Saturday, August 27, 2016

Caucasus Report

Russian President Names Special Abkhazia, South Ossetia Envoys

Governor of Krasnodar Territory Aleksandr Tkachev has been appointed as Russia's special representative for Abkhazia.
Governor of Krasnodar Territory Aleksandr Tkachev has been appointed as Russia's special representative for Abkhazia.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed special representatives for Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia formally recognized both territories as independent states immediately after the August 2008 war triggered by Georgia’s bid to win back control over South Ossetia by force of arms.

Both Medvedev’s appointees are currently heads of Russian Federation subjects that border on the disputed regions in question, and they will continue to hold those positions concurrently.

Their new duties have not been spelled out, but are likely to be tailored to accommodate the very real political and economic differences between the two republics.

An Unsinkable Governor

The presidential representative for Abkhazia is Aleksandr Tkachev, who was confirmed last week for a fourth consecutive term as governor of Krasnodar Krai.

Russian analyst Andrei Yepifantsev has characterized Tkachev as "one of the most unsinkable Russian governors."

In addition to business interests held by Tkachev and members of his family, Yepifantsev recalled a major scandal involving the Krasnodar governor's alleged violations of environmental legislation during the construction of a luxurious villa on the Black Sea coast.

On the plus side, Yepifantsev stressed Tkachev’s proven success as an economic manager.

Moscow-based analyst Modest Kolerov suggests that Tkachev’s appointment may be intended, at least in part, to counterbalance what he calls the "ineffective and politically toothless" Russian ambassador to Abkhazia, Semyon Grigoriev.

Nonetheless, Tkachev’s primary focus is likely to be the systematic implementation of the cooperation agreement he signed in May 2008 with the then de facto Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh.

Among other things, this agreement covers construction materials that Abkhazia is meant to provide for infrastructure projects connected with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. 

Commenting on his new appointment, Tkachev pledged to do all in his power "to bring our countries closer together."

He also raised the possibility of creating “a single economic space,” presumably comprising Krasnodar Krai and Abkhazia.

Controversial Appointment

Medvedev’s representative for South Ossetia is Taymuraz Mamsurov, who has headed the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania since late 2004.

His appointment is more controversial than that of Tkachev insofar as he has repeatedly advocated the unification of North and South Ossetia.

For example, in March 2008, when he met with the de facto president  of the then still unrecognized Republic of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, Mamsurov called the division of the Ossetian people "absurd" and said it “cannot last forever.”
North Ossetian leader Taymuraz MamsurovNorth Ossetian leader Taymuraz Mamsurov
North Ossetian leader Taymuraz Mamsurov
North Ossetian leader Taymuraz Mamsurov

Three months later, Mamsurov said he would appeal to foreign ambassadors to further the unification of North and South Ossetia.

Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin  suggested last summer that South Ossetia could become part of the Russian Federation if this was what the republic’s population wanted.

However, President Medvedev immediately countered that there are no legal or actual preconditions for South Ossetia to unite with North Ossetia as a subject of the Russian Federation.

The leaders of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have publicly expressed approval of the new appointments.

De facto Abkhaz President Aleksandr Ankvab said Tkachev’s appointment was "good news," adding that Tkachev is well-thought of in Abkhazia, and that he has personally has long enjoyed a good working relationship with him

Likewise, Vadim Brovtsev, the Russian businessman from Siberia who is South Ossetia’s current acting president, praised the choice of Mamsurov, noting that he "understands the situation in South Ossetia better than any other Russian political figure."
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Nils Tore Gjerde from: Molde, Norway
March 28, 2012 12:25
This is a provocation! South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not independent states, but territories illegal occupied by Russia. The Russian occupation is a threat to peace and security in the region, and these "states" will never get international recognition. Not even close allies to Russia as Cuba, Ukraine and Belarus has so far regonized South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And China never will! So this Russia "statebuildning" has no chance.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 28, 2012 14:21
Very frankly, Nils Tore Gjerde, it looks rather like Russia is more interested in incorporating the two republics into itself in the medium-run than in doing the "state-building" the US has tried and so sorrily failed in Iraq or Afghanistan. That's probably the major reason why there are no so many recognitions. But if you feel provoked, don't hesitate to strike Russia immediately and just erase it from the surface of the earth :-)).
In Response

by: Michael from: NY
April 01, 2012 15:56
If you truly knew the history of these nations and how they came to be incorporated into the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, then you would clearly see that your comment above is wrong. In addition, historically, these nations were free and fierce peoples who fought against a number of invaders, including these "Georgians" (which were NOT a united group until Stalin forced them if you don't count their signing their freedom over to the Russian imperialists in the 18th-19th century in exchange for protected statuses and the promise the fight with the Russians against their neighbors). They are recognized by a number of UN member states. Georgia itself is occupied by the US, in regards to control over their media, military, and government. So let's not be hypocrites plz.

