Taman Peninsula

18 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

Crimean Bridge © Rosavtodor.ru/cc-by-4.0

Crimean Bridge © Rosavtodor.ru/cc-by-4.0

The Taman Peninsula is a peninsula in the present-day Krasnodar Krai of Russia, which borders the Sea of Azov to the North, the Strait of Kerch to the West and the Black Sea to the South. On 8 October 2022, an explosion occurred on the roadway of the Crimean Bridge leading from Russia to Crimea, starting a large fire and causing parts of the road bridge to collapse, with repairs ordered to be completed by mid 2023.   read more…

Intermarium or Three Seas Initiative

3 February 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Three Seas initiative summit 2018 © Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria/cc-by-2.5

Three Seas initiative summit 2018 © Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria/cc-by-2.5

Intermarium (Polish: Międzymorze) was a geopolitical project conceived by politicians in successor states of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in several iterations, some of which anticipated the inclusion as well of other, neighboring states. The proposed multinational polity would have extended across territories lying between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, hence the name meaning “Between-Seas”.   read more…

Theme Week Georgia – Batumi

25 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Coastline with Batumi on the horizon © flickr.com - Jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Coastline with Batumi on the horizon © flickr.com – Jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Batumi is the second largest city of Georgia and the capital of the Adjara, located on the coast of the Black Sea in Georgia’s southwest. It is situated in a subtropical zone at the foot of the Caucasus. Much of Batumi’s economy revolves around tourism and gambling (it is nicknamed “The Las Vegas of the Black Sea”), but the city is also an important sea port and includes industries like shipbuilding, food processing and light manufacturing. Since 2010, Batumi has been transformed by the construction of modern high-rise buildings, as well as the restoration of classical 19th-century edifices lining its historic Old Town.   read more…

Theme Week Georgia – Sukhumi

24 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© panoramio.com - Владимир К/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – Владимир К/cc-by-3.0

Sukhumi is a city on the Black Sea coast, on the Soviet Riviera. It is the capital of the unrecognised Republic of Abkhazia, which has controlled it since the 1992–93 war in Abkhazia, although most of the international community considers it legally part of Georgia. Sukhumi’s history can be traced back to the 6th century BC, when it was settled by Greeks, who named it Dioscurias. During this time and the subsequent Roman period, much of the city disappeared under the Black Sea. The city was named Tskhumi when it became part of the Kingdom of Abkhazia and then the Kingdom of Georgia. Contested by local princes, it became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1570s, where it remained until it was conquered by the Russian Empire in 1810. Following a period of conflict during the Russian Civil War, it became part of the independent Georgia, which included Abkhazia, in 1918. In 1921, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by the Soviet Bolshevik forces from Russia. Within the Soviet Union, it was regarded as a holiday resort. As the Soviet Union broke up in the early 1990s, the city suffered significant damage during the Abkhaz–Georgian conflict. The present-day population of 60,000 is only half of the population living there towards the end of Soviet rule.   read more…

Theme Week Georgia

23 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Changing skyline of Batumi © flickr.com - jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Changing skyline of Batumi © flickr.com – jagermesh/cc-by-sa-2.0

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the east by Azerbaijan, and to the south by Armenia and Turkey. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its approximate population is about 4 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.   read more…

Theme Week Turkey

18 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  2 minutes

Levent business district in Istanbul © Derrick Brutel/cc-by-sa-4.0

Levent business district in Istanbul © Derrick Brutel/cc-by-sa-4.0

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeastern Europe. East Thrace, the part of Turkey in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus and the Dardanelles (collectively called the Turkish Straits). Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia, is the largest city in the country, while Ankara is the capital. Turkey is bordered on its northwest by Greece and Bulgaria; north by the Black Sea; northeast by Georgia; east by Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran; southeast by Iraq; south by Syria and the Mediterranean Sea; and west by the Aegean Sea. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the country’s citizens identify as Turkish, while Kurds are the largest minority, at between 15 to 20 percent of the population.   read more…

Residence at Cape Idokopas

1 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  10 minutes

© Russian Wikileaks/cc-by-3.0

© Russian Wikileaks/cc-by-3.0

The Residence at Cape Idokopas also known as the “Palace on the Idokopas Cape”, often called “Putin’s Palace”, “Dacha Putin”, “Putin’s country cottage”, etc., is a large Italianate palace complex located on the Black Sea coast near the village of Praskoveevka in Gelendzhik, Krasnodar Krai, Russia. While officially dismissed in 2010 by Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, it has been claimed that the dacha was built for the personal use of Putin, and that its construction began during his first Presidency. Detailed claims about the project, which allegedly made improper use of state resources, were made by Sergei Kolesnikov, a businessman with ties to Putin dating from his time in Saint Petersburg prior to entering Kremlin politics. What is particularly interesting about the reporting is that it has been an open secret for a long time, but it was only through the documentation by Alexei Navalny that it received great national and international attention.   read more…

Theme Week Ukraine

20 June 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  20 minutes

Kiev © flickr.com - Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Kiev © flickr.com – Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0

Ukraine, somtimes called the Ukraine, is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; Belarus to the northwest; Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014 and now administers as two federal subjects of the Russian federation, but which Ukraine and most of the international community continue to recognise as Ukrainian. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.   read more…

Pomorie on the Black Sea

16 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - Boby Dimitrov/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Boby Dimitrov/cc-by-sa-2.0

Pomorie is a town and seaside resort in southeastern Bulgaria, located on a narrow rocky peninsula in Burgas Bay on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.   read more…

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