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Abkhazia in the Georgian-Russian war 2008
SiD Wrote:Are georgians ewer admitted in this forum any guilt for anything?
They are right in everything and if there are any problems they have it is becouse of russians. Reminds something?
Idea of any nazi, all the problems are becouse of ..... (put nationality). Of course it is easier than to admitt mistakes.

SiD, before even pronouncing a word "nazi", take a look at it, please:

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afterwards, I can bring up exapmles of Georgians in Gori saving an Ossetian Woman from Russian bombardings.

human rights watch confrimed ethnic celansing of Georgians in South Ossetia. Now, what are Russians going to do? Punish Ossetians? I dont think you have found yet 1500-2000 civilians mass-murered by GEorgians?

I know, the answer will be : "yes, but American still haven't found WMD in Iraq".
"Europe should switch to nuclear and use the old gas pipes as sewers. The destination should be the Kremlin." @ a reader at
EU1 Wrote:by the way i tried to read one georgian historian, sorry but it wrote a bullshit, it just a georgian propaganda that we can see everywhe including this forum,

history is my favourite suject. I speak English and can read all articles, including our ancient manuscripts, etc.

If you want to discuss history of Abkhazia, let's do it, here.

Quote:I also read abkhasian historians, they prove just another point of view, they lived at the territory before georgians.

Example of an Abkhazian historian please! are there any historians before Russian Empire? Any coins minted with Abkhaz letters? Any Books, scholars written in abkhaz language? Any Churches in Abkhazia that depict Abkhaz letters?

Like i said, I am happy and open to discussions. Please join me!

Quote:I am sure that, say, in 10 years georgian historians will write that russia attacked S Ossetia killed civilians and Georgia just defended, they will forget those 1500 civilians killed by georgian army, that it made genoside in ossetia....
10 years? 10 days passed, and human rights watch already confirmed Georgians are victims of ethnic cleansing. And 22 days passed, and you cannot prove to anyone there are 1500 (where's other 500?) civilians killed. YOU hAVE ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF!

If you were proper state, you would apologise and backoff.

Before you mention Bush and Iraq, remember US never dismmbered any country to snatch a piece of land.
"Europe should switch to nuclear and use the old gas pipes as sewers. The destination should be the Kremlin." @ a reader at
ARTICLES ABOUT ABKHAZIA / The Georgian-Abkhazian conflict /
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I. Introduction

The Abkhaz have long populated the western Caucasus. They currently number about 100 000 people, speak one of the languages of the Abkhazo-Adygeyan (west Caucasian) language group, and live in the coastal areas on the southern slopes of the Caucasian ridge and along the Black Sea coast. Together with closely related peoples of the western Caucasus (for example, the Abazins, Adygeyans and Kabardians (or Circassians)) they play an important role in the Caucasian ethno-cultural community and consider themselves an integral part of its future. At the same time, the people living in coastal areas on the southern slopes of the Caucasian ridge have achieved broader communication with Asia Minor and the Mediterranean civilizations than any other people of the Caucasus. The geographical position of Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast has made its people a major factor in the historical process of the western Caucasus, acting as an economic and cultural bridge with the outside world.

Georgians and Abkhaz have been neighbours from time immemorial. The Georgians currently number about 4 million people. The process of national consolidation of the Georgian nation is still far from complete: it includes some 20 subgroups, and the Megrelians (sometimes called Mingrelians) and Svans who live in western Georgia are so different in language and culture from other Georgians that it would be more correct to consider them as separate peoples. Some scholars, Hewitt, for example,1 suggest calling the Georgian nation not &acute;Georgians&acute; but by their own name, Kartvelians, which includes the Georgians, Megrelians and Svans.2 To call all the different Kartvelian groups &acute;Georgians&acute; obscures the true ethnic situation. Increasingly, scholars prefer to distinguish between Georgians, Megrelians and Svans, the Georgians being the population of eastern Georgia.3

Historically, Georgian-Abkhaz interaction has alternated between close cooperation and bitter fighting. The beginning of the current Georgian-Abkhaz conflict can be traced back to the 1870s when, after the end of the Caucasian war, there was a mass resettlement of Abkhaz to Turkey (the Mahajeers). As a result the Abkhaz territory along the Black Sea-divided into two parts, the north-west (Bzibean) and the south-east (Abjuan)-has since been populated by various nationalities, including Armenians, Greeks, Megrelians and Russians, thus giving modern Abkhazia its multi-ethnic character.

The Georgian nationalist movement that emerged in the 19th century defined the &acute;primordial Georgian territory&acute; as being that which lay within the borders of the medieval Georgian empire of the 10th-13th centuries. This ignored the initially multi-ethnic character of the state. The first attempts by the movement to base the development of the Georgian state on these &acute;historical lands&acute; were made after the Russian Empire disintegrated, during the period of the independent Georgian republic (1918-21). In Abkhazia and other ethnic minority areas a policy of assimilation began, with the mass resettlement of Georgians to Abkhazia and the declaration of Georgian as the state language. This policy combined with acts of violence and robberies by the Georgian armies caused many protests among the population of Abkhazia, including some of the local Megrelians.4 The establishment of Soviet rule in Abkhazia in March 1921 was, therefore, welcomed by the people and heralded as the end of national oppression and of the Georgian occupation.

In 1921 Abkhazia received the status of a Soviet Republic allied with Georgia by a special treaty, but its status was downgraded in February 1931 to that of an autonomous republic within Georgia with the aim of facilitating the assimilation of the Abkhaz by Georgians. Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin (a Georgian) regarded the Abkhaz as a primitive people who were to be assimilated by the &acute;culturally advanced&acute; Georgians.5 The period from 1931 to the early 1950s was particularly tragic in the history of Abkhazia. It saw the &acute;Georgianization&acute; of Abkhazia, which for all intents and purposes meant the genocide of its indigenous population and included the physical extermination of the Abkhaz intelligentsia, the expulsion of Abkhaz from the management of all administrative and public organizations and state enterprises, the closure of Abkhaz schools and the forcible enrolment of Abkhaz children into Georgian schools, the prohibition of teaching in the Abkhaz language in high schools, the replacement of Abkhaz names with Georgian ones, restricted social security for persons of Abkhaz ethnicity, unwritten privileges for Georgians, the massive resettlement of Georgians into Abkhazia, the persecution of Abkhaz culture and the falsification of Abkhaz history.6

All through the Soviet period the main goal of the Georgian leadership and of the Georgian nationalist movement as a whole was the creation of a consolidated Georgian nation in the shortest possible time. With Stalin in power, when the influence of the Georgian lobby in the Kremlin was at its greatest, this policy was carried out by repressive methods. Some peoples were deported from Georgia (Greeks, Kurds and Meskhetian Turks). Others, not even related to the Kartvelians, were declared part of the &acute;Georgian tribes&acute; and along with Svans and Megrelians were quickly assimilated.

After Stalin&acute;s death the Georgian lobby in the central Soviet Government remained but was weakened. From the mid-1950s the Georgian republican authorities were forced by the Soviet Government to stop the worst forms of discrimination against the Abkhaz, but the mass resettlement of Georgians to Abkhazia continued. As a result, at the end of the 1980s the share of Abkhaz in the 525 000-strong population of Abkhazia was reduced to 17.8 per cent while the share of the Georgian population reached 45.7 per cent.7 In the mid-1950s, in line with the ideological goals of the resettlement policy, a theory was fabricated declaring the true Abkhaz to be &acute;an ancient cultural Georgian tribe living on the territory of Abkhazia&acute; and describing the modern Abkhaz as descendants of backward highlanders, Apsuaers,8 who ostensibly moved into Abkhazia from the north in the 17th century.9 The thesis of the &acute;resettlement of the Apsuaers&acute; became part of a racist theory asserting a supposed primordial superiority of the &acute;civilized&acute; Georgians over their neighbours-a theory which dominated in Georgian science and public consciousness. Widespread promotion of this theory caused sharp protests from the Abkhaz intelligentsia and aggravated inter-ethnic relations. Tensions between Abkhaz and Georgians became particularly evident in 1957, 1964, 1967 and 1978 when there were mass protest actions by the Abkhaz population and only emergency intervention by the central government prevented further escalation of the conflict.10

At the end of the 1980s, in conditions of a growing crisis of the central government, the contradictions between the Abkhaz and the Georgians assumed much sharper forms. The Georgian nationalist movement raised demands for national independence and the creation of a mono-ethnic Georgian state within its &acute;historical borders&acute;. The Abkhaz actively opposed Georgian separatism. The &acute;Abkhaz letter&acute; of 1988 formulated a demand for the restoration to Abkhazia of the status of Soviet Socialist republic it enjoyed in 1921-31."

In 1989-91 a wave of inter-ethnic conflicts swept through Georgia, behind which Georgian radicals saw the &acute;hand of Moscow&acute;. In fact the growth of inter-ethnic tensions could be attributed to the activists for Georgian independence, who called for policies of &acute;de-Armenianization&acute; and &acute;de-Azerbaijanization&acute;, the abolition of all autonomies, and even a state birth control programme to limit the expansion of the non-Georgian population. In 1990 the ultra-radical (later President) Zviad Gamsakhurdia elevated the idea of a mono-ethnic Georgian state into official policy. The autonomy of South Ossetia was abolished and open persecution of the non-Georgian population began.12

In Abkhazia, following major clashes in 1989 between Abkhaz and Georgians, the conflict was reflected in legislation. Under the slogan of a return to the independent republic of 1918-21, Tbilisi annulled all legal acts of the Soviet period, including those on the allied status of Georgia and Abkhazia (1921) and on the autonomy of Abkhazia within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (1931). In response, in August 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Abkhazia adopted a Declaration of the State Sovereignty of the Abkhazian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. It declared Abkhazia a &acute;sovereign socialist state having all the power of authority on its territory except the rights voluntarily delegated by it to the USSR and Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic by the previous agreements&acute;.13 A &acute;war of laws&acute; followed: all Abkhazian legislation was annulled by the Georgian Government. As a result authority was increasingly paralysed in Abkhazia and Tbilisi rapidly lost control of the situation.

After Gamsakhurdia&acute;s overthrow in January 1992 the situation in Abkhazia deteriorated further . The war which broke out in 1992-93 was the peak of the conflict between Abkhazia and Georgia, characterized by the aspirations of the Abkhaz to secure their national and physical survival and by the desire of the Georgians to achieve national consolidation on the basis of their own ethnos and to create a mono-ethnic Georgian state on a territory with a multinational population and within completely artificial borders.

Originally Georgian propaganda justified the military intervention in Abkhazia by the need to protect the safety of the railways and to free Georgian officials taken hostage by followers of Gamsakhurdia. Realizing the absurdity of these allegations, President Eduard Shevardnadze later laid the blame for starting the war on Tengiz Kitovani, Minister of Defence for Georgia and a member of the Military Council that had overthrown Gamsakhurdia, alleging that Kitovani had ordered the army into Abkhazia without Shevardnadze&acute;s knowledge. Shevardnadze described the Georgian Army&acute;s actions in Abkhazia as intolerable: &acute;I will not even mention the inadmissible methods they used. Tanks, armoured vehicles, removal of the flag from the House of Government as if it were a foreign country . . . Much of what was done then cannot be justified and cannot be regarded as normal&acute;.14

In fact there is no doubt that the Georgian-Abkhazian war was provoked not by the situation in Abkhazia-the situation there was calmer than in neighbouring Megrelia, where numerous armed gangs of &acute;Zviadists&acute;15 were operating-but by the situation in Tbilisi following the overthrow of Gamsakhurdia. It was probably the personal interests of the members of the Military Council (later the State Council of Georgia) that were behind the military campaign in Abkhazia. For each of them: &acute;A victory over Abkhazia could be a new important step in his political career. For Shevardnadze, however, this war could open much broader prospects. For the "new opposition&acute;&acute; he was a former opponent, a stranger; he was still a Russian citizen with a Moscow residence; his strength was the support he received from Moscow, but he could never achieve the admiration among the Georgian people that Gamsakhurdia enjoyed&acute;.16 For Shevardnadze therefore a war in Abkhazia was absolutely necessary: without it, the consolidation of his personal power and defeat of his political opponents were inconceivable. In fact it was the war in Abkhazia that allowed him to put down public discontent in Megrelia,17 to strengthen his own position in Tbilisi, and to dismiss and then arrest those who had overthrown Gamsakhurdia and invited Shevardnadze himself to Georgia (for example, Djaba loseliani and Tengiz Kitovani). Thus the Georgian-Abkhazian war was the price which the population of Georgia paid for Shevardnadze&acute;s return to power.

Shevardnadze probably received approval for a military operation in Abkhazia from Russian President Boris Yeltsin. It was hardly coincidental that one day before fighting broke out Russia transferred tanks, helicopters, artillery pieces and other military equipment to the Georgian armed forces. However, in spite of its overwhelming superiority in arms and numbers over the Abkhaz militia, the Georgian Army failed to achieve a quick victory.

