Wednesday, August 31, 2016


News Analysis: Ivanishvili And The Russians

Georgian Dream opposition coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili
Georgian Dream opposition coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili

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Lincoln Mitchell: New Georgia Cabinet Is A Change Of Style And Substance

Lincoln Mitchell, an associate professor of international politics at Columbia University's Harriman Institute and head of the National Democratic Institute's Georgian office from 2002-04, served as an adviser to the Georgian Dream coalition during the recent election campaign. RFE/RL spoke to him about the cabinet nominees put forward by Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili on Monday and the prospects for a shift in relations with Russia.
By Robert Coalson
According to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the beginning of the end of his relations with Russian leader Vladimir Putin came at their first face-to-face meeting in February 2004.

Putin, following a long tradition in Moscow's relations with the countries of its "near abroad," reportedly ordered Saakashvili to ensure the future of Valeri Khaburzania, security minister under the previous Georgian president, Eduard Shevardnadze. Instead, Saakashvili demoted Khaburzania and soon fired him outright.

Putin, Saakashvili says, was livid -- and Russian-Georgian relations quickly deteriorated. Since the five-day August 2008 war, the Russian government has said it will not have any dealings with Georgia while Saakashvili remains in power.

In its recent victorious election campaign, billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream pledged to reduce the level of confrontation with Moscow without sacrificing Georgia's overall path toward European integration, close relations with the United States, and eventual NATO membership.

Finding that middle path between confrontation and capitulation will be one of the toughest tasks for Ivanishvili, who lived and worked in Russia in the 1990s and who until recently held Russian citizenship.

A major hint about how he plans to accomplish that came on October 8, when he named his cabinet. Analysts say his choice of a foreign policy team suggests he plans to tone down the heated rhetoric that marked bilateral relations with Russia, improve economic ties, and revise Tbilisi's approach to the pro-Moscow breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Lincoln Mitchell, an associate research scholar at Columbia University's Harriman Institute who advised Georgian Dream, says the foreign policy nominees illustrate the pragmatism of Georgia's new leaders.

"The style is different and that is, just looking at these folks, these are not saber-rattlers," Mitchell says. "These are people who are kind of calm and rational. And that seems to me to be the big difference."

FULL INTERVIEW: Lincoln Mitchell -- New Georgian Cabinet Is Change Of Style, Substance

Among the key foreign policy nominees is former UN Ambassador Irakli Alasania, a staunch advocate of European integration and leader of the pro-Western Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) party, who was tapped as defense minister. Ivanishvili's spokeswoman, former Georgian Ambassador to Germany Maia Panjikidze, has been nominated for foreign minister.

Sore Spots

Perhaps the easiest pledge for Ivanishvili to deliver on will be his promise to restore economic ties with Russia, which has for years imposed a boycott on key Georgian exports such as wine and mineral water.

However, with Moscow joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) earlier this year and with the Kremlin likely looking to make a post-Saakashvili gesture toward Tbilisi, those barriers could easily come down, says Carnegie Endowment Caucasus expert Thomas de Waal.

But the key issue between Moscow and Tbilisi, the status of the breakaway Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, promises to be tougher. Following the 2008 war, Moscow recognized the two as independent countries. Georgia considers them occupied by Russia.

Panjikidze lost no time addressing the issue, acknowledging on October 8 that the conflict is a daunting one that offers no easy answers.

"The restoration of diplomatic relations, considering the fact that Russia operates two embassies in [the Abkhaz capital] Sukhumi and in [the South Ossetian capital] Tskhinvali, is a very difficult issue," Panjikidze said. "However, we will need to work on solving this issue. As for concrete steps that will be taken from both sides -- it is still too early to tell. We have stated many times -- these relations will not be rectified on one or two days, as 20 percent of Georgia's territory remains occupied by [Russia]."

Mitchell, who authored the book "Uncertain Democracy: Georgia's Rose Revolution and U.S. Foreign Policy," argues that there is room for maneuver on this seemingly dead-end issue.

'Farther Away'

Mitchell says Saakashvili's policy of treating the issue as only a conflict between Moscow and Tbilisi was the equivalent of acting as if "there are no people in South Ossetia and Abkhazia." As a result, after eight years of Saakashvili's presidency, those regions "are significantly farther away" from Tbilisi than ever before.

He says the new government has a chance to correct this policy.

"One thing is that maybe you try to take into consideration what the folks there are thinking -- not treat them like some kind of independent state, but try to bring them in," Mitchell says. "Maybe you create some kinds of relationships based on civil society ties, linkages to the West so that they are not so heavily dependent on Russia. And those linkages don't have to go through Tbilisi as much as they did. Those are things that we might see happen."
Cabinet nominees Irakli Garibashvili (left) and Irakli Alasania, picked for the Interior and Defense ministries, respectively, in Tbilisi on October 8.
Cabinet nominees Irakli Garibashvili (left) and Irakli Alasania, picked for the Interior and Defense ministries, respectively, in Tbilisi on October 8.

And analysts say Ivanishvili's new team might be the ones to pull this off. Defense Minister-designate Alasania has been advocating such policies for years. His father, KGB Major General Mamia Alasania, was killed when the Abkhaz capital, Sukhumi, fell to separatist forces in September 1993. Alasania was 19.

Nonetheless, Alasania has long worked for direct ties between Tbilisi and the breakaway provinces and has argued that Georgia must attract them back by becoming a prosperous and genuinely democratic country. He once served as Saakashvili's envoy in talks with Abkhazia and has a reputation as one of the only major Georgian politicians with whom separatist leaders in Sukhumi are willing to deal.

