Saturday, 26 December 2009

Hitler calls on Georgians to win back Abkhazia‏

December 25, 2009 - by Kirill Kolodin (Tbilisi) - Izvestiya

The television channel “Sakartvelo” aired a remarkably creative video that, in theory at least, should entice young people to join the army. The video does not particularly have any distinguishing special effects; in it, some cheerful young men are heading from a recruiting station to the army headquarters. As they enter through the welcoming, swung-open doors, it seems to be the perfect place for a slogan such as: “Welcome to the army, son!” But instead, a quote by Adolf Hitler appears on television screens.

“We once and for all must understand that we will never be able to regain the lost territory with prayers, which have become a formality, nor with hopes in the League of Nations, but with the strength of our weapons. Adolf Hitler. 1932.” These subtitles are accompanied by a well-performed voiceover – perhaps to make it more convincing.Perhaps only the creators of the video know why the Fuhrer needed to be included in the propaganda campaign – especially since there is already an abundance of similar banal expressions that could be found in the repertoires of many politicians and military commanders. Thus, there was absolutely no need to include Hitler as the main “revenge expert.”

The misstep of the political strategists is clear. A television campaign was being created based on the approval of an official representative of Georgia’s Ministry of Defense and according to the example of the NATO countries. But it is hard to imagine that “in order to promote the military,” Americans, the English, the French and especially the Germans would use “Mein Kapf” or other classical writings of the Fuhrer.

It is not clear as to how long the scandalous clip has been on the air. The television company does not have a wide audience, despite the fact that it is broadcast over the entire country. In April 2007, Sakartvelo began cooperating with the military based on the “Law on State Procurement,” and began operating in September of the same year.

Prior to that, Channel 33, which broadcasts Sakartvelo, belonged to the opposition television company of Eduard Shevardnadze and Mikhail Saakashvili, 202. According to the latest available information, currently Sakartvelo is owned by Denal Union. In November 2009, the non-governmental organization Transparency International called the company “mysterious” in one of its reports.

While it is just a coincidence, Georgian activists of the Center for Human Rights posted the clip on their website – and – almost immediately after the clip on the destruction of the Memorial of Glory in Kutaisi. The clip was posted on the eve of the Georgian government’s presentation of the “State Strategy in Relation to the Occupied Territories,” according to which Georgia’s leadership plans to resolve the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts only thought peaceful means.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

UNPO - Abkhazia President Bagapsh Re-elected

Dec. 15 - UNPO welcomes the news that President Sergei V. Bagapsh of Abkhazia has been re-elected for a second term as initial exit polls released on Sunday (13th December) indicated that Mr Bagapsh had won approximately 60% of the popular vote.

It was estimated that the turnout for Saturday’s vote (12th December) was 73%. There were 174 polling stations within the thirty-five regions of Abkhazia and the election was overseen by the Abkhaz Central Election Commission (TsIK) chaired by Mr. Batal Tabagua. Mr. Bagapsh’s closest rival among four other candidates, Raul Khajimba, polled with 15.4 percent of the popular vote.

Mr Bagapsh has already served one term as president following the contentious 2004 election which was resolved through a power-sharing agreement. He resigned in November 2009, following constitutional rules, to stand in the 2009 presidential elections. The election result was decided by simple majority voting (SMV) in which the highest polling candidate had to obtain over 50% of votes to be elected as president. Since Mr. Bagapsh was able to exceed such a proportion, ruling out a second round of voting.

UNPO believes this result is another positive step in the democratic development of Abkhazia and the Caucasus region. Since joining UNPO in 1992 to campaign for greater self-determination and international recognition, Abkhazia has been actively engaged in supporting fellow UNPO members in their campaigns. The 2009 Presidential Election gives to the region a valuable example of democracy in action and to the international community a clear demonstration of Abkhazia’s commitment to democratic values.

Below is a copy of the letter of Congratulations sent to Sergey Bagapsh from UNPO General Secretary, Marino Busdachin

The Hague, 14 December 2009

Your Excellency,

On behalf of the membership of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) I would like to congratulate you on your re-election by the overwhelming majority of Abkhaz for another term in office as President of the Republic of Abkhazia.

UNPO followed the elections closely and welcomes what is another positive chapter in Abkhazia’s democratic development and consolidation. We believe the election and its result represents an important step for the whole Caucasus region and a vindication of the multi-vector foreign policy that you have pursued to benefit of Abkhazia over your past term in office.

It is almost two decades since Abkhazia joined the UNPO, and over the coming months we look forward to deepening the strong bonds that exist between Sukhum and UNPO members throughout the world. The UNPO therefore reaffirms its support to Abkhazia’s people and their right to self-determination and international recognition.

We stand ready to offer your office and the Republic of Abkhazia every possible support in the weeks leading to your inauguration and the years to follow.

Yours sincerely,

Marino Busdachin
General Secretary

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Jordan's Abkhaz diaspora representatives met with President elect Sergey Bagapsh

Dec. 14 - SUKHUM, ABKHAZIA - Today a group of the Abkhaz Diaspora of Jordan representatives met with the elected President Sergey Bagapsh.

They congratulated Bagapsha on re-election as Head of the Abkhaz state, and expressed satisfaction by the fact that the elections were of a democratic character and that their ethnic Motherland makes confident steps in its development.

Sergey Bagapsh and Jordan’s Diaspora representatives discussed questions of interaction, repatriation and provision of necessary facilities for Muhajirs’ descendants who have come back to the historical Motherland.

At the same time Bagapsh expressed hope that the Abkhaz Diaspora would be rendering a more confident assistance to the recognition of Abkhazia by other states.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Press-Conference of Head of Passport and Visa Service of the Internal Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia

December 6 - SUKHUM, ABKHAZIA - “90 percent of the republic’s residents have already received the passport of the citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia”, the chief of the Passport and Visa Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia Valery Malia said at a press conference in Sukhum.

According to him, 146 121 passports of the citizen of Abkhazia have been issued for today.

The basic document proving identity has been issued to representatives of all 85 nationalities living in Abkhazia. 73 622 of Abkhaz, 32 363 of Armenians, 17 795 of Russian, 12 156 of Georgians, 2 430 of Ukrainians, 1 500 of Greeks, 2 138 of Abazins are among those who have received passports.
The PVS head specified that 9 910 passports have been issued to the under-18 persons; the number of citizens who do not live in the republic and who have received the document without a residence permit makes 5 759.

Earlier the PVS had no proper office, owing to it, as a result of a technical incident, 8 620 forms of the document were damaged what was registered by a governmental commission, certified and they were deposited.

According to Valery Malia, 365 thousand passports in all have been printed.

An event owing to which the main document of the citizen of the republic was changed occurred in 2003. The ship that was conveying passports from Turkey was seized by Georgian coastguards and 25 thousand forms found themselves at the disposal of the Georgian authorities. “After that incident the leadership of Abkhazia took the decision to make some changes to the passport forms. In particular, if the first lot seized by the Georgian party, has the passport number printed in red, the subsequent lots were printed in dark blue. We also changed the type and made some differences in comparison with the seized lot”, V. Malia specified.

The Service head also said that valid passports samples the citizens of Abkhazia living beyond its bounds have the right to vote with at the presidential elections on December 12 had been sent to the Embassy of Abkhazia in the Russian Federation and the republic’s representative office in Cherkessk.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Abkhazia time-lapse film

Filming in Abkhazia, with 5DMII September - October 2009 Gagra, Mamdzisha

Abkhazia time-lapse film from Animi on Vimeo.

Sergey Yazvinsky (Director)
Viacheslav Ivanov

Maria Sannikova
Nadejda Churumova

Wayne Gratz
Michael Gettel
Craig Armstrong
Ludovico Einaudi

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Statement from the Press-Service for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia


The visit of the Abkhaz Foreign Ministry delegation in the Latin American countries continues.

The delegation of Abkhazia took part in the opening ceremony of the Days of Russian Culture in Ecuador which was being held in the oldest university of Quito. The deputy Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Maxim Gvindzhia delivered a welcoming speech to the guests, stressing the importance of establishing relations between Abkhazia and Ecuador in all the spheres of the states’ modern life. The University of Ecuador is ready to admit students from Abkhazia and to develop cooperation with the Abkhaz State University.

On December 1 M. Gvindzhia had a meeting with the deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ecuador L. Arisago. The meeting was also attended by the director of the Europe Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ecuador P. Villagomes. Gvindzhia told about historical prerequisites of independence of Abkhazia, the present situation in the republic and prospects of its development.

The Republic of Abkhazia’s official request to Ecuador about the recognition is considered very carefully, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ecuador told Abkhaz diplomats. L. Arisago and M. Gvindzhia also discussed the questions of economic cooperation between the two countries.

On December 2 a meeting with the Vice Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Ecuador Mr. Pansana took place in Quito.

The Parliament of Ecuador has initiated development of inter-parliamentary cooperation, as well as establishment of relations between business circles of Abkhazia and Ecuador.