In 1936 Georgia became a constituent (union) republic and continued as such until the collapse of the Soviet Union.During the Soviet period the Georgian economy was modernized and diversified.From the ice-clad flanks of these desolately beautiful high regions flow many streams and rivers.The southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus merge into a second band, consisting of central lowlands formed on a great structural depression.One of the most independence-minded republics, Georgia declared sovereignty on November 19, 1989, and independence on April 9, 1991.With the notable exception of the fertile plain of the Kolkhida Lowland—ancient Colchis, where the legendary Argonauts sought the Golden Fleece—the Georgian terrain is largely mountainous, and more than a third is covered by forest or brushwood.The southeastern regions are the driest areas, and winter is the driest season; the rainfall maximum occurs at the end of spring.
An independent Georgian state existed from 1918 to 1921, when it was incorporated into the Soviet Union.
To the east the structural trough is crossed by the Likh ranges, linking the Greater and Lesser Caucasus and marking the watershed between the basins of the Black and Caspian seas.
In central Georgia, between the cities of Khashuri and Mtsʿkhetʿa (the ancient capital), lies the inner high plateau known as the Kartli (Kartalinian) Plain.
Georgia’s location and its diverse terrain have given rise to a remarkable variety of landscapes.
The luxuriant vegetation of the moist, subtropical Black Sea shores is relatively close to the eternal snows of the mountain peaks.