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The region of present day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1921 and regained its independence when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Mounting public discontent over rampant corruption and ineffective government services, followed by an attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. In the aftermath of that popular movement, which became known as the "Rose Revolution," new elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his United National Movement party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by Russian assistance and support to the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Periodic flare-ups in tension and violence culminated in a five-day conflict in August 2008 between Russia and Georgia, including the invasion of large portions of undisputed Georgian territory. Russian troops pledged to pull back from most occupied Georgian territory, but in late August 2008 Russia unilaterally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Russian military forces remain in those regions.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 68
1.342 million (2011)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 108
4.43 million (2011)

Telephone system
General assessment
Fixed-line telecommunications network has limited coverage outside Tbilisi; multiple mobile-cellular providers provide services to an increasing subscribership throughout the country
Domestic
Cellular telephone networks cover the entire country; mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 100 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi
International
Country code - 995; the Georgia-Russia fiber optic submarine cable provides connectivity to Russia; international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available

Broadcast media
1 state-owned public TV station in Tbilisi and 8 privately-owned TV stations; state-run public broadcaster operates 2 networks; dozens of cable TV operators and several major commercial TV stations are operating; state-owned public radio broadcaster operates 2 networks; several dozen private radio stations (2008)

Internet country code
.ge

Internet hosts World Ranking: 58
358,109 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 90
1.3 million (2009)


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  Georgia (Tbilisi):


  GPS points from Georgia (Tbilisi)

Dzerula Georgia (general)

Bagina Georgia (general)

Native Name To Be Determined Racha-lechkhumi And Kvemo Svaneti

Gora Gumishkha Abkhazia

Razvaliny Khova Georgia (general)

K'veda T'lughi Georgia (general)

Nodzhikhevi Marneulis Raioni

Ilto Akhmetis Raioni




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