The massive and fierce resistance that the Georgian Army met came as a surprise for the Georgian leaders, but was completely natural: the Abkhaz population regarded the Georgian military intervention as a real threat to its very existence.18 The Abkhazian leadership, relying on the support of the public, also succeeded in quickly creating Abkhazian territorial armed forces. They received fast and effective help from the neighbouring peoples of the North Caucasus as a result of the traditional ethnic solidarity among the Abkhaz-Adygeya peoples. Furthermore, the activities of the Georgian leadership appeared so scandalous and unfair that there was a large influx of volunteers from different parts of the former Soviet Union, including Chechens, Ossetians, Russians and Ukrainians, to fight the Georgian Army. Usually these volunteers formed international brigades but the Cossacks from southern Russia formed their own units.19

Initially the Abkhazian armed forces experienced an acute shortage of arms. There is widespread opinion in the West that they received their arms from the Russian military.20 In the view of the present author, based on numerous interviews with local veterans of the Georgian-Abkhazian war, arms were indeed often purchased from the Russian military but this was the result of private deals, reflecting the progressive disintegration of government authority under Yeltsin, and did not represent a refined Byzantine approach to the conflict on the part of the Russian authorities. Moreover, when the Georgian Army was defeated at Gagra in 1992 the Abkhazian Army seized a large amount of modern military equipment, including tanks, surface-to-air missile systems and artillery pieces, which eased their arms and ammunition shortage.

The Georgian-Abkhazian war lasted over a year and was very bloody and destructive. About 20 000 civilians died in Abkhazia;21 material damage was estimated at $11.5 billion.22 The war resulted in a fundamental change in the ethnic groups in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. Although the attitudes of Georgians, Megrelians and Svans differed,23 the local Georgian population on the whole supported the military action. Other ethnic groups, initially neutral in the conflict, later adopted a pro-Abkhaz position as a result of robberies and other excesses by the Georgian military. Thus, since 1992 the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict has assumed the character of a confrontation between the Georgian state and the local Georgian community, on the one hand, and the rest of the multi-ethnic population of Abkhazia, on the other hand.

II. The post-war situation

After the defeat of the Georgian Army and the flight of part of the local Georgian population from Abkhazia,24 the political position of the Abkhazian leadership solidified. The overwhelming majority of the population consistently supported independence and a strongly pro-Russian orientation. Internal political stability allowed Abkhazia&acute;s leaders to resolve the country&acute;s economic problems in spite of isolation from the outside world.

Abkhazia&acute;s economic achievements were especially evident in comparison with Georgia&acute;s. Its social and economic infrastructure was restored without foreign aid and relied entirely on Abkhazia&acute;s domestic potential. The greatest success was in the production of electric power. While in Georgia over the past eight years the energy crisis has resulted in restrictions on public electricity consumption (to six hours per day, and during the winter months of 2001 only one or two hours per day), in Abkhazia there were no such restrictions and electric power tariffs for ordinary consumers remained the lowest throughout the former Soviet Union. In 1999 Abkhazia harvested about 10 000 tons of tea and 1000 tons of tobacco, while exporting over 20 000 tons of citrus crops, achieving a positive trade balance for the first time since the end of the war.25

After the breakup of the Soviet Union the leaders of Abkhazia considered reunion with Russia a priority task. An appeal of the Supreme Soviet of Abkhazia to the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation dated 23 March 1993 asked it to &acute;return the Republic of Abkhazia into the Russian fold, or to place it under the protection of Russia in the appropriate international legal form&acute;.26 A resolution adopted at a mass meeting held in Abkhazia on 16 April 1995 repeated the request to the Russian Government for a reunion of Abkhazia and Russia.27 However, there was no positive reaction to these requests. Russia&acute;s policy was clearly pro-Georgian policy at that time, and the Abkhazian leadership was forced to work towards legalizing the state&acute;s independence. On 3 October 1999, along with the presidential elections in Abkhazia, a referendum was held in the country in which the overwhelming majority of Abkhazians (97.7 per cent of voters) supported the creation of an independent and democratic Abkhazian state.28 On the basis of the result, on 12 October 1999 Abkhazia adopted an Act of State Independence of the Republic of Abkhazia.29

Understanding that in the circumstances it would be impossible to achieve de jure recognition of Abkhazia&acute;s independence by the world community, the Abkhazian leadership agreed to possible coexistence with Georgia in a &acute;common state&acute; within the borders of the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. At the same time Abkhazia rejected the status of autonomy and agreed to build relations with Georgia only on the basis of equality within a common state whose functions would be limited to foreign policy, defence, finance, border protection and customs services. Initially the Georgian leadership agreed with this approach. It was reflected in the joint Statement on Measures for a Political Settlement of 4 April 1994 in which Georgia and Abkhazia agreed to act as equal sides and pledged to resume official relations on this basis.30 Later, however, the Georgian leadership changed its position and refused to build relations with Abkhazia on the basis of equality.

The Georgian leadership did not blame Abkhazia&acute;s secession on its own policies but interpreted it as an annexation and occupation of the primordial territory of Georgia and as &acute;aggression of international terrorism against a sovereign state&acute;.31 For Tbilisi the only acceptable resolution to the conflict was to grant Abkhazia the status of autonomy inside the unified Georgian state, and neither the future structure of the Georgian state nor a possible form of autonomy for Abkhazia were even discussed.

For the whole post-Soviet period Georgia&acute;s policy of state-building has been conducted on the basis of rigid unitarism. The result of this policy was a profound economic crisis and the progressive disintegration of Georgia. The government in Tbilisi lost control over all the autonomies that existed during the Soviet period (Abkhazia, Adzharia and South Ossetia), over Javaheti with its compact 130 000 Armenian population, and over many mountain areas such as Svanetia and the Pankisi gorge, which is populated by Chechen-Kistins.

The ruinous character of the policy of building a mono-ethnic state in a country where the share of ethnic minorities in the population is over 30 per cent was absolutely clear. However, the majority of Georgian legislators continued to take a negative attitude to any measures that might &acute;undermine the unity of the Georgian state&acute;.32 The 1995 constitution proclaimed Georgia &acute;an independent, unified and indivisible&acute; state and the term &acute;federalism&acute; is not used in it. The constitution proclaims that &acute;citizens of Georgia regulate matters of local importance through local self-government as long as it does not encroach upon national sovereignty&acute;. It also states that &acute;when conditions are appropriate and self-government bodies have been established throughout the territory of Georgia, the parliament shall be formed with two chambers: the Council of the Republic and the Senate&acute;. In the future the Senate will consist of &acute;members elected from Abkhazia, Adzharia and other territorial units of Georgia as well as five members appointed by the President&acute;.33

Consisting exclusively of ethnic Georgians, the political leadership of Georgia34 did not even consider the possibility of starting national construction on the basis of federalism rather than on the basis of a unitary state.

The Abkhazian problem remains the highest priority on Georgia&acute;s security agenda and it influences its approach to other conflicts. As one South Ossetian leader observed, &acute;a Georgian-Ossetian settlement will hardly be possible before a Georgian-Abkhazian settlement as South Ossetia does not anticipate having a status lower than that of Abkhazia&acute;.35 It is also clear that Adzharia will adopt a similar position. Although the Adzharian Government has not formally declared its intention to secede, it operates in a completely independent way and disregards the Tbilisi authorities. The customs, the office of the public prosecutor, the courts, the police and the coastguard are under its full control. Posts with armed units have been set up on the administrative borders of Adzharia to prevent any armed infiltration from Georgia. The authorities of Abkhazia and Adzharia maintain constant contact, and during the Georgian-Abkhazian war Adzharia declared its neutrality. The Adzharian authorities take their own position on the issue of the Russian military presence in the South Caucasus. They oppose the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the territory of Adzharia and have openly declared a pro-Russia policy.36

Tbilisi&acute;s control over Javaheti is similarly only nominal. Its Armenian population is pro-Russian and pro-Armenian, and is increasingly demanding autonomy.37 With the progressive disintegration of the Georgian state, such compact national minorities living in Georgia as the Megrelians and Svans, and then Georgian sub-ethnic groups such as the Cahetians, Gurians, Khevsurs and Tushins, may also demand autonomy. The possibility of the country splitting into many different parts as it was in the 13th-18th centuries until Georgia became part of the Russian Empire may therefore again become a reality. This would mean not only the collapse of the Georgian state but also a tragedy for the Georgian people.

It is logical therefore that the Georgian Government is only ready to give Abkhazia autonomous status. It has concentrated all its diplomatic efforts on the Georgian refugee problem. The return of the Georgian population to Abkhazia, which the Georgian leaders insist on, will obviously result in a renewal of hostilities, as it is completely unacceptable for the people of Abkhazia and its leadership. Natella Akaba, an Abkhazian political analyst, writes that among those who fall under the definition of &acute;refugees&acute;:

There are many people who committed criminal and military offences in 1992-93. Abkhazia is a small country: everybody knows nearly everything about their neighbours; the names of those who in the late 1980s demanded the liquidation of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic and who in August 1992 wrote to the Georgian leaders asking for Georgian troops (which ended in bloody clashes) are well known. If they come back, another war will be inevitable.38

At the same time neither the population of Abkhazia nor its leaders object to a gradual, staged return of refugees, first of all to the Gali region. However, the leadership of Georgia is strongly against this mode of resolving the refugee problem. In the opinion of Russian political analysts these objections are raised because &acute;a staged return of refugees presents a threat [to Georgia] of their "political" assimilation and gradual integration into the Abkhazian state, in particular because the Sukhumi authorities are taking appropriate steps in this direction: among the deputies of the Abkhazian Parliament there are now two Georgians/Megrelians elected by the population of the Gali region&acute;.39

The mass return of Georgian refugees on which the Georgian leadership insists does not mean a peaceful resolution of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict but is actually intended to help to create favourable conditions for a new military campaign for the conquest of Abkhazia, and after that of other rebellious regions and peoples in Georgia.

III. The position of Russia

The official position of the Russian Federation on the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict is based on the recognition of the inviolability of Georgia&acute;s territorial integrity, inside which Abkhazia should be given broad political rights. On the basis of this position Russia has acted as an intermediary helping the conflicting sides conclude the Memorandum of Understanding (December 1993), the Agreement on Refugees and the Statement on Measures for Political Settlement of April 1993. At the request of both sides, in July 1994 a Russian peacekeeping force numbering about 2500 soldiers moved into a security zone along the Georgia-Abkhazia border.40

Soon after the deployment, Russian diplomacy ceased to take the interests of the Abkhazian side into account and began to act as a lobbyist for Georgian interests. The then Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Kozyrev, &acute;drew himself a plan for the economic suffocation of Abkhazia, having shown a good understanding for the specific features of its subtropical economy&acute;.41 Under this plan, in December 1994 the Russian Government established a &acute;special&acute; regime of economic and political relations with Abkhazia which actually meant a blockade of Abkhazia and its isolation not only from Russia but also from the rest of the world.42 The purpose of Russian diplomacy at that time was to force the Abkhazian Government to accept such conditions as would mean full capitulation to Tbilisi.43 However, the economic and political blockade of Abkhazia not only did not help resolve the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict; it strengthened the animosity of the population of Abkhazia towards Georgia. It did not, however, result in anti-Russian feelings: both the Abkhazian authorities and the general public viewed it as the result of diplomatic intrigues by Tbilisi with the Georgian lobby in Moscow and of Western pressure on Russia.

The blockade of Abkhazia completely contradicted Russia&acute;s national interests, and it was severely criticized in both houses of the Russian Parliament.44 It could have meant the destabilization of the situation and the undermining of Russia&acute;s positions in the entire western Caucasus. However, it was never completely implemented because of the progressive crisis of the Yeltsin Administration and its inability to persuade the regions to implement decisions taken at the federal level. Many subjects of the Russian Federation-Bashkortostan, Tatar-Stan, Krasnodar Krai (territory) and the republics of the North Caucasus-continued political and economic relations with Abkhazia against the wishes of the central government.

Georgian-Russian cooperation did not bring either side the expected benefits. It did not protect Russia&acute;s geopolitical interests and did not guarantee the preservation of its military bases in Georgia. The Georgian Government was extremely disappointed that Russia did not expand the powers of its peacekeeping force by giving it police functions over the entire territory of Abkhazia: according to Tbilisi&acute;s plans, Russia should first pacify Abkhazia and then return it to Georgian rule.

Long before Yeltsin&acute;s departure from office in December 1999 the policy of Tbilisi turned anti-Russian. In the hope of military intervention by the West in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, Georgian diplomacy called for the creation around Russia of a &acute;belt of democratic states&acute; and actively supported the idea of creating a uniform Caucasus (without the participation of Russia); the policy aimed to destabilize the situation in the North Caucasus and remove Russia from the South Caucasus.

