Unlicensed for travel: how the quarantine and border-closure have affected dogs from the Topa shelter

The Bagira Animal Protection Fund was opened in Abkhazia in 2016

The Bagira Animal Protection Fund was opened in Abkhazia in 2016, and during this time the Fund’s employees have placed more than 700 dogs from the Republic, not only in Russia, but also in Europe, the USA, and Canada.

After the closure of the state-borders of the Russian Federation due to the threat of the spread of coronavirus-infection, sending dogs abroad became impossible, but these are not the only difficulties that the Bagira Foundation and the Topa Dog Shelter in the Gagra District are experiencing.

Read more: Unlicensed for travel: how the quarantine and border-closure have affected dogs from the Topa...

House for an architect: how a repatriate, Shabnam Marshan, found herself in Abkhazia

Sebnem Marshan

Architect Şebnem (Shabnam) Marshan from Turkey decided to stay in Abkhazia forever after spending two weeks here. As for what made her return to her historical homeland and how the life of a repatriate in the ‘Land of the Soul’ turned out, you can find out more here.

On New Year's Eve several years ago a studio of architecture and design was opened in the centre of the capital of Abkhazia. Large glass windows, bright curtains and unusual lighting attracted the attention of all passers-by.

Read more: House for an architect: how a repatriate, Shabnam Marshan, found herself in Abkhazia

Ritsa-Auadhara National Park, Abkhazia

The Milky Falls. Abkhazia

The Ritsa National Park is located in the mountainous part of Abkhazia on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range, between the Ghegha River and the Pshchitsa River. It was founded in 1996 on the basis of the Ritsa Nature Reserve, established in 1930.

The area of the reserve is 39,000 hectares. The difference in elevation is significant, from 100 m to 3,256 m above sea level (Mount Agepsta), which creates a rich range of environmental conditions for the growth of many plants and animals. The high-mountainous terrain and abundant precipitation help to create favourable conditions for many lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Lake Big Ritsa is a special pride of the national park but other lakes are on par with the big bro, e.g. Little Ritsa is charming, Blue Lake is astounding, there are several glacial lakes in the highlands. The largest of the waterfalls is in the Ghegh canyon, it falls down in a white 50-metre curtain from the wall of the Ghegh canyon.

Read more: Ritsa-Auadhara National Park, Abkhazia

An excerpt from Ossetian linguist Vasily Abaev's ‘The Tragedy of South Ossetia’

Vasily Abaev (right) with William Edward David Allen and Harold Walter Bailey (middle), (Tbilisi 1965)

The war of toponyms

The Georgian chauvinists resort to such absurd claims that they should simply be ashamed of themselves. They now maintain that South Ossetia does not exist. If they use the term at all, they put it in quotes and preface it with the words ‘so called’. They now call the area Shida Kartli [Inner Kartli] or Samachablo [Fiefdom of the Machabeli family].

Read more: An excerpt from Ossetian linguist Vasily Abaev's ‘The Tragedy of South Ossetia’

The heart of the bull and the secrets of Bythi: how to dedicate to Abkhaz priests

Ruslan Berzek, a descendant of the last Ubykh prince Haji Berzek Kerantukh, was ordained a priest at the Elyr-shrine on Thursday 20 February. He it was who had to become the priest of the seventh Abkhazian sanctuary of Bytkha, which is located in the territory of modern Sochi.

For 12 years, Ruslan Berzek has been restoring not only his family-tree, but also the language, culture and traditional religion of the Ubykh people.

Read more: The heart of the bull and the secrets of Bythi: how to dedicate to Abkhaz priests

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