UNPO -- It is with great sadness that news has reached us of the loss of a great leader, Vladislav Ardzinba, the first leader of Abkhazia.
After a long struggle with cancer, Vladislav Ardzinba died at 64 years of age. On behalf of all UNPO Members, UNPO General Secretary Marino Busdachin expresses his deepest condolences to the families, relatives and colleagues of Vladislav Ardzinba.
Below follows an obituary of Vladislav Ardzinba (14 May 1945 – 4 March 2010)
Vladislav Ardzinba was an Abkhaz politician and the first president of Republic of Abkhazia.
Born in the village of Lower Eshera in the Sukhum District, he graduated from the Sukhum Pedagogical Institute’s Historical Department and received a doctorate degree at Tbilisi State University. In 1987, after 18 years of working experience in Moscow, he returned to Sukhum as Director of the Abkhazian Institute of Language, Literature and History. Furthermore, he was also elected Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
On December 4th, 1990, Vladislav Ardzinba was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Abkhazia. He was elected president by the Abkhazian parliament in 1994 and won the first direct polls on October 3rd, 1999, where he was re-elected as the president of Abkhazia. Under his leadership, Abkhazia tried to strengthen the economy, create links with the international community and promote the rightful self-determination of the people of Abkhazia. In 2003 his health seriously deteriorated and as a consequence was forced to resign the presidency of Abkhazia in 2004.
Vladislav Ardzinba dedicated his life to the struggle of Abkhazia for self-determination and freedom and passed away on Thursday, 4th March 2010 after a longstanding battle with cancer in Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital.