Putina s Support of Abkhaziaa s Independence Increases Tensions...

Vladimir Putin's promise to defend the Abkhazia region has reignited tensions with Georgia, stoking fears of another armed conflict. Full Story
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Adam

New York, NY

#1 Aug 13, 2009
This is clearly an excuse Russia is using to invade Georgia. Again. I'm pretty sure Putin doesn't actually stay up at night worrying about those poor oppressed Abkhazians.
Ariel

Saint Petersburg, Russia

#2 Aug 13, 2009
Everybody knows that it was Georgia who started the war with shelling the sleeping city of Tshinwal at night and killing Russian peacekeepers stationed there by OSCE (EU) and with Georgian (!) consent. I am surprised that this artickles says that Russian troops invaded Georgia - it contadicts even the version of Western press which accused Russia in overreacting, but not in starting the war.
Janet

Portland, OR

#3 Aug 13, 2009
Putin is one scary dude. He seems like an egomaniac on a power trip.
Anita

New York, NY

#4 Aug 14, 2009
Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that only Russia and Nicaragua (?) are recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states? Everyone else cleary believes Georgia is the one being wronged here - Russia is such a bully
Ariel

Moscow, Russia

#5 Aug 14, 2009
Strange comment by Anita - the republic of North Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey ALONE (no even Nicaragua accompany Turks on that)- and what? Turkey is happily a member of NATO and the republic of Northern Cyprus happily exists since 1974 (35-th aniversary will be celebrating this year)...So what's the point of your post?....And then - Russia is bully, but USA is what?- mega-bully?...Write here facts, not namecalling or you are teens who write foreletter words on the walls of public toilets?
Big Joe

Cambridge, Canada

#6 Aug 14, 2009
Prior to the 1992-1993 War, ethnic Georgians made up almost half of Abkhazia's population, while the Abkhaz accounted for less than 20%. However, by 1993, most Georgians and Armenians had fled Abkhazia following a war and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia. As a result, the population of Abkhazia dropped abruptly from more than 500,000 at the time of the 1989 census to approximately 200,000 in 1994-1995.
Russia supported the ethnic cleansing.
Ariel

Moscow, Russia

#7 Aug 14, 2009
Big Joe, but why don't you mention that in 1918-1920 when Abhazia was invaded by Georgian menshevic forces (before Red Army occupied both Georgia and Abhazia)Abhazians were 80% of Abhazia population - then (after Red Army came ) Stalin (who was georgian) gave Abhazia (which have NEVER been part of Georgia) to Georgia as autonomy and as a result of Georgian politics it became as you mentioned. I think half-truth is the same as lies...Then, why don't you mention such an interesting fact that of those 300 000 who fled Abhazia nearly 90% fled to Russia, not to Georgia? Or at least, even if they initially fled to Georgia, they finally (by now) settled in Russia...According to newsletter of Georgian embassy in Moscow of 2006 (embassy is closed now) so according to newsletter of 2006 by 2006 number of ethnic Georgians permanently settled in Russia reached the number of 1 mln.(1 000 000) which is 20% of population of Georgia.- of those 700 000 migrated to Russia since 1991 (the date of Georgian independance). Have you ever asked yourself why is that? So, do not lie about Russia's support for ethnic cleansing...
Anita

New York, NY

#8 Aug 14, 2009
Ariel wrote:
Strange comment by Anita - the republic of North Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey ALONE (no even Nicaragua accompany Turks on that)- and what? Turkey is happily a member of NATO and the republic of Northern Cyprus happily exists since 1974 (35-th aniversary will be celebrating this year)...So what's the point of your post?....And then - Russia is bully, but USA is what?- mega-bully?...Write here facts, not namecalling or you are teens who write foreletter words on the walls of public toilets?
My point, Ariel, is that Russia has no business messing with Georgia over a piece of territory that is rightfully theirs. Whatever rebellion goes on in the region should be handled by Georgia alone - clearly Russia has other motives for the intervention. I see that you are from Russia - I meant no offence, just expressing an opinion.

