Two men carrying school chairs and desks on a motorized vehicle pass the shell of a building on the outskirts of Sukhumi, the capital city of the self-proclaimed, but universally unrecognized, republic of Abkhazia. The region along the Black Sea fought a separatist war with Georgia in the early 1990s. The Russian parliament is pushing to beef up the number of Russian peacekeepers stationed in Abkhazia, and has suggested that Moscow might fight on the side of the breakaway republic in case of any military aggression from Georgia, whose push to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is backed by the U.S.
Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times
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