Timeline: Georgia after the Soviet Union
(CNN) -- The following are key events in the Republic of Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991:
1991 -- Georgia declares its independence from the Soviet Union. Former dissident Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the republic's president.
March 1992 -- Gamsakhurdia is deposed following fighting between government soldiers and opposition forces in central Tbilisi. Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze is appointed head of Georgia's new State Council.
August 1992 -- Fighting erupts between government and separatist forces in Georgia's Abkhazia region.
October 1992 -- Shevardnadze is elected Georgia's parliamentary chairman.
September 1993 -- Separatist fighters drive Georgian forces out of Abkhazia.
1994 -- Russia deploys peacekeepers in Abkhazia after separatists and the Georgian government agree a truce.
November 1995 -- Georgia reinstates the position of president; Shevardnadze elected to the post.
April 2000 -- Shevardnadze is re-elected president.
February 2002 – Russia protests after U.S. military officials announce up to 200 American troops may be sent to Georgia to help train and equip its military against terrorist threats.
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