Condolences on the death of Vladislav Ardzinba

John Colarusso sent condolences in connection with the first President Vladislav Ardzinba's Death

March 11, 2010

The pictorial memorial to Ardzinba was very touching.

It was a great privilege for me to have known him, both before he became president of Abkhazia and during his tenure in office.

He was a brave and strong man, who was also friendly and highly intelligent. He had "the common touch," as we say in English: I first met him in London at a conference in 1990. He and I, along with Slava Chirikba and another Abkhazian, stayed up into the night drinking and, as linguists will sometimes do, we exchanged tongue twisters and laughed until sleep overtook us. He was at that time a member of the Duma, having left his linguistics career for politics.

Within two years he would be President of Abkhazia and face the crisis of war. By strength of will and brilliant leadership he saved the Abkhazian nation from annihilation. He gave his life for his people as surely as if he had died on the battlefield.

He was a true hero. He will never be forgotten. His name will be linked to that of his beloved homeland as long as there are Abkhazians in this world.

When next I eat, I shall offer a toast to his memory. So should we all!

John Colarrusso, Professor, Department of Anthropology, and Department of Linguistics and Languages, McMaster University, Canada

Lord Everberry sent condolences in connection with the first President Vladislav Ardzinba's Death

March 8, 2010

Condolences in connection with the death of First President Vladislav Ardzinba were sent by Lord Everberry (London, Great Britain).

“I was very much grieved by the news about Vladislav Ardzinba's death, and I would like to give my heartfelt condolences to his family”, Lord Everberry’s condolences say. 

''Friends of Abkhazia'' in Estonia condole with the people of Abkhazia in connection with Ardzinba's Death

March 8, 2010

Apsnypress received a telegram of condolences from Estonia signed by Kalmer Saar in connection with the death of the National Hero Vladislav Ardzinba.

“On behalf of all friends of Abkhazia in Estonia accept our most sincere condolences to the Abkhaz nation in connection with the death of First President Vladislav Ardzinba”, the telegram says.

Abkhaz Diaspora Representatives published obituary notices about Ardzinba's death in Turkish Newspapers

March 8, 2010

Representatives of the Abkhaz Diaspora in Turkey (“Friends of Abkhazia”) published condolences in connection with the death of the First President of Abkhazia Vladislav Grigorievich Ardzinba in “The Radikal”:  

“We will never forget the brave son of the Caucasus, the founder and the First President of the Republic of Abkhazia, our leader and the hero. He will always live in our hearts”, the condolence made on behalf of “Friends of Abkhazia” reads.  

The Caucasian Federation (Ankara) and the Caucasian Businessmen Association published the obituary notice about V. G. Ardzinba's death in “The Hurriyet”. 

Chairman of Turkish Republican People's Party Deniz Baykal deeply shaken by Ardzinba's death

March 8, 2010

The Chairman of the Republican People’s Party of Turkey Deniz Baykal is deeply shaken by the news about the death of the First President of Abkhazia, the National Hero Vladislav Ardzinba, says the telegram Baykal sent the President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh.

According to Baykal, “Vladislav Ardzinba will forever remains in the people’s memory, he has a special place on the pages of Abkhaz history forever”.

“I grieve together with you. I ask you to give my deepest condolences to Vladislav Ardzinba's family”, the Chairman of the Republican People’s Party of Turkey Deniz Baykal’s telegram says.

Irfan Argun sent condolences in connection with Ardzimba's death

March 8, 2010

The head of the Istanbul Committee of Solidarity with Abkhazia Irfan Argun sent the President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh a telegram of condolences in connection with the death of the First President, the Hero of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba.

“All of us were shaken by this terrible news about the death of a great son of the Abkhaz nation Vladislav Ardzinba who had loved the country and the people dearly”, the telegram reads.

According to Irfan Argun, there are no words to describe the grief the Abkhaz and the entire Caucasus Diaspora living in the Turkish Republic feels in connection with Ardzinba’s death.

“All of us, sharing the grief which has befallen our historical Motherland, hope at the same time that Abkhazia will continue the way begun by Vladislav Ardzinba”, the telegram says.

Irfan Argun expressed the deepest condolences to Vladislav Ardzinba's family and the entire Abkhaz nation.

Western European Countries' Abkhaz-Abazin Diaspora Expresses deep condolences to Abkhaz people, Ardzinba's family

March 5, 2010

The Abkhaz-Abazin Diaspora of Western European countries expresses deep condolences to the people of Abkhazia, Vladislav Grigorevich Ardzinba's family in connection with his sudden death.

