The Sputnik Sham: How Propaganda Undermines Abkhazian NGOs

SUKHUM / AQW'A — The policy of repression and intimidation against Abkhazian NGOs, their members, and outspoken critics has escalated, spiralling out of control. Dissenters are increasingly facing interrogations at borders, state media propagates falsehoods against them, and their voices are systematically excluded from mainstream media channels.

In a striking display of propagandistic rhetoric, Sputnik Abkhazia recently published a vehemently accusatory article targeting Abkhazian NGOs. This piece, lacking in authorial accountability, launches a vitriolic assault not only on these organisations but also on specific public figures, notably Liana Kvarchelia, Arda Inal-ipa for their involvement in internationally supported projects. The article weaves a calculated narrative, laden with conspiracy theories and fear-mongering, depicting these NGOs as puppets in a grand Western scheme aimed at destabilising Abkhaz-Russian relations and manipulating the region’s political trajectory.

The article aggressively frames the organisations' efforts in language preservation and youth leadership as sinister ploys, covertly orchestrated by Western powers. This approach seeks to discredit the vital work of these NGOs, insinuating a nefarious intent behind every Western-supported action. Echoing the sentiments of Abkhaz Foreign Minister Inal Ardzinba, the piece portrays increased regulatory scrutiny of NGOs as a necessary measure to guard against foreign interference, reinforcing a narrative of siege and suspicion.

This unabashedly biassed and hostile article represents a disturbing trend in the media landscape, where objective journalism is sacrificed for political agendas. It undermines the genuine efforts of NGOs striving for social progress and betterment in Abkhazia, casting a shadow of doubt and conspiracy over their initiatives. The absence of an author’s name adds to the insidious nature of this publication, suggesting a deliberate attempt to fuel discord and mistrust under the guise of protecting national sovereignty. It exemplifies the weaponisation of media to stoke fears, suppress dissent, and control narratives in a region embroiled in complex geopolitical tensions.

+ Said Gezerdaa: "State Security as a Tool for Blackmail and Compromise"
+ Liana Kvarchelia: "They Called Us the Gudauta Separatists"
+ Citizens of Abkhazia Against the "Law on NGOs-Foreign Agents"

Amidst this tumultuous backdrop, public figure Tengiz Dzhopua provides a poignant counter-narrative:

Tengiz Dzhopua
Tengiz Dzhopua

"Since when has it become right for an Abkhaz to sell another Abkhaz?"

"Are you a criminal just because you receive money from international organisations? Which part of the criminal code says that? I don't seem to recall. Let's assume these funds were used for criminal activities, as specified in criminal law, then what exactly does that entail?

Did they use this money to blow up train tracks, derail trains, poison wells, and murder party members and young Komsomol members from hiding? What exactly did they do? What is their crime? Let's start from the beginning and eventually get to the money.

They helped villages, supported Abkhaz medicine, aided schools, published literature in the native language, and provided vaccines, fertilisers, pesticides for treating crops. Why didn't law enforcement mention this? Where is the evidence of their crime?

And since when does a citizen of a country have to prove to someone that he is not a camel? Have we abolished the presumption of innocence? What kind of nonsense is happening, what heresy in reasoning, what is this attitude of Abkhaz towards other Abkhaz? Have you guys gone mad?

Beating our own people regardless of surnames, kinship ties, or national identity for stars from the West or the East, I don't care at all, is this now normal? Since when has it become right for an Abkhaz to sell another Abkhaz?

Such actions are only characteristic of a certain contingent, denoted by the letter 'b'. And it doesn't matter whether it's 'official b', as Vysotsky said, or streetwise. They are 'b' in Africa too!"




Articles & Opinion


Abkhaz World

Follow Us