Analysis, book reviews and photography from Abkhazia and the wider Caucasus — updates when time permits

Photography: Old government building, Sukhum

Ever since it burned down in the final days of the 1992–1993 war, when Abkhazian forces retook Sukhum, the carcass of the old government building has served as a grim reminder of the past violence, mainly because it is one of the few high-rise buildings in the city centre. Especially when night falls, it evokes a threatening beauty, not unlike the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, or something out of a 1930s cross between Tim Burton’s Batman and Citizen Kane.

An empty socle in front of the building is all that remains of the Soviet era Lenin statue. The square is now commonly used for driving lessons.

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