Also, I will assume you mean "four-letter" words. And no, I'm not a teenager.
Ariel

Moscow, Russia

#9 Aug 14, 2009
Thank you, Anita, for reply. I disagree with your point partly - this territory is not Georgian,- it belongs to Ossetians. Historically Ossetians came to there land in 18 century when Georgia didn't exist as a unified state and those territories didn't belong to those principalities which existed in the region - more to that those principalities were themselves subjugated in turns by Persia and Ottoman Empire. Local feudals being afraid to become a part of Muslim state applied to Russia to be incorporated into Russian Empire (so called Georgievsky Traktat - a document which includes their application and the treety of incorporation - it was in 1801). Georgian nobility were given titles of princes and became part of Russian elite, no any piece of land was taken from Georgian owner - instead they even aquired some lands in Russia proper, they never revolted and helped Russia to sujugate their neighbour Chechnya (which was annexed forcefully in contrast to Georgia). So S.Ossetia, Abhazia and those parts which are now Georgia proper (Imeretia, Kahetia, Swanetia, Megrelia)- were all a territory of Russian Empire without national borders - Russian Empire was not federal, but unitarian state. Then after collapse of Empire in 1917 - all the nations decided to seek independance or alliances. In 1918-1920 nationalist (so-called "mensheviks") government of Georgia invaded Abhazia and S.Ossetia - that was the first Georgian attempt to grab this territories. In 1920 bolsheviks (Red Army) invaded all 3 countries and occupied them...There was no Georgia, no Ossetia, no Abhazia, no Armenia, no Azerbaidjan - they forced all those countries in so called "Zakavkazskaya Sovetskaya Respublica" (it is Russian for Transcaucosian Soviet Republic). Then Stalin became the head of State (after Lenin died) and decided to split this "republic" - So there appeared Armenia, Azerbaidjan and......Georgia!- because Stalin was Georgian he simply decided to give S.Ossetia and Abhazia to his native Georgia as autonomies!!!!!- a little present to motherland so to say!!!!!!!No Abhazians no Ossetians are NOT georgians ethnically, never have they been parts of Georgia (Abhazian kingdom is actually more ancient then Georgia), nor do they speak Georgian - their languages are totally different! Then ethnic cleansing started -(look at Big Joe figures and my reply to him)...Then in 1992 after Ussr collapse those nations decided to vote for independance - the same as Georgia got independence - and again like in 1918 Georgians started the war. European Union stationed Russian peacekeepers to this regions (with Georgia's consent) and for 16 years those peacekeepers were able to maintain peace (although there were sporadic conflicts).Russia's position was that those territories were Georgian...up th the moment Saakashvilli undertook his murderous attack on Tshinwal killing 14 peacekepers and hundreds of civilians...In this situation Russia had no choice but to moove tanks...it became clear that no consiliation would be possible after such a Georgian stunt and Russia recognised independance of S.Ossetia and Abhazia.
Ariel

Moscow, Russia

#10 Aug 14, 2009
correction - territory of S.Ossetia belongs to S.Ossetians and Abhazia to Abhazians - the artickle about Abhazia but I write more about Ossetia, so, please don't misunderstand my first sentance.
Big Joe

Cambridge, Canada

#11 Aug 15, 2009
Ariel wrote:
Big Joe, but why don't you mention that in 1918-1920 when Abhazia was invaded by Georgian menshevic forces (before Red Army occupied both Georgia and Abhazia)Abhazians were 80% of Abhazia population - then (after Red Army came ) Stalin (who was georgian) gave Abhazia (which have NEVER been part of Georgia) to Georgia as autonomy and as a result of Georgian politics it became as you mentioned. I think half-truth is the same as lies...Then, why don't you mention such an interesting fact that of those 300 000 who fled Abhazia nearly 90% fled to Russia, not to Georgia? Or at least, even if they initially fled to Georgia, they finally (by now) settled in Russia...According to newsletter of Georgian embassy in Moscow of 2006 (embassy is closed now) so according to newsletter of 2006 by 2006 number of ethnic Georgians permanently settled in Russia reached the number of 1 mln.(1 000 000) which is 20% of population of Georgia.- of those 700 000 migrated to Russia since 1991 (the date of Georgian independance). Have you ever asked yourself why is that? So, do not lie about Russia's support for ethnic cleansing...
n 1918 21.4 percent of the Abkhazian population were ethnic Abkhazians, while nearly double that, 42 percent were ethnically Georgian.
You speak falsehoods.
Russia supported the cleansing.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/...
Ariel

Moscow, Russia

#12 Aug 15, 2009
You speak falsehoods (albeit it is not your guilt, but your sourses)- Georgians registered megrels as Georgians to get numbers -google for history of Abhazia in wikipedia - it is absolutelly clear that Abhazians had their own statehood from ancient times - what exactly you want to prove?- that there have never been Abhazian kingdom? Or that those were not Stalinists, but Romanovs (Tsars) who facilitated for georgian influx into Abhazia?- if you want I can agree (too lasy I am to find out to each extend megrels could be considered georgians)- but what will it change in the fact that Abhazians were indiginous but Georgians invaders?