Pragmatist Prime Minister?

At the same time, naming the staunchly pro-Western Alasania to the Defense Ministry sends a clear signal that Georgia will continue actively pursuing NATO membership. And he has long insisted that this is possible without needlessly antagonizing Moscow. In a 2009 interview with RFE/RL, Alasania said Saakashvili's often heated rhetoric "contributed to straining this relationship."

In making his cabinet choices, Ivanishvili elevated another figure with a similarly pragmatic reputation. He named Republican Party official Paata Zakareishvili as state minister for reintegration, the ministry that is in charge of relations with the breakaway regions.

Carnegie's de Waal says the Zakareishvili appointment signals a real change from Saakashvili's policies.

"Paatra Zakareishvili is an extremely thoughtful, impressive person who has worked for more than 10 years -- possibly, the Georgian who has been most involved in dialogue with the Abkhaz and South Ossetians, going way back to the war when he was involved in negotiating prisoner exchanges and getting dead bodies out of Abkhazia," de Waal says. "He's a man who really respects them and they respect him."

Moscow 'Nightmare'

De Waal says that Saakashvili's refusal to engage the regions, particularly Abkhazia, directly has enabled the Kremlin to take that region's dependence on Moscow for granted -- and that could change soon.

"It could be the Russians' real nightmare -- to have a Georgian who wants to have real and substantial engagement with the Abkhaz and South Ossetians," de Waal says. "In a sense [the Russians] have had it easy since 2008 in that the previous government has cast the conflict as a Russian-Georgian conflict and basically nothing, or very little, has happened."

Columbia's Mitchell agrees that the new Ivanishvili team and policies that reduce the possibility of war with Russia could be more effective at achieving Georgia's interests.

"Saakashvili's Moscow policy boiled down to hardline rhetoric and [de facto] giving them everything they needed, turning everything they need over. So, I don't know," Mitchell says. "Alasania, Panjikidze, these are people who are foreign-policy professionals and who are going to pursue Georgia's foreign policy, I would think, effectively. And, if you are in Moscow, I think you realize that, well, that means the chance of war is less likely because it is in kind of more rational hands -- but, you know, Moscow benefited from that possibility of war. That was valuable for domestic Russian politics. And that is gone now."

* This article has been amended to clarify the title of Lincoln Mitchell.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Mamuka
October 09, 2012 16:11
Maybe Alasania and Zakareishvili have credibility with the Abkhaz, but what can the Abkhaz do without Moscow's blessing. Also, putting Alasania at Defense could remove him from this dialogue. Dont look for any changes, even minor changes, until Misha is gone and AFTER the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
In Response

by: joni Simonishvili from: Tbilisi
October 15, 2012 06:24
Wonder what the head of Georgian Railway is afraid of?

Why Are Georgian Top Officials Missing after Elections? - Kanal PIK TV

Interesting how much Iranian has been exported from Georgia and Azerbaijan in recent months. Whatever Georgia and Russian decide will not be ... and if the US has complaints, then just dig a bit as to what is flowing via BTC and Georgian ports.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 21, 2012 02:18
Please, explain your line of reasoning.
Are you implying some conspiracy is going?
Between USA and Georgia, by leaving government?
What is flowing via BTC? Defend Georgia attempt?
Run with the money, as Russians are comming?
Call OBHS? Noone avoid, running to beaches,
Be robbed by Russia of theafery bitches?

I new one Simonia, Simonishvili...
He was a good guy, and smart...
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 21, 2012 02:31
I looked at your reference, Britain playing against CIS and both,
Georgia and Azerbaijan - often against its pragmatic interests,
But long term promiss by Russia to resurrect imperial bosh,
Accompanied by blackmail to oiless island's Norman nest.
If few Georgians in Saakashvili cabinet can be implicated,
Being corrupt, or probably proixies of Russia - trankate it.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 21, 2012 02:01
Mamuka, Alasania should be never let "at defence",
He already frozen in 2008, it was me who rize the fence,
When Russian spies damaged my computers and files.
I restored some and wrote McCain and UN in time.

Abkhazians, only 10% of population there, bluff.
Most real Abkhazians also left. By Gad staffed
And by other children of coarsed tribes - nazis
Of GRU-Spetcnaz, among Russian occupiers.
Russia must go away with bloody "oboroten's".

What changes do you want? Isn't it enough?
If Georgia for the Olimpics in annexed Sochi,
Why not Abkhazia and South Osetia be off?
Or Georgia and Azerbaijan - "Ivan hochet"?
If US is bad - but your Ivans? World hate it!

by: Jack from: US
October 09, 2012 20:08
the republic of Georgians still live in a world of fantasy, dreaming about "restoring control" over Abkhazia and South Ossetia which Stalin gave to Tbilisi because he was "republic of Georgian" himself.
Aren't these people ever able to comprehend a simple fact that Abkhazia and South Ossetia will never be part of rump "democracy" of Georgia? That is because they are not Georgians and never were and never will be. Successive Tbilisi rulers thought they can continue to oppress people with support of Washington but the times are changing - Washington mafia is suffering one major "victory" after another, having killed 10,000 Americans with the help of their Muslim Sunni allies
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
October 09, 2012 21:17
'morning Jack, you are quite wordy today. I agree with you.

