- Abkhazia by John Colarusso
- The Stalin-Beria Terror in Abkhazia, 1936-1953, by Stephen D. Shenfield
- The International Legal Status of the Republic of Abkhazia In the Light of International Law, by Viacheslav Chirikba
- Why Can Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili Not Emulate Willi Brandt? by Liz Fuller
- Commentary on the Resolution of the European Parliament for Georgia, 17 November 2011
- Kosovo or Abkhazia: Contrasts and Comparisons
- International law and the Russian “occupation” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, by Richard Berge
- 'Absence of Will': A commentary, prepared by Metin Sönmez
- Documents from the KGB archive in Sukhum. Abkhazia in the Stalin years, by Rachel Clogg
- On the 20th anniversary of the start of Georgia’s war against Abkhazia, by Stanislav Lakoba
- Military Aspects of the War. The Battle for Gagra (The Turning-point), by Dodge Billingsley
- Alleged human rights violations during the conflict in Abkhazia | Amnesty International, 1993
- A reply to Paul Henze’s views on Georgia, by George Hewitt - February 1993
- Ossetia-Georgia-Russia-U.S.A. Towards a Second Cold War?, by Noam Chomsky
- Thinking the Unthinkable: What if Georgia and the West Were to Recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia? by Paul Goble
- A Chance to Join the World, by Neal Ascherson
- Hitler calls on Georgians to win back Abkhazia
- Opinion: Hottentot morality - Uri Avnery
- Abkhazia: A Broken Paradise, by Georgi Derluguian
- Baron Pyotr Karlovich Uslar: Inventor of the First Abkhaz Alphabet, by Stephen D. Shenfield
- Lesson to the West: Abkhazian independence is a fact, by Inal Khashig
- Abkhazia, from conflict to statehood, by George Hewitt
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|An attempt on the life of Abkhazia, by Sergei Markedonov|
|Articles - Analysis|
|Friday, 24 February 2012 17:19|
Russia Beyond the Headlines
Abkhazia wants to be seen as a viable country, but until it confronts its serious crime problem, more international recognition is unlikely.
On Feb. 22 2012, Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab survived an assassination attempt. It was the sixth such attempt on his life. He endured four assassination attempts during his tenure as head of the Abkhazian government (February and April 2005, June and July 2007) and once during his time as vice president (on Sept. 22, 2010). Nevertheless, the current attack stands out, not least for the fact that this time it was an attempted attack on the president of a partially recognized country. Even though Ankvab suffered no injuries, Abkhazian journalists, experts, and public figures are in general agreement that the latest attack was the most ambitious and best organized yet. Stanislav Lakoba, secretary of Abkhazia’s Security Council, described the attack like this: “There was an attempt to intercept the guard. Then the escort was met with grenade launcher machine gun fire.” It’s obvious that a lone assailant would not have been able to carry it out in the spur of the moment, but Ankvab also bears some responsibility for being lax with his personal safety. Despite all the attempts on his life, Ankvab never sought to isolate himself from his fellow citizens behind high fences with security. In all the posts he has occupied since becoming prime minister in 2005, Ankvab lived not in the capital of Sukhumi, but in Gudauta, his home region.
Practically on the heels of the attempt, Ankvab held an emergency meeting of the Security Council, at which he stated that the goal of the assassination attempt’s organizers was to destabilize the socio-political situation in the republic. Such a tough assessment from the Abkhazian leader is easy to understand – not only for purely personal reasons, but also for political ones. In fact, on the eve of the parliamentary elections, such a scenario would be highly undesirable for Abkhazia, which is seeking to show the entire world that it is a viable state.
For the first months and years after it proclaimed independence, Abkhazia was focused on securing its borders with Georgia. Now that this task is mostly complete, the republic is focusing on constructing government institutions, but this process has proved no less challenging than the question of security.
First there was the test of Russian money. After 2008, money poured into the republic, partially to develop the area ahead of the 2014 Olympic Games in neighboring Sochi. The role of Abkhazia’s infrastructure in this project cannot be overstated – ever since the Soviet era, Abkhazia and the greater Sochi area have been considered a single tourist complex. But the money was not distributed in an open and transparent environment and now the problem of corruption has become a serious problem for the republic. In the snap presidential election last year, Alexander Ankvab was able to win largely due to the fact that he promised if not to end corruption, then to at least seriously diminish it. And he has taken some actions in this regard. During interviews in 2009 and 2010, Ankvab made it clear that the viability of the Abkhaz state depends on whether or not it can defeat organized crime, pointing out that with high levels of crime, the republic will not receive private investments or tourists who have traditionally boosted the Abkhaz economy. One such tourist, Victor Yerofeyev, a writer well known in Russia and the West, published an article in the International Herald Tribune last July in which he stated, among other things, that Abkhazia is “a country with a human face, not a bandit’s squint. Abkhazia’s problem is that it cannot get the international community to listen to the reasons why it declared independence, or to appreciate the democratic principles of its ‘illegal’ governance.”
Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines