AP NEWS

Hundreds rally to demand resignation of Abkhazia’s leader

January 9, 2020 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — Hundreds of protesters in Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia besieged the regional leader’s office Thursday seeking his ouster.

The demonstrators demanded the resignation of Raul Khadzhimba, who was re-elected to a second 5-year term as Abkhazia’s president in September. They tried to break into the presidential administration building in Sukhumi and scuffled with the guards.

Khadzhimba’s office denounced the protest as a coup attempt.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s as the Soviet Union collapsed. Moscow has tightened its control over the lush Black Sea province and a second breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia, after a brief war with Georgia in 2008.

Russia recognizes both regions as independent nations and deploys its military there despite international condemnation.