Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Power Vertical

A Russian Land Grab In Abkhazia?

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) with Sergei Bagapsh, leader of Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) with Sergei Bagapsh, leader of Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region
When Russia recognized breakaway Abkhazia's independence from Georgia in August 2008, very few countries followed suit. But there was nonetheless jubilation and gratitude in Sukhumi.

Today, many Abkhaz are wondering whether the cost of Moscow's support may have turned out to be a bit too high.

As a joint Abkhaz-Russian commission on border demarcation met in Moscow this week, residents of the territory became increasingly alarmed about reports that Russia was seeking to annex 160 square kilometers of Abkhaz territory.

The opposition Abkhaz newspaper "Novy den" reported earlier this month that Russia has sent a proposal to Abkhazia's de facto authorities asking them to cede a sliver of land in the territory's Gagra region.

The land in question is in a mountainous area near the Psou River, which forms Abkhazia's natural boundary with Russia. It is also close to Russia's Krasnaya Polyana ski resort, a key venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus -- which broadcasts to Abkhazia and Georgia's other breakaway region, South Ossetia -- the prominent Sukhumi-based journalist Inal Khashig said Moscow's proposal appeared to be an opening gambit from which they would ultimately back down from in exchange for a smaller chunk of land --  the Abkhaz village of Aibga, which straddles the Psou River.

But Khashig said any territorial concessions, no matter how small, were staunchly opposed by an overwhelming majority of the population and by the territory's political elite:

Public opinion is opposed to giving up 160 square kilometers or even ten square meters. It is a matter of principle. This is Abkhaz land and we're not going to sacrifice a single meter or square mile. I went out to the central part of Sukhumi and people were already gathering signatures against this and many were already stopping to sign. Abkhaz society is very concerned about this.

Speaking later with RFE/RL's Russian Service, Khashig said the controversy put Abkhazia's de facto president, Sergei Bagapsh, in an impossible position:

Any concession on his part on the territorial issue could lead to destabilization of the country and possibly to the president's resignation. But if he does not give in [to Moscow's request], Russia might be offended. And here Bagapsh would also have a problem -- 70 percent of the Abkhaz budget consists of Russian subsidies. And if Bagapsh loses this, it could also end in his resignation.

If this came to pass, it would be an ironic twist. In the 2004 election, Abkhaz voters rejected Moscow's handpicked candidate, former KGB officer Raul Khajimba, who was soundly defeated by Bagapsh.

In an interview with RFE/RL's Russian Service, Ivlian Khaindrava, director of South Caucasus programs at the Tbilisi-based Center of Development and Cooperation, said attempted land grabs like this could lead to a rise in anti-Russian sentiment among the Abkhaz:

Abkhaz society is maturing and I'm not sure that this process, if it continues, will be painless. It is possible that in Abkhazia people will realize that the threat from north [Russia] could be more dangerous than the threat from the south [Georgia]. Of course, this will not happen all at once...but gradually the emphasis will shift.

Russian officials have yet to comment publicly on the controversy.

The current fears of Russian domination are, in fact, not new. When I visited Abkhazia in the June 2009, the signs of accelerating Russification were everywhere.

More than 90 percent of Abkhaz residents, for example, carry Russian passports. The Russian ruble is the territory's official currency. The Russian language is dominant. Russian flags are everywhere. Russian television rule the airwaves and Russian newspapers are ubiquitous.

Moscow was building a naval base in the port of Ochamchire. Russian businesses were snapping up prime real estate along Sukhumi's seaside promenade. Russia's state-run oil giant Rosneft won the right to explore and develop Abkhazia's maritime oil fields.

And a controversial provision to give Russian soldiers serving in Abkhazia the right to purchase property sparked howls of opposition.

"After recognizing Abkhazia, Russia is now swallowing us," Khashig told me at the time. "This is happening economically, politically, militarily, and socially. Every day we are becoming more and more dependent."

But at the same time, many Abkhaz also proudly pointed out that their ancestors fought a series of bloody rebellions against the Russian Empire in the 19th century. The largest of these, in 1866 and 1877, resulted in hundreds of thousands of Abkhaz being deported -- ironically, they were deported mainly from the very same Gagra region where the land Russia now covets is located.

-- Brian Whitmore
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Brazilian Man from: São Paulo - Brazil
March 30, 2011 18:25
Abkhazia, when it got separation from Georgia, never got real independence. Its authorities made a faustian pact with Russia, and now the big brother is taking its part of the pact. Abkhazia will be a backward Russian province… like Chechnya.
In Response

by: Slava
March 30, 2011 22:02
As the above article notes, your last point is in a yet to be determined category.

The rest of your screed downplays how Abkhaz at large seem to continue to prefer Russia over Georgia.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 03, 2011 03:04
"Abkhazian" Adyga and Varaga argue about Georgian land,
That since 10,000 BC known as the pre-Georgian Colhis,
Using genocide, planed since 1954, Russia invaded,
Expelled total magority of Georgians - as "su...i volki".

Pechenegy, Gad, brought from Adygeya, by Russia,
Since Lenin's Lakoba and 1954-56 secret nazi pact
Split Europe - between Russia, Austria and Prussia,
Grabb Abkhazia with Russian army - prefer Russia?
In Response

by: Steven from: Los Angeles
April 05, 2011 12:36
Rhyming may be your way of expressing yourself, but truth remains that the Adygha aka Circassian people were the dominant nation of the Caucasus and held territory that is today broken up into parts of modern day Georgia,Chechnya,Daghestan, Russia, Ukraine, etc...Abkhazians are and have always been a presence in their land as well and we all know how Georgians tried to claim they are actually Adygha people who "migrated" to Georgia in the 16th-17th centuries...but sorry, Mr. Georgia, but there is archaeological and historical proof of the opposite. Maybe you should write poetry on the broken psychological nature of your's disturbing how far Georgia is willing to go in regards to pushing their version of (falsehood) truth to the world...a truth which involves fudging the truth to appease their own egos. Tsk tsk...
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 05, 2011 19:54
Pseudo-Steven, Russian resident among Western "duras",
Or one of hired by them proxy, that is not difficult to find out,
If not freedom of speach and maybe Quin's nomenclatura,
Like many Rashkis in the West, help her colonize USA too.

Or so they say. Russia lies promissing anything and laugh
At bewildered by ilogical baseless lies people and nations.
It might be too late for her to tear of head of Russian Fazan,
When expanding Russia take over the World, calling a bluff.

Adyga are tribe of Gad, coarsed by Jacob, so mean, he said
He was affraid coarse him, as he did Levi, Sam and Ruben,
Because Gad was snicking, heasing "Psy" at Joseph's back
And hitting him with bolder, snicking away. - Like in Abkhazia.

Jacob also said, even he about to die, Gad might do into him
Horrible things, later to his dead body also. - Like in Abkhazia.
2,500 ago, among 8 of 10 tribes, Gad settled in now Adygeya.
He and Sam attacked small pre-Georgian population - mean.

Ungratefull Gad and Sam were fought off with help of Skiffians
And Guns. Chechens and Guns created than Hazar Kingdom
That incorporated even Sam (now they Cossacks), also Alan's
Kingdom - Skiffs and pre-Georgians, from Azov through Osetia.

Little savages, Gads, found opportunity after 7 Century invasion
Of Arabs that left African savages, conquering Gad which joined
To Arab's ways and invaded Alans with Arab World help in 8 AD,
Snicking at unawared people, heasing "Psy-Psy" and killing all,
From Asov to Osetia border. They even invaded North Abkhazia.

In 120 years Georgia liberated North Abkhazia and Sochi, liers!
Adyga little Gad part-Neanderthal savage is "dominant nation"?
No more than oportunistic infistation that wait for Imperial spies
Hire them to commit crimes againt humanity, snicking breeders.

It is you pushing lies speating in the face of truth, "bessovestnyiy"
And typical Rashka-Prashka lier! Just like "Gad" you snicking too
At the back of Human Civilization And Caucasian race, "naglyiy"!
It's unbelievable that the Quin believs you and stations you here!

Read published in 1953 "Antropology today", that nailed your lies,
So good - they expedited murder of Stalin and restoration of CIS!
Look at least "pictures" and read "Chronology" of the August war
At: - and it isn't poetry - time saving!

Tsk Tsk, or rather Tcy-Tcy of Sam and Psy-Psy of Gad - treachery!
In Response

by: Slava
April 05, 2011 20:08
In Response

by: Steven from: Los Angeles
April 06, 2011 17:33
Your lack of knowledge regarding the neighbors of the Georgian nation, the almost compulsive lies about the Adyga and Alans people, and your utter disregard for true historical facts is frightening. I hope you are on sedatives...or perhaps those are contributing to your rather delusional state? Tsk tsk! p.s. I'm not Russian, I'm just a well-read American!

by: Slava
March 30, 2011 20:14
- Georgians (at least for the most part) tended to side with Russia in the aforementioned 19th century situation against Abkhazia.

- At the time, Abkhazia had elements leaning in the direction of the Turks.

- In the present day, the Abkhaz at large generally seem to prefer Russia over Georgia.

- Before the 1990s former Georgian SSR violence, Georgians were the pluarlity of Abkhazia. At present, the Abkhaz are a plurality of Abkhazia's population. Granted, the historical factors contributing to Abkhazia's ethnic demography. (Besides the 19th century deportation of some Abkhaz from Abkhazia, the Soviet era included an influx of ethnic Georgians into Abkhazia.)

- From a point of view of its best interests, Russia should be carefully aware of some outside divide and conquer strategizing, which can take advantage of misguided Russian actions. With that last point likely in mind, some Western based commentary suggests that it might be beneficial for others to recognize Abkhazia's independence
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
March 30, 2011 23:39
@ Slava
"Divide and conquer strategizing" is a game Russians know very well. Just look at how they do it with NATO countries. NATO is supposed to be a counterbalance to Russian power, yet some of them have now agreed to selling weapons to the Russian military while others (Poland, Baltic states) howl in protest! This article just shows what everyone outside of Russia already believed...Russia is an expansionist imperial power. Its military is currently positioned to take the rest of Georgia and some or possibly all of Ukraine. In fact, if Russia had the same military spending power as the US, it would be trying to expand its territory to Gibraltar and Calais.
In Response

by: Slava
March 31, 2011 07:32
The greater imperial mindset is evident with some influential forces in the West. In the post-Soviet era, Russia (in overall terms) appears content to function on a limited military budget - in a way that serves to limit Russia's military activity abroad. This contrasts with the manner exhibited by France, the UK and US.

Post-Soviet Russia recognizes Ukraine's Communist drawn boundaries as an independent state, with many Ukrainians not feeling so negatrively about Russia - unlike those Ukrainians favored at certain Western venues.

Up until Georgia's armed strike on South Ossetia - Russia refrained from recognizing the independence of the two former Georgian SSR territories in question. Abkhazia and South Ossetia continue to show a preference for Russia over Georgia.
In Response

by: Slava
March 31, 2011 08:09
Following up on my last set of submitted comments (not yet posted as of the submission of this note), the different views of Russia to be found in the West are partly the result of pragmatic individuals, who reasonably don't view Russia as a great threat - while seeing that improved relations with Russia are in the West's interests.
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
April 10, 2011 19:57
@ Slava
Somehow you have been misinformed. Russia has been increasing its "limited" military budget, and has plans for more by 2020. Russia currently DOES NOT recognize Ukraine's eastern boundary. Putin himself once exclaimed that Ukraine was "Not a state". As for Georgia, everyone should be asking why more countries don't recognize Abkhazia and S. Ossetia. Not Belarus, not Ukraine, not China, etc. Russia may not be such a threat to nuclear powers such as the US and China, but it is understandable why small countries like the Baltic states were alarmed after the Russo-Georgian conflict. Their independent sovereignty should be guaranteed by their NATO membership.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 04, 2011 17:39
It will not get "slava" to Russia, missinterpretation of history
That Russia masters put into you since Hrutchev and the Brits
Ordered destroy books, replacing it by impudency of Neanderthal:
Varaga, Adyga, Urartu and even, lied about betrayed Troy, Greeks.

Look at: - pre-Georgians lived there
At least since 11,500 years ago: Ibero-Caucaso-Albano-Colhis
And produced by the Colhis West-Georgians at the Black Sea.
Abkhazia was part of Northern Colhis - lateer called Lazuris.

So called Abkhazia concisted of several ethnografic groups:
South of Suhumi - Mengrelia; South-West of Suhumi Lazika;
West, both sides of Kodori - Svanetia; Suhumi and arrounds
Were populated by all of the above and neighboring Imeretia.

What you refered since 19 Century as Abkhazians, erroniusly,
Used to be two tribes, Sinigi and Apsily, located in Gudauta
Region and between Gudauta and Suhumi, a 20% territory
That even so were also pre-Georgians untill 8 Sentyry A.D..

Local pre-Apsilians were less advanced, as were Makrons,
Before they mixed with others (Russia trying get both used).
When pre-Georgian settlments invited them Milleniums ago,
Some Apcilians left for hunting to Mountain, remaining ugly,
But unlike Latins, betrayers of benefactors - lived on the go.

They became pre-Georgians too, but in 8 A.D. invaded Gad
And Pechenegies, brought by Arabs, from Africa to Russia.
They genocided Alans, part-Skiffs part-pre-Georgian World
From Azov to Osetia border, and invaded Sochi and Apsilia.

In 120 years they were freed by Georgian David the Builder.
Damaged by rape Apsilians recuperated in time and mixed
With various Georgians later konwn as Abazin and prosper.
Still, Gado-Pechenegy, now Quislings of Russia, interfered.

Mongols destroyed most Georgians, because Russia lied.
Ottoman Empire expanded its influence in the North-West
Of Caucasus and even contrary to Turkey, Pecheneg-Gad
Or Adyga encroached In Gudauta region - raiding the rest.

In Response

by: Slava
April 04, 2011 20:54
Centuries ago, the concept of a Georgian identity wasn't quite what it became.

In more recent times (early 19th century), Georgia sought to become close to Russia. This was laregly motivated by a fear of Turkey.

What "lied?"

In Response

by: Konstantin's Mom from: LA
April 05, 2011 12:37
What a pack of lies! What did I tell you about coming on the Internet and lying to people!!
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 05, 2011 08:16
North-West Caucasus was staffed by military bases.
Otomans, Iraniand and the rest of the Muslim's World,
With armies and many terrorists pseudo-Mugehedins.
They terrorized by slow genocide the Christian lands.

Georgia, including Sochi and North Abkhazia, suffered
Raids, South Russia and Ukraine were also terrorized.
After about half century of unsuccessfull negotiations,
With Europeans, Georgian King offered Russia help.

His nephew, Peter the Great, with help of Georgians
And various foreigners-specialists of Europe, rebuilt.
By Georgian agreements, Russia had help neibours
Rebuilt too - improve their integrity - bases had leave
With terrorists space between Russia and Caucasus.

King put in condition to preserve also the Caucasians,
Leaving integrity intact as was in past - for Milleniums,
Regional CIS with Georgia. However, Russia betraid
Both Georgians and neighbours of Russia as a traid
Of Varag-Prusak Empire - including North Caucasus.

Russia caningly prolonged removal of foreign bases,
Turning it in 50 years Caucasian war, grabbing land
And property - while turning liberation by Georgians
Of Iranian Azerbaijan, Turkish Armenia and Lazuris
Into influx in Georgia Russians, Urartu and others.

At the end Georgia got occupied by the Russians,
Being not in position to stop any Russian abuses,
But they did protest violations of their agreements.
They made Russians accept in Northern Abkhazia
Voice of locals to say who would leave as inveders.

It didn't work that well in Adygeya and Pechenegia,
Also because they were foreign inveders or mean,
Participating in terrorist attacks and murders there.
It was more abuses by Russia - otside of Georgia.

So it is desinformation on history - Russian Slava!
"Abkhazia had elements leaning... ...Turks" - Sure!
Georgia asked Russia let locals have some Turks
And do not deport them, if they were OK with locals.

"Georgian SSR violence"? Where did Slava get it?
As Lenin and Lakoba invaded Sochi and Gudauta,
Unleashing genocide against Georgians - a dead
That never ended - base of terrorists from Russia
Was established - renewed since 1954-56 killers!

From Gudauta through Tchinvali - Russian forces,
KGB and Party were murdering Georgians at will.
Not Abkhazians or Osetins - but Russian armies,
Adyga and snitches, sons of rapes by Russians.
Russian presence in Caucasus is aggression!

In Response

by: Peter from: London
April 05, 2011 12:39
Konstantin, why are you not aware of the fact that Georgia was a Muslim nation who had enlisted the help of the medieval Arab kingdom to ward off attacks against Christian Abkhazians who were a strong force then? Do you deny this part of your history? Even this person before me here wrote about this. Stop misleading people with lies. We all know Georgians are famous for recreating their past and trying to pass it off to you think we Europeans do not know this? You are one of the laughingstocks here!
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 05, 2011 20:30
Georgians were never Muslims, but they respected freedom,
Thus freedom of religion in Georgia didn't abuse Muslims too,
Like substantial population in Adjaria and minorities elsewere.
Georgians Christians long before British, I am sure you are not.

Abkhazians were one of Georgian ethnografic groups, not Adyga
And Afro-Pechenega From South Russia, you lying Russian, trying
Pass for few Gudauta Abkhazians Afro-Gads and Russian invaders!
Adyga were Muslims, mean evil people, joining any power to breed!

I do deny it Russian Lier! The only Abkhazian (20% of land in Gudauta)
Are refugees in Georgia now (3/4 of them) and controlled by occupants
In Gudauta region - 40,000 - half of which Adyga and Russian invaders!
The rest of genuin regions in Abkhazia are Georgians - half of a Millon,
Most refugees! You even not missleading, Russia is exrimenting lies!

It is Russia, not Georgia famous for lies, Europeans know all too well!
Even Mongols know it, how Russia lied that Georgians hated Mongols
And made Mongols bring two Million armies to attack and kill Georgia,
One in 12 Century another in 13 Century! Pretending be the Quin?

Calling me "laughingstocks here"? Is Quin approve of you, Fazan,
The low base treacherous Varaga? Are you trying be Morgana,
To lie and to bewitch another Georgian Prince Murvan?
I might be his relative, but I have no nation, Rashka!
In Response

by: King David from: Wellington
April 06, 2011 12:34

g) The refugee claim is a tiring one and old...what about the refugees that languished in diaspora? And their children? They have more rights to return to their home than people who squatted on their lands and took their homes. You have a "homeland" , treat your own people with respect, take care of your own problems (which are plenty), and stop threatening genocide and harassing your neighbors. It's getting boring and tiring.

Had enough? Then do us all a favor and stop writing stupid comments. Thanks.


by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 31, 2011 07:16
Mr.Brian Whitmore!!
You know what you're writing about abkhazia in which you are regarded as inferior,under article 49 of the abkhaz constitution (read it at your leisure)
In addition, on the territories of abkhazia acts of apartheid and racist laws.
But if we add to this that 80% of abkhazians live in houses and apartments they do not belong,patten becomes apparent-
abkhazia is a gangster region where criminals are living in someone else's home.

So when you write about abkhazia does not get around this side or you can also suspected of sympathizing with the Nazis and murderers.
I hope you know that the abkhazians were cut thousands of woman,children and elderly,because they are Georgians.

by: Jamie from: London
March 31, 2011 07:35
"More than 90 percent of Abkhaz residents, for example, carry Russian passports" and go on...

This is what Inal Khashig said in his interview:

-We Abkhazians do not believe that independence was granted to us in 2008 by Russia’s recognition. Abkhazia's independence was won by us as a result of a bloody war. The awareness that we are independent came in 1993. A sense of the value of freedom won is still predominant in Abkhazian society, and I think that any attempt to change that status will end in shocks.

We are aware of our problems, but many of them arose as a result of international isolation. People are always talking about most of us having Russian passports. But there are very pragmatic reasons. For a long time we did not have these passports and existed on a virtual reservation. We had old Soviet passports, with which it was even problematic to gain entry to the territory of Russia. Prior to the adoption of Russian passports, our authorities, even during the presidency of Vladislav Ardzinba, appealed to all international organizations, the UN included, and we always met the same response: Take Georgian passports. If we had been offered the passports of Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Congo, or any internationally recognized state, we would have agreed.

- The Abkhazian market is of interest to Russian business -- and not only to Russian. But not all are willing to take risks, given the local political particularities. For Russian business, because of its specificity, risk is the natural environment, and so it quickly acclimatises. The resort-business is very promising because our resorts were popular among Russians during Soviet times and have not lost this appeal to the present day. There are also other areas of interest to foreign investors, such as mineral wealth and agriculture.

- On the territory of Abkhazia Russia has a military base in Gudauta. Russian border-guards stand on the river Ingur. But all this has little effect on us ordinary Abkhazians. I can hardly be called pro-Russian or pro-government, but I personally do not feel like a resident of an occupied territory; I do not feel under pressure from a vast country, despite the fact that in Russia there are quite strong imperial traditions. There is, of course, discomfort at the fact that our borders are guarded by Russian border-guards, but there is also the very pragmatic understanding that, for such a young country as ours, ensuring one’s own safety can sometimes be a rather heavy burden, and the presence of Russian military personnel is a temporary reality through which it is possible to live.

This interview published on Abkhaz World web site. Google "
Abkhazia dependent and independent - Interview with Inal Kashig"
In Response

by: Ariel from: London
March 31, 2011 10:07
It willbe better to add below sentence:

"Take Georgian passports. If we had been offered the passports of Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Congo, or any internationally recognized state, we would have agreed.

But not of Georgia! We had a war with Georgia, and 4% of the Abkhazian people died in that war. This is politically and even just on a purely human level a still unhealed wound. The world denied us understanding, compassion and assistance in addressing basic humanitarian issues. The outside-world fenced itself off from us. We were locked up on our little territory without hospitals, without any conditions for life and recovery, without the possibility of movement. As a result, we took help from where it was offered."

Khashig said exactly. I agree with him.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
March 31, 2011 13:09
Yes, and you committed ethnic cleansing on 90% of the Georgian population, and continue to refuse the survivors the right to return, you run an apartheid system where in the only area of Abkhazia that retains it's Georgian population, Gali (where they make up 98% of the population) that was traditionally part of the Mingrlian region of Georgia they are not allowed to vote or gain citizenship.

You were punished because of the massive war crimes of your separatist leaders Ariel.

Look in the mirror, nobody has the right to evict you from Abkhazia, but nobody has the right to evict the Georgian population, many of whom can trace ancestors back centuries in places like Sukhumi.
In Response

by: King David from: Wellington
March 31, 2011 22:58
Obviously, Andrew is a Georgian with good enough English who trolls this site looking for ways to demean and insult the Abkhazian nation. Listen, Andrew, get your facts straight: your people were the ones to invade Abkhazia in the late 1980s-early 1990s (not to mention when your buddy Stalin forced Abkhazian into Georgian borders), raped, murdered, and committed GENOCIDE against their people. Your own current politician/past general Gia Karkashvilli publicly admitted on national television that he would annihilate the entire Abkhazian nation if he could (and he did attempt to do this). Georgian media took pictures of murdered Abkhazian civilians and published them in their own newspapers, claiming they were "Georgian victims of the Abkhazian terrorist war"(which were all soundly refuted, thank you very much). The only reason "Gali has 98% Georgian population (by the way, this number is incorrect) is because Georgians flocked to Abkhazian land after it was emptied from its native inhabitants after the Caucasian wars with Russia. Your people gave Russia free clearance to use Tblisi as its headquarters there and aided them in launching attacks against their own neighbors and "friends". Georgians then grabbed up empty homes and lands that these people were forced to leave. Today, the descendants of those exiled are languishing in countries like Turkey, Arab states in the Middle East, and so on. Those are the true victims and rightful owners of these lands and homes. How dare you try to twist the truth to appease your masters, you should be ashamed of yourself! In addition, any true historian knows that Georgian territory is today five times larger than it is today again thanks to Stalin. So care to explain this phenomenon to us interested parties? Lastly, your ridiculous tirades, insulting comments, and highly empty and ignorant slurs are starting to bore and offend me. Your lies do not fool anyone and I trust you to watch what you say carefully, for any intelligent person can look up credible and neutral sources and verify for themselves that Georgian revisionist historians/writers are lying through their teeth in regards to their true history. We know this, you know this, and others know this. The latest spectable we have seen in the academic world now is the Georgian government sending paid rats to European libraries/institutions/ pay crooked professors/"intellectuals" to falsify and forge your history and place said forged materials in libraries there. How long will your government/people go and how shameful must you act before you wake up and realize no one trusts,likes, cares about what you say? There is a reason why Georgia is disliked in the region and it's entirely your own fault. You deny your own how you sided with Crusaders in Medieval times even when your people were supposedly Orthodox and how the Christian kingdom of Abkhazia was rebuffed by Arab fighters (also in medieval times) because you, as a common Muslim ally, appealed to them for help. So, tell me, because I honestly do not know, when did Georgia become Christian and when did you say you claimed to have a Christian presence in Abkhazia? I am NOT demeaning ANY religion here at all, but merely pointing out two very simple and easily traceable examples of Georgian history that your people embellish or ignore altogether...why? When will you finally wake up and realize we do not buy your lies, we want our freedom, we do not respect you or want to be a part of you, and we want you to respect/leave your neighbors alone? That includes the Chechens, Abkhazians, Circassians, Adjarians, Meskhetians, Armenians, Azeris, and so on...enough is enough. Andrew, you're not fooling anyone. Do not bother replying because you look enough like a fool already with your insidious comments!
In Response

by: Jamie from: London
April 01, 2011 08:11
Reporter ask: Mr. Shevardnadze, could you we have prevented the war in Abkhazia?

Eduard Shevardnadze: "Of course we could. However, we need to remember the times we were living in back then and what was going on in Georgia at the time. But Kitovani, the defence minister, should never have sent troops to Sukhumi. That was our biggest mistake."

And Gia Karkarashvili [General - Army Commander of the State Council of Georgia ]: "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 [REMEMBER the claims about protect the railway] 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."

And Georgi Anchabadze: "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."

Taken from Georgia Director Mamuka Kuparadze's documentary fil "Absence of Will" can be found on net.

"Peaceful and victim Georgia" Yes sure!
In Response

by: Slava
April 01, 2011 13:40
Points that are downplayed in former Georgian SSR commentary like the above article.

Instead, Russia is the designated heavy.
In Response

by: Sunny from: Philadelphia
April 01, 2011 20:54
wow King David, awesome post! Bravo to you too Jamie from London! Andrew, you DO look like a fool, sorry buddy! I see you post all the time here and we all laugh at your comments here at the office! Maybe you should ease up on some of that Maori moonshine!

by: sephia karta from:
March 31, 2011 11:38
If anything, dependence on Russian passports is now decreasing. Abkhazian passports have now been issued to the majority of the population and last week the agreement on visa-free travel between Russia and Abkhazia (and South Ossetia) was ratified.

by: Alex from: Georgia
April 03, 2011 13:34
I am sorry for both Georgians and Abkhazians. They still don't acknowledge that they are miserable pawns in great imperial game
In Response

by: Slava
April 03, 2011 17:29
While it's true that others besides them have been involved, it's also fair to say that they aren't without a noticeable enough portion of blame within their respective ranks.
In Response

by: potgeo from: US
April 04, 2011 03:11
Today Apkhasians feel like Centaur facing the crossroad: - If you go to the right, you lose your horse, if you go to the left you lose your head. Big mistakes have been made at some points in Apkhasians’ and Georgians’ multi century relationship. However, the mastermind of the mistakes was neither in Tbilisi, nor in Sukhumi. Therefore, the consequences were logical, neither Georgians, nor Apkhasians came out winners in the so called “Ethnic Conflict. We both lost the right to choose our own destiny.

Who got gain from the so called “ethnic bloodshed?” Kremlin.
Who got pain? Georgian and Apkhasian people.
In this world everything has some borders, except greed. Tsarist Russia, communist Russia, putin’s Russia have been devouring lands all around their boarders for years, assimilating ethnic tribes and even nations and I Hope to God, Abkhazians will use common sense in this critical time and fight for their land, for my Land, for our common land – we Georgians and Abkhazs sheared for centuries.
In Response

by: Slava
April 04, 2011 11:58

Georgia sought close ties with Russia over Ottoman Turkey.

Abkhaz and Ossetians at large show a preference for Russia over Georgia.
In Response

by: Sunny from: Philadelphia
April 05, 2011 12:16
you are aware that georgians shared very close ties with russians for centuries and even helped them situate themselves in the caucasus while they were trying to exterminate the georgians' neighbors and kick them out of their homes, which the georgians then moved into and now claim was theirs all along, right? this is common knowledge, why do you ignore this fact? georgia recieving special treatment during soviet times is also common knowledge...don't play it off as if we don't know. and now you cry about abkhazia and other lands that were never yours (like tuapse and sochi, ancient shapsug land) and create fake documents and books and maps and try to pass this off to ignorant people as the truth...when will you georgians learn to destroy your egos and help your neighbors and respect them instead of making the same mistakes over and over? the lack of respect for your country in the caucasus is have no idea how many tourists i met who used the word "thief" to me when discussing's really embarrassing for you...ignore as much as you like, but its the truth....stop trying to play with the big boys and remember who you are! God bless Abkhazia and the North Caucasus!

by: Ivan from: Sofia
April 05, 2011 04:32
When you visited "in the June 2009" - fine piece of writing, Mr. Witless. No one expected less of you.
In Response

by: Slava
April 05, 2011 09:38
Now, now.

Granted that RFE/RL (Mr. Whitmore included) can be a bit more open-minded.

by: potgeo from: US
April 05, 2011 16:18
Wow, Sunny boy, that is one explosive mixture of lies, hate and more lies, however I have to tell you: - you’re not very
Original. That was the line you guys were working since 90-s: - peace keeping humanitarian Russians who care about
Small nations, mainly when these nations are geographically and strategically (for you land-hungry empire) located
In your “back-yard” or “patio”.
Let’s go with common knowledge about Russians: - all Russian men are alcoholics and abusers and all Russian women
Are putanas? Do your really want to go down to this path? Unlike you, I don’t believe such “common knowledge”. Even if
You hate men in Kremlin or Tbilisi, at least have decency not to accuse the whole nation in thievery or mass-alcoholism.
It seems to me, you’re simply trying to change the subject, not to talk about the price Abkhazians have to pay for their pseudo-Independence and compensating lack of argument with the stupidest accusations against Georgians.

In Response

by: Sunny from: Philadelphia
April 05, 2011 18:06
Potgeo, the fact that your ranting and raving made absolutely no sense and put words in my mouth that I would never say while ignoring the facts that were discussed above proves you are standing on shaky ground.

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
April 06, 2011 01:30

I do not think that Andrew is necessary a Georgian,
He usually have very intelligent ballanced comments,
On different nations, but only way lying empire to ballance,
Is to confront lies, that mostly Russians made, as happens.

To have a good enough English, one can be anyone, Rashka,
Let say Ukrainian - Russian larva of Magogies smear in USA,
Using Her Magesty's Roof to forge the "Man from Kazahstan",
Or "Star Treck", where Ukrainian names scared afro-savages,
Being more Caucasian/Whites and intelligent than Russians.

Forever he is, You are not a King David, as David The Builder,
That liberated North Abkhazia and Sochi from Afro-Gad-Adyga.
Stalin didn't "forced Abkhazian into Georgian borders" - Liers!
Lenin, Cossacks and Adyga did invaded Abkhazia and Sochi,
With genocide on Georgians, than influx Sochi and Gudauta!

When Lenin ended mentally ill, Stalin offered the democracy,
Free election, Independent Republics and the authonomies.
Russian and Adyga invaders leaved not Gudauta and Sochi,
Forced artificial name Abkhazia on some Georgian regions:

Half of Mingrelia, Gali region; part of Lasica, in Ochamchiri;
Half of Svanetia, Kodori gorge; Suhumi and Suhumi region.
You sheell not even open mouth about this parts, Russian.
Gudauta is only so called Abkhazia, Georgia too - invaded!

I didn't know Karkashvili killed any civilian, but Russia did!
About 40.000 of Georgians bestially murdered in Abkhazia,
Women, children and elderly, mostly, by Adyga and Urartu
And by Cossacks savages - with Russia's secret armies!

If Kurashvili said, set-up like Mashadov, Russian, so what?
Ilegal bomb killed Mashadov's family and friends, 100-200
Of them - he said in greef: "I would step on ones that did it!"
Moscow broadcasted video as: "He will kill Russia people!"

