Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Georgia: Self-Ethnic Cleansing

Steady State expresses its opinion on an analysis of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict which says that nearly 300,000 Georgians fled their homes by their own accord. The blog takes issue with the idea.

21 comments

  • Metin

    Is it really true that being part of the world-community we Abkhazians, numbering about 100,000 in Abkhazia itself, are doing harm to this community. Is it possible that if mankind, having already lost in the 19th century our brothers the Ubykhs, is now to lose us Abkhazians at the close of the 20th century, it will become somehow richer in the 3rd millennium A.D.?!

    The fact is that people are being exterminated and the world is keeping silent… Well, almost – for such news-agencies as Reuters, AP, the BBC, whenever they refer to us, our standard epithets are ‘separatists’ and ‘rebels’… How is it that we are separatists when we are actually not separating from anybody or attacking anybody? Are there any resolutions of the Abkhazian Parliament adopted before August 14 1992 (or even several months afterwards) which have declared secession from Georgia? There is not one! In fact, it was the Abkhazian side that suggested building our relations with Georgia on an agreed, federative basis. Therefore, it was the Abkhazian side which came out with proposals that would preserve the unity of Georgia. The response was the despatch to Abkhazia of tanks, fighter-bombers and guardsmen armed to the teeth…

    We are being forced into a separatist-position by the actual separatists reigning in Tbilisi who are busy destroying their own country. They have cast their country, the unity of which was supported by the bayonets of the Stalinist Soviet Empire, back to the feudal division of the Middle Ages. The so-called separatists from Adjaria, Mingrelia, Kakhetia (not to mention Abkhazia and Ossetia) are taking up an all-round defensive position against the central power in Tbilisi. The question is: «Why are there so many ‘separatists’ in Georgia?» Russia appealed to her former autonomies to conclude a federative treaty. Russia raised the status of autonomies and many regions, including those in the North Caucasus, to the level of republics. No obstacles were put in the way of the elections of presidents in these republics or of the adoption of their national flags and other state-symbols.

    Abkhazia is Abkhazia
    By Stanislav Lakoba, Central Asian Survey, vol. 14, no. 1
    http://www.circassianworld.com/Abkhazia_is_Abkhazia.html

    Abkhazia’s Liberation and International Law
    By E. K. Adzhindzhal, Sukhum, 2007
    http://www.circassianworld.com/Abkhazia_Liberation.html

  • Beknur Chaushba

    Dear Abkhaz brothers,

    It is time to reconcile. It is time to stop letting other to treat us like puppets in hands of evil.

    I live in Batumi, and Abkhaz community in Batumi is huge. We have been living there since muhajir migration and together with our Georgian brothers my ancestors fought against both Russian and ