Wednesday, 31 August 2011

One small step towards recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

The recent presidential elections in Abkhazia have reignited the debate concerning the legitimacy of any internal political developments in the two newly independent states, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Both the EU and the US declared the elections illegitimate – notwithstanding the fact that there had not been any major violation of voters’ rights or incidents that might shed any doubt concerning the outcome. It was as simple as that – “both Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia, both are occupied by Russian military forces, hence the people of those ‘breakaway’ republics have no right whatsoever to express their will”.

Even before that, commencing its five week-long vacation, the US Senate unanimously adopted Resolution 175 which recognizes both Abkhazia and South Ossetia as integral parts of Georgia “occupied by the Russian Federation”.

Amongst all the usual Western fuss on the issue, one voice has been very distinctly (and I must say, rather unexpectedly) heard. A prominent American conservative commentator and presidential ex-candidate Patrick Buchanan wrote an opinion piece “Why Are We Baiting the Bear?” published on “The Post Chronicle” website on August 28.

“Is the Senate trying to reignite the Cold War?” asks Mr. Buchanan, and answers, “If so, it is going about it the right way.”

Next question, “What is wrong with Senate Resolution 175?” And the answer is, “Just this. Neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia has been under Georgian control for 20 years. When Georgia seceded from Russia, these ethnic enclaves rebelled and seceded from Georgia.”

To this I might add. The only period in history when the two territories WERE under Georgian control, was the few decades-long Soviet period – and that was only due to the policy of “Georgianization” pursued by Stalin. When after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia chose to disintegrate, the same right was granted to all autonomous entities. Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia overwhelmingly decided to remain within the former Union, which in today’s terms would be equal to uniting with Russia.

Further, Patrick Buchanan debunks a number of myths or stereotypes prevailing in Western minds.

One is the myth of the “Russian invasion, or aggression against Georgia”.

“This is neocon propaganda,” writes Mr. Buchanan. “Russian troops are in those enclaves because in August 2008 Georgia invaded South Ossetia to re-annex it, and killed and wounded scores of Russian peacekeepers.” And the ongoing presence of Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is basically “a deterrent to Saakashvili (Georgia’s necktie-eating President. – B.V.), whose agents have been working Capitol Hill to push the United States into a confrontation with Russia on Georgia’s side.”

Further on, Mr. Buchanan outlines a number of examples clearly demonstrating the hypocrisy and the double standards of the U.S. policy. What seems most significant is the rare (for any Western public figure) recognition of the fact that there is basically no difference between the situation with Kosovo and that with the two independent (but not as widely recognized) states in the South Caucasus. Kosovo’s independence, as we remember, was achieved only due to massive Western support, including 1999 NATO bombings of sovereign Yugoslavia.

“Do we not have enough on our plate in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan not to be telling Russians how they should behave in lands closer to them than Grenada or Cuba is to us?” asks Patrick Buchanan. The question hardly needs an explicit answer.

Of course, Mr. Buchanan is no longer an active public politician or official, so his opinion may be disregarded by the establishment as a personal view of just one individual. But neither has he ever been identified as a Russian (or, Soviet) crony, therefore I should say that such an opinion expressed by a well-known, prominent and influential commentator is more than just simple jabber of an ordinary man-in-the-street.

Probably it will still take a long time before the truth about Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence dawns upon decision-makers in Washington, but Patrick Buchanan’s article is a clear sign that the process has already begun.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Abkhazia: presidential election, political future, by George Hewitt | OD

30 August 2011, openDemocracy -- The Black Sea republic of Abkhazia has elected its third president since securing effective independence from Georgia in 1993. The tiny country faces economic and social difficulties, in part deriving from its lack of international recognition. But its democratic experience deserves more attention and respect than much of the world seems prepared to give, says George Hewitt in the capital, Sukhum.

The month of August tends to be an eventful one in the small Black Sea republic of Abkhazia. In 2011, the country was already set to mark a series of anniversaries connected to the events of the last two decades: the war for survival and independence from Georgia (August 1992 - September 1993), and - after fifteen ensuing years of de facto sovereignty - the confirmation of its statehood following the Georgia-Russia conflict over South Ossetia in August 2008, a statehood which Russia itself (on 26 August) was the first formally to recognise.

