Black Sea Blues

The Abkhaz seem to have built themselves a state. Now all they need is someone to recognize it.

Issue: Winter 2004-2005

Maxim Gunjia sits down in an armchair opposite a plush couch. His spacious office is filled with abstract art. He recalls his time in Washington, which he visited while studying in the United States. "I like Georgetown", he says in unaccented English. "And Adams Morgan--that Cuban place, what is it? The Habana Village!" Like many young clubbers, he prefers New York's scene to Washington's. "The city doesn't really have much of a soul."

Gunjia is hip, 28 and into restaurants, art and jazz. He is also the deputy foreign minister of a country that no legitimate government recognizes and that some people have called a haven for drug traffickers and arms dealers.

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