CaptionWomen bathe on the Black Sea coast. Situated between the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains, Abkhazia was once popular as a holiday destination for the Soviet elite. In October, people in Abkhazia marked the 15th anniversary of the ejection of Georgian troops from their territory. At the same time they celebrated Russian recognition of their independence, announced in August. This was the first international recognition after Abkhazia's unilateral declaration of independence nearly a decade earlier.