Russians in Georgia
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There is a small Russian population in Georgia of less than 0.5% of the total population. For many years, Georgia was a part of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union. As the two countries share a border, many Russians settled in various regions of Georgia. In recent years, the number of Russians living in Georgia has sharply declined.
During the Soviet period, most Russians were urban dwellers and made up a disproportionately high percentage of the urban population. In 1959, there were more than 125,000 Russians in Tbilisi alone (18,1%). In addition to that, Russians made up 36,8% of the population in Sukhumi (making them the largest ethnic group there at the time), 31,6% in Rustavi, 26,8% in Poti and 25,6% in Batumi. There was also a sizable rural Russian community in Ninotsminda, consisting mainly of members of the Doukhobor religious group. In many places, Russian served as the lingua franca, as is served as the language of interethnic communication with Georgia's many other minorities. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian was not only abolished as the country's de facto official language, Georgia also faced several wars, economic hardship and ethnic tensions arose. This led to a strong emigration of Russians from Georgia, with their number decreasing from 341,172 in 1989 to 67,671 in 2002 and further declining to only 26,453 in 2014.
Census data shows that the Russian population had risen from 83 to the high-point of 407,886 between 1926 and 1959 and then began to decline slowly to 341,172 in 1989. Almost all Russians left Georgia during the 1990s due to economic hardships, ethnic tensions and other reasons decreasing percent of Russian population in Georgia from 6.3% in 1989 to 0.5% in 2014.[dead link]
A great part of its indigenous population emigrated to Turkey after the Muhajirism, with the result of repopulation of the land with ethnic Armenians and Pontic Greeks. Russians made up 2% of the 100,000 population of Abkhazia by 1897. Russian population rose between 1926 and 1970 and declined thereafter. Post-independence decline was particularly steep due to the War in Abkhazia.
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- "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года. Национальный состав населения по республикам СССР".
- George Khutsishvili (February–March 1994). "Intervention in Transcaucasus". Boston University. Perspective. 4 (3).
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