“It is an irreplaceable loss for each representative of our nation, for all those whom our history is dear to. The personality of the First President of Abkhazia - a leader, a fighter for independence, a great politician, a well-known scientist - is an example of ardent patriotism and selfless service to the people”, the Abkhaz-Abazin Diaspora of  Western European counties' condolences read.

Kabardino-Balkaria's head expressed condolences in connection with the first President of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba's death

March 5, 2010

The head of Kabardino-Balkaria Arsen Kanokov sent a telegram with the words of condolence  to the President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh in connection with the death of the first President of the Republic of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba.

"A true son of the Abkhaz nation, a prominent statesman and politician who has contributed invaluably into achievement of state independence by the Republic of Abkhazia, into strengthening of friendship and brotherhood between our nations has died“, the telegram says. Kanokov expressed "sincere condolences in connection with this bereavement" on behalf of the Parliament and the Government, all people of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, from himself personally. "I ask you to give our condolences to the family of the dead", the telegram also reads.

Transdiestria's President expressed condolences to Sergey Bagapsh in connection with the first President Vladislav Ardzinba's death

March 5, 2010

The leader of Transdniestria Igor Smirnov expressed condolences to the head of the Abkhaz state Sergey Bagapsh in connection with the death of the first President of the republic Vladislav Ardzinba who died in Moscow aged 64, the press-service for the Transdniestria's  leader said Thursday.

"Pridnestrovians sympathise and empathize with the grief which has befallen the entire Abkhaz nation, Vladislav Grigorevich's family", Smirnov's telegram says.

The leader of Transdniestria believes that "formation and development of the statehood of the Republic of Abkhazia will be always related to Vladislav Grigorevich Ardzinba's name".

NKR President expressed condolences to Sergei Bagapsh

March 5, 2010

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan sent a condolence letter to his Abkhazian counterpart Sergei Bagapsh for death of country’s first president Vladislav Ardzinba.

“Abkhazia and its people suffered a great loss with the death of the first Abkhazian President Vladislav Ardzinba.

Ardzinba was one of the originators of the national-liberation movement of Abkhazia and headed the republic at a most crucial period of its history. Under his governance, Abkhazia overcame all the hardships with dignity, embarked firmly on the path of further strengthening of its statehood.

Ardzinba is widely known far beyond Abkhazia. He enjoyed deep respect and warm feeling in Artsakh.

On the behalf of the people and the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic I express my condolences and support to You and to the fraternal people of Abkhazia in connection with this irretrievable loss,” reads the letter, Central Information Department at NKR President Office informed.

Dimitry Medvedev Expressed condolences to President Sergey Bagapsh and the people of Abkhazia in connection with Vladislav Ardzinba's passing

March 4, 2010

Today Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed condolences in connection with the passing of the First President of the Republic of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba.

D. Medvedev had a telephone conversation with the President of Abkhazia S. Bagapsh. He pointed out that today is marked by the mourning news of Vladislav Grigorievich’s passing.

Russian President expressed sincere and heartfelt condolences to Sergey Bagapsh and the people of Abkhazia.

'Condolences on the death of Vladislav Ardzinba, First President of Abkhazia' - Luba Mohydeen I. Quandour

March 4, 2010

Today, Luba and I heard of the loss of Vladislav Ardzinba in Moscow. The nation of Abkhazia and the entire Caucasian peoples lost a great son today. He was a scholar, a wise politician and a remarkable human being. His research work enriched the Adyghe/Abkhazian history through fundemental discoveries and imposed it into world history. His uncompromising love and great dedication to his nation is enshrined in Adyhge/Abkhazian history. His name will forever remain in the memory of our nation as a true son.

We lament in common with all Abkhazians and we want to express our heartfelt condolences to his wife, his daughter and to all members of his family.

Vladislav Ardzinba, First Abkhazia President Passes Away - UNPO

March 4, 2010

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.

Condolences on the death of Vladislav Ardzinba, First President of Abkhazia - Zaira and George Hewitt (UK)

March 4, 2010 

It was with a great sense of loss that Zaira and I learnt today of the sad, if not altogether unexpected, death of Vladislav Ardzinba in Moscow at the age of 64.