“Lost college graduate”

Since: Jun 09

Portland

#13 Aug 15, 2009
I think Anita's source is Reuters. Gleb Bryanski writes, "The rest of the world -- apart from Nicaragua -- still views Abkhazia and South Ossetia as part of Georgia."

Just saying.

Ariel, where do you get your news from? You clearly have a masterful understanding of eastern European history. I was wondering if you were keen to any news source.
Big Joe

Cambridge, Canada

#14 Aug 15, 2009
Ariel wrote:
You speak falsehoods (albeit it is not your guilt, but your sourses)- Georgians registered megrels as Georgians to get numbers -google for history of Abhazia in wikipedia - it is absolutelly clear that Abhazians had their own statehood from ancient times - what exactly you want to prove?- that there have never been Abhazian kingdom? Or that those were not Stalinists, but Romanovs (Tsars) who facilitated for georgian influx into Abhazia?- if you want I can agree (too lasy I am to find out to each extend megrels could be considered georgians)- but what will it change in the fact that Abhazians were indiginous but Georgians invaders?
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia was very real.
The Sukhumi massacre is well known.
200,000 + Georgians fled for there very lives.
Russia supported the cleansing it's in the history books just not in the Russian ones.
Either the OSCE are liars or you are i'll go with the OSCE.
Ariel

Saint Petersburg, Russia

#15 Aug 16, 2009
Big Joe,

First - what do you or OSCE mean by Russia? It is well known that Shamil Basaev (Chechen warlord, who later became vice-premire of separatist Chechen Government and was eventually responsible for starting Second Chechen War with invading Dagestan - he was killed by Russian special forcs in this Second Chechen war))so this Shamil Basaev was fighting with his men (hundreeds if not thousands) on Abhazia's side against Georgia (as you know Abhazians are of mixes religious heritage -half of them Christian, half muslim -so it was for him (Basaev) the start of his jihad (2 years before Chechnya islamist revolt)and those days against Christian Georgia (he wanted to establish all-Caucausian Halifat including Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Abhazia, Kabardino-Balcaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Adigeya). At the moment (1992) he was naturally Russian citisen (since Chechnya have not yet declared separation) but NOT was he controlled by anybody in Russia...- and events in Chechnya within a year showed it better then anything.At the same time I would not be surprised if there will appear that some personalities in Kremlin (like now fugitive Berezovsky who was deputy chairman of Russsia's security council (with special interest in Caucausian politics) may try to interfere there - now he is in exile in Great Britain and is wanted by Russian prosecuters, but UK refuse to extradict him).So by saying Russia - what do they mean in OSCE? Its like if some local thug somewhere in governor's office in Vladivostok is caught for bribery - they'd write "one more prove that Russian authorities are corrupted" - truth?-yes, but which authorities?- they would not mention and as a result Western readers think that it is about Putin himself. I think the same is here. Otherwise how would you explain that majority of those ethnik georgians who escaped from Abhazia settled finally in Russia, not in Georgia!- even the girl -pop-star Diana Gurtskaya who is one of those ethnic georgians from Abhazia and represented Georgia on Eurovision song contest in 2007(a major event on TV in Europe if you are american and not aware)so she lives in Moscow and enjoy Russian citizenship - there were many interviews about that and about this expat community of georgians from Abhazia who live in Russia now, but not in Georgia....So, I can't agree with you - you should dig deeper then report of OSCE - what do they mean by Russia?-Yeltsin?...Basaev?...B erezovsky?...Russian People?...communists?...new democrats in power those times (1992) sponsored by USA?...Local russians in Abhazia afraid to be abandoned by Russia in newly independent Georgia?...Russian mafia structures?....KGB, which was already planing the next year (1993) attempt to oust Yeltsin which resulted in shelling Parlament in Moscow and new Constitution of 1993?- you see, everything is not that easy just to say "RUSSIA" if you are talking 1992....Now it would be easier because now the political line is defined we know by whom and the people support him as polls show...Be well, my friend, and be more lenient to Russia - we are not monsters here, sometimes those who look like little freedom-loving nations are real monsters towards those who are less numerous then they......

cutglassnews,
you question is strange- all this is happening in my country - it is here everywhere in news and on people's mouth - there is a georgian restoran in the neighbouthood of my house and there are 2 kids of its owners go to one school with my daughter!...I think you also know about Oregon more then I do, right?
Big Joe

Cambridge, Canada

#16 Aug 16, 2009
Ariel
240,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) found refuge in the region bordering Abkhazia and in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
Close to 95 per cent of IDPs originate from Abkhazia.
Many of them still live in precarious conditions in former hotels and state buildings, and depend on meagre state benefits.
During a visit to Georgia in December 2005, the UN Secretary-Generalís Representative on the Human Rights of IDPs declared that he was shocked by the misery in which thousands of IDPs were still living.
The High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), verified the number of IDPs currently living in territories under Georgian control.
Here's the link
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4517aec44...
Big Joe

Cambridge, Canada

#17 Aug 16, 2009
The 1992-1993 Abkhazia War

On September 3, 1992, a ceasefire was negotiated in Moscow.
According to the agreement, Georgian forces were obliged to withdraw from Gagra district. The Georgian side carried out the implementation of the agreement and left its positions. As a result the local population of Gagra remained defenceless. The ceasefire was soon violated by the Abkhaz side. Thousands of volunteer paramilitaries, mainly Chechens and Cossacks from the militarized Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus (CMPC) joined the Abkhaz military to fight the Georgian government. Abkhaz and CMPC forces attacked the town of Gagra on October 2. Abkhaz, Russian and CMPC joint troops attacked Gagra by overwhelming numbers of tanks and air support. The Russian navy began to blockade the seaport near Gagra. The military vessels: "SKP-Bezukoriznenniy ", "KIL-25", "BTH-38", "BM-66", "Golovin", "Landing 345", "Aviation 529" ("SU-25", "SU-27"), "MI- and Anti-Aircraft 643" regiments were commanded by the first deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, G. Kolesnikov, took part in the occupation of Gagra. The Russian tanker "Don" delivered 420 tons of fuel to Separatist-held Gudauta.
With the Abkhaz conquest of Gagra, many Georgians were killed and a majority was forcefully expelled from the town.Abkhaz forces, largely supported by the Russian military presence in the region, were now in control over Gagra, Gudauta (where a former Russian military base remains) and Tkvarcheli and rapidly approaching Sukhumi.
Russian,Abkhaz,Armenian Bagramyan battalion and Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus then captured Eshera, Gulripsh, Kamani Shroma and finally Sukhumi.
Here's the link
Russian support for Abkhaz forces in Abkhazia War is clear.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Abkhazia_ (1992%E2%80%931993)
Ariel

