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Trip Planner Europe  /  Georgia  /  Abkhazia  /  Tkvarcheli

Tkvarcheli

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Tkvarcheli is a town in Abkhazia, Georgia. It is situated on the river Ghalidzga (Aaldzga) and a railroad connects it with Ochamchire.HistoryCoal mining, which began in the area in 1935, grew in importance during the Second World War, especially after the Donbass was lost during the Nazi invasion. Tkvarcheli was given town status on 9 April 1942During the War in Abkhazia (1992-3), Tkvarcheli withstood, through Russian humanitarian and military aid, an uneasy siege by the Georgian forces. Since 1995, it is the centre of the newly formed Tkvarcheli District. On 27 September 2008, President Sergei Bagapsh awarded it the honorary title of Hero City.IndustryCoal-mining has been the town's main industry ever since although now the Soviet mines are closed and coal is quarried only by the Abkhaz-Turkish Tamsaş company using the open pit method. Tamsaş's tax payments account for 75% of the Tkvarcheli district's budget however, the company was criticised for neglecting environmental requirements. Construction of a new cement plant is planned now, its output to be used for the Olympic construction projects in Sochi. Georgia regards all this investment as illegal, in clear violation of the 1996 CIS restrictions and has arrested several vessels, loaded with coal from Tkvarcheli, in its territorial waters, a measure that has reportedly brought Tamsaş to the verge of bankruptcy.
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