Many Georgian leaders are convinced that after the disintegration of the Soviet Union the confrontation between Russia and the West continues. They therefore pin their hopes on military intervention by the West in the Abkhazian conflict since, in their opinion, the Abkhazian problem is not only Georgia&acute;s problem but &acute;is linked to those world processes of which we are eyewitnesses; that is, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the beginning of a new redistribution of the world . . . Georgia becomes a stable partner of the West which, in its turn, tries to complete the process which has been started-to crush the Russian Empire by all possible means&acute;.45

Such a policy adopted by Tbilisi could only worsen relations with Russia. It is sharply criticised by the Georgian opposition who regard it as &acute;unceremoniously ignoring Russia&acute;s national interests&acute; and as a manifestation of &acute;irrational Russophobia&acute; on the part of the Georgian Government.46

With Vladimir Putin&acute;s rise to power, Russia ceased to consider Georgia as its political ally in the region. Its position on the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict also changed. In September 1999 Putin, then Russian Prime Minister, annulled the &acute;special&acute; regime on the border with Abkhazia, thus lifting the economic blockade.47 In November 2000, the President of Abkhazia, Vladislav Ardzinba. visited Moscow for the first time in several years for bilateral Abkhazian-Russian consultations on political and economic issues. In particular, discussions focused on the Abkhazian leadership&acute;s desire to maintain the Russian military presence in the South Caucasus as it is the one major factor for stability, and on its opposition to the proposed closure of the Russian military base at Gudauta in Abkhazia.48

When frontier areas of Georgia were transformed into rear bases for Chechen separatists and there were allegations that official Tbilisi was supporting them,49 there was a crisis in Georgian-Russian relations. In December 2000 Russia (for the first time within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the CIS) introduced a visa regime for citizens of Georgia; however, the regime did not apply to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The conclusion can be drawn that Russia has begun to develop a new system for addressing its interests in the South Caucasus. Active participants in this system are now not only Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia but also the unrecognized states in the region, including Abkhazia. Thus all the states in the South Caucasus that exist de facto may form important elements of stability and political balance in the region, which is a strategically important one for Russia.

IV. The position of the West

The Western countries support Georgia&acute;s territorial integrity and take a one-sidedly pro-Georgian position. During the Georgian-Abkhazian war the West did not condemn Georgia for excessive use offeree and did not express concern over the violations of basic human rights and individual freedoms perpetrated by the Georgian military. It approved the introduction of repressive sanctions against Abkhazia as &acute;the most effective means of achieving political peace&acute;,50 refused to consider the security needs of Abkhazia and concentrated all its criticism on the Abkhazian leadership.51 This unbalanced position only increased the mistrust between the conflicting parties and caused the Abkhazian Government to take a negative attitude to any Western diplomatic initiative.

Meeting the leaders of the three South Caucasus states at the UN Millennium Summit in New York in September 2000, then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright &acute;made it clear that all future American Administrations will continue to consider the post-Soviet space a zone of the US strategic and vital interests&acute;.52 NATO&acute;s adoption in April 1999 of the concept of humanitarian intervention, which meant that military intervention by NATO in the internal affairs of foreign states would be permissible, raised hopes in Georgia that a military action similar to that carried out by NATO in Yugoslavia might be taken in Abkhazia.

Georgia has expressed its interest in replacing the Russian peacekeeping force with other foreign forces.53 Although this initiative found support in Turkey and Ukraine, the West refused to consider sending forces to Abkhazia as it could not risk &acute;sustaining losses there similar to those incurred in previous years by the Russian contingents participating in peace-making operations&acute;.54

Hoping to attract the military intervention of the West in the conflict, Georgia expressed its determination to join NATO quickly.55 This appeared impossible. Conditions for the acceptance of new members include economic stabilization, the resolution of conflicts on the territory of an applicant, the attainment of NATO standards of military equipment and training, and constructive relations with neighbours. As a result, despite the constant expansion of cooperation between Georgia and NATO in the military sphere, the West has limited its activity in the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict to sending military observers.56

In recent years the policy of Western countries in the Caucasian region has been increasingly influenced by the &acute;oil factor&acute;. In the mid-1990s the Western countries adopted a new energy security doctrine which called for the diversification of energy transport routes to Europe. The European Union (EU) introduced the TRACECA (the Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia) and INOGATE (Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe) projects.57 On this basis development began of a new system of transport routes for petroleum and gas to Europe from Central Asian and the South Caucasus. An oil pipeline from Baku to Supsa was laid through the territory of Georgia, its final section being close to the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The economic penetration of the West into the South Caucasus and Central Asia also led to an increase of its political influence in these regions.

The construction, with Western investment, of a new system of oil and gas pipelines that would bypass Iran and Russia was received with apprehension in Russia as it could deprive it of revenues from oil transit. Repeated statements made in Western countries to the effect that they &acute;refused to consider the region as part of the Russian sphere of influence&acute;,58 while at the same time regarding it as a zone of NATO&acute;s strategic interests, were recognized by Russia as clear proof of the West&acute;s ambition to exclude it from the region.

V. Conclusions

At present the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict has little chance of being resolved politically: the interests of the conflicting sides are in complete contradiction. While political efforts to halt the fighting have so far been unsuccessful, the resumption of hostilities would cause the destabilization not only of Abkhazia but also of the entire west Caucasian region. It is unacceptable, therefore, either from the point of view of Russia&acute;s interests (the threat of destabilization in the North Caucasus) or from that of the West (the danger of military operations spreading to the systems of oil and gas pipelines between Central Asia, the Caucasus and the outside world).

The political normalization of the conflict is impossible unless Georgia puts an end to its policy of unitarism. A single Georgian state within the borders of the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic is possible only as a federation of equal peoples like Belgium or Switzerland. Each people must be granted its own form- of statehood and representation in the central government. There should also be international guarantees of the rights of ethnic minorities and of the territorial integrity of Georgia. On the other hand, a continuation of the policy of unitarism may result in the further disintegration of the Georgian state; in that case Abkhazia may aspire to international recognition as an independent state.

Contradictions between Russia and the West in the South Caucasus present a serious potential danger. Under the existing conditions of general instability in the region, further escalation may be caused with the minimum of effort. Russia and the West should, therefore, be interested not in continuing their rivalry but in closer coordination of their regional policies. The basis of such cooperation might be mutual recognition of each other&acute;s strategic interests in the region. The development of a coordinated policy might be an effective means of stabilizing the entire Caucasian region and creating a basis for the resolution of local conflicts, including the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict.
[Image: 71f2f6828a25.gif]

could you please provide any actual evidence/sources? I don't think so. Besides, I really doubt the will of Abkhazian people to be independent...they've already (after couple days of so called recognized independence)to join Russia as well as so called South Ossetians.

For me it does not exactly look like "the will to be free and independent country, to restore historical justice"

as for how the history is made in russia please read this link

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... p?id=10356</a><!-- m -->
Chena thank you very much. The article was really very very very very interesting...It captures the most part of Russian Reality....Thank you once more....Now I better understand russia and the ideology of russians in this forum....Now I understand that re-making of History is not disease of russians here, but it is national strategy of Russian Government......
this article is not directly to the topic of the forum but could be interesting for those who think that Russia's "energy" power over Europe is indefinite.

Путин и «Газпром»

Как атрибутом президентской власти стал не ядерный чемоданчик, а газовый вентиль

В феврале 2008 года авторы настоящего доклада опубликовали независимый экспертный доклад «Путин. Итоги», где представили свое видение итогов деятельности и политического наследия второго Президента Российской Федерации. В докладе «Путин. Итоги» мы дали нелестные, но, по нашему убеждению, справедливые, построенные на цифрах и фактах оценки результатам работы Владимира Путина, скрытым от глаз россиян за патокой официальной пропаганды, в различных сферах нашей жизни – экономике, армии, пенсионной системе, образовании и здравоохранении, дорожной инфраструктуре и других областях.

Однако многие читатели доклада справедливо отметили, что есть одна проблема, которой мы коснулись лишь отчасти – это проблема состояния российской энергетики вообще и проблема главной энергетической компании страны, «Газпрома», в частности.

Так произошло не случайно. Мы считаем, что ситуация вокруг «Газпрома» требует отдельного разговора, который не может уместиться в пару-тройку абзацев. Во-первых, потому, что «Газпром» и то, что происходит в этой компании, имеет совершенно особенное значение для нашей страны в целом.

Во-вторых, потому, что о проблемах «Газпрома» мы знаем не понаслышке – в своей профессиональной деятельности мы имели к ним самое прямое и непосредственное отношение, как бывший министр топлива и энергетики и заместитель министра энергетики России.

В-третьих, потому, что «Газпром» стал в своем роде специальным, личным проектом Владимира Путина – с самого начала своего президентства он тщательно опекал эту компанию, назначал на ключевые посты в ней близких к себе людей, детально вникал в ее дела. «Газпром» - один из немногих проектов, за которые Путина можно считать лично ответственным практически с самого начала его правления, и по которым можно реально судить об итогах деятельности Путина.

В настоящем докладе мы намерены развить анализ, предпринятый в докладе «Путин. Итоги», и сосредоточиться на том, что происходило в эти годы с «Газпромом». Если вы хотите узнать правду об этом – перед вами доклад «Путин и «Газпром».

«Газпром» как главный личный проект Путина

«Газпром» как явление в российской политической и деловой жизни уникален. Выручка «Газпрома» в 2007 году составила свыше 93 млрд. долларов, или 7% российского ВВП. Это в 2,5 раза превышает, например, расходы на национальную оборону. «Газпром» обеспечивает свыше 12% объема промышленного производства, около 16% в стоимостной структуре российского экспорта. На счету «Газпрома» - примерно 43% российского производства первичных энергоносителей и такая же доля в структуре общероссийского потребления энергоресурсов. Поставки газа «Газпрома» обеспечивают до 40% выработки электроэнергии в стране. По сути, «Газпром» - энергетическая сердцевина российской экономики; от того, насколько эффективно и надежно работает эта компания, во многом зависят устойчивость и перспективы нашей экономики.

Компания играет ключевую роль и на мировом энергетическом рынке. Объем нефте- и газодобычи «Газпрома» составляет 5% от общемирового производства энергоресурсов и примерно 8,3% от общемирового производства нефти и газа. Поставки газа «Газпромом» обеспечивают более 50% газового импорта стран Евросоюза.

Трудно найти другую компанию такого масштаба и с такой степенью политического и экономического влияния в России. Евгений Ясин не случайно однажды назвал «Газпром» «кошельком правительства»: по степени концентрации финансовых ресурсов и возможностям для их быстрой мобилизации на некие цели, важные для властей, компания не имеет себе равных.

В 1990-е власти периодически использовали этот ресурс для решения политических задач – например, в 1997 году, когда перед правительством встала задача погашения накопленной задолженности по выплате пенсий, президент Ельцин дал руководству «Газпрома» указание незамедлительно оплатить часть задолженности «Газпрома» перед Пенсионным фондом в размере 2 млрд. долларов, чтобы профинансировать выплату пенсий.

В годы правления президента Путина ресурсы «Газпрома» использовались совсем в иных целях. Об этом мы и намерены рассказать в рамках данной брошюры.

«Газпром» стал важнейшим личным проектом президента Путина. «Положил глаз» на эту компанию он сразу после своего прихода к власти. Еще в ходе предвыборной президентской кампании 2000 года стало ясно, что энергетическая тема и «Газпром» - центральные элементы политической повестки дня для Путина. В июне 2000 года, всего через месяц после своей инаугурации, Путин оперативно добился замены Виктора Черномырдина на посту председателя совета директоров «Газпрома» на своего ближайшего соратника Дмитрия Медведева, а в мае 2001 года – замены Рема Вяхирева, возглавлявшего «Газпром» с момента его основания в 1992 году, на Алексея Миллера.

«Компания «Газпром» - это больше, чем акционерное общество. Вся экономика страны в значительной степени базируется на газовой отрасли» - слова Путина, произнесенные им на совещании, посвященном увольнению Вяхирева и назначению Миллера, состоявшемся 30 мая 2001 года в Кремле, вполне ясно дали понять его отношение к этой компании уже в самом начале его президентства.

«Газпром» стал первой бизнес-структурой, где Путин начал планомерно захватывать командные высоты, расставляя своих людей на ключевые посты и в короткие сроки вытеснив всех представителей старой менеджерской команды. Высшее руководство «Газпрома» очень быстро оказалось заполонено давними знакомыми Путина по временам работы в петербургской администрации. Сегодня 11 из 18 членов правления компании, занимающие важнейшие должности – в области контроля за финансами, имуществом, корпоративном управлении – люди, в 1990-е работавшие либо в санкт-петербургской администрации, либо в ОАО «Морской порт Санкт-Петербург», либо в неких петербургских коммерческих структурах, либо в ФСБ.

Это – нехарактерная практика для крупнейших глобальных энергетических компаний. Обычно ведущие позиции там занимают профессионалы, имеющие многолетний управленческий опыт работы на высокопоставленных должностях в различных крупных энергетических корпорациях. Бывших мелких региональных чиновников, работников портов и строительных компаний на должности топ-менеджеров ведущих нефтегазовых корпораций обычно не назначают, особенно в таком количестве.

Однако Путин при осуществлении кадровых назначений в «Газпроме» - которыми, вне сомнения, он руководил лично – сделал ставку не на профессионализм, а на принадлежность к своему клану, «клану питерских».

Речь идет не только о захвате управления в компании: Путин посвящал значительную часть своего рабочего времени решению текущих задач функционирования «Газпрома», огромная доля повестки дня его международных встреч и зарубежных визитов была связана с лоббированием разного рода газпромовских проектов.

Путин тщательно оберегал интересы «Газпрома» в ходе рассмотрения вопросов регулирования и развития газовой отрасли российским правительством. Когда в 2002-2003 годах кабинет Михаила Касьянова пытался включить в повестку дня правительственных заседаний вопрос о реформировании газовой отрасли и открытии сектора газодобычи для конкуренции, этот вопрос каждый раз снимался с рассмотрения по просьбе из Кремля. Когда в последнее время участились претензии к «Газпрому» (в том числе и со стороны чиновников правительства) по поводу неприемлемо низкого уровня налогов, которые платит в бюджет эта компания, Путин защитил «Газпром» от повышения налогов – правительство обязалось сохранить прежний низкий уровень налогов и не возвращаться к вопросу об их повышении до 2010 г.

