Putin’s New Year

Europe Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – January 9, 2017) So 2017 is here. And one thing we can be pretty certain of this year is that Vladimir Putin’s regime will try to push the advantage it gained last year — and intensify its efforts to undermine the liberal world order. And there will be plenty of targets of opportunity. […]

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Interfax: Half of Russians back independence of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdniestria

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Interfax – September 21, 2015) Half of Russians deem Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be independent states and think that these republics and Transdniestria should have formal independent status, the Levada Center has told Interfax. According to the poll of 800 respondents held in 134 populated localities in 46 regions on August 21-24, practically half (47 percent) of respondents see […]

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The Logic and Risks Behind Russia’s Statelet Sponsorship

(Stratfor.com – Reva Bhalla – September 15, 2015) Mother Russia can be quite generous when it comes to her collection of statelets. In the early 1990s, when a broken Russia had no choice but to suck in her borders, a severely distracted Kremlin still found the time and money to promote and sponsor the fledgling breakaway territories of South Ossetia […]

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Interfax: Russians think Donbass may follow in Transdniestria, Abkhazia footsteps – poll

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Interfax – March 4, 2015) The conflict in southeastern Ukraine may lead to the existence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics as independent states, such as Transdniestria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, 38 percent of 1,600 Russians polled in 134 populated localities in 46 regions on February 20-23, reported sociologists. The percentage has grown since September of last year […]

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Russia and Breakaway Georgian Region to Create Joint Military

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 22, 2014) Russia will form a joint army with Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia under a new cooperation pact that one expert said is part of the continuing fallout from the Ukraine crisis. The treaty was inked Monday in Sochi by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Abkhaz counterpart Raul Khadzhimba. […]

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What does Russia really want with Abkhazia?

(opendemocracy.net – Sergei Markedonov – October 30, 2014) Sergei Markedonov heads the Department of International Relations at the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Moscow. He is now is a visiting fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, USA Will the new treaty being discussed between Abkhazia and Russia provide a blueprint for cooperation or […]

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Elected By A Hair, New Abkhaz Leader Faces Herculean Tasks

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – August 26, 2014) Veteran opposition politician Raul Khajimba has been elected de facto president of the largely unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia by the slenderest of margins — just 559 votes. He received 50.57 percent (50,494 votes) of the total 99, 869 ballots cast, defeating three rival candidates. Voter turnout in the early election, which was necessitated by […]

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Opposition claims victory in Abkhazia’s presidential poll

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 25, 2014) Opposition candidate Raul Khadzhimba has claimed victory in the August 24 presidential poll in the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia. Khadzhimba’s campaign staff said he had taken around 60% of the vote in the first round of voting in the unrecognized state. The head of Khadzhimba’s campaign, Artur Mikvabiya, told Russia’s […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Says Ready to Cooperate With New Abkhaz Leadership

Georgia Beach in Abkhazia Region

MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is ready to work with the future president and government of Abkhazia to develop and strengthen bilateral ties, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday. “The people of Abkhazia will have their say during the early presidential election in August. Russia will respect this expression of will. We will be ready […]

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Maidan comes to Abkhazia

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Islam Tekushev – May 28, 2014) Islam Tekushev is the editor-in-chief of the Caucasus Times. Events in Ukraine have both highlighted and influenced Abkhazia’s political divisions, as yesterday’s protests clearly demonstrate. The Crimean precedent has breathed a new divisive life into politics inside Abkhazia. Against the background of the Ukrainian crisis and the growing role of Russia in […]

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RIA Novosti: Abkhaz Leader Ready for Dialogue with Opposition, Rules Out Ultimatums

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – Abkhazia’s President Alexander Ankvab is ready to negotiate with the opposition to achieve “a concrete result”, but says that he will not accept any ultimatums. “The situation is difficult, but not critical We propose to engage in a dialogue [with the opposition] in a manner that would bring us a concrete result,” Ankvab said […]

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RIA Novosti: Opinion: Ukrainian Crisis ‘Emboldened Opposition’ in Abkhazia

Maidan Square file photo

WASHINGTON, May 29 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The Ukrainian crisis has had an immense effect on the opposition in Abkhazia, Thomas de Waal, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told RIA Novosti. “It’s a very complex situation in Abkhazia, maybe the ‘Maidan Effect’ has emboldened the opposition and they have the impression that President Aleksandr Ankvab […]

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Moscow Steps In as Arbiter in Abkhaz Conflict

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 29, 2014) In the direct aftermath of a political uprising that threatened to destabilize Abkhazia, Russia demonstrated its role as the ultimate arbiter of political life in the small breakaway province of Georgia. Presidential aide Vladislav Surkov met on Wednesday with both sides of a conflict that saw between 1,000 and […]

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Interfax: Diplomatic relations can’t be restored as long as Moscow recognizes Abkhazia, South Ossetia – minister

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

TBILISI. Jan 21 (Interfax) – Diplomatic relations with Russia cannot be restored as long as 20% of the Georgian territory is occupied and Moscow recognizes the independence of two Georgian regions, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze told reporters on Tuesday. She made her comment on the opinion of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who said Georgia’s refusal to recognize the […]

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Tensions Rise In Georgia’s Breakaway Regions

Georgia Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – August 26, 2013) Five years after their formal recognition by the Russian Federation as independent states on August 26, 2008, Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are on very different trajectories in terms of relations with their northern neighbor. But both are plagued by growing domestic political instability. Abkhazia has experienced […]

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Georgia is ready to wait for voluntary return of Abkhazia, South Ossetia – Georgian minister

Georgia Map

(Interfax – TBILISI, August 26, 2013) Georgian Reintegration Minister Paata Zakareishvili believes the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will make a final choice between Russia and Georgia over the next several years. “We will always give them [the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia] a chance to choose between a developed Georgia and a Russia of those times. That […]

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Interfax: Georgia intends to return lost territories peacefully – Ivanishvili

Map of Georgia

(Interfax – TBILISI, May 15, 2013) Georgia will do everything to restore relations with “the big neighbor”, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said in an interview with Euronews TV company reported partially by local mass media outlets on Wednesday. “The current state of the relations between Georgia and Russia is not in anybody’s interests. Georgia lost 20% of its territory […]

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Stalin’s Legacy: Ethnic Time Bombs That Continue To Tick

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(RFE/RL -– rferl.org – Robert Coalson – March 1, 2013) Eighty-one-year-old Nikolai Khasig was born in Sukhumi in 1932. It was just one year after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin stripped Abkhazia of its short-lived status as a full-fledged republic of the USSR and made it a region of Soviet Georgia. At the end of 1936, Lavrenty Beria — at that […]

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