Diversity Declines in Georgia's Southwestern Mountains (Eurasianet)

For centuries, mountainous southwestern Georgia lay at the crossroad of the Ottoman, Persian and Russian empires. It suffered many conflicts between the rival powers, while also nurturing complex religious, ethnic, and linguistic identities.

Today, though, that rich diversity is under threat from economic, political, and demographic change. We traveled throughout the region to document the remaining traces of this fading diversity.

Perhaps the first modern blow to the region's multicultural fabric occurred during World War II, when Stalin deported all Turkish-speaking Meskhetians, in the belief that they represented a threat to Soviet security.

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Picture: High-mountain pasture of Zotikeli, Adjara. (Copyright: Julien Pebrel)