С одобрения Путина правительство подписало программу резкого повышения уровня цен на газ для российских потребителей и доведения их до паритетного уровня с европейскими ценами – решение, которое «Газпром» лоббировал 15 лет, но не смог «продавить» через кабинеты министров Гайдара, Черномырдина, Кириенко, Примакова, Касьянова. Эта программа была принята постановлением премьера Михаила Фрадкова от 28 мая 2007 года № 333, в соответствии с ней внутренние цены на газ для российских потребителей должны к 2011 году удвоиться по сравнению с сегодняшним уровнем, и составить в среднем не менее 125 долларов за 1000 кубометров (сегодня – около 64 долл.). Возможно, в реальности цены на газ в 2011 году будут еще выше, так как цены на газ в Европе в последнее время непредсказуемо и стремительно росли.

В годы своего президентства Путин проявил себя крайне эффективным лоббистом и защитником интересов «Газпрома».

Пошло ли это на пользу стране? Получили ли россияне выгоды от столь пристального внимания президента к главной компании страны?

Надежность газоснабжения страны – все хуже

Назначенный Путиным менеджмент работает в «Газпроме» уже более 7 лет, и с него справедливо будет спросить за производственно-экономические результаты деятельности компании в этот период. Результаты эти весьма плачевные. Прежде всего, менеджмент «Газпрома» практически полностью провалил выполнение главной функции компании – обеспечения надежного газоснабжения потребителей России. Считается, что именно в обмен на выполнение этой функции – надежное газоснабжение – «Газпром» имеет все свои привилегии, включая монопольный статус и активную поддержку государства.

Однако добыча газа «Газпромом» все эти годы практически не росла, в 2007 г. сократившись практически до уровня 1999 года. С учетом истощения старых месторождений, в самое ближайшее время стагнация в газодобыче может обернуться ее обвальным падением.

Не росли и поставки газа «Газпромом» российским потребителям. В 2007 г. объемы поставок газа на внутренний российский рынок составили всего 307 млрд. кубометров, или лишь на 2% выше уровня 2001 г. Между тем, внутренний спрос на газ за это время вырос на 18%, или почти на 67 млрд. кубометров в год!

Таким образом, разрыв между внутренним спросом на газ и поставками газа на внутренний рынок растет, увеличившись с 72 млрд. кубометров в 2001 году до почти 132 млрд. кубометров в 2007 году. Сегодня около трети своих потребностей в газе Россия вынуждена удовлетворять за счет «негазпромовского» газа.

Этот разрыв традиционно покрывался поставками газа российских независимых производителей и импортом газа из стран Центральной Азии, но сейчас возможности роста добычи газа независимыми производителями ограничены, а зависимость от импорта стремительно дорожающего центральноазиатского газа приводит к резкому росту издержек «Газпрома» (подробнее об этом речь пойдет ниже).

Проблема недостаточных поставок газа на внутренний рынок, обостряющаяся на фоне роста экспортных обязательств «Газпрома», приобретает все более угрожающие черты. «Газпрому» пока несказанно везло с благоприятными климатическими условиями – последние две зимы были относительно теплыми, что снизило остроту зимних пиков потребления газа. Однако даже с учетом мягких температур спрос на газ в зимние месяцы растет.

Косвенно это можно наблюдать на примере последнего зимнего сезона 2007-2008 гг., когда в январе 2007 года в условиях стагнации в газодобыче резко вырос спрос на отбор газа из подземных газохранилищ, составивший в последнем зимнем сезоне рекордную цифру в 50,1 млрд. кубометров – более чем на 20% выше, чем в среднем в предшествующие три зимы! К концу января подземные газохранилища «Газпрома» были практически полностью опустошены, при этом суточная добыча газа зимой 2007-2008 гг. выросла всего на 2-3% по сравнению с предыдущим сезоном, невзирая на запуск в эксплуатацию в декабре 2007 года нового относительно крупного Южно-Русского газового месторождения.

Зимой 2007-2008 гг. был побит рекорд по максимальному суточному отбору газа из подземных газохранилищ – он составил 583,6 миллиона кубометров газа в сутки, что выше рекорда по-настоящему холодной зимы 2005-2006 гг.

Это свидетельствует, насколько вырос зимний спрос на газ даже в условиях относительно мягких зим – можно представить себе, какие угрожающие последствия ждут Россию в случае, если одна из следующих зим будет по-настоящему холодной. Следует ожидать крупномасштабных отключений жизненно важных объектов по причине нехватки газа.

Примерную картину того, как это будет выглядеть, мы наблюдали зимой 2005-2006 годов, когда для потребителей вводились массовые ограничения поставок газа. По данным РАО ЕЭС, суммарные ограничения подачи газа российским электростанциям против плановых объемов в холодные недели января-февраля 2006 года составил 12,5% в целом по Единой энергосистеме России и до 80-83% для электростанций Центрального региона и Северо-Запада.

Проще говоря, подачу газа электростанциям в Европейской части России отключали почти полностью (стоит ли напоминать, что газ – доминирующее топливо в выработке электроэнергии в России).

В январе-феврале 2006 г. серьезное напряжение чувствовалось и в обеспечении экспортных поставок газа. По информации СМИ, 18 января 2006 г. «Газпром» добровольно уменьшил объем транзита газа по украинской территории в Европу с 390 до 350 млн. кубометров в сутки из-за нехватки газа. В этот же день «Газпром» проинформировал своего итальянского партнера, концерн ENI, о неспособности гарантировать поставки газа в полном объеме из-за экстремальных холодов, после чего об ограничениях поставок со стороны «Газпрома» последовательно сообщили Сербия (на 25%), Хорватия (6-10%) и Венгрия (20%) .

Причина стагнации поставок газа на внутренний рынок при растущем спросе – системный недостаток инвестиций в добычу газа. В России достаточное количество разведанных запасов газа, которых при сегодняшнем уровне его добычи хватит примерно на 80 лет, однако многие из этих месторождений не разрабатываются. Значительная часть запасов сосредоточена в месторождениях новых, неосвоенных районов, где отсутствует необходимая инфраструктура, эти районы вообще чрезвычайно сложны для освоения.

Например, для освоения месторождений полуострова Ямал, удаленных на 500-600 километров к северу от действующих регионов газодобычи (юга Ямало-Ненецкого автономного округа), требуется построить железную дорогу Обская-Бованенково протяженностью 540 км, которая пройдет по районам вечной мерзлоты, местности, заболоченной на 50-60%, с огромным количеством пересечений рек и ручьев. Для доставки газа с полуострова Ямал необходимо построить газопровод Бованенково-Ухта общей длиной 1100 км, подводная часть которой должна будет пересечь Байдарацкую губу и также пройти по вечной мерзлоте и заболоченной местности.

Запустить ямальские месторождения в эксплуатацию «Газпром», по условиям выданных лицензий, должен был в конце 1990-х годов – но ничего на этих месторождениях реально сделано не было. В 2000 году бывший глава «Газпрома» Рем Вяхирев попросил о продлении лицензий, ему поначалу отказали, однако после назначения главой «Газпрома» Алексея Миллера – лицензионные сроки освоения ямальских месторождений были по-тихому и без объяснения причин перенесены на 8-12 лет. Сейчас и эти сроки срываются.

На фоне падающих объемов добычи на старых месторождениях, прежде всего крупнейших Уренгойском и Ямбургском, запущенных еще в 1980-е, перед Россией встает угрожающая проблема дефицита газа. Запущенное в эксплуатацию в декабре 2007 года Южно-Русское месторождение – последнее относительно крупное месторождение, остававшееся в действующем регионе добычи, где развита инфраструктура и условия добычи газа легче. Теперь за «новым газом» придется идти в неосвоенные районы, одни из самых сложных в мире, где разработка месторождений и создание инфраструктуры потребуют еще и огромных вложений. По свежим оценкам самого «Газпрома», только стоимость строительства газопровода Бованенково-Ухта составит 80-90 млрд. долларов, а весь проект освоения полуострова Ямал может «потянуть» на сумму до 200 млрд. долл. – что превышает по размерам весь российский Стабилизационный фонд!

Почему эти вложения не производились все это время? Ведь планировалось, что газ с месторождений полуострова Ямал начнет поступать на «большую землю» еще в конце 1990-х годов?

Проблема в том, что все эти годы «Газпром» сознательно тратил лишь относительно небольшие средства на инвестиции в развитие своего главного профильного бизнеса – газодобычи. Огромные сверхдоходы, полученные от быстрого роста экспортных и внутренних цен на газ, «Газпром» потратил не на инвестиции, а на скупку активов и финансирование стремительно растущих издержек.

Таким образом, за 7 лет, в период с 2001 по 2007 годы, «Газпром» направил на капитальные инвестиции в развитие своего главного бизнеса – газодобычи – всего лишь чуть более 27 млрд. долларов.

Для сравнения: на скупку активов в 2003-2007 гг. «Газпром» потратил 44,6 млрд. долларов. Из них более 30 млрд. составили расходы на покупку активов, не имеющих отношения к газовой отрасли – прежде всего нефтяных («Сибнефти», «Томскнефти») и электроэнергетических компаний (РАО ЕЭС, «Мосэнерго», оптовых и территориальных генерирующих компаний), а также трейдера «Росукрэнерго».

Если бы эти средства тратились на освоение газовых месторождений, в России не было бы угрозы кризиса газоснабжения.

Ну а пока месторождения полуострова Ямал не осваиваются, «Газпром» жестко «подсел» на импорт газа из Центральной Азии. Если в 2002 году доля центральноазиатского газа в балансе «Газпрома» составляла чуть более 4%, сегодня – 8%. Между тем, газ этот стремительно дорожает. Еще в 2003 году тысяча кубометров туркменского газа обходилась «Газпрому» в 30 долл., сегодня – в 150 долл., а с 2009 года – возможно, в 250 долл. или выше.

Неудивительно, что финансовая отчетность«Газпрома» по международным стандартам за 2007 год показала парадоксальный результат: при росте выручки от продаж газа более чем на 8% прибыль от продаж снизилась на 11%! И это – на фоне уверенного роста цен продаж газа в 2007 г., в том числе на 22,5% - для российских потребителей, и в среднем на 25,2% - для стран СНГ.

Как можно при довольно быстром росте цен показать снижение прибыли от продаж? Менеджмент «Газпрома» не делает секрета из того, что причина – в росте расходов, основной статьей увеличения которых стала покупка нефти и газа у третьих лиц (расходы на их покупку выросли на 36%). Если в 2003 году затраты на покупные нефть и газ в целом по «Газпрому» составляли меньше миллиарда долларов, то в 2007 году – уже 15 миллиардов долларов, или более четверти от всех операционных расходов компании!

Подавляющую долю этих расходов составляют стремительно растущие затраты на покупку газа в Центральной Азии: 11,7 млрд. долл. в 2007 г. против 7,5 млрд. в 2006 г. и всего чуть более 1 млрд. в 2005 г.

В марте 2008 г. главы нефтегазовых компаний Казахстана, Узбекистана и Туркменистана объявили «Газпрому» о том, что с января 2009 года намерены перейти в расчетах с российским газовым монополистом на новые цены поставок газа, привязанные к европейским. Это означает, что закупочные цены могут достичь 250-300 долл. за 1000 кубометров. Расходы на закупку центральноазиатского газа, таким образом, возрастут до 17-21 млрд. долларов в год.

Есть и еще одна проблема, препятствующая наращиванию инвестиций в газодобычу: крайне низкая экономическая эффективность деятельности «Газпрома». Операционные издержки компании (без учета налогов) увеличились в сравнении с 2003 годом втрое: с 4,9 до 14,8 долл. на баррель.

Помимо роста затрат на покупной газ (о чем речь шла выше), главной статьей увеличения издержек является рост расходов на оплату труда. Они выросли с 3,7 млрд. долл. в 2003 г. до 9,7 млрд. в 2007 г., а в расчете на баррель добытого нефтяного эквивалента – с менее 1 доллара на баррель в 2003 г. до 2,5 доллара в 2007 г.

Численность персонала «Газпрома» неуклонно росла, увеличившись с 391 тыс. человек в 2003 г. до 445 тыс. в 2007 г.

Для того, чтобы финансировать растущие аппетиты по скупке активов и растущие издержки, не хватало текущих доходов – в результате «Газпром» залез в колоссальную долговую яму. Долг компании, еще в конце 2000 года составлявший 13,5 млрд. долларов, по состоянию на конец 2007 г. достиг 61,6 млрд. долларов, или 66% (две трети) от годовой выручки компании (тогда как для международных нефтегазовых компаний сегодня нормой является соотношение долга к годовой выручке на уровне не более 10-15%).

Огромные выплаты по долгу препятствуют инвестициям. Более того, существует риск, что в случае ухудшения экспортной ценовой конъюнктуры «Газпрому» придется сокращать инвестиции или даже оказаться банкротом.

Последствиями этого, скорее всего, будут ускоренный рост цен на газ для российских потребителей, усугубление кризиса в газодобыче, возможная растрата накопленных государством финансовых ресурсов на спасение «Газпрома» от банкротства.