Then, an unexpected event changed the character of the season: the death at an FSB hospital in Moscow on 29 May 2011 of Abkhazia’s president, Sergei Bagapsh, as a result of complications following an operation for a smoking-related complaint. The loss of Bagapsh, who had been re-elected for a second term in 2009 and was scheduled to hold the post until 2014, necessitated an election within three months (according to Abkhazia’s constitution) to choose a successor.

Three candidates competed for the post, two of whom resigned in July from their government posts in order to run their campaigns - Alexander Ankvab (the acting president following Bagapsh’s death, who had also served as prime minister, 2005-10); Raul Khadzhimba (who had served as vice-president, 2005-09 following a dispute over the presidential election of 2004 in which he had run against Bagapsh); and Sergei Shamba (the serving prime minister until the election was announced, and Abkhazia’s foreign minister, 1997-2010).

UNPO Congratulates Alexander Ankvab, Abkhaz President-Elect

Following the confirmation of Alexander Ankvab as the next president of the Republic of Abkhazia, the UNPO has extended its congratulations to the president-elect in a meeting held in Sukhum on 29 August 2011.

Below is a UNPO letter of congratulation to President-Elect, Alexander Ankvab,

The Hague, 28 August 2011

Your Excellency,

On behalf of the fifty members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization I wish to extend to you our congratulations on the announcement of your election as President of the Republic of Abkhazia. As Abkhazia enters a new phase in its history we wish you and your government every success in meeting the new and changing opportunities facing the country and its people.

The peaceful conduct and execution of Abkhazia’s presidential elections demonstrates the strength of democracy in Abkhazia today and the resilience of a country faced with both the untimely loss of its leader and a testing electoral campaign. UNPO was privileged to be amongst those observing the presidential elections and I hope that we will deepen the long association between Abkhazia and UNPO under your administration.

Just as both the Republic of Abkhazia and UNPO have changed immeasurably over the past twenty years, so it is my belief that both are in a much better position to face the demands of the twenty-first century. I look forward to our future collaboration and raising international understanding of Abkhazia today.

Yours sincerely,

Marino Busdachin

UNPO General Secretary

Source: UNPO


Monday, 29 August 2011

Bako Sahakyan sent congratulatory letter to President Abkhazia

On 29 August President of the Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan sent a congratulatory letter to President-elect of the Republic of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab, Artsakh President’s press office reports. The letter particularly reads:

“On behalf of the authorities, people of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic and myself I cordially congratulate You on the persuasive victory gained in the presidential elections and being elected the President of the Republic of Abkhazia.

I am confident that Your rich experience as a state and political figure, knowledge and personal qualities will have an important impact on the stable development of Abkhazia, further strengthening its independent statehood.

I hope that during Your presidency the relations between our countries will not only preserve the gained positive dynamic, but also come to a qualitatively new level.

I congratulate You once again on being elected to this high and responsible post. I wish You good luck and successes in all Your undertakings directed to the prosperity of fraternal Abkhazia.”


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Abkhazia to hold democratic election August 26 – acting president

SUKHUM, August 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The speaker of the Parliament of Abkhazia, Nugzar Ashuba, the acting president of the republic, has said that August 26 will see democratic elections.

"We have witnessed true competition by three politicians in our country. All three candidates are worthy people," said Ashuba at a meeting with observers from several European countries, Venezuela, Latvia, Nauru, the Dominican Republic, Armenia, the Dniester Moldovan Republic and also the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

According to Ashuba, Raul Khadzhimba is an experienced man, who did much for the country. Sergei Shamba in modern history is one of the founders of the struggle for the independence of the Abkhazian people, who did much for his country, including fight for its defense with weapons in hand. Alexander Ankvab is a worthy man, who has extended great services to the country and the people."

The presidential candidates, according to Ashuba, have been fulfilling their obligations under the agreement signed in July, For Honest and Clean Elections.

"They have had every chance to quietly stay in Sukhum, and communicate with their voters using modern technology, but they daily meet with them, going around every town and personally presenting their programs. This is a serious contest of ideas, not a physical confrontation between the candidates," said the acting president.

Ashuba advised observers to study the local election legislation and see for themselves how democratic it is.

"We try to make presidential elections as transparent as possible," he stressed.

On August 26 Abkhazia will hold early presidential elections. Three candidates are contesting the post – Vice-President Alexander Ankvab, opposition leader Raul Khadzhimba and Prime Minister Sergei Shamba. In the 35 constituencies there have been established 172 polling stations, which will be open on the election day from 08:00 to 20:00 Moscow time. According to CEC Chairman Batal Tabagua, this time Abkhazia will not open any polling stations at military units, contrary to the previous practice.

"The CEC decided that the military should vote at ordinary civilian polling stations. We believe that this is more democratic," said Tabagua.

According to preliminary statistics, 143,735 voters will be able to cast their ballots.

A group of over 100 monitors will observe the elections.

Source: Itar-Tass


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

ALLS - Vice President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly under the Georgian mesmerism

ALLS - The science of mesmerism emerged roughly at the end of the Age of Enlightenment and the very early beginnings of Romanticism. Originally introduced by Franz Anton Mesmer, the emergence of mesmerism during this time significantly influenced British social, political, and cultural thought.

A 1791 London publication explains the Mesmer’s theory of the vital fluid: “Modern philosophy has admitted a plenum or universal principle of fluid matter, which occupies all space; and that as all bodies moving in the world, abound with pores, this fluid matter introduces itself through the interstices and returns backwards and forwards, flowing through one body by the currents which issue there from to another, as in a magnet, which produces that phenomenon which we call Animal Magnetism”.

Politically, mesmerism was used as an explanation for a confusing time frame involving not only a resistance to enlightened thought but also a period fraught with war and conflict, including the French Revolution. Likewise, political individuals and those in government positions who faced the daunting task of maintaining a stable country in the midst of warfare and political strife, also used mesmerism as an explanation for the behavior. Mesmerism became a politically threatening tool because it is believed that it can be used to bend the will of individuals mesmerizing people into passive puppets.

Rt Hon Bruce George in his publication titled: “Sham elections in Abkhazia should not distract us from finding peace in the Caucasus” said that “he took part in a conference in Batumi, on the Black Sea coast, to discuss security issues and the steps Georgia is taking to prepare for NATO and EU membership. At his capacity as Vice President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly he regularly did battle with those who wanted to turn a blind eye to Russian aggression. He also expressed satisfaction with rapid development of Batumi as testament to what is being achieved”.

Judging from his conclusions: “Compare this to life in Abkhazia. Residents live in rundown conditions. There is little or no infrastructure and corruption is rife”. It should not be that surprising that having no knowledge of what Abkhazia is or who Abkhazians are he seems showed no desire to travel to Abkhazia preferring the Georgian version of schooling.

Had the Georgians not withheld evidences of their forced resettlement of the Georgian (mostly Megrelian) population into Abkhazia at the result of which the number of the Georgian(Megrelian) population in Abkhazia significantly increased in a majority and the conclusion that “Prior to 1992, ethnic Georgians made up half of the population of the area” would not be ever stressed upon.

Concealing their essence Georgians definitely passed over in silence the fact that those resettled Georgians were housed in the houses of evicted into Kazakhstan residents of Abkhazia and that those Georgians who fled after the 1993 return of Abkhazians are citizen of Georgia and Georgian language speakers whom they virtuously play with using them as a trump card in their battle for territories.

The assertion “the vast majority of Georgians have been forced out, their lives ruined, homes destroyed, and their property handed over to new Russian dwellers” is currently in use of the Georgia’s policy makers who show no concern of the Abkhazians in Abkhazia, who had forced Abkhazians out during the Georgian occupation in 1992-1993, ravaged Abkhazian villages to the ground, property was handed over to Georgian soldiers, lives ruined, homes yet destroyed. Who cares really that great number of Abkhaz people were subjected to various indignities, insults and ethnic cleansing during the Georgian occupation.

Georgia perhaps is veiling its purposes when it makes somebody to conclude that “These displaced people now live in other parts of Georgia, in accommodation provided by the Government, or with friends and family, but they dream of returning to their homes”. Conceivably there is not a single case in the world practice where the country’s own citizens are granted a refugee status moreover for about 20 years they are being deprived of possibility to be integrated into their native community.

The survey was carried out by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) in conjunction with Conciliation Resources, with the financial support of the European Union’s Instrument for Stability. This policy-brief is based on the findings of a survey conducted in June 2010 among one thousand refugees from Abkhazia, displaced as a result of the 1992-93 war. Only 9% would consider return if Abkhazia remains outside of Georgia’s jurisdiction.

