It's been tough finding good maps that really show what's going on in the Caucasus region. This CIA map illustrates why the South Ossetian and Abkhazian people want independence from Georgia - though I'm not sure that being a part of Russia is really what they want either. The Abkhaz are linguistically unique while the Ossetians not only have a different language but are also not considered to be "Caucasian". The map nicely illustrates how difficult it would be to create contiguous countries in the region. Also note the proximity of other recent spots of conflict such as Chechnya, Dagestan and Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan. There are a couple of versions of this map on the web but Wikipedia has the best one I've seen.
For a nice, detailed general reference map of the region click here.
This is an interesting historical map of the region produced by American cartographer Thomas Bradford in 1835. Clicking the image will bring up a window so you can zoom and pan to get more detail.
1 year ago