Вот и получается, что ресурсы газа, находящиеся в земле, вроде бы «принадлежат народу», а в реальности решения о том, как распоряжаться ими, добывать или не добывать газ, принимает узкая группа лиц, приближенных к руководству страны.

Источник: годовой отчет РАО «ЕЭС России» за 2006 год.

Источник: «Время новостей», № 7, 19 января 2006 года, «Газ по лимиту».

Источник: «Газпром», пояснения к финансовой отчетности по международным стандартам.

Источник: «Газпром», пояснения к финансовой отчетности по международным стандартам.

Источник: «Газпром», финансовая отчетность по международным стандартам.

(Печатается с сокращениями. Окончание следует)

P.S. В сентябре доклад Бориса Немцова и Владимира Милова «Путин и «Газпром» будет выпущен в виде отдельной брошюры.
chena Wrote:GAMS,

could you please provide any actual evidence/sources? I don't think so. Besides, I really doubt the will of Abkhazian people to be independent...they've already (after couple days of so called recognized independence)to join Russia as well as so called South Ossetians.

For me it does not exactly look like "the will to be free and independent country, to restore historical justice"

as for how the history is made in russia please read this link

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Для вас важно только то,что войдет ли Абхазия в состав России или нет?А то,что Грузия уничтожала мой народ вам наплевать?
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Certainly there is a view that the right of nations to self-determination is the corner stone of democracy. When we speak about democracy we first of all mean the power of the people. But power does not exist without rights. Thus, to deny the nation its rights obviously can lead to the deprivation of power. T. Frank, a professor at New-York University, is absolutely right when he says that self-determination is the basis for democracy and for the fully fledged international status of a state.[1] It is necessary to emphasize that self-determination has gained particular importance in the system of power relations between peoples and states. Ignorance of this natural and lawful right of nations by some governments of the UN member-states (those that try to keep other nations in servitude) has resulted in conflicts and wars in many regions of the world.

It is well known that Woodrow Wilson, one-time president of the United States of America, formally expressed theoretical and practical support for the principle of national self-determination on the basis of the fundamental principles of the American Constitution at the end of World War I, and also during the post-war peace negotiations. He presented a programme for the post-war peace settlement known as the Fourteen points in his speech to Congress on 18th January 1918. He concluded that the subject of power is a nation that has the right to self-determination.[2]

The concept of a nation»s right to self-determination (NRS) dates back to the Enlightenment. It is connected with the names of such thinkers as John Locke, Hugo Grotius, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others. This idea was implicit not only in the US Declaration of independence of 1776 (“the Consent of the Governed”), and in the French revolutionary Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789 (“the divine right of people”), but also in national liberation movements in Poland, Greece, Israel, Germany, and Spain and many others. The idea of self-determination also helped the Bolsheviks to strengthen their power, although class struggle was given primacy over national self-determination in the theory of Marxism-Leninism - “there are two nations in each modern nation, two national cultures in each culture”.[3]

The term “self-determination” was used for the first time in relation to a nation at the Berlin Congress in 1878. Since then the concept of the “right of nations to self-determination" has undergone a thorough test of history. It also maintains high political relevance in the contemporary world. Some historical examples illustrate the use of the concept in the practice and theory of international relations. First of all, the very idea of the right of nations to self-determination in relationship to international law came into use with the following: the Declaration of 1776 (Thomas Jefferson); other basic acts of the young American states; historical documents of the French revolution; the outcomes of World War I and II. The UN Charter in 1945 fixed it as one of the general, compulsory, imperative, and basic principles of modern international law. If all the other principles are about the legal personality (the sovereignty) of a state, then this principle is about the legal personality (the right to self-determination) of a people. On the basis of this principle, a separate branch of law, a special system of standards has been developed in international law – the International law of peoples. Interest of politicians and lawyers in the use of this concept has sharply increased since this problem was included in the “Program XIII” of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 1985 the national Australian commission of UNESCO held two symposia on people»s rights. These two scientific forums served as turning points in the history of western thought after Woodrow Wilson. Once again they faced up to this serious problem. Such thinkers as the American R. Falk and Englishman Ian Brownlie took part in the symposia. Both of them devoted their latest books to the rights of nations in modern international law.[4] Materials from these two Australian symposia were published in 1988.[5]

The UN Charter Chapter 1, Article 1, paragraph 2, states the following: “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”.[6] Chapter 9, article 55, of the Charter speaks of the principle of equal rights and self-determination.[7] The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted in 1966 clearly defined the principles of equal rights as well as the right of nations to self-determination. Article 1, paragraph 1 says: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”[8] One can also read about the right of peoples to self-determination (RNS) in the “Final Act on Security and Cooperation in Europe”, 1975: “By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, all peoples always have the right, in full freedom, to determine, when and as they wish, their internal and external political status, without external interference, and to pursue as they wish their political, economic, social and cultural development.”[9] Also, the idea was expressed in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, adopted by the Algerian Convention of 1976. Article 5 states: “Every people has an imprescriptible and unalienable right to self-determination. It shall determine its political status freely and without any foreign interference.”.[10] There are many other international documents and theoretical works on the subject existing today. We will limit ourselves to the above-mentioned.

The consequent policy of progressive powers supporting the Right of Nations to Self-determination (RNS) worldwide led to the appearance of many small and large states. They represent a significant factor in contemporary international relations. The appearance of these states has played an important stabilizing role in furthering of peace and stability of the whole of mankind.[11] If the principle of national self-determination is ignored, the UN will become the centre of the global metropolis. Up until today the RNS principle has somehow softened international power relations. If it weakens then the wars for the world metropolis will begin. Unfortunately this process has already started.

Undoubtedly the RNS is an internationally recognized basic law relevant to all nations and their political rights. However, it is important to note that national political self-determination is rarely achieved in the modern inter-dependent world. In fact, a nation can expect to receive support from the international community only providing it lives under colonial rule, wishes to be liberated and moves toward independent statehood, and if it fulfils certain necessary political, judicial and other preconditions, providing, let me reiterate, that this nation is under colonial rule and wishes to be liberated. In effect, this means that only a dependent nation can count on recognition of its self determination. Having said that, it is also important to note that the international community is not always interested in providing one or another nation with the status of an independent state. The nation that wishes to form its own independent statehood should not express its aspirations only, but it also needs to satisfy the necessary political, legal and other prerequisites. Only then can it get approval from the international community. However, the international community sometimes refuses to recognize the right to self-determination of nations that were incorporated in the territory of UN-members states. As one Abkhazian author has noted, many of the present governments of the UN member-states are locked in a neo-colonial mindset.[12] This is the main reason for them to resist the secession of a nation from a state and to deny recognition of its independence. These UN members-states are primarily concerned with territorial integrity, and they are afraid of its alteration. Does this mean that the right to self-determination is buried alive by the present political community and that in future no nation will establish its right to independence and will never form its own state? On the contrary, there is growing confidence that many nations will achieve independence in the future and a large number of new independent states will be formed.

The Wilsonian idea of the RNS is related to the struggle against colonial rule. According to the literature on the subject, the international community still somehow supports this struggle.[13] It is particularly important that some international agreements look at the struggle against colonialism from the point of view of human rights. These international documents establish the relationship between RNS, the struggle against colonialism and human rights: Article 1 of the 1960 “Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples” adopted by the UN General Assembly, is one example. It states: “The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.”[14] Article 4 of the same paper states: “All armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence and the integrity of their national territory shall be respected.”[15] The Declaration of Social Progress and Development adopted in 1965 by the UN General Assembly in part 2, paragraph “a” says: “The immediate and final elimination of all forms of inequality, exploitation of peoples and individuals, colonialism and racism, including Nazism and apartheid, and all other policies and ideologies opposed to the purposes and principles of the United Nations”.[16] Further it states that one of the primary conditions of social progress and development is “National independence based on the right of people to self determination”.[17] African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples» Rights, adopted June 27, 1981, Article 20, point 2 is written: “Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means recognized by the international community.”[18] Section II, Article 6 of Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples adopted by the Algiers conference in 1976 states, “Every people has the right to break free from any colonial or foreign domination, whether direct or indirect, and from any racist regime.”.[19] Further reference should be made to the declaration on the principles of international law, related to friendship and cooperation between states. The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, chapter on “The principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” says: “Every State has the duty to promote, through joint or separate action, realisation of equal rights and self-determination of peoples ... Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.”[20] There is a specific document in international law that protects participants of the struggle for the right of nations to self-determination and independence (unfortunately governments of some countries call them “aggressive separatists” and even “band formations” or recently “non-state armed actors”) it is the UN General Assembly resolution 3103 (XXVIII), adopted on 12 December 1973: “Basic Principles of the Legal Status of the Combatants Struggling Against Colonial and Alien Domination and Racist Regimes” that says: “The struggle of peoples under colonial or alien domination and racist regimes for the implementation of their right to self-determination and independence is legitimate and full accordance with the principles of international law.”[21] Further it continues: “Any attempt to suppress the struggle against colonial and alien domination, or racist regime, is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations”.[22] Finally, we may cite the Vienna Declaration and Action Programme adopted in 1993 by the World Conference on Human Rights. Point 2 states: “Taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, the World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the right of peoples to take any legitimate action, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to realize their inalienable right of self-determination. World Conference on Human Rights considers the denial of the right of self-determination as a violation of human rights and underlines the importance of the effective realization of this right”.[23] In my opinion this document is particularly important because there is a correlation between human rights and the RNS. This document recognizes the survival of colonial regimes to the present day, while arguing that colonialism is an element of the past.[24]

In conclusion to the argument on the relationship between self-determination and decolonization it is important to note that the dominant view of the community of international lawyers is that the principle of self-determination is acceptable only in cases of decolonization! One prominent international lawyer asserts: “Self-determination, as an internationally recognized standard, is applicable to the nations under colonial rule only, because this concept was developed in the system of lawful acts in relationship to the de-colonization process.”[25] Does this mean that, according to modern international law, no nation can be granted recognition of its independence, unless it is publicly proven that the nation was under actual colonization?!

In light of this discussion, it is natural to ask what is the nature of the Abkhazian Autonomous SSR was within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. It is necessary here to look briefly at the main historical events of the argument between Abkhazia and Georgia, although history may generally be considered unhelpful in the international law.

According to Greek and Roman written sources the statehood in Abkhazia appeared in the II century AD under the power of Basileoses.[26] Thereafter historical sources recorded 19 Kings (Potentates) of Abkhazia (Abasgia) and other leaders of the state up to the VIII century A.D.[27] The territory of present-day Western Georgia was conquered and ruled by Abkhazian Kings from the Bagratid (Pancratid) dynasty, with support of Byzantine forces, in the VIII-X centuries.[28] From the Xth to XIIIth century most of Georgia was under the influence of Abkhazian kings from the dynasty of the Bagratids.[29] This is why many original sources refer to Georgia as «Abkhazia» (Abasgia).[30] Following the fall of Constantinople and the formation of the Ottoman Empire in the XVth century, Abkhazia was under the protectorate of Turkey until 1810.[31] From 1810 to 1917 Abkhazia was under the protectorate of the Russian Empire.[32] After the disintegration of Russia (1917), in 1918 Georgia occupied Abkhazia using the remnants of local units of the former Russian imperial army in the Transcaucasus and the participation of regular German troops. It is important to underline here that this occupation was nothing other than invasion by Georgia of alien territory.[33] At the time there were no state-legal relations between Georgia and Abkhazia.[34]

Furthermore regional self-government in Georgia was eliminated between 1801 and 1810 by the Russian Empire, but Abkhazia continued to preserve its own self-government until 1864, over half a century after the abolition of self-government in the neighbouring Georgia.[35] In the context of the argument it is important to note that a distinct Abkhazian independent government was formed after the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917.[36] At that time the Abkhazian National Congress was established. The Declaration of the Abkhaz National Congress and the Constitution of the National Council were adopted at its first session.[37] Thus, the government and people of Abkhazia quite democratically formed a distinct independent state, on the basis of common norms and the principles of international law, after the communist coup in Russia. On the 20 October 1917, the Abkhazian government signed a “Treaty Union” on the creation of a new state: “South-eastern Union”.[38] On 16th November 1917 a joint government of the state was formed with the participation of the Abkhazian leadership.[39] At a later stage, this state was transformed in to the Mountain Republic. It comprised Abkhazia, Adyghea, Kabarda, Chechenya, Ossetia, Daghestan and others.[40] Georgia did not join this union.

When Georgian troops later invaded Abkhazia in 1918, the White Russian General Denikin stated: “Immediately declare Abkhazian neutrality, withdraw Georgian troops behind the Ingur river and make the Abkhazian authorities responsible for maintaining order, while the latter should be freely elected by the Abkhazians themselves.”[41] C. Bechhofer, an English diplomat, characterized the government of the “democratic” Georgian state that had already occupied Abkhazia at that moment as follows: “The free and independent social-democratic State of Georgia will always remain in my memory as a classic imperialist body, that is characterized with territory-snatching outside and bureaucratic tyranny inside; its chauvinism is beyond all bounds”.[42]

A.S. Avtonomov, the head of the sector of Legal Problems of Federalism, Regionalism and Integration of the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences, makes reference to the above-mentioned political acts regarding the self-determination of Abkhazia in 1917, when he states: “…the independent formation of state-institutions in Abkhazia began in December 1917. Abkhazia was not considered a part of Georgia at that time. On the contrary it had processes in place to establish its own official government and legislature.”[43]

Pan-Georgian geo-political expansion in the XXth century was based on Stalin»s researches into the ethnic and nationality question, which he developed from 1913. This resulted in legal discrimination against all non-Kartvelian neighbours of the Georgians (including the Ossetians and Abkhazians).[44] The leaders of the Georgian nation developed an “ideological justification” for the Georginisation of all the nations of the Caucasus and their incorporation into its domain. They invented even a code name for this plan - “chechevitsa” (Eng. - Lentil).[45] Another “academic school”, called “Iberian-Caucasian philology and mythology”, was developed as well to serve this strategy.[46] Moreover, one of the most famous academic adherents of Georgian mythical and political schizophrenia dared to propose that all Indo-European nations are descendants of proto-Georgian civilization![47]

The Georgian occupation of Abkhazia in 1918 created a regime of terror for the local population.[48] A treaty between Soviet Russia and Georgia was signed on 7 May 1920. According to this treaty the territory of Abkhazia was handed over to Georgia.[49] However, this treaty should not be considered lawful because the paper was signed without the consent of anyone in Abkhazia. Dr. S. Shamba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, stated that the agreements of that period are not legal because they were created under conditions of occupation in Abkhazia. This is relevant to both the agreements between Georgia and other countries, as well as between Georgia and Abkhazia.[50] Even during that time of occupation the Abkhazian national liberation struggle did not stop.

After the coup d»etat and the establishment of communist dictatorship in Russia in 1917 the relationship between Georgian Mensheviks and Russian Bolsheviks became hostile. Thus, coincidence of mutual interests led to joint actions on the part of the Abkhaz national liberation detachment “Kiaraz” and the Russian Bolsheviks.[51] The capital of Abkhazia, Sukhum, was freed of occupying forces on 4th March 1921. Independence in Abkhazia was proclaimed on 31st March 1921.[52] After that the Bolshevik Party in the Transcaucasus subordinated the members of the communist party of Abkhazia to the communist party of Georgia. This arbitrary move on behalf of the communists was based on its interpretation of the vague doctrine of “internationalism”[53] and against the will of the people, who had devoted their lives to the freedom and independence of their homeland. Despite the fact that from 1921 to 1931 Abkhazia was a sovereign republic with a relationship to Georgia that was based on a union treaty, communist party organizational units of Abkhazia were subordinated to Georgia. This was the reason in 1931 (under pressure from Stalin) for Abkhazia to be incorporated forcibly as an autonomous republic within the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic.[54] Vladislav Ardzinba, first president of Abkhazia, stated: “In 1931 Abkhazia was transformed into an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR. Seemingly it was the only republic whose political status changed under pressure from Stalin not upwards but downwards”.[55] (See Pravda, newspaper, 14 July 1989).

It is important to note that Soviet Georgia included two autonomous republics (Abkhazia and Ajaria) as well as the autonomous district of South Ossetia. Despite this, Georgia remained a unitary republic without any contemporary sense of federalism. This was because the “Father of all nations” was its compatriot. In reality the Abkhazian SSR within the unitary republic of the Georgian SSR was a communist colony.

Amongst all autonomous Soviet republics, Abkhazia was the most subordinated and colonial in status. The USSR consisted of 15 union republics, which included 20 autonomous republics, 16 of which were within the RSFSR (the Russian Federation)! Three republics were assigned to republics ethnically “related” to them: Kara-Kalpak was within Uzbekistan, Nakhichevan within Azerbaijan, and Ajaria within Georgia.

The incorporation of Abkhazia within the Georgian SSR, however, was not determined by any ethno-political factors.[56] Because of this constitutional aberration, a colonial aspect entered into and dominated the relations between Georgia and Abkhazia.[57] From 1931 till 1992, in the so called Abkhazian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, many of the formal attributes that define state institutions such as the administration of borders, council of ministers, Supreme Court, parliament and so on, continued to function. However, the activities of these official structures were operated through the communist dictatorship which extended through both Georgia and the USSR. In short, it was a non-self-governing territory, having the attributes typical of a colony where power and administration were under the control of a central authority (as in an empire).[58] Abkhazia was run by the power of a communist dictatorship operating through the USSR and the Georgian SSR. Abkhazian “power” resided only in the context of the obedient execution of laws and directives from the higher organs of (real) power.

There are many academic sources by Euro-American and former Soviet authors on the discrimination against, and the colonization of, many Soviet (particularly Caucasian) autonomous republics of the former USSR. Among them are: A. Bennigsen, C. Bechhofer, R. Pipes, F. Berkham, W. Colors and others.[59] One of these authors wrote that the whole communist ideology was formed on the basis of the colonial system. W. Kolars in his work “Communism and Colonialism” wrote that the USSR was a colonial empire.[60] V. Ponomoryov, a member of the editorial board of Central Asian Survey, wrote: “The USSR is a colonial empire and differs little from the classical empires of the British, French or Chinese; the struggle of national movements of most of the regions of the former USSR may be considered as anti-colonial struggles!”[61] Perhaps this is the essence of the argument.

It is this colonial relationship between Georgia and Abkhazia that led to the physical, legal and cultural genocide of the Abkhazian people. The Abkhaz script (once based on the roman script) in 1938 was altered against the will of the Abkhazians to one based on Georgian characters. All Abkhazian schools were closed and transformed into Georgian ones in 1945. An accelerated policy of the Georginisation of culture and history was implemented; toponymy and family-names were changed. A great number of the Abkhazian political and intellectual elite were persecuted and killed. An assimilatory policy was pursued to distort the ethno-demographic structure of the Abkhazian people. A special organization called “Abkhazpereselenstroj” (the state house building company for immigrants into Abkhazia) was created, and a mass-migration of Kartvelians (notably Mingrelians) into Abkhazia took place.[62] As a result of these policies, by the time of the 1989 census Abkhazians numbered just about 18% of the entire population of Abkhazia, while in 1886 they had made up 85% (in other words, the Abkhazian people were reduced to a minority in their own homeland).[63] This was the reason for periodic mass-demonstrations in Abkhazia, which was considered to be one of the conflict zones of the Soviet Union! In 1957, 1967, 1978 and 1989 mass-demonstrations and strikes took place, as Abkhazia struggled against the colonial policy of Georgia and the communist system.[64] The regime in Abkhazia was presented as an example of the “friendship of nations” by official communist ideology, but the historical evidence clearly shows that Abkhazia was a communist colony of Georgia.

Vladislav Ardzinba, President of the Republic of Abkhazia at that time, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General K. Annan in February 2000 wrote: “In a legal sense Abkhazia has no relationship to Georgia. The claims of Georgia on Abkhazia can be explained by the intention of the metropolis to preserve power over its colony.”[65] In his interview of December 2001 to the magazine “Russian Federation Today” Dr. Ardzinba says: “In 1931 Abkhazia was forcibly incorporated into Georgia. Since then the Georgian authorities have conducted a policy of colonization and aggressive nationalism toward our people”. [66]

The colonial policy of Georgia towards Abkhazia is a topic for extended discussion. This paper looks briefly at some examples in the spheres of economics and state administration. For instance the Council of Ministers of the Abkhazian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was allowed to control only 9% of Abkhazian industry, whilst the rest were subordinated to Tbilisi. Management of landed property was under the total control of Tbilisi. Any person in Abkhazia seeking to get a small empty piece of land or to build a new shed was obliged to have permission from Georgia. Up to 70% of the generated income in Abkhazia was taken to Georgia. The health resort town of Gagra was subordinated directly to Tbilisi; the industrial town of Tkwarchal was subordinated to Georgia»s second city of Kutais, and the tea industry and some scientific research institutes were subordinated to various institutions in Georgia. Abkhazia was considered to be a subtropical district of Georgia.[67]

There were some attempts at democratization and reform during the Perestroika period. In particular, the law “On the matter of the secession from the USSR by the Union Republics” was adopted on 3rd of April 1990. This legislative act gave autonomous republics the right formally to consider their legal status as a state. For the first time since 1931 Abkhazia had the chance to liberate itself from the colonial regime of Georgian socialism.[68]

In 1998 the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Federation, by order of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, conducted research on the nature of state-legal relations between Georgia and Abkhazia. According to this expert report, at 21st of December 1991, the date of the disintegration of the USSR, Abkhazia cannot be considered as a subject of state-legal relations with Georgia.

In the above-mentioned interview Ardzinba also says: “In accordance with the law of the USSR «On the matter of the secession from the USSR by the Union Republics» of 3rd of April 1990, which was adopted while Georgia was still a part of the USSR, the autonomous republics were granted the right to consider independently whether to remain within the USSR and all matters regarding the state-legal status and secession of their republic. Accordingly Abkhazia took part in the referendum on 17th March 1991, when the majority of the population voted for the preservation of the USSR. Georgia did not participate in the referendum. However, on 31st March a referendum on the restoration of Georgian independence was held in Georgia, in which Abkhazia did not participate. On 9th April 1991, in accordance with the results of that referendum, Georgia adopted an act on the restoration of Georgian independence. Thus the Georgian SSR, with which Abkhazia had state-legal relations, de jure ceased. In this way two non-linked states appeared on the territory of the former Georgian SSR – Abkhazia and Georgia. Consequently the state-legal relations between Abkhazia and Georgia, which were created and regulated by Soviet legislation, ceased according to that selfsame Soviet legislation. Abkhazia continued to be a subject of the USSR until its demise on 21st December 1991 and in this capacity took part in the negotiations on the reformation of the Soviet Union. I was the chairman of the Abkhazian Supreme Soviet (Council) and a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (Council) of the USSR and took part in the Novo-Ogaryov process. During this period Abkhazia did not participate in the presidential elections in Georgia or in any activity of its official structure. It is obvious that Abkhazia could not have been subject of both the USSR and of independent Georgia.[69] It follows that at the moment of the admission of the Georgia to the UN it had no relationship with Abkhazia and hence the recognition on 21st December 1991 by the UN of Georgia within the borders of the former Georgian SSR had no legal basis. On the eve of Georgia»s admission into the UN in my letter to the Secretary-General of the UN I informed him that there was no state-legal relationship between Abkhazia and Georgia and that therefore the admission of Georgia into the UN in the borders of the former Georgian SSR was not legal.” In short, Abkhazia seceded from Georgia in the same way that Georgia left the USSR. [70] So it is neither correct nor just to accuse Abkhazia of separatism.

Unfortunately, the factual situation, grounded in the laws of the former USSR and democratic principles common to all mankind, were ignored by Russia, the UN, and Georgia. When Georgia achieved its independence, its governing bodies attempted to liquidate even the smallest amount of Abkhazian autonomy that had existed under its communist fiction. On 14th of August 1992, Georgia undertook armed aggression against Abkhazia under the code name “Sword”.[71] Thus, at the end of the 20th century, without any attempt at political dialogue, Abkhazia was forced into one of the most barbaric wars at the end of XX-th century. The Georgian army fired at peaceful citizens, burnt down houses and villages, and even shot down a helicopter on a humanitarian mission as it conveyed women and children from the besieged town of Tkwarchal with the loss of over 50 lives. They also committed an unprecedented act of cultural vandalism. On 22nd October 1992 in the centre of Sukhum, without any military necessity and to destroy purposefully historical memory and national identity of Abkhazian nation Georgian troops torched the Abkhazian Institute of Humanitarian Research and the Abkhazian National Archive. This was in line with their policy of cultural genocide. There is a view widespread in the public in Abkhazia that this crime should be marked in some way, for example by UNESCO declaring the 22nd day of October the Day of Genocide of Scholarship and that those responsible for this cultural crime be brought to an international trial.[72]

One of the prevailing factors in the war against Abkhazia was that of the exclusive chauvinism manifested by Georgian side. This war aimed to destroy and exile from Abkhazia representatives of all non Kartvelians ethnic groups. Before the war, Kartvelians (Mingrelians, Svans and Georgians, as well as some Laz) lived and worked everywhere in Abkhazia. Unfortunately, at the time of the war, especially after the meeting in Sukhum organized on the initiative of Shevardnadze about the “inadmissible” return of ethnic Abkhaz to their own capital, the major part of Abkhazia»s Kartvelian population either voluntarily or forcibly performed the role of “5th column”, killing and looting their neighbours, colleagues, or acquaintances and taking part in the policy of genocide against civilian all non-Kartvelians, Abkhazians first and foremost! This immoral “neighbour-killing” war continued for a period of some 14 months, until it ended on 30th September 1993.[73]

On 28th September 1993, when Abkhazian soldiers entered Sukhum, they did not take any systematic action against Kartvelian civilians. Those who had fought against the Abkhazians chose to flee from Abkhazia. According to some assessments, up to 80 thousand Kartvelians remained in Abkhazia after the end of war.[74] Their migration from Abkhazia after the war was primarily related to economic reasons, and it was equally relevant to all ethnic groups in Abkhazia. Though a degree of tension on ethnic ground contributed to this process there was no discrimination of Kartvelians on behalf of authorities in Abkhazia. Ethnic Kartvelians can be found throughout Abkhazian establishment since the end of hostilities to the present.

