During the 1800s Georgia received many of the same changes
Russia was experiencing, including introductions from the
industrial revolution, including improved infrastructure and increasing personal
freedoms. Despite the Russian, and various other occupiers, Georgia's language
and culture remained and some sub-ethnicities in the mountains were wholly unaffected
by these outsiders since they were too isolated to ever even contact these foreign
After a couple years of independence starting in 1918, the collapsing
Russian government's successor, the Soviet Union invaded
Georgia and took over the country for the duration of their rule. The
Georgians suffered particular hardships during this period since the second Soviet
leader, Josef Stalin was an ethnic Georgian and he wanted to "revolutionize"
his people, so did much to install Soviet culture in place of Georgian culture and
In 1991 Georgia gained independence as the Soviet Union
collapsed. Unfortunately, Georgia had little order, was corrupt, and much of the
country was too rural and mountainous to control. This led to a period of independence
movements from South Ossetia and Abkhazia as other parts of the country were rife
with street fighting, looting, political corruption, and the country became known
as the kidnapping capital of the world.
After protests in 2003, political power shifted, major reforms were made, and internal
safety and international politics vastly improved. However, few locals saw improved
living standards or increasing wages. Plus, this new government, seeking to join
NATO, had upset Russia and those relations were further damaged
in 2006 when Russia closed their international borders with Georgia.
Relations further deteriorated in 2008 when Russia "invaded" South Ossetia
"to protect the Russian minority" there.