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autonomous republic located in northwestern Georgia. Bordering the eastern shores of the Black Sea, Abkhazia consists of a narrow coastal lowland broken by mountain spurs, followed by a hilly foreland zone of eroded marine and river terraces that merge into the steep slopes of the Caucasus Mountains located to the north. Area 3,343 square miles (8,660 square km). Pop. (2002) 215,972; (2007 est.) 180,000.