THE GRIM ESCAPE

An army of the dispossessed faces cold and hunger after the Abkhazian triumph in Sukhumi

They flee by the thousands -- in horse-drawn carts stacked high with clothes and furniture; on bicycles balancing precarious bundles; on foot, arms laden with any belongings they can carry. Since Abkhazian rebels broke a Russian- mediated cease-fire and drove Georgian forces out of the Black Sea region, seizing its capital, Sukhumi, an estimated 200,000 Georgians are thought to have been uprooted. Some have been trudging for days through the bitter-cold, snow-covered mountains of the Caucasus, headed mainly into cities of western Georgia. In Sukhumi the Abkhazian insurgents are accused of having carried out mass ''ethnic cleansing,'' looting and plundering the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!