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ackground See also: Georgia within the Russian Empire Guria within the Russian Empire Guria was a historic region in western Georgia. In the early 19th century it had been incorporated into the Russian Empire: the Principality of Guria was made a protectorate in 1810 and retained autonomy until 1829 when it was formally annexed. The region was re-organised in 1840 into an uyezd (Russian: ????; a secondary administrative division) and renamed the Ozurget Uyezd, after Ozurgeti, the main city in the region; it was added to the Kutais Governorate in 1846. Until the Russo-Turkish War and the annexation of Adjara in 1878, Guria bordered the Ottoman Empire, and that legacy as a borderland was slow to dissipate: many residents remained armed, and bandits frequented the region. The Russian Empire's only census, in 1897, counted Guria's population at just under 100,000, while the Kutais Governorate had the second-highest population density in t he Caucasus (after the Erivan Governorate). That reflected a major increase during this era, and by 1913 it had grown a further 35 per cent. Guria was overwhelmingly rural, with Ozurgeti the largest city at 4,694, and only 26 other villages listed. There were few factories, though some smaller distilleries did exist, with most of the population working in agriculture. In contrast to other parts of Georgia, especially the capital Tiflis, Guria was ethnically homogeneous, with most of the population being ethnic Georgians. Guria had high levels of education for a poor peasant region. There were an estimated 63 schools, with 2,833 students, throughout the region by 1905. Ozurgeti alone had four, including one for girls, and 681 total students. As a result, literacy rates were high throughout the region; with one student per 20 people, the Ozurget Uyezd had by far the highest proportion of students in Georgia. This gave Guria a reputation as an educated and literate region, but there we re no real opportunities for further development there, which frustrated the rural intelligentsia. The development of the Transcaucasus Railway in 1872 had a major effect on Guria. It connected Tiflis with the port cities of Batumi and Poti, allowing passengers to easily travel across Georgia; it was possible to go from Ozurgeti to Batumi in 40 minutes. With many Gurians unable to make a living from farming land, they instead became seasonal workers, travelling to Batumi and Poti, or other developing regions across Georgia. Indeed, by 1900 most of the 12,000 workers in Batumi, which was the third-largest industrial centre in the Transcaucasus, were from Guria. The advent of socialist ideas was also an important factor in Guria. It was noted by Grigory Aleksinsky, a Bolshevik active during the republic's existence, as "a citadel of Menshevism." Many of the leading Georgian Mensheviks, the leading faction of the Georgian Social Dem