This chapter provides a brief historical background and a description of major events in Georgia. It also provides basic political, economic, and social data arranged in the following categories: polity, economy, population, purchasing power parities, life expectancy, ethnic groups, capital, political rights, civil liberties, and status. The chapter discusses the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in Georgia. Residents of Abkhazia can elect government officials, but some 200,000 displaced Georgians could not vote in the 1999 presidential elections or in parliamentary and local elections in previous years. While several independent newspapers are published, the Abkhazian press generally publishes mostly negative information on events in Georgia. In June 1999, the Georgian leadership lobbied for international condemnation of alleged ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia as a result of the 1992-1993 war. The unsuccessful effort effectively ended Georgian hopes that the UN would sanction the use of force against the breakaway territory.