Finally, please see the racist and disgusting comments from Georgians like this puny Vakhtang here, who continues to lurk on these sites and post anti-Abkhaz and anti-Ossetian commentary every chance he gets. Calling Abkhazia a "racist gangster formation" is very demeaning and petty and in effect shows a complete lack of respect and ignorance for what Abkhazia is today. Ironic, given that he's supposedly a Georgian living (in exile? lol) in Moscow, the capital of Russia and one city that has more Georgians than many of Georgia's own cities (I wonder why!). The hypocrisy from such people can only be explained either in two ways: either he is paid by his government to write such trash online so as to sway people's opinions about the truth regarding this conflict (one that Georgia itself is a perpetrator of, and one that it can help ease but refuses to because it is disillusioned and emboldened by US support which will not last forever) OR he is a product of his people: racist, brainwashed, feels a sense of entitlement by propaganda taught in Georgian schools to give his poor people some ego because their history is too dependent on the past actions of the nations around them, etc. Maybe it's both things actually. Either way, it's truly a shame that this minute mind feels the need to insult these brave people every chance he gets. Which means that they really are on the right track to a good future and he and his kind just can't stand it. I support independent Abkhazia and Ossetia and hope that these Georgians one day stop their racist campaigns against them and sign a peace treaty with them! Enough war! And we know Georgia is the one behind these conflicts more than anyone else!

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 28, 2012 16:48
For a start, I would like to remind that Abkhazia is a racist gangster formation where the аbkhaz bandits living in the homes of the owners which they killed.
аbkhazians have committed terrible crimes against civilians, in comparison with which the crimes of Hitler childish pranks..
Putin pathologically hates Georgians, so he approved the actions of the аbkhaz murderers and recognized thugs- maniacs.
Abkhazia should be placed on a par with Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Majdanek..
All countries should boycott the Putin's Olympics in Sochi,..
t is impossible to hold sports competitions next to murderers.. and maniacs..
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 28, 2012 20:49
Vakhtang, why is it "impossible to hold sports competitions next to murderers.. and maniacs"? In 1996 they held the Olympic Games in Atlanta, for example, and the place is full of murderers and maniacs :-)).

by: Jack from: US
March 28, 2012 17:34
there are things which will not change no matter how much barking goes on from US-sponsored rump dictatorship of "republic of Georgia" or from NATO minions. Abkhazia and South Ossetia won their freedom and it is not going to change. They will never be oppressed again by fascist rump dictatorship of saakashvillis.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
March 29, 2012 01:24
Putin uses the weakness of Obama and his inexperience and promotes a policy of racism, banditry and anti-Americanism in the South Caucasus..

Obama who finally became entangled in politics, may sell Georgia and promote racism and apartheid in the Caucasus.

Then he seemed to restore slavery in the United States and go into the service to Mr. Putin wave a fan, like his ancestors..

Everyone saw how he was whispering in the ear of clown, who has lost a cat:"Tell Volodya, I'm ready..."

While not too late, Obama needs to be changed,
send "Рatriots "and a nuclear bombs to Saakashvili and start catching аbkhaz bandits who threaten peace and stability in the Caucasus.
Tkachev and Putin may be declared in the international search, as accomplices of criminals and racists....
In Response

by: David
April 03, 2012 16:43
I have a list of Georgian bandits for you Vakhtangi: Ioseb Dzhugashvili Stalin and Lavrenti Beria (self explanatory!) Kandide Charkviani (Georgian party boss in charge of anti-Abkhaz and anti-Ossetian policy during the 1930s Soviet Union) Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, the poet-chauvinist and racist whose son, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was the originator of the slogan "Georgia for Georgians" used justify oppression of Abkhaz, Ossetians and other ethnic groups in Georgia in the early 1990s. Tengiz Kitovani and Jaba Ioseliani, members of the unelected junta led by Eduard Shevardnadze, who started the 1992-1993 war in Abkhazia. Gia Karkarashvili, the field commander who threatened geocide against the Abkhaz during the very same war, and finally: Mikhail Saakashvili who started the 2008 war and shelled the sleeping city of Tskhinvali in the middle of the night according to the EU and most neutral, outside observers.

I am sure there are some "bandits" among the Abkhaz and Ossetes too, but the Georgians seem to have a very good head start!

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.