When the Abkhazian army came close to the civilian Kartvelian population at the end of war, Commander-in-Chief Vladislav Ardzinba ordered them to stop, in order to avoid direct contact with the mass of people encouraged by Shevardnadze to remove to the airport, seaports and mountains. Towards the end of war the Georgian authorities declared a general mobilization on the territory of Abkhazia under their control. According to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, those who use arms in an armed struggle and then flee do not fall under the international definition of refugees.[75] The responsibility for these people fell and falls solely on the Georgian authorities. It is important to note here that a great many of those who fled from Abkhazia were recent immigrants. They were partly victims of the compulsory resettlement organized by Stalin and his Abkhazian-born Mingrelian lieutenant Lavrenti Beria. David Galaridze expressed well-founded doubts about the mass-return of these Kartvelians to Abkhazia in the newspaper “Akhali Taoba”: “What do we want in Abkhazia, to kill everyone and live there?” From the Abkhazian point of view, there are grave doubts concerning the legitimacy of UN Security Council Resolution №­­­ 876, (19 October 1993) paragraph 5 and also Resolution 1 898, (31 January 1994) paragraph 2, and other international resolutions on the so-called IDPs relating to the Republic of Abkhazia.[76]

Another important fact to consider on the question of Kartvelian displaced persons is that their number is regularly exaggerated by the Georgian authorities. Some of them have never left Abkhazia and others never lived here. The Georgian authorities have engineered a home-aspect to the conflict in Abkhazia by establishing a so-called "government in exile of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia”. Through the deliberate exaggeration of the number of IDPs, Georgia is able to win support and money from international humanitarian organizations.

Experienced Abkhazian expert Liana Kvarchelia writes that Abkhazian society can allow the return only of those Kartvelians who did not fight on the Georgian side and only after they recognize Abkhazia as an independent state. She also says that the same right for return should be given also to descendants of Abkhazian refugees from the Caucasian War of the XIX century, who live mostly in Turkey.[77]

What happened in Abkhazia in 1993 was classic liberation. Abkhazia gained its freedom from the dominating regime, as many other countries in the world have done. The liberation (decolonization) was definitive and consequently led to the political self-determination of Abkhazian nation. Indeed, we already have centuries of experience of independent statehood. “It is given by nature itself, flowing from the natural aspiration of a people to self-determination, akin to the search for an ecological niche, an aspiration to live independently, and to be masters of their homes, their families.”[78]

The political self-determination of Abkhazia was declared on 23rd July 1992 peacefully and democratically when the Supreme Soviet proclaimed Abkhazia as sovereign independent republic. A State Emblem, flag, and a new name — the Republic of Abkhazia, were established.[79] Unfortunately this peaceful democratic initiative on the part of Abkhazia did not receive support from Georgia but was instead answered with a full-scale war. The Georgian authorities» refusal to recognize the decision of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Abkhazia is clear evidence that they treated Abkhazia as a subordinate colony. But Abkhazia liberated itself from foreign domination through victory in war and legal procedures, without violating the territorial integrity of any state.[80] In this case the emergent state has the absolute right to seek support from the UN member-states.[81]

In my opinion, one more matter that needs to be taken into consideration. This is the “Declaration on Criteria of Recognition of New States in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union”.[82] Our foreign policy diplomats do not pay enough attention to this important document which clearly states: “The European Council and its member-states will not recognize new formations as the result of aggression.” This new legal directive is often cited when our Georgian opponents accuse us of aggressive separatism in their diplomatic statements or in their mass-media. It is for this reason that I firmly declare that Abkhazian politicians have never used military methods in order to achieve independence. During the communist coup d»etat in Russia in December 1917 Abkhazia tried to gain independence from the Russian empire (Abkhazia was a part of Russia for 107 years post-1810, and at that time Georgia had no state-legal relations with Abkhazia). The Parliament of Abkhazia, the National Council, was formed and a National Constitution was adopted in 1917. However, Georgia trampled on this civilized path to independence when it attacked Abkhazia in 1918. And Georgia pursued the same action in 1992.

I discussed above legislation from Gorbachev»s time, specifically how Abkhazia followed international norms democratically and peacefully. It took part in the USSR referendum and withdrew from Georgia before the collapse of the USSR. Unfortunately, the peaceful legal aspiration of Abkhazia was drowned in blood by aggressive Georgian nationalism. The question is: who is the aggressor? Does Abkhazia fall into the category of “new formations that appear as the result of aggression”? The facts speak for themselves, and there is no need for further comment.

In brief, according to the logic of international relations, Abkhazia is an independent state. This is confirmed in the expert conclusion given by the international non-governmental organization “Lawyers for Cooperation”. The conclusion runs as follows: “The statement on the political settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict is a matter of international agreement. Both sides have equal status under international law, and there are no binding state-legal relations between them.”[83]

It has already been mentioned above, but it is important to say a few more words about genocide. The history of genocide in Abkhazia can be divided into four periods. The first one took place during the Russo-Caucasian wars in the 19th century when 80% of the Abkhazians became refugees and settled in the Ottoman Empire and other areas. The second was during the Georgian occupation of Abkhazia in 1918 under the command of General Mazniashvili. The third was in the 1930s during the time of Beria and Stalin when the best representatives of the Abkhazian nation were killed. Shevardnadze»s war against Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993 was the fourth. The true purpose of this war was to uproot the Abkhazian nation. General Qarqarashvili (former captain of the Soviet Army), Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the State Council of Georgia, stated on local TV in Sukhum on 25th August 1993: “I warn supporters of Mr. Ardzinba that as of today the Georgian side will be ordered not to take prisoners of war. I assure these separatists that, even if 100,000 Georgians perish, then all 97,000 Abkhazians who support Ardzinba will perish too...” This statement was made when Georgia had already become a member of the UN and the OSCE. For such a “civilized” manner in conducting the war in Abkhazia Shevardnadze appointed Qarqarashvili General and awarded him the most prestigious state medal of Georgia – The Order of Vakhtang Gorgasal![84] Is further comment necessary?

According to the International Convention of 1948 on the Crime of Genocide and its punishment, it is the intentional killing of any ethnic, racial, or religious group, completely or partially pursuant to the following: a) killing of members of such a group; b) premeditated creation of living conditions for such a group that are intended for their complete or partial physical destruction. The actions of the Georgian leadership against Abkhazia in 1918-1921 and 1931-1993 fell also under the above definition.[85]

As for the words of the current politicians of Georgia that “Abkhazia was always a part of Georgia", they are intended for the ears of the ignorant. After the XVth century there is no internationally recognized document concerning Abkhazia»s existence as a part of Georgia. According to the Iranian-Turkish treaty, Amaze, 29th May 1555, the territory of Abkhazia was included in the Ottoman Empire. 84 years later, on May 17th 1639, an Iranian-Turkish peace treaty concluded that Eastern Armenia, Eastern Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan will be under the influence of the Iranian Shahs. According to this treaty Western Georgia, western Armenia, Abkhazia, and the territories of the Adygheans on the Black Sea were to be under the control of the Ottoman Sultans. The Kuchuk-Kainardzhi Treaty (1774), the subsequent Bucharest Treaty (1812), as well as other International documents prove that Abkhazia at that time did not have state-territorial relations with Georgia.[86]

Above we have set out the documents of prime importance related to the independence of Abkhazia. The questions remaining to be answered concern the relationship between human rights and self-determination and the territorial integrity of the state. In the legal domain this subject has become so “nightmarish” and “untouchable” that some politicians and political scientists seldom mention it.

According to the UN documents every state shall assist every other state in exercising its right to self-determination. One of the UN Declarations says: “Nothing in the given points must be interpreted as punitive sanctions or as encouraging any actions that could lead to the partial or full violation of the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent states that are following the principles of the equal rights and self-determination of a people.”[87] However current International Law provides no direct link between the principle of territorial integrity and that of a nation»s right to self-determination. So are today»s Georgia and its government observing the implementation of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of a nation?! Politicians and ordinary citizens alike must clearly see that the principle of territorial integrity concerns only the governments of states which are upholding the right of a nation to self-determination. Hence, as written, even though Georgia is denying the Abkhazian nation the right to self-determination, this law does nothing to alter the situation. The Brussels Declaration states: “The European Council and other states support adherence to the final act adopted in the Helsinki and Paris Charters, particularly the principle of self-determination”. They support their readiness to recognize those new states after historical changes in the region take place which are founded on a democratic base, are supported by international commitments, and after the state is ready voluntarily to participate in the peace process and resolve any problems concerning the legal heritage of the state and regional disagreements through negotiation, including arbitration if necessary. The state must also recognize neighbouring states.” Evidently, “recognition of neighbouring states” means recognizing their political interests, which clarifies the discussion on the recognition of Abkhazia in the State Duma of the Russian Federation. The important point to bring out in this document concerns arbitration, the ambiguity of its proper use with regard to independent nations, and the differences of opinion to which this has given rise.

Pursuant to the national referendum held on 3rd October 1999, the Abkhazian Parliament passed an act on the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia on 12 October 1999. A legally viable and democratic state was created, and reforms followed. The values common to mankind: “Liberty, Property, Law” began to prevail.[88]

Despite the peaceful and legal moves towards the formation of a democratic state, a policy of structural violence is still pursued toward the Abkhazians. One of the greatest violations of human rights took place when Abkhazian passports were declared invalid. In addition, the blockade of Abkhazia has led to a humanitarian disaster. Abkhazia is locked in a political dungeon. The population is struggling to exist and to maintain its cultural life. If the international community will not assist Abkhazia»s economy, politics and culture, Abkhazians will become a hungry and desperate people, disillusioned not only with Georgia but with the entire world.[89] The arguments and proofs presented in this essay show that due to the aggression of Georgia and the policies of Stalin, the problem of Abkhazia remains unresolved to the present day. The so-called “Abkhazian factor” should not be regarded as a precedent for Russia and other UN member-states, if the problem is to be resolved.

Finally, I would like to point out that it is the international community»s ignorance of Abkhazia»s de-colonization and self-determination that has led to the current deadlock in the Georgian-Abkhazian negotiating process. I am convinced that only a legal reassessment of the causes of animosity between these two nations will lead to their mutual understanding and peaceful, neighbourly relations in the future. The resolution of this conflict will serve as guarantee of peace and security in the Caucasus region, which is important because of the strategic role this region plays in the balance of military and economic interests for many countries in the world.

I would like to draw the reader»s attention to one interesting idea in political science concerning the balance of powers in the system of international relations. The point is that a relatively small country, situated between two or more large states, is able, thanks to its geographical location, to create a balance of power between the states contiguous to it. Annexation or seizure of it by one of the nearby countries will immediately lead to a violation of the status quo and challenge the general interests of the others. Such countries are called in political science “relic” or “neutral”. Traditionally, the international community holds peaceful events in such countries: conferences, symposiums, festivals etc. Today, Switzerland is the classic country of such a kind. The current situation in Abkhazia suggests that it could also be included in this category of nations. However, its safety, both in the past and in the future, is always rooted in its domestic, spiritual and intellectual potential (from a verbal communication by the professional conflictologist and political scientist Beslan Kamkia).


When this work was already completed a full-page piece by Professor L. Aleksidze entitled “On the bankruptcy of attempts by Abkhazia legally to substantiate its right to self-determination and secession from Georgia”.[90] This article is written in typical Georgian style: tendentiously and with blatant misrepresentation of facts. This becomes clear immediately after reading the first sentence of the first paragraph of the article — “In the course of the armed conflict imposed on Georgia in 1992-1993…” This sentence gives clear evidence of a point of view which is both false and contrary to historical fact. It was the Georgian government which initiated the war against Abkhazian statehood, which was being created in a peaceful, democratic, and parliamentary way. Aleksidze repeats in his article the well-known casus belli of the “imposing by Georgia of order on the railway in Abkhazia”. However, the Georgian plan of military operation under the code name “Sword”, prepared by Russian generals Patrikeev and Beppaev and Georgian colonel Adamiya, a map of troops reconnoitring the territory of Abkhazia, and a three-meter symbolic plaster cast of a sword on the first tank of the occupying expedition suggest the contrary, as did the tearing down of the Abkhazian flag from the administration building of Ochamchira and the hoisting of the Georgian one. Aleksidze»s article only serves to strengthen the main idea of this work, namely that the rights of nations to self-determination relate only to nations that have been the colonies of others.

The above-essay has been devoted to the legal de-colonization of Abkhazia and its population, and thus its main thesis has been argued on the basis of international ligal documents. Abkhazia was a communist colony of Georgia, and, as the result of the war imposed from Tbilisi, it de facto attained its freedom from colonial dependence. In its de-colonization and liberation from Georgia, Abkhazia asserted and claimed its right to self-determination. All of this corresponds to the aims and arrangements of the UN Charter and other international legal documents.

Having finished the basic text of the present work, and being deeply convinced that the now de facto Abkhazian state will sooner or later be recognized by the world community, I will say a few words about the procedure of recognition. Let us first note that in nomenclature of law, this is called “international-legal recognition”. This is the recognition of new states by existing states or other bodies, which allows those governments or bodies to establish formal or informal, complete or incomplete, permanent or temporary relations with them. Different kinds of “international-legal recognition” are recognition by states, governments, bodies of national emancipation, de facto or de jure. «De facto» means that the recognizing side acknowledges the fact of the existence of the state and is able to enter into interactions with it on a number of issues. In Article 13 of the Charter of the Organization of the American States it says: “The political existence of the State is independent of recognition by other States. Even before being recognized, the State has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its preservation and prosperity, and consequently to organize itself as it sees fit, to legislate concerning its interests, to administer its services, and to determine the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. The exercise of these rights is limited only by the exercise of the rights of other States in accordance with international law.”[91] The implementation of these laws has no limits aside from the respect for the laws of other states.[92] Based on these stipulations, it may be appreciated that Abkhazia is already recognized today as a de facto state. With regard to de jure recognition, it is first necessary to form a political-legal memorandum (from the Abkhazian side) with the participation of a lawyer-arbiter representative of the UN member-states. It is also possible to work through the International League for the Rights and Emancipation of Nations or the Lelio Bosso Fund.

In addition to these measures, it must be noted that today the right of nations to self-determination has been transformed by practical considerations. In the case of Abkhazia this means that the primacy of international law prevails over the local situation, that the principles of liberal democracy are enacted (with legitimate elections), market laws will be working (this has already begun to take place), and Abkhazia will naturally be recognized. In order to do this, it is first of all necessary to remove the economic blockade imposed on Abkhazia because of its status as an unrecognized country, and to provide all citizens of Abkhazia with normal, at least temporary, international passports for free entry and departure to and from their country. The alternative, the implementation of Shevardnadze»s plan, a military operation by a group of UN member-states for the suppression of Abkhazia, would mean the forced reversion of Abkhazia into a Georgian colony.

I would like also to draw attention to the lack of real legal texts with solid theoretical underpinnings composed by the Abkhazian scientific community. This hampers the ability of the international community to judge objectively the Abkhaz-Georgian situation. To some extent, this gap has been filled by the interview quoted above with the fist Abkhazian President, V. Ardzinba. In any case, unilateral information that reflects the point of view of only one participant in negotiations only aggravates the process of peaceful resolution.

In conclusion of this essay I would like to raise few more arguments as well as to highlight the above mentioned ones in support of Abkhazian rights to self-determination.

Abkhazians constitute an independent nation with their own territory, culture and history of statehood, independent government. This corresponds with criteria of Montevideo Convention 1933 regarding independent nations. [93]
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The river Phasis – Rion used to be the border between Abkhazia and Georgia from early Middle Ages (Procopius of Caesarea, I Sabanisdze, Constantine Porphyrogenetis, Dzhuansher). From the XVIIIth century the border shifted to the river Ingur (V Bagrationi, S Baratov and others). It is illegitimate for the international community to recognise Georgia within frontiers extending beyond the river Ingur to the river Psou.

Although historical background is not always important for international law, Georgian historians and politicians constantly repeat that Abkhazia was always part of Georgia. In reality, at least since 1555 (Iranian-Turkish peace treaty) till 1920 (7th May, agreement between Georgia and Lenin»s Soviet Russia) there is every evidence of Abkhazia and Georgia being separate countries.

The Abkhazian nation was moving towards freedom and independence in a

peaceful and lawful manner. The war with Georgia was imposed on Abkhazia by Shevardnadze»s Georgia in 1992. Abkhazia was a part of the Russian Empire from 1810 until the coup d»etat in Russia in 1917. After that, Abkhazians urgently elected their own parliament (the Abkhazian People»s Assembly), adopted a constitution and declared their independence. But in 1918 Georgia occupied Abkhazia using remnants of the Russian imperial army with assistance of German troops. A very similar situation occurred immediately after the collapse of the USSR when Abkhazians urgently created their own Constitution and adopted their State Emblem, Flag and the National Anthem. And once again, as in 1918, the leadership of Georgia resorted to war.

In 1993 the victory of Abkhazia in the war, imposed by Georgia, resulted in the decolonization of Abkhazia. Abkhazia was integrated into Georgia by communists, who did not ask the opinion of the Abkhazian nation about it. As a result, Abkhazia became part of Georgia, which remained a unitary state without any sign of a true federation. There was a certain hierarchy of nations in the USSR. There were 15 nations, who constituted their own “sovereign” republics (full member of the Union) and 20 nations, who were allowed to constitute only autonomous republics. Sixteen of these autonomous republics were integrated into the Russian Federation. Three of them were integrated into ethnically related states: Ajaria was integrated into Georgia, Nakhichevan into Azerbaijan, and the Kara-Kalpak republic into Uzbekistan. But the integration of Abkhazia into Georgia was not determined by any ethno-political necessity. That is why the pressure from Georgians on Abkhazians was so severe, reaching sometimes the ultimate brutality of genocide. The response of the Abkhazians was natural. Given Soviet norms, the strikes and demonstrations in Abkhazia in 1957, 1967, 1978 and 1989 were grandiose events. The entire story took place in the Soviet Union, where any strike or demonstration was strictly prohibited. Communistic propaganda continued describing the colonial regime in Abkhazia as an example of the “friendship of nations”. And the world-famous health-resorts of Abkhazia were the shop window of the socialist empire.

Regarding the refugees: according to the Tashkent Agreement (15 May 1992), Georgia received a quota of Soviet weapons — tanks, artillery systems, helicopters etc...[94] The leaders of Georgia elaborated a military plan for conquering Abkhazia. The code-name of the plan was “Sword”. They even forged a symbolical 3 metre long sword that was brought into the capital of Abkhazia by Georgian troops on one of the vanguard tanks. These, as well as many other facts, lead to the inevitable conclusion that Georgia planned in advance a war against Abkhazia, which, on the contrary, had chosen the path of peaceful self-determination. Unfortunately, the majority of the Kartvelian population of Abkhazia, which bore direct witness to all of those unlawful actions, supported the criminal perpetrators. I still fail to understand why the Kartvelians, many of whom at that moment had lived in Abkhazia for almost 60 years, were unable to overcome the vilest instincts and with such deep motivation participated in crimes against Abkhazia and the Abkhazians. Nevertheless, when our army was liberating the capital, Sukhum, and the rest of the eastern part of the country, our army had no direct contact with the fleeing civilian Kartvelian population. They left Abkhazia of their own volition, full of fear for the crimes that they had committed against their neighbours, relatives, colleagues, classmates or simple acquaintances. In terms of jurisprudence, together with their “government in exile”, they are perceived as criminals who escaped punishment and not as refugees, who have the right to expect help from the UNHCR.

The concept of the right of nations to self-determination was stated in the “Declaration On Principles Of International Law Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations” (New York, 1970). In this international legal document the preamble is followed by a chapter entitled “The principle of equal rights and of self-determination of nations”. It is clearly expounded here that “The establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people. Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and to receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.” [95] Following this the principle of equal rights and self-determination of nations has priority and the principle of territorial integrity only follows.

Georgians committed an unprecedented barbarous crime in the occupied town of Sukhum in the full light of day on 22nd October 1992. Their military personnel deliberately burnt to ashes the National Archive of Abkhazia and the Abkhazian Institute of History, Language and Literature. The leadership of Georgia tries to convince the international community that Abkhazians themselves burnt their scientific centres. I am sure that, when the international community establishes by whom, how and why these institutions were torched, the world will know the truth about Abkhazia.

The international community has everything at hand to recognize the results of the referendum in Abkhazia of 3rd October 1999 and the decision of the parliament of the country of 19th October of the same year on the State Independence of the Republic of Abkhazia.
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The Georgian fascists kill peaceful people
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Hi guys
I see here are the people they want to believe what they have to believe.

Why russians do not allow the muhajires ( i mean Abkhazes, Adiges, Cherkeses and Kabardiniens) to come back to their home land?

It was not genocide of the caucasian aborigines? Since that time in russian geopolitics nothing is changed.
Hey, these pictures are awful. But, they are too much exaggerated. Georgians couldn't do that to common people. I think these are photoshoped photos.
“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
A really nice forum for Parisians
M.Helen Wrote:Hey, these pictures are awful. But, they are too much exaggerated. Georgians couldn't do that to common people. I think these are photoshoped photos.

The deal is that it is true. MORE THAN 1500 CIVILIANS!!!!!! In my opinion if Russia did not interfere most ossetians would be murdered and then there would be the turn of Abkhazia. Do you think Ossetians or Abkhazians will want to live in one state with Georgia after all this?
GAMS Wrote:
chena Wrote:GAMS,

could you please provide any actual evidence/sources? I don't think so. Besides, I really doubt the will of Abkhazian people to be independent...they've already (after couple days of so called recognized independence)to join Russia as well as so called South Ossetians.

For me it does not exactly look like "the will to be free and independent country, to restore historical justice"

as for how the history is made in russia please read this link

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... p?id=10356</a><!-- m -->

Для вас важно только то,что войдет ли Абхазия в состав России или нет?А то,что Грузия уничтожала мой народ вам наплевать?

Killing civilians is not honorable for any nation including Georgians and Abkhazians. As forr "unichtozhala" the reason why tens of thousands of ethnic Abkhazs are living in Turkey is not Georgian policy but Russian imperializm (mudzhakhestvo) since 19th century, if you knew your own history you've noticed that. Or if you were an anctual Abkhaz.

However, strangly but after 1990s Georgians have more than 200 000 IDPs, not abkhazs. Not telling about about thousands of killed and tourtured. I also know that a lot of ethnic abkhazs were helping Georgians to survive (unlike "new" abkhazs: kazaks, russians and etc, who are just claiming that are Abkhazs). You know why? Because ehtnic Abkhazs and Georgians have been living together for centures and Abkhazia were bi-ethnic territory.

It is not about do I care whether Abkhazia would be part of Russia, it is about the REAL motivation and motivators/manipulators - Russian goverment. If it was will of Abkhazian people to be independent I would've respect their will, but not the will to be part of another country... which is bullshit. Ethnic Abkhazians remember what it is like to be under Russian goverment as well as Chechens remember. Considering this only Russians could be willing to join Russia. That is all, and when you tell that Abkhaz people fought for their independence make sure you are talking about REAL Abkhazs doing so back in 19th century and not Russians in 20th.

If you do not respect your indepence how anybody could do so?

please also explain me the following fact:
How did it come that abkhazian alphabet was created by Gunia (georgian) in 20th century?
M.Helen Wrote:Hey, these pictures are awful. But, they are too much exaggerated. Georgians couldn't do that to common people. I think these are photoshoped photos.
A court will be understood by fotoshop or not.I have 1000 such photos.
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chena Wrote:
GAMS Wrote:
chena Wrote:GAMS,

could you please provide any actual evidence/sources? I don't think so. Besides, I really doubt the will of Abkhazian people to be independent...they've already (after couple days of so called recognized independence)to join Russia as well as so called South Ossetians.

For me it does not exactly look like "the will to be free and independent country, to restore historical justice"

as for how the history is made in russia please read this link

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... p?id=10356</a><!-- m -->

Для вас важно только то,что войдет ли Абхазия в состав России или нет?А то,что Грузия уничтожала мой народ вам наплевать?

Killing civilians is not honorable for any nation including Georgians and Abkhazians. As forr "unichtozhala" the reason why tens of thousands of ethnic Abkhazs are living in Turkey is not Georgian policy but Russian imperializm (mudzhakhestvo) since 19th century, if you knew your own history you've noticed that. Or if you were an anctual Abkhaz.

However, strangly but after 1990s Georgians have more than 200 000 IDPs, not abkhazs. Not telling about about thousands of killed and tourtured. I also know that a lot of ethnic abkhazs were helping Georgians to survive (unlike "new" abkhazs: kazaks, russians and etc, who are just claiming that are Abkhazs). You know why? Because ehtnic Abkhazs and Georgians have been living together for centures and Abkhazia were bi-ethnic territory.

It is not about do I care whether Abkhazia would be part of Russia, it is about the REAL motivation and motivators/manipulators - Russian goverment. If it was will of Abkhazian people to be independent I would've respect their will, but not the will to be part of another country... which is bullshit. Ethnic Abkhazians remember what it is like to be under Russian goverment as well as Chechens remember. Considering this only Russians could be willing to join Russia. That is all, and when you tell that Abkhaz people fought for their independence make sure you are talking about REAL Abkhazs doing so back in 19th century and not Russians in 20th.

If you do not respect your indepence how anybody could do so?

Georgia is fully under control America.Them prezedent gets pay-envelope from America.They do everything that talks America.And do you name this country free?
Абхазия входила в состав Грузии только при СССР.Ее присоединил насильно Сталин.Вы ститаете диктатора Сталина справедливым?
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To my mind Abkhazia has all sources to become an independent state and it will be. As for S. Ossetia, it will unite with North Ossetia for sure.
Georgia destroyed peaceful cities
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EU1 Wrote:To my mind Abkhazia has all sources to become an independent state and it will be. As for S. Ossetia, it will unite with North Ossetia for sure.
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Georgia destroyed peaceful cities
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chena Wrote:GAMS,

please also explain me the following fact:
How did it come that abkhazian alphabet was created by Gunia (georgian) in 20th century?
Абхазкий алфавит в 20 веке создал абхаз.До этого у нас был древнеабхазкий алфавит и Византийский.Который никогда не был похож на грузинский.
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GAMS Wrote:
chena Wrote:GAMS,

please also explain me the following fact:
How did it come that abkhazian alphabet was created by Gunia (georgian) in 20th century?
Абхазкий алфавит в 20 веке создал абхаз.До этого у нас был древнеабхазкий алфавит и Византийский.Который никогда не был похож на грузинский.

Coud you name that Abkhaz? The one who actually did create in was GUNIA he was Georgian! Could also provide some examples of a least coins with Abkhazian writing on it?

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