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Protests topple president in breakaway Georgian region Abkhazia

The breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia accepted its president's resignation on Monday, following mass protests disputing his legitimacy as leader, Russian state media reported.

The breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia accepted its president’s resignation on Monday, following mass protests disputing his legitimacy as leader, Russian state media reported.

Driven by the allegation that incumbent president Raul Khajimba had not legally won re-election, protesters last week broke into the presidential administration building, demanding that he resign.

Khajimba announced his resignation on Sunday night following a meeting between a top advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Vladislav Surkov, and local opposition leaders, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Abkhazia is dependent on Russia for maintaining its separation from Georgia.

Abkhazia‘s parliament accepted Khajimba’s resignation and appointed prime minister Valery Bganba as interim leader until an election planned for March 22.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and another Georgian region, South Ossetia, as independent states after defeating neighboring Georgia in a brief war in 2008. The United Nations considers those regions as part of Georgia.

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