Holidays on the Soviet Riviera

A collection of images taken up and down the coastline of Abkhazia. Once known as the ‘Soviet Riviera,’ a place where a number of the USSR’s leaders had holiday homes, this contested region endured vicious wars and attempted ethnic cleansing in the 1990s to survive today as an unrecognised independent state inside a frozen conflict zone. Nevertheless, Abkhaz resort towns such as Gagra, Pitsunda and Novi Afon are still a popular Summer destination for many thousands of Russian tourists. Nowadays, abandoned, bullet-holed buildings stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Modernist hotels all the way along what was once the Soviet Riviera.


Novi Afon (New Athos)


































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