Under Article 72 of the 1977 Constitution of the Soviet Union, "Each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede from the USSR". Georgia did so. Then under the same Article, Abkhazia and South Ossetia did the same thing and broke from Georgia. Although each of these two was not recognised as a "Union Republic" in the Constitution, the spirit of the Constitution is the same. Once the Soviet Union disolved, the Constitution became defunct anyway, so Georgia's legal argument that Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not "Union Republic"s is irrelevant. Both should be set free.
In Response

by: Michelle from: Columbus
October 10, 2012 15:40
Cannot agree with you more. This petty attitude of the Georgians must cease entirely. No wonder they are now the laughingstock of the region.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
October 11, 2012 09:45
Well, according to international law it is not the same thing. Also William, you forget one important fact, that in Abkhazia the Georgians were 47% of the population, and the Apsu 17%.
The Georgians were the largest ethnic group in the province, and both they and the Apsu have lived there for all of recorded history. The referendums in South Ossetia and Abkhazia have never been recognized by the UN/OSCE/EU etc because they have no basis in law, and the separatists used ethnic cleansing before the votes were held

In "South Ossetia" the Ossetians are very recent newcomers to the area, only becoming a majority of the population in Tskhinvali in the late 60's after nearly a century of Russian efforts to remove ethnic Georgians from the area.

In both cases the Georgian population was removed by Russian led ethnic cleansing.

It is interesting to note that in Tbilisi there are far more ethnic Ossetians than in Tskhinvali, and they are fully integrated into Georgian society, have their own schools where they can study in Ossetian (a friends wife was sent by her parents to Tbilisi to study for that very reason).

William, you seem about as ignorant as Jack, I suggest you get on and look at what really happened before making your statements.

BTW, how do you feel about the crushing of Chechen separatism by Russia? They committed a genocide, not just ethnic cleansing. And what about Gali in Abkhazia, the last part of the province that retains its pre war population of Georgians? Why do they have to remain part of Abkhazia? Surely they have the right to split from Abkhazia and remain part of Georgia?

Or the Georgian villages north of Tskhinvali? Except that the "poor Ossetians" and Russians have driven out their populations, torn up the orchards and vineyards, killed the livestock, and bulldozed the homes and churches etc.

Really William, you need to read something that is not in Russian before commenting on a subject you obviously know so little about.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
October 11, 2012 23:49
Andrew, my comment was completely restricted to the Soviet Constitution, and you know that. Then you talk about "international law" but cannot quote any. Then you take a big detour and talk about the things that you want to talk about, no matter how irrelevant they were to my comment. Then you call others ignorant. I will leave it to the readers to form their own opinions.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
October 12, 2012 10:33
Wrong as usual William.
The Soviet constitution made strict differences between "Union Republics" and "Autonomous Republics" within those Union Republics. The autonomous regions were part of the union republics and had no right to secede.

And as for "detours" the points I made are relevant to the argument. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are the products of massive war crimes on the part of the separatists and their Russian sponors/masters.

You advocate one rule for your Russian friends, and another for their victims.
In Response

by: David from: Los Angeles
October 19, 2012 19:17
What the hypocrite Andro from Tbilisi failed to mention, of course, is that this "Georgian majority" in Abkhazia was transplanted there artifically via Georgian efforts after they assisted Russians with the genocide and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of North Caucasians, Abkhazians being among them. He also forgets to mention how Mingrelians were encouraged after the 1870s through Stalin's reign of terror to migrate to and populate empty Abkhaz homes and lands, thus robbing the true natives of this land of their properties (who found themselves languishing in the Ottoman Empire, Middle East, etc.). He also forgets to conveniently note the "Georgianization" campaign these rats imposed on native Abkhazians in their own land which essentially was forcing them to abandon cultivating/maintaing their culture and accept the Georgian culture. There is no evidence whatsoever of Georgians living in Abkhazia or anywhere in the North Caucasus until after this time period.
Same goes for his lies about Ossetians. They are in fact, indigenous to the Caucasus, and this has been proven countless times by anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, etc. worldwide who have no personal or political stake in these claims.

If any ethnic group in the Caucasus is not indigenous to the region, it is in fact his Kartvelian people, who have roots stemming from Persia and the Middle East. that is why, if you travel to northern Iran, you can see the original Kartvelian peoples living there, and the overwhelming majority of them acknowledge these facts. It is only the paranoid and self-loathing Kartvelian peoples that live in Georgia that claim this ridiculous and fantasy version of a history that claims outright lies, but also tries to impose their version of history onto their neighbors. Without Abkhazia, Ossetia, and other lands that were given to them by their brethren Stalin and Beria, they have nothing to claim in the Caucasus. And they know this. Even their historians say this publicly. Andro, time to get a new job, maybe an honest one?
In Response

by: Rasto from: behind the desk
October 23, 2012 13:52
Russian census says that before 1870 ther were about 25 % of Georgians ( Mingrelienas, Svans and Samurzakans) in Abkhazia. Samurzakans were mixup of Mingrelians, Laz and Apsua living in Gali, The interpretation of who were Samurzakans is always misguided, particuralry by that idiot from Institute of oriental studies in London. From historical sources it is clear that at least district Gali has been inhabited predominantly by Georgians for centuries. It is of particular interest that those who argue that Georgians had no right to claim Ankhazia because of their late arrival to the territory do not apply same argumnet in case of South Ossetia. In 19th century there were only about 10 % of Ossetians families living in Tskhinvali alongside of about 20 % Georgians 40 % Jews and 10 % Russians and 10 % Armenians. It is easy to prove that migration of first Ossetians from northern slopes of Caucasus to southern kartvelian territories started later than first documented facts about Georgians living in Abkhazia. Mass migration of Ossetians to south is dated to last 200 years.
In Response

