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Photo Album: Vladislav Ardzinba

Photo Album: Vladislav Ardzinba

Project author: K. Khagba, G. Dzhikirba 
Publisher: diGraphic 
Place of Publication: Sukhum
Year: 2008
Number of pages: 136

Фотоальбом - Владислав Ардзинба
Автор проекта: К. Хагба, Г. Джикирба
Издательство: diGraphic
Место издания: Сухум
Год издания: 2008
Количество страниц: 136 c.

The full book in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here (9.3 MB)

The offered photo album illustrates some episodes from the life of Vladislav Grigorievich Ardzinba – the founder of the contemporary Abkhaz nation-state. These are mostly amateur pictures from the family photo album. Of course, these pictures may not fully reflect many-sided, full of dramatic events and great challenges activity of the first President of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Vladislav Ardzinba appeared in Abkhaz politics quite unexpectedly but extremely brightly. His arrival practically immediately put other politicians into the shade. The combination of unique qualities this man possesses enabled him to gain the attention of the nation, which for the duration of many years was struggling for its inalienable rights and has been waiting for the leader capable of materializing its hopes. And the history has proven that the people’s choice was right, because Vladislav Ardzinba has accomplished what no other man could do. He managed to concentrate the will and the courage of the people of Abkhazia on achieving the Victory in an unequal bloody struggle.

Ardzinba came into politics from science, to which he had been committed for a long time. Working productively, Vladislav Grigorievich achieved significant results in studying the history of the peoples of ancient Asia Minor. He became one of the classics of the Soviet Hittitology. As Ardzinba admitted himself later, he had never imagined himself giving up his favorite occupation and becoming an active politician instead. However, a turbulent historical process which swept through the disintegrating Soviet empire, and Abkhazia as part of it, ordered otherwise.

The starting point of Ardzinba’s bright political activity was his remarkable speech at the first Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR, which was rather, the first time when the aspirations of Abkhaz people were articulated at such a high political level. Shortly after, Ardzinba became, so to say, an informal leader for the representatives of small nations of the USSR in the Soviet Parliament. His fidelity to principles, his charming personality, his determination, talent and outstanding rhetorical skills altogether served as an engine in introducing the reforms in the sphere of legislation, which affected the interests of autonomous republics. Thus, a group of deputies under the guidance of Vladislav Ardzinba managed to succeed in equalization, on many parameters, of the rights of autonomous republics of the USSR and those Union Republics which had been recognized as sovereign subjects of the Soviet Federation and therefore possessed the right to self-determination. The significance of these achievements did not diminish even after the dissolution of the USSR. In particular, up to now this legislation serves as an important argument which testifies the fact of the rupture of the state – legal relations between Abkhazia and Georgia during the Soviet time, as well as an illegitimate character of the admission of Georgia as a member of the United Nations within the borders of the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The armed aggression of Georgia against Abkhazia and the subsequent war of liberation under the command of Ardzinba was the hardest experience for the people of Abkhazia in a time period of more than a hundred years. Notwithstanding all difficulties, as a result of this war, for the first time in many years Abkhazia has gained the cherished victory and the opportunity to master its own fate. As Vladislav Grigorievich admits himself, it is not easy for him to think about the period, when every hour of every day was a continual struggle for the victory and for the preservation of the people. Ardzinba had to work to physical exhaustion. Every failure, every single death reflected with pain in his heart. But he never lost his courage or fallen into dejection, suggesting the people of Abkhazia the inviolable faith in their own strength and in an inevitable triumph of justice. In these critical conditions, courage, stamina, political talent, amazing working capacity and determination of the leader of the nation showed up to the full. Suffice it to say that Ardzinba had to plan military operations, find the means and armament for the continuation of the war, and solve the issue of providing for tens of thousands of refugees. His  enthusiasm united people and made an impracticable dream of freedom come true.

A cruel and humiliating for human dignity blockade was imposed on Abkhazia after the war with the intention to break the will of the Abkhaz people. However, even in these conditions, people, feeling the taste of freedom, demonstrated incredible firmness, unity and readiness to withstand all privations for the sake of freedom. Against this background the government of Abkhazia headed by Ardzinba had to overcome the devastation caused by the war, providing assistance to the population which suffered from war, restoring law and order, as well as the work of the government agencies. In fact, Ardzinba succeeded in rebuilding all the institutions of state power anew. He laid down the legal foundations for the development of the country. The major landmarks of this process were the adoption of a new Constitution and of the Act of State Independence of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Vladislav Ardzinba demonstrated exceptional diplomatic skills. It’s worth mentioning that during that period a powerful pressure was put on Abkhazia from all sides with the aim to force it into accepting Georgian terms of conflict settlement. Such qualities as political pliancy and courage were of extreme importance at that critical moment in order to withstand the pressure and to safeguard the achievements of the people of Abkhazia. And this became possible to a great extent thanks to Vladislav Grigorievich. His political intuition, his ability to work with documents, his sense of responsibility for his people and his dignity have always served as a guarantee that the interests of Abkhazia will be secured.

Beyond all doubt Vladislav Ardzinba is one of the brightest personalities in centuries-old history of Abkhazia. The freedom and independence of Abkhazia are the results of his self-sacrificing work and struggle. And this undeniable fact will never be erased from the memory of the nation.

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