Russians always lie in face of the World, I never knew one
That wouldn't lie, unless he was a silent part non-Russian.
All your incinuations and numbers are lies! If among killed
In Abkhazia some alive, being captives, it changes nothing!

It is your Russia showed as civilians GRU Adyga and Osis,
Read:, the August Chronology.
From my family name alone and inlaw more than 100 killed,
Somne bestially - among them my Ant, wife of an Abkhazian,
Burned alife, trying save family of Svans - dirty Russian spy!

(abomination, but I have to continue)
In Response

by: King David from: Wellington
April 06, 2011 12:34
What do you say then about the conferences that occured in Tblisi last year which invited Circassians and other North Caucasian groups worldwide that discussed recognizing the Circassian genocide? Your government has not said they will recognize it (I doubt they will). Do your sentiments regarding Adyga and North Caucasians match that of the Georgian government and people? And why are you lumping them with Cossacks? You must also try to prove why you are not being honest about the following:

a) Sochi was Abazin/Ubykh land for millenia, the "Georgian kingdom" NEVER reached that far north. In fact, they were rather small compared to Abkhazia for a good while. And same goes for Circassia....which expanded from the Azov Sea till the northeastern tip of Georgia. How are you insinuating otherwise with a straight face? This is common knowledge,don't act like a fool to save face please.

b) There was no "invasion" of anything except Kartvelian interests with their neighbors up north, and their massive attempt to assimilate neighboring Svan and Mingrelian peoples into their culture. We all know this, why don't you?

c) Genocide on Georgians? Much like the ones your peoples attempted against their neighbors time and time again? Last attempt being in 2008? Or how about when you assisted Russian imperialist forces in murdering and exiling the Circassian, Chechen, Daghestan, AND Abkhazian peoples in the 19th century? Like that, you mean?

d) It's sad and disturbing how you claim land that is not yours and was never yours and expect us to believe your blatant falsehoods without any proof (and in prose, no less)....provide proof, otherwise keep your crazy thoughts to yourself. Especially if you cannot prove them, which we all know you cannot.

e) 40,000 Georgians died by "Adyga" hands, and aided by Cossacks/Russians on top of that?? :)))) Really.... :) Funny, because your president claims more, while others claim less, and even more people claim near to what is it really? You are aware that Georgians inflicted much more damage on the Abkhazians than vice versa, correct?And you are aware that they will never trust or respect Georgia again, right?

f) I noticed you denied Georgians being Muslim in the past. You either are unaware of this part of your past or choose to ignore it. Georgia is currently 60% Muslim and this is growing there. Georgia was fully Muslim in the past, but mass conversions took place when they found it was a better choice politically,socially, etc know this, I know this. It's very well documented, my friend. Read about how they appealed to what was then the sultanate and asked the Arabs to send troops up north because advancing Abkhazian forces were attempting to take them over and convert them en masse....well funny thing is that they ended up converting in the end anyways...oh well...the fact that you denies this reaffirms my beliefs that what you and others do is a collective effort to mass assemble and dispel false information to unsuspecting people which puts your cause and your nation in a particular light. One thing you don't bank on is that people like me will prove you wrong and have the proof to back it up. I am by no means racist or have anything against Islam, by the way!!! Be what you want. But I find it bizarre and disappointing that a self proclaimed Christian nation would hide this fact about themselves and even go as far as you do to lie about it altogether. Why? and speaking of claim Adygas were Muslims.No, they were not. Most of them were forced to convert after the Russians handed them over to the Turks. There are countless stories of people attempting to smuggle their pigs, crosses and Bibles over to the Ottoman Empire with them after the genocide. So....not quite sure what you're trying to get at here except, again, to dispel lies at others' expense.
In Response

by: King David from: Wellington
April 06, 2011 13:34
My last comments were placed above and start with g)
My apologies!
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 06, 2011 13:50
60% of Georgians are Muslim? Where do you get this, please? It would be good if you provided sources for more of your claims, as they are a bit outlandish.
In Response

by: King David from: Wellington
April 06, 2011 20:25
Anonymous, is that the only thing you cared to comment on? A Georgian actually told me that. I will ask him for a link and post it here.

by: daxure
April 06, 2011 14:14
KGB sunny KING DAVID and Co. are still on the web_ let`s turn off power to russian propaganda machine-
Putin did care about every single of them (!) Like he did with spy Zatuliveter and Chapman thing.
In Response

by: Sunny from: Philadelphia
April 06, 2011 17:35
I'm not Russian, and I doubt everyone who stands up for the truth when it comes to Georgian propoganda and outright lies are all Russians. Remember, not only Russians want to see Abkhazia succeed.

p.s. aren't you the louse who trolls Youtube posting and uploading videos extolling praise for Georgian terrorism and bandits who recklessly murdered Ossetians and Abkhazians? You should be ashamed of yourself, by the way.
Comments page of 2

Latest Podcasts

About This Blog

The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or