution promulgated on October 17, 1995. (The autonomous republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have unilaterally declared their independence and have defied Georgia’s political and military efforts to integrate them into the national structure. However, their independent status has not been recognized by any other country.)

Area: 26,900 sq. mi. (69,700 sq. km.).

Population: 4,371,535 (2002C); 4,462,000 (2006E). While the 2002 figure excludes the population of South Ossetia (included in the 2005 estimate), an overall decline of ...

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