Abkhazia and Georgia on the Verge of Independence (1917 - 1921), by Cem Kumuk

Delegates of the second congress of the union of the Mountaineers of the North Caucasus and Dagestan (1917)

Delegates of the second congress of the union of the Mountaineers of the North Caucasus and Dagestan (1917).

Cem Kumuk
Independent Researcher and Author on the history of the Caucasus. Turkey.


Abkhazia and Georgia have confronted each other in every period when the cards were shuffled in the history of the Caucasus. One of these challenges came at a time when the Romanov dynasty in Russia was ending and the independence-hopes of the peoples of imperial Russia were blooming.  Including many Georgian intellectuals and politicians, large Caucasian masses idealised a Great Caucasian Confederation as the only solution to save the Caucasus from Russian imperialism. However, the chauvinistic Georgians, who could not understand that they could not be free until the whole Caucasus was liberated, again played a facilitating role in Russia's domination of the Caucasus. We witnessed a similar scene when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was disintegrating in 1991. The events that this article reveals and which took place between the years 1918-1921 will sound extremely familiar to those who have witnessed what has happened since 1991 in Abkhazia, because the path followed by the chauvinist Georgian policies in the period after 1991 was not very different from the path followed in the period of 1918-1921. The article aims to draw the attention of the reader to the exemplary resemblance between what happened during the period of the existence of an opportunity for independence when the Russian monarchy collapsed and the experiences of the recent past and the present. Those who have witnessed the last thirty years will understand the striking similarity between the period on which the article focuses and what is happening today, and how historical scholarship sheds light on our future.

Keywords;  Abkhazia, the Abaza, the Republic of the North Caucasian Mountaineers Union, the Caucasian Confederation, Georgia, Menshevik Georgians, Bolshevism, the Russian Revolution

The full article in PDF can be downloaded by clicking here (676 KB)

First published on Abkhazia.co.uk




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