by: David from: Los Angeles
November 05, 2012 18:07
Rasto, since when did the Russians NOT embellish any historical records? You mean to tell me that now you are retreating from your "official Georgian sources" (which are worth nothing in the academic world WORLDWIDE) and now choose to use "Russian sources" to back up your wildly fantastical claims that Georgians were a significant presence in Abkhazia and Ossetia? How about you actually use verifiable and accurate sources devoid of any political allegiances in the region, period? I.e. European, Middle Eastern, American, Asian? Is it that hard really to do this? I'm getting really tired of you Georgians and your fantasies playing out on such sites. Face it, you have little to work with, and little to claim. I noticed Andro from Tbilisi failed to attack me on several comments I made. Perhaps he's too busy asking his handlers how to respond? Atrocious field work, Georgian agents! Ask your American supervisors how to improve your BS skills. Maybe then it won't so easy to catch you in your ridiculous lies.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
November 06, 2012 04:56
David, there is little point in responding to your racist drivel.
Strabo, the great Greek geographer described Dioscuras (Sokhumi) as a great Svanian city.

The 4th C Churches at Pitsunda and pretty much all historical monuments of note in Abkhazia were built by Georgians, to Georgian designs, and covered in Georgian inscriptions.
Georgian was the governmental language of Abkhazia from the early medieval period.

Georgians and Apsua have both lived in Abkhazia for all of recorded history, during the Turkish occupation of the 15th C the majority Georgians were driven out for refusing to convert to Islam, while during the 19th C Russian occupation the majority of Apsua were driven out for refusing to return to Christianity from the Islam to which they converted under the Turks.

BTW, do some actual study "David" your opinions are rubbish.
Archaeology shows quite clearly that the Ossetians are not a native Caucasian people, even their own history shows this. Their homeland is the Volga Don basin, they were pushed south by the Mongols.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 22, 2012 10:58
Since Russia murdered my mother 7/7/2012, using CIA,
As plagiarists amalgamated, I am not always in time,
Respond to armies of hired Russian propaganda
Of baseless insults to non-Russians for a dime
Of stolen by Russia oil and mumbling Vanda.

Jack again make mock on the fact that Stalin
Let Russia grab Osetia and the Sochi region,
As Russians genocided Georgians for Lenin,
Breed there Russians - later Jack-Chaldean,
Levite, booty-counter of Russia, still heesing.

South Osetia and Abkhazia was pre-Georgia:
"", pictures,
As was all Caucasus and more. All ethnoces
Emerged, mixing North from Guns and Skifia,
Because bad tribes invaded, Sams and Gads.

Still they all were recognazably pre-Georgians
In most of North Caucasus, except Sam-Gad,
Coarsed by Jacob and mixed with Pechenega,
Till Russia unleashed cleansing and genocide.
Abkhazia, South Osetia, Russia grabs at now.

Jack knows that - he is professional of Russia.
So is Michele - laughing at victims of his boss.
So is, probably, William's, legito-redicul-lazha,
That use not constitution of 1936 - but a gross,
Faled attempt, by Brezhnev Imperial overholds.

Even so, any modern constitution of the planet
Draw borders of nation, considering the partial
Ethnicity as diferent degree of Authonomy nett,
Ballancing all parts for defences and economy
With local "selfrule" and ethnographic modality.

Abkhazia was pre-Georgia, under other names,
Since first archeologic sites in Colhis and Iberia
For about 11 Milleniums, or so. Russian games
Artificcially created children of rapes by Russia,
As Quisling of "Osetias" and to invade Abkhazia.

They are the pseudo-Abkhazians and the Adyga,
"Oboroten's" of GRU and "Spetcnaz" - invaders,
Supported by invading Russian army "toptygas".
One of them is David, he always trying chalenge
For fight victims of GRU, like his father is Russia.

Do you whant to know what real Osetins thinking?
Or the real Abkhazians? Or real North Caucasus?
Take out Russian armies with "oboroten's" things,
GRU, Spetcnaz, KGB and fead by them Halifatus.

Not only Gudauta and Tchinvali - even Sochi region
And Ordgenikidze will join Georgians and Caucasus
And will make regional CIS of Ibero-Caucasian nations.
William still said he'll ignore the truth, he just read notes,
Given, he isn't ignorant - but drown in his lies West might be.

David, your lies are arrogant-stabborn as only nalh Osetin half
Russian can do - like Osetin kids on Georgian military highway
In "12 chears"" demanding "Dengi davay" - you repeating bluff,
Given you by Russian invaders or their OBHS - Levitic way.
All you say on Russian victims is opposite - it isn't laugh.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 22, 2012 15:08
Dear Konstantinashviladze,since KGB and CIA murdered your mother and Mossad probably killed your father I suggest Vakhtangashvili from Moss cow adopt you as his legitimate heir apparent of all empty bottles of adulterated georgian wine he owns.The only good thing in Georgia was its wine,but that was a long time ago,when the great soviets mastered the land.Now they are gone,leaving he georgians to their own devices and the good old wine become just an adulterated pigswill-its consumption leading to posts like yours.Own up,Konstantinadze,its high time you renounce your georgian bigger than life ego and go back to your origins-Abhazia or Ossetia!!!

by: parvenu from: US
October 09, 2012 23:27
Is he Georgian? Looks Russian to me.

by: Anonymous
October 10, 2012 02:23
I'd like to know if you

you who write on this site

have you any idea about how many georgian live in russia

since years and years ?

have you any idea that many georgians even now live in peace in Russia also after the 2008 war ?

have you any idea that many georgians even now live in peace in Russia after years of Saakashvili's delirium ?