Vladislav Ardzinba holds a unique place in the history of Abkhazia. Having come to prominence in his homeland as an academic (specialising in Hittite), he took over from Prof. Georgij Dzidzarija as Director of the Research Institute. Quickly he found himself involved in politics when elected to Mikhail Gorbachëv's new Palace of People's Deputies, where he achieved national prominence across the entire Soviet Union for his eloquent articulation of the problems facing that vast state's ethnic minorities and their hopes for the future. He was naturally most concerned to achieve justice for his own Abkhazian nation, and in the turbulent days when the USSR was heading for disintegration and an ugly chauvinism was on the rise in Georgia,this speedily put Abkhazia on a collision-course with Tbilisi. When Vladislav assumed the chairmanship of the Supreme Soviet, he became the focus of verbal attacks from Georgian nationalists, attacks which continued to the day of his death, when in some early obituary-announcements it was libellously stated that he 'orchestrated a massive ethnic cleansing campaign'.

It fell to Vladislav to lead the defence of Abkhazia when it was treacherously invaded by the troops of Georgia's State Council under the chairmanship of Eduard Shevardnadze on that day of infamy, the 14 August 1992. After 14 tragic months, Abkhazia was finally liberated on 30 September 1993. And under Vladislav's leadership, then still based in its wartime home of Gudauta, a leaflet was prepared for distibution in the areas that had been under Georgian occupation during the war urging Abkhazians there to show magnanimity and not to engage in acts of vengeance against either Georgian soldiers laying down their arms or members of the civilian population. But the Caucasus is the Caucasus, and in those days of panic and rumour the majority of the local Mingrelians, Georgians and Svans elected to leave south-eastern Abkhazia before the arrival of the victors. Abkhazia then found itself subjected to years of embargo, as the world tried to punish it for having had the audacity to defeat Shevardnadze's Georgia. And it was Vladislav's destiny to steer a difficult course during those years of pressure in order to prevent the restarting of hostilities with Georgia, to avoid making concessions in the internationally sponsored negotiating process that would be unacceptable to the Abkhazian people, and to avoid causing excessive annoyance to Moscow, which most commentators now conveniently forget was by no means well-disposed to Abkhazian aspirations under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin and Shevardnadze's protegé as Russian Foreign Minister Andrej Kozyrev; the same was true under Kozyrev's successor, Tbilisi-reared Evgenij Primakov, who had once been Vladislav's superior in the days when they both worked at Moscow's Oriental Institute. In 1994 Vladislav supervised the promulgation of a new Constitution for Abkhazia and became its first president. Read more...

A politician from the category of “inconvenient” - Alexander Krylov

March 4, 2010

This morning it was announced that VG Ardzinba died in Moscow on 65 th year of life in the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow.

V. Ardzinba worked at the Institute of Oriental Studies, USSR Academy of Sciences, for many years. He was an excellent scholar, a specialist in the Hatti (the oldest population in Minor Asia), whose language he argued to be common with the Abkhaz-Adyghe language-family. He wrote an excellent monograph, “The rituals and myths of ancient Anatolia”, which later was defended as his doctoral dissertation.

V. Ardzinba was never a careerist. In Soviet times, he was occupied with cuneiform and proto-Hittite — hardly the choice of a careerist. Vladislav Grigoryevich was man of science, but fate literally pushed him into politics. And that he turned out to be worthy of his historical role was a hugely fortunate for the Abkhazians. V. Ardzinba was a politician from God, the leader of the nation at its most tragic of times.

He was not a typical politician – too soft and intelligent, but in a critical situation for the sake of national interests capable of the most decisive measures.

He was also a politician from the “inconvenient” category. In 1994 he did not conceal his negative attitude towards Russia’s policy in Chechnya, considering the beginning of the first Chechen war a monumental mistake, and he offered the Kremlin to mediate in deciding the problem by entirely different means. But in those years of Yeltsin’s leadership such disagreement was not deemed to be acceptable. The Kremlin was so angry that Yeltsin gave the order to block the border of Abkhazia, and the blockade lasted for several years. Today, the correctness of V. G. Ardzinba’s stance is obvious to all.

The circumstances of his illness are still not clear. In 1997, he flew to Tbilisi for negotiations; I saw him in Pitsunda immediately thereafter and, remembering how in 1936 at the home of Beria the Abkhaz leader, Nestor Lakoba, was poisoned, made the wholly bad joke : “Vladislav, I hope you didn’t eat anything there, did you?” In response, Ardzinba could only shrug it off with a joyless sigh.

Shortly after his visit to Tbilisi, he started having problems with his health. It is this that gives grounds for the suspicion that he was poisoned. By the way, the head of his body-guard, who also travelled to Tbilisi, suddenly died soon after this trip. Read more...




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