The attempt on Abkhaz President Ankvab, by Alexander Krylov

Kavkazoved -- I find it hard to imagine how the Russian security services could solve this crime. Three hypotheses emerged immediately. The first is the "Georgian" one, which used to be extremely popular, but now seems improbable. The second is that Aleksandr Ankvab began taking real measures to curb corruption in the organs of state power of Abkhazia and to make the control mechanism more or less effective. The most recent step taken in this respect was suspending the operations of the Ministry of Immigration, which had distinguished itself by some very exotic moves such as diagnosing hepatitis in specialists coming to Abkhazia from Western Europe. The second realistic version is based on the fact that Abkhaz society is still divided. And Aleksandr Zolotinskovich Ankvab has many political opponents, some of whom might resort to this kind of terrorist methods of solving the problem. In any event, I find it difficult to comprehend how Russia could help in this situation, Russia.

In the situation that has arisen, Russia could help Abkhazia by rendering the presidential security more effective. Russia has the requisite technical and organizational resources to do this. A second focus of possible measures could be the domestic political situation in Abkhazia. But here we must emphasize the very limited nature of Russia's possible influence. The hallmark of the Abkhaz domestic political "kitchen" is that any attempt at outside interference is perceived negatively, not only by Ankvab's opponents, but also by his supporters. So that if local forces cannot stabilize the political situation in Abkhazia, there is little the Russian government could do to help them.

Returning to the possible "Georgian trace" and Tbilisi's hypothetical attempt to take advantage of the difficult situation in South Ossetia – this is quite unlikely. The situation in South Ossetia is different from that in Abkhazia. Now, after 2008, it is very difficult to pinpoint any "Georgian trace."

Georgia is gradually learning lessons from what happened in the past, and the tone of Tbilisi's current statements about what is happening in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is radically different from those prior to 2008. Previously Georgia would launch an aggressive propaganda campaign against Russia at the slightest pretext. Now we see that Georgia barely reacts at all to what is happening. One has the impression that people in Georgia are waiting for developments in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to reach the point that the "fruit becomes ripe" and falls into Georgia's hands.

The private opinion of Georgian Parliament head David Bakradze, who laid on Moscow responsibility for the Abkhaz terrorist act, contrasts with the propaganda campaigns Georgia undertook previously. The most alarming thing is that even in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the view that "Russia is to blame for everything," is being actively encouraged, without any input from the Georgian side.

In Abkhazia, unlike South Ossetia, there is an autarkic government which controls the funds coming from Russia. Internal processes and contradictions are far more important there than in South Ossetia, although even in Abkhazia things are not that simple. The domestic political factor exerts a serious influence on Moscow's relations with both Sukhum and Tskhinval.

This article was published by and is translated from Russian.




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