Saint Petersburg, Russia

#18 Aug 16, 2009
Big Joe - here is from your link:-"On August 25, Giorgi Karkarashvili, the Georgian military commander, announced via television, that the Georgian forces would not take any POWs. He promised, that no harm would be done to peaceful residents of Abkhazia and that peace talks would be conducted. He warned separatists, that if the peace talks wouldn't succeed and if 100,000 Georgians were killed, that the remaining 97,000 ethnic Abkhaz, who supported Ardzinba would perish.[10] Karkarashvili later allegedly threatened the Abkhaz politician, Vladislav Ardzinba, not to take any actions, that would leave the Abkhaz nation without descendants and thus placed the responsibility for future deaths on Ardzinba personally.[10] Later, his speech was used by the separatists as propaganda and to justify their own actions.[11]
Significant ethnic cleansing accompanied by atrocities occurred on both sides[12] with Abkhazians displaced from Georgian-held territory and vice-versa.
Many human rights abuses, principally looting, pillage and other outlaw acts, along with hostage-taking and other violations of humanitarian law, were committed by all sides throughout Abkhazia. Both sides engaged in high levels of criminality.[9] After taking Sukhumi the Georgian forces (including Mkhedrioni) engaged in "vicious, ethnically based pillage, looting, assault and murder."[9] In addition to the looting, Abkhaz cultural monuments were destroyed in a manner that, according to some reports, suggests deliberate targeting. University buildings were sacked and museum and other cultural collections broken up. The irreplaceable Abkhaz national archives were burned by Georgian forces, reportedly, local firefighters didn't attempt to douse the blaze.[9]
At the end of this stage of the conflict Georgian troops controlled most of Abkhazia. Pockets of Abkhaz forces were besieged in parts of Ochamchira district and Tkvarcheli, while in Gudauta they were pinched between Georgian troops in Gagra and Sukhumi." and then -"On September 3, 1992, a ceasefire was negotiated in Moscow. According to the agreement, Georgian forces were obliged to withdraw from Gagra district. The Georgian side carried out the implementation of the agreement and left its positions. As a result the local population of Gagra remained defenceless. The ceasefire was soon violated by the Abkhaz side. Thousands of volunteer paramilitaries, mainly Chechens and Cossacks from the militarized Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus (CMPC) joined the Abkhaz military to fight the Georgian government. Abkhaz and CMPC forces attacked the town of Gagra on October 2. Abkhaz, Russian and CMPC joint troops attacked Gagra by overwhelming numbers of tanks and air support. The Russian navy began to blockade the seaport near Gagra. The military vessels: "SKP-Bezukoriznenniy ", "KIL-25", "BTH-38", "BM-66", "Golovin", "Landing 345", "Aviation 529" ("SU-25", "SU-27"), "MI- and Anti-Aircraft 643" regiments were commanded by the first deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, G. Kolesnikov, took part in the occupation of Gagra. The Russian tanker "Don" delivered 420 tons of fuel to Separatist-held Gudauta.
With the Abkhaz conquest of Gagra, many Georgians were killed and a majority was forcefully expelled from the town.[9][12] Abkhaz forces, largely supported by the Russian military presence in the region, were now in control over Gagra, Gudauta (where a former Russian military base remains) and Tkvarcheli and rapidly approaching Sukhumi."
Ariel

Saint Petersburg, Russia

#19 Aug 16, 2009
So if Georgians troops left Gagra according to agreement in Moscow - WHOM WERE RUSSIANS AND OTHERS ATTACKING?.....Very easy answer - allthough governmental Georgian troops left, so called georgian "Mhedrioni" paramilitants came (in an attempt to go round agreements)- those "Mhedrioni" were the strongest non-government force in Georgia (mhedrioni means horsemen in georgian), they oppenly challenged Georgian Government and later were disarmed by Shevardnadze which nearly led to coup... So it was those Mhedrioni whom Russians were fighting trying to enforce agreements of Georgian, Abhazian and Russian (as guarants according to agreement) governments - so it was perfectly within the agrement and international law. As for those Chechens, armenians and others - they were there on their own and beyond official agreements between governments - there was also one more task of Russian forces (in addition to fight Mhedrioni)- to protect local population, which AS WE NOW KNOW they failed to do - but never did they do ethnic cleansing - it is not easy to protect 200 000 from garillar Mhedrioni forces especially people scattered all over the vast territory (especially that there were just several hundreed Russians and many on ships)...I understand your desire to blame Russia - there are some things worthy to blame in Russia, but not this one. Russia didn't support ethnik cleansing and it acted according to agreement with Georgia to implement it against Mhedrioni (who challenged Georgian governmental decigion at that moment). Be well...
Ariel

Saint Petersburg, Russia

#20 Aug 16, 2009
Now about your sousce on refugees (from your link)- read it carefully in chronological order, that is from below up:
"SOME 220,000 - 240,000 REMAINED DISPLACED IN GEORGIA AS OF 2006 39
CLOSE TO 240,000 CONTINUED TO BE DISPLACED IN GEORGIA AS OF END OF 2004 39
TOTAL INTERNALLY DISPLACED POPULATION: 260,000 PERSONS AS OF SEPTEMBER 2003"

Your data (which is official UN data) exactly show that only within 3 years number of refugees dropped from 260 000 to 220 000. 40 000 ethnic Georgians from Abhazia disappeared from Georgia within 3 years. Where?- to Russia! It was in 2006. If you'll go there and estimate there numbers today - you'll realise that MAJORITY of those refuges are now settled in Russia, not in Georgia.(I am not saying ALL of them - I am saying - MAJORITY, right?) Thank you for discussion, I must go now...

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