Monday, October 3, 2011


Samegrelo ,is a historic province in the western part of Georgia, formerly also known as Odishi.Samegrelo is bordered by the secessionist region of Abkhazia to the north-west, Svaneti to the north, Imereti to the east, Guria to the south and the Black Sea to the west.
As it is the case with most Black Sea coastal areas of Georgia, Samegrelo's climate is subtropical with frequent rains. The coastal areas have many marshlands despite the Soviet Georgian authorities' efforts to dry them up.

In ancient times Samegrelo was a major part of the kingdom of Colchis (9th-6th centuries BC) and its successor Egrisi (4th century BC-6th century AD). In the 11th-15th centuries, Samegrelo was a part of the united Kingdom of Georgia. In December 1803, the principality came under the patronage of the Russian Empire by an agreement between the Tsar and the Megrelian Prince Grigol Dadiani. The last adult Prince, David Dadiani, died in 1853, leaving his wife Ekaterine as regent for his young son, Niko.
The first President of the post-Soviet Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was a Megrelian. After the violent Coup d'etat of December 21, 1991-January 6, 1992, Samegrelo became the centre of a civil war, which ended with the defeat of Gamsakhurdia's Megrelian supporters.

 Stability in the region is further deteriorated by the fact that the Georgian refugees from the Abkhazian war zone  are mostly Megrelians. After the Rose Revolution of November, 2003, in 2004, newly elected Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili, who vowed to resolve the conflict with the breakaway region of Abkhazia solely by peaceful means, disarmed groups of Megrelians who tried to fight a guerrilla war against the Abkhazians by incursions from Samegrelo.

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