6 Sep 2015 - 19:18
Abkhazia – one of the Russian-occupied regions of Georgia – is now being referred to as the ‘Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia’ instead of ‘Republic of Abkhazia’ on Google Maps after one Georgian internet user challenged the online spelling.
The change, which the Google Maps administration has already approved, was initiated by Giorgi Balakhadze.
After adding the word "autonomous” in the name of the region, Google Maps also closed it for further corrections, meaning from now on Abkhazia will always be referred to as an autonomous part of Georgia and not an independent republic.
Earlier Balakhadze asked for another change on Google Maps, which also was approved. Upon his request, the capital city of Abkhazia was now being referred to as ‘Sokhumi’ instead of ‘Sukhumi’, using Georgian spelling.
Abkhazia is situated in the north-western corner of Georgia. Russia recognised it as an independent state in 2008, immediately after the five-day Russia-Georgia war over Georgia’s other breakaway region, Tskhinvali region (often incorrectly referred to as South Ossetia).
This move of Russia has been assessed numerous times as a "violation of international law” by the global community.