The Sukhumi or Sukhum okrug[a] was a special administrative district (okrug) in the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire, part of the Kutaisi Governorate from 1883 until 1905. The administrative center of the district was the Black Sea port city of Sukhum (present-day Sukhumi). The okrug bordered the Kutaisi Governorate to the southwest, the Kuban Oblast to the north and the Black Sea Governorate to the northwest and in terms of its area corresponded to most of contemporary Abkhazia. During 1905–1917, the Sukhumi okrug was one of the smallest independent (not part of any province or region) administrative units of the Russian Empire, second to the Zakatal okrug.
Сухумскій отдѣльный округъ
|• Total||6,591.42 km2 (2,544.96 sq mi)|
|• Density||32/km2 (82/sq mi)|
In the 19th century, the territory of the Sukhumi okrug, some 6,942 square versts (7,900 square kilometres) containing 79,195 inhabitants, consisted of the Principality of Abkhazia (abolished in 1864) and the communities of Tsebelda, Samurzakan, and Pskhu community. In 1864–1866, the military district of Sukhumi was made up of the okrugs of Abkhaz, Bzyb, and Abzhua and pristavstvos of Tsebelda and Samurzakan. In 1883, the district was transformed into an okrug and incorporated into the Kutaisi Governorate. In 1905, the Sukhumi okrug was separated from the Kutaisi Governorate to be directly administered by the Viceroy of the Caucasus.
In April–May 1918, Georgian forces of the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic prevented Soviet forces from taking the district. In June 1918, as a result of an agreement between the authorities of the Georgian Democratic Republic and the Abkhaz People's Council, the Georgian army occupied the district as well as the adjacent Sochi and Tuapse okrugs—the Georgian government aimed to "present the Volunteer Army with a fait accompli", using historical justifications for incorporating these districts.
Georgia promised Abkhazia autonomy, however, it did not succeed in annexing it due to Anton Denikin recapturing the district in 1919 during the Sochi conflict. In December 1920, due to the changing tide of the Russian Civil War, the Georgian frontier in Abkhazia reached the Mekhadyr–Psou area. According to the Treaty of Moscow (1920), the Georgia–Russia border in Abkhazia was "traced along the Psou" rather than the Bzyb (further south) which had been the erstwhile boundary of the Sukhumi okrug. Following Georgia's sovietisation, Abkhazia and South Ossetia were transformed into autonomies which by a "large extent allowed these territories to be kept a part of Soviet Georgia".
The subcounties (uchastoks) of the Sukhumi okrug in 1912 were as follows:
|Uchastok||Russian name||1912 population||Area|
|Gudauta||Гудаутскій участокъ||24,107||869.53 square versts (989.58 km2; 382.08 sq mi)|
|Gumista||Гумистинскій участокъ||10,210||2,897.89 square versts (3,297.98 km2; 1,273.36 sq mi)|
|Kodor||Кодорскій участокъ||20,808||887.85 square versts (1,010.43 km2; 390.13 sq mi)|
|Samurzakan||Самурзаканскій участокъ||34,617||1,136.52 square versts (1,293.43 km2; 499.40 sq mi)|
Russian Empire CensusEdit
According to the Russian Empire Census, the Sukhumi okrug had a population of 106,179 on 28 January [O.S. 15 January] 1897, including 59,836 men and 46,343 women. The majority of the population indicated Abkhazian to be their mother tongue, with significant Mingrelian, Armenian, Greek, and Russian speaking minorities.
According to the 1917 publication of Kavkazskiy kalendar, the Sukhumi okrug had a population of 209,671 on 14 January [O.S. 1 January] 1916, including 127,619 men and 82,052 women, 135,838 of whom were the permanent population, and 73,833 were temporary residents.
- ^ Prior to 1918, Azerbaijanis were generally known as "Tatars". This term, employed by the Russians, referred to Turkic-speaking Muslims of the South Caucasus. After 1918 with the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and "especially during the Soviet era", the Tatar group identified itself as "Azerbaijani".
- ^ Primarily Turco-Tatars.
- ^ Primarily Tatars.
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 173.
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 162.
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 174.
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 66.
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 77.
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 79.
- ^ Кавказский календарь на 1913 год, pp. 164–167.
- ^ a b "Демоскоп Weekly - Приложение. Справочник статистических показателей". www.demoscope.ru. Retrieved 2022-03-26.
- ^ Bournoutian 2018, p. 35 (note 25).
- ^ Tsutsiev 2014, p. 50.
- ^ Кавказский календарь на 1917 год, pp. 206–209.
- ^ a b Hovannisian 1971, p. 67.
- Bournoutian, George A. (2018). Armenia and Imperial Decline: The Yerevan Province, 1900–1914. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-06260-2. OCLC 1037283914.
- Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918–1919. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520019843.
- Кавказский календарь на 1913 год [Caucasian calendar for 1913] (in Russian) (68th ed.). Tiflis: Tipografiya kantselyarii Ye.I.V. na Kavkaze, kazenny dom. 1913. Archived from the original on 19 April 2022.
- Кавказский календарь на 1917 год [Caucasian calendar for 1917] (in Russian) (72nd ed.). Tiflis: Tipografiya kantselyarii Ye.I.V. na Kavkaze, kazenny dom. 1917. Archived from the original on 4 November 2021.
- Tsutsiev, Arthur (2014). Atlas of the Ethno-Political History of the Caucasus. Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300153088.