So , you must understand that the real question is not

"""Ivanishvili And The Russians"""

but , much more important

""georgians and russia """
In Response

by: Rasto from: front of my comp
October 19, 2012 13:51
Many Georgians live in Russia from Soviet times, but many fled to Russia after Rose revolution, zakonnyje vory, Mkhedrioni and other criminals parasiting on the society under the Shevarnadze regime, who were not sure that change of regime will not send them to jail.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
October 10, 2012 04:11
Mr. Mitchell and Waal absolutely do not understand the nature of the conflict between Georgians and Abkhazians and engaged in demagogy and fantasy..
The problem is that the Abkhazians is Apsua tribes, which are alien ethnos to the Georgians and whose homeland is mountainous Cherkessia..
Since the migration Apsua to Abkhazia (The 17th century) they can not get along with the Georgians..Only Stalin under fear of extinction forced Apsua live peacefully... in the Soviet Union unwillingness to live as a brotherly people also. punished by repression..this created the appearance of cohabitation..
Not a word of the so-called connoisseurs of the problem has been said that the Abkhaz established racist constitution, that Apsua live by the laws of the underworld..Apsua raise a new generation of thieves and thugs who hate Georgians..
Tens of thousands of houses and apartments of Georgian are occupied by Apsua bandits...
The conflict can only be resolved with violence (like all the others have been resolved) but unfortunately in today's hypocritical world, this not customary to talk..

Therefore, Mr. Mitchell is a nonsense and get money-my "congratulations" to Mr. Mitchell-who is well settled...

In Response

by: Irate from: Sentinal
October 10, 2012 15:52
Vakhtang, I see you constantly raving and ranting about the Abkhazians and their so called "alien status" on their own land for months now. It's extremely depressing to read such lies constantly from you when it comes to looking at the articles on this site. Your facts are 100% incorrect and false. It is quite clear and have been established that the Georgians were the ones who were not native to these lands and that they are even in fact not native to the Caucasus. You can throw all your Colchis (a Greek word pertaining to IRONWORKS, not anything Geo related) and pseudo-intellectual hogwash onto us readers all you want, but the fact remains that you cannot fool people with substantial and credible educational/professional backgrounds with these outlandish accusations. They never migrated from "Cherkessia" because Cherkessia as a term does not even exist. Next, the Abkhaz and Adyghe peoples are cousins by blood, tradition, and history, but we all know that the Abkhaz, Ubykh, and Shapsugh peoples were sea people, and not from the mountains. So your sentence about them migrating is a lie.

Next, your ridiculous comment about Abkhaz living "peacefully" with Georgians under Stalin is yet another lie. Abkhaz were terrorized, coerced to follow Georgian customs and traditions, and were oppressed quite brutally by your people to become just like them and cast aside their true identities thanks to a mass "Georgianization" program that your so called peaceful people perpetuated on them.

Third, your comment about Abkhaz racism against Georgians is another lie. Abkhaz have always expressed a willingness to deal with Georgians, but under the condition that they cease their brutality, manipulative plans, and just accept them as their peers and as an independent and sovereign nation (which they are and deserve to be known as). The biggest reason why Abkhazia is forced to deal with Russia closely at this point is Georgia. Georgia, being ridiculous and borderline insane at this point, continues to threaten the peace and borders of Abkhazia via threats, malicious lies, and petty insults hurled at them from international arenas and their own substandard media centers. If Georgia were in fact to recognize them, other countries would eagerly follow suit (as evidenced by the vast amount of private investors currently in Abkhazia from all over the world) and things in the Caucasus would finally be a bit more tranquil. But no, your people love to indulge in such petty ridiculousness and highly delusional dreams of a "Greater Georgia" which would encompass land that NEVER BELONGED TO YOU, including from the Abkhaz, Chechens, Kabardians, Armenians, and more. Your nation is a plague in the region and one of the most despised and ridiculed as well. Your last comments are not even worth mentioning because I highly suspect you wrote that trash from reading a racist Georgian forum online where the likes of you congregate to share your mutual hatred for others. Grow up, first of all. Second, read some actual credible history not written by a Georgian or published in Tiflis. Third, realize and understand that karma is very true and real and by spreading such vicious lies and garbage, you will become a victim one day of it yourself in one way or another. This is not a threat, just a cautious word to you. Finally, I believe that you are among those Georgian two-faced hypocrites who deal with North Caucasians and open up so called cultural centers to try to get closer to them and find the idiots among them to brainwash for your own purposes. Maybe you are that Andro/Andrew idiot that says one thing and does another in public? Who knows. Either way, you are a disgrace and I truly pity the hate and ignorance that dwells inside you. As long as you keep writing garbage and stupidity, be sure that I or someone else like me will call you out on it and shame you as you deserve to be shamed. Insolent fool.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 10, 2012 17:33
Excellent post,Irate,but I see Vahtang has succeeded in irritating you with his,or rather its teasers and spoilers.Comparing him to an insolent fool is an insult to insolent fools.Rather pity the bloke as he is not responsible for his actions-like eugenio and jack he is just another victim of the Karachi amoeba brain-eating microbe.
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
October 11, 2012 00:48
аpsua stories you will tell in you homeland-in a cave on the Kuban River,mountainous Cherkessia...
For ladies and gentlemen interested in the history I can explain and remind:
аbkhazians (correct name аpsua) have no written language until the 20th century.
Russian enthusiasts have invented and developed аpsua written language ..
аpsua(аbkhazians) actually began to write in their own language with the flight of the Americans to the Moon...
So invite a respected public to draw conclusions about the "great history" of аbkhazians..

But still another addition:

аpsua story written in the mid 20th century by order of Khrushchev- who hated Georgians because of Stalin (Stalin, called Khrushchev a clown and kept him for fun) and tried to insult the people of Georgia including the distortion of history..

In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
October 11, 2012 10:09
Wrong Irate, as is only to be expected from a member of a community that runs an apartheid system of government.

Both Georgians and Apsu are indigenous to the region, the Apsu are north Caucasians, the Georgians are south Caucasians.

All modern (and by modern I mean actual academic research, using primary sources such as Strabo, Herodotus, and various other Greek and Roman sources as well as actual archaeology, done by professional researchers and archaeologists from places like Oxford, not the racist propaganda mills you obviously get your information from) show that the Georgian people are autochthonous to the south Caucasus, however, the Armenians are not, nor are the Ossetians.

Georgians do not dream of a "greater Georgia" and for your information Georgia was, along with the Ukraine and Baltic republics, the most purged SSR under Stalin.

Abkhaz do seem to forget a lot of the benefits they got under Stalin, for example, while 770,000 Georgian men were sent to WW2, of whom only 430,000 returned (from a population of around 3,800,000) the Apsu in Abkhazia were exempt from military service or conscription. Yes, nice oppression if you can get it.

Also, the Apsu, Adyghe, etc were never a sea people, they were mountaineers. Disocuras/Sokhumi was described by Strabo as a Svanetian city with Apsu in the mountains to the north, that was around 2000 years ago. The Romans controlled both Sokhumi and Kutaisi, and described the populations of both as what we now call Georgians, and so on. they make no mention of Apsu in Sokhumi, but once again, in the mountains to the north.

As for your etymology of Colchis, well it has nothing to do with anything Greek for Iron, but is simply a Greek rendering of the Georgian "Kolkheti" as the Uratians called the kingdom Qulha,Kolkha, or Kilkhi.

You really need to read real historical texts "Irate", not the racist trash your type pedal nowadays in Sokhumi or Moscow.
In Response

by: LG from: USA
October 12, 2012 07:03

Armenians are native to the Caucasus, more specifically the very southeast, because the traditional heartland of Armenia is the territory surrounding Lake Van. I hope you are not basing your view that Armenians are not native to the Caucasus on the silly notion that Armenians were 'Phrygian colonists'. There is enough DNA and archaeological evidence to show that Armenians are indigenous to the Armenians highlands, the eastern section of which includes the lower Caucasus.
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
October 12, 2012 10:43
LG, I fully concur that the Armenians are native to their traditional homeland around Lake Van, and to the Armenian highlands, but that they are not a "Caucasian people" is also supported by DNA evidence. The fact that a very small portion of their traditional area is now included in the Caucasus region does not make them Caucasian, as the majority of their traditional heartland is in eastern Turkey, from which they were removed by the 1915 genocide, furthermore ethnographic specialists consider them to be Indo-European.
In Response

by: Irate from: Sentinal
October 19, 2012 19:29
I'd like to comment on the two idiots below my prior post:

Vakhtang, the so called Georgian living in Moscow (oh the irony):

You are wrong or lying about the written language part and I don't understand how that even plays a role in this discussion. Obviously, you know nothing about Abkhaz history. There is credible evidence of a written language that existed among the Abkhaz as well as the Adyghes that dates back more than 3000-5000 years. Hint: there are tablets that are displayed in museums in Europe and the Middle East that showcase this language. Do yourself a favor and read some more before you spew lies. I guess it's pointless to point out that the Georgian alphabet was in fact commissioned by an ABKHAZIAN king from an Armenian monk, which the Georgians conveniently love to forget to mention in their history books (among many MANY other things).

Your comment about Abkhazian history being written recently is so ridiculous, I cannot comment. I just will say try a little harder to insult a people you obviously envy. And let's see how you fare hurling these ridiculous lies in Moscow, a city that you supposedly live in but are quick to talk garbage about? Hmmm.

Andro: historically, no such term as "south caucasus" ever existed, let's get that fact straight first of all. Second, Georgians are NOT indigenous to the region. I don't care what your Georgian propaganda text books say. You obviously do not have access to respectable and credible information, if you think making this comment validates your standpoint. Your references about Strabo and Herodotus are funny; I've read the same and nowhere in these texts do they mention your Kartvelian or Mingrelian peoples. They mention other smaller ethnic groups which your Georgian masses have conveniently claimed as their own. Next, don't try that Colchis argument with me. We all know what this word really means, and it has nothing to do with you Georgians.
Third, your comment about Georgia under Stalin is a pure lie. There is ample evidence of the favoritism that the Georgians enjoyed under Stalin, ranging from pictures, texts, even how the USSR allowed them to have free reign with their Georgianization terror campaign against Abkhazians in the 20th century.

Fourth, your comment about Apsua and Adyghe is wrong. You obviously are taking your information from fanatical Georgian groups on Facebook which publish this garbage. Adyghe people are from the mountains, Apsua are from the coast, so are the Ubykh which are kin to both these groups as well. I'm not really sure why you even think you can argue this point?
Fifth: how can you even make such a stupid comment about the Colchis here? Are you kidding me? A Georgian variation? Grow up! Another lie....typical.
Tell me, when did this so called "Georgian kingdom" really began? May I mention the names of your so called rulers? And can we note what their backgrounds were? I'd love to hear what you come up with. Even Wikipedia will disprove you right away. are a disgrace of a human being. I pity you. No matter what you say or do, be sure that a naysayer like myself will always counterargue your pitiful points. Enjoy the cheap Georgian wine sitting on your desk in your pathetic capital.