Georgia’s message that the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will not to be retaken by force looks encouraging however in the light of Georgian mesmerism is not yet confident.

Sukhum, Abkhazia

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

14 August 1992 - Georgian Point of View‏


19th anniversary of start of war in Abkhazia marked on August 14
14.08.11 12:49

19th anniversary of the start of the war in Abkhazia is marked today. On august 14, 1992 the Russian troop invaded Georgia`s region of Abkhazia and still continue to occupy the territory.

Deputy Chairman of Georgia`s Parliament Paata Davitaia and members of the We Ourselves movement commemorated the heroes tragically killed in the war. They laid flowers on the memorial of the people killed in the war.

According to the uncertain data, 16 thousand people - 10 thousand Georgians and 4thousand Abkhazians - were killed in the war with Russia.


- "Eyewitnesses in Sukhumi said that several thousand Georgian troops in tanks and armored cars, supported by helicopters, moved into the town early this morning waving cheerfully and flashing victory signs." Reading Eagle, 15 August 1992

- "... we need to remember the times we were living in back then and what was going on in Georgia at the time. But [Tengiz] Kitovani, the defence minister, should never have sent troops to Sukhumi. That was our biggest mistake." Eduard Shevardnadze (Documentary: Absence of Will)

- "In the first place, the Ossetian war [1991-92] in Tskhinvali had just ended. The Georgia National Guard suffered heavy losses. We were exhausted. That’s why I thought it was reckless to go into Abkhazia. But I was told that the 13th-14th August was a good time to launch a military operation because the Russian Parliament was in recess. Unfortunately, we entered Abkhazia in a very disorganized way. We didn’t even have a specific goal and we started looting villages along the way. As a result, in the space of a month we managed to make enemies of the entire local population, especially the Armenians." Gia Karkarashvili [General - Army Commander of the State Council of Georgia] (Absence of Will)

- "...Additionally, the Commander-in-chief of Georgian troops in Abkhazia, General Georgiy Karkarashvili warned in a televised formal address to the Abkhaz and Georgian people in Sukhumi on August 24, that no prisoners of war will be taken by the Georgian troops, that if 100,000 Georgian lose their lives, then [on the Abkhazian side] all 97,000 will be killed; and that the Abkhaz Nation will be left without descendants. The delegation saw a video recording of this ominous speech." (UNPO -

- "There are only 80,000 Abkhazians, which means that we can easily and completely destroy the genetic stock of their nation by killing 15,000 of their youth. And we are perfectly capable of doing this." Goga (Giorgi) Khaindrava (Le Monde Diplomatique, April 1993).

- "They offered three choces: 1. Georgia should become a federation with Abkhazia. 2. Abkhazia should become a republic within Georgia. 3. A two-chamber parliament should be set up. Georgia said no to all of these things." Georgi Anchabadze (Absence of Will)

- "If I’d thought for one moment that something was about to happen I would have got my family out of there. But it was a complete shock to me when the war started. I was on holiday when it happened. I was swimming in the sea when I saw two helicopter-gunships dropping bombs on the town. I could see black smoke rising around my house. We counted 55 tanks." Guram Odisharia (Absence of Will)

- "...When Georgian troops under general command of Defense Minister General Tengiz Kitovani first entered Sukhumi on August 14, Georgian soldiers attacked non-Georgian civilians, beat them, killed many, robbed them, and looted their houses and apartments. Reports of attacks on Abkhazian, Armenian, Russian, and other non-Georgian minority civilians, including killing, torture, and burning, looting or smashing of houses or other belongings, originate from many regions of Abkhazia under Georgian military control and for the entire period since August 14." UNPO: November 1992 Mission to Abkhazia, November 1992, b. Human Rights and Cultural Destruction


Friday, 12 August 2011

The website for Sergey Shamba, candidate for president of the Republic of Abkhazia, is now available at:

SUKHUM, Abkhazia -- The website of Sergey Shamba, candidate for president of the Republic of Abkhazia, is now available at:

The pages of the site contain information about the candidate himself and the course of the election campaign. Apsnypress was informed of this by Angelina Lavrenova, press secretary of Sergey Shamba’s campaign staff.

Sergey Shamba also has his own pages on the social networks Twitter and Facebook.

Presidential candidate Aleksandr Ankvab also has a site of his own -

Information about the course of the election campaign of Raul Khadzhimba can be found on the site

Source: Apsny Press