In Photos: The Refugees’ Difficult Road from Abkhazia


Sokhumi fell to Abkhaz separatist forces on September 27, 1993, marking one of the most tragic defeats in Georgia’s recent history.

Abkhaz separatists violated a July ceasefire agreement on September 16, when separatists stormed Sokhumi from the sea, air, and land. The fall of Sokhumi resulted the ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population in the region.

Civilians were forced to flee their homes and cross the Caucasus mountains to safety by foot. The 250,000 people who survived the road became refugees. Part of the civilian population fled the city by sea, while the majority fled by foot through the Kodori gorge in the mountains, where many died of cold and hunger.

British photographer John Jones photographed the difficult road the refugees took through the mountains.

The Georgian-Abkhazian conflict lasted for 13 months and 13 days.


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