In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
November 06, 2012 10:03
Irate, the Kings and Queens of Abkhazia were a mixture of ethnic Georgian, Apsua and Armenians, called the Bagratid family. This is, if you have any knowledge of history (which I doubt), a fairly common occurrence. Most royal marriages are dynastic in nature and frequently involve the marriage of children from neighboring kingdoms.

As for Abkhazian being a written language for 5000 years, wrong again. Abkhaz has only been a literary language for around 100 years. It has no alphabet of its own, but used either Arabic, Georgia, or Cyrillic alphabets.

By the way, learn to read Irate, your education is sorely lacking.
Colchis was inhabited by a number of related but distinct tribes whose settlements lay along the shore of the Black Sea. Chief among those were the Machelones, Heniochi, Zydretae, Lazi, Chalybes, Tabal/Tibareni/Tubal, Mossynoeci, Macrones, Moschi, Marres, Apsilae, Abasci,[20] Sanigae, Coraxi, Coli, Melanchlaeni, Geloni and Soani (Suani). These Kartvelian tribes differed so completely in language and appearance from the surrounding Indo-European nations that the ancients provided various wild theories to account for the phenomenon.

So, once again, both ethnic groups have lived in the area for all of recorded history.

The Abkhaz were not conscripted in WW2, the Georgians were. Both Georgians and Abkhaz were horrifically suppressed by Stalin.

And congratulations Irate, now the Russians are going to wipe out the Abkhaz language for once and for all. You are an inconvenience to them, they already have bypassed the so-called constitution of Abkhazia to buy land, something that in theory belongs to the people, including an entire region of Abkhazia that used to be populated by Georgians, for a ruble.

Your theories are laughable Irate, especially that of the "Abkhazian written language"
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 30, 2012 11:52

Vakhtang, Abkhazia in part Iberia-Colhis-Albania,
That started 12 milleniums ago in heart of Kartly
From one or few setlments, moving in Caucasia
And adding to each new settlment a local family,
If it was one - producing new groups of Iberians.

When they reached the Black and Caspian sea,
Some 10 milleniums ago - pre-Gergian dialects,
Close for Kartly neighbors differed substantially,
Since they known as Colhis, Albania - and rest.
Middle and North "Abkhazia" where settled later.

Some 5-7 milleniums ago emerged new groups
Of Sinigies, quite different dialect and the Apsily
With even more different dialect, leaving for hills
Men from Iberian settlements hunting, were stiff
For change, remaining about half Cro-Magnons.

Similarly in Sochi region. It changed with times.
Georgians were intermarrying as did Abkhazia.
Thus, genuin Abkhazians were pre-Georgians,
But more Cro-Magnon genes than main Iberia.
Vakhtang might refer to coarsed tribe of Gads.

Invading pre-Georgia North-West - 2,500 ago,
As did Sam's tribe - friends helped stop Gada.
Skiffs and Guns did, but Gads still hated it so,
When breeded with Pechenega - they blowed,
Killing humanity between Gudauta and Osetia.

It is where came Adyga, invade Georgia Sochi
And North Abkhazia as "Iron Stream" genocide
Forged by Lenin, Serafimovich and Stinkovichi.
They tryed again in 1930th, lead by lakoba Gad,
Of Adyga, more brought Khrutch and Brezhnev.

Vakhtang, real Sinigas and Apsilas are refugees
Or at gun-point in occupied Abkhazia, by a KGB
Plot, since 1950th, Spetcnaz, GRU and armies,
Forced to fight, 1992-93, by Rusia-Gad invaders.
Genocide was by Sam, Gad, Urartu, GRU teams.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
October 10, 2012 05:28
The example of Ukraine under Yanoukowitsch shows that there is no "middle path between" Russia and EU/NATO for the former Soviet republics - the only way is getting closer to Russia politically, economically and militarily. After all, what do NATO and EU have to offer to their hypothetical new members?
The EU can offer impressive examples of a "bright present" that such EU member states as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy (a founding member!) are living through at the moment: a never-ending recession, horrendous levels of unemployment (close to 25 (!) % in the cases of Greece and Spain, and ever deeper cuts in social spending that leave hundered of thousands of European citizens looking for food in garbage on the streets).
And NATO can of course offer its potential members a perspective of sending some more of their citizens to die in Afghanistan (or maybe Syria or Lybia in the future?) for absolutely nothing.
So, why should anyone be surprised that post-Soviet (and not only) republics are throwing one of the losers installed by George W a decade ago out of power: first UKRAINE did so with Yushchenko in 2010, then SERBIA followed a few months ago throwing Tadic out, and now it is the turn of the GEORGIANS to send Mischa to where he belongs - Miami, Florida - and start improving their relations with Russia shattered by the decade of the rule of the pro-US stooge and loser Mischa.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 10, 2012 11:18
Well,only one superman can solve the problems of Georgia and that is ,of course another -shvili -Good old Koba Djugashvili !!! Knowing very well the nature of his compatriots he gave a lot of their lands to Abkhazia,Ossetia,etc.Unfortunately the great man is not with us anymore to finish the good deeds he started,and give away the rest of Georgia to its neighbours,but we are happy to have Vakhtang -the lion from Muss cow -the only lion who can complete what Koba started.EUgenio and Jack will be happy to help,and the sooner we partition the rump republic of Georgia the better the georgian adulterated wine will taste-we had enough of bloody russian moonshine!!!
In Response

by: Mark from: Israel
October 10, 2012 15:53
You are a fool. Are you saying that Georgians only do good under traiterous monsters like Djugashvili who forced his will onto people?
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 10, 2012 17:07
Wrong,Marky,they cant do any good even under good old Uncle Joe!!! And forcing one`s will unto people is what most politicians always do.And dont forget that the traitorous monster helped a lot to create the state of Israel.
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
November 06, 2012 01:46
I thought that a camel except as to transport bales in a caravan in the desert of Kurdistan nothing else can do..

I was wrong...It can write poetry..

"Well,only one superman can solve the problems of Georgia and that is ,of course another -shvili -Good old Koba Djugashvili !!!"
........................................talking camel......................
I'm sorry that you could not compose the second part : he could Abkhaz criminals send
..................................... to their homeland.....
to the caves of Circassia,according to historical justice...

....................Kurdistan for all the best to shine
....................need to drink Russian moonshine!!

In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 06, 2012 13:36
Vahtang Kakabidze djan,all the camels from the herd read and enjoy tremendously your and Con stan rin tin tin`s glorious posts.Why yours posts are brilliant case studies in georgian psychopathology.Shota Rustaveli couldnt have said it better but our minds boggle when you say `I think...`What are you doing your thinking with Vakhtang djan?People have brains to do the job,while you are using an organ their use in the lavatory,if you know what a lavatory is!!!And you know what they say in mosscow-the worst abkhazian is better than the best georgian-that is you,of course although Con stan rin tin tin may challenge that.All your problems seem to come from mixing your pills-you took Con`s and he took yours-and its acrying shame!!!

by: Jack from: US
October 10, 2012 13:37
the rump "republic of Georgia" is a backward pitiful third-world country whose government for the last decade was bankrolled by US government at US taxpayer's expense. The average GDP per capita in rump republic of Georgia is less than in Angola. The rump republic has so far seen a endless succession of crazed dictators propped up by Washington. What are the chances the next one will be sane? The best outcome for people of the rump republic is to split it into 3-4 more parts so at least one petty Washington-supported dictator could not screw up the lives of all of the miserables even more

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 12, 2012 08:19
Saakashvili did not fire but slowed KGB, like Khaburzania,
The mean KGB actions to destroy life and dignity in Georgia.
Georgia was saturated by KGB, like son of KGB, Alasania,
But they were not fired, even Alasania, saling-out Borgio.

KGB is still saturating CIS, including Georgia, it is who
Taking over now, from lead by hulligan Russian morda
Crowds armed with clubs, through "Ivanishvili's" doods,
The same Alasania - this time to freeze Georgian army.

It was Russia's doing, desecrating death of CIS nations,
Instead of honor and equal relations as it was presumed
In 1936 Constitution, but always ended with abomination
Of Russian made purges, golodomors, gloom and doom
Of hopelesness. If one resist: -"They fired Khaburzation!"

It's real reason Georgia-Russia relationship "deteriorated",
New arrogant metastases of Russia occupiers and KGB.
Not avenge Saakashvili - but because Georgians resisted
Be destroyed as "bogohul'no" as Abkhazia, no more to be.
Russia did as much evil as Georgia did good in provinces.

Mitchell might be too optimistic about their "pragmatistics"
As were copying even Stalin, Russians and the Quislings,
Trying look buisiness-like in doing nothing, but stealing all
And vanishing it in own pokets and Russian master's hole.
Not "calm and rational" - own by Russia nothing loose boll.

(will continue)
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 12, 2012 19:19
I agree that main reason for Georgian public opinion moved,
Not necessary above 50%, forged by evil KGB "Karl Roove",
Not necessary because Putin and Medvedev hate Saakashvili,
But because both superpowers play "Big Boys", not Billy--willy,
Keep appearences of invisible and vindictivly bomb to a grave.

There are differences, thought, comparing Russia to USA.
Russia built by its neighbours, like Georgia, from first day.
Saakashvili wife's country along with Georgians started it,
During Peter, nephiew of Georgian King, Stalin continued
With help of all CIS people and built superpower, usurped.

Thus Russia cannot invade its neighbours, to kill one third,
To send another third to death camps, gas "Cheremushka"
On remaining most talented and usefull, for Russian hords,
To be plagiarized-exploited, but if one'd resist or complains,
To unleash against them "appearence of Big Boys pushka".

They don't look as "Big Boys", the usurpers of USSR might,
Created by nations they attack, or encroach upon - outright.
It's why it isn't necessary for whole Saakashvili government
Be overthrown by Russia's KGB - for two "Tiers" mentalitet.

Improve relations with larger participation of people enough.
Let's Georgians decide, how much give in to Russia's bluff.
But eventually Russia must return all to other nations right,
They don't have corrupt that much West and be that bright,
Claiming that if West is corrupted, Russia must steal blind.

(will continue)
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
November 06, 2012 06:47
Hi, Konstantin...
For Russian and other, your variant of Georgian history is too hard to understand.They are just too lazy to go to the depths of Georgian history and look for the essence..

So they need simplified version.

Normal Georgian historian, who clearly explained who is Apsua and from what mountains they went to Georgia... this is Ingorokva..
Apsua this is not the native population of Abkhazia...
Their homeland Cherkessia from there they were driven out for their wickedness and treachery...
it is a fact, as well as Kurdistan is homeland to a camel, from where he escaped fooling people on Radio Liberty and because he did not want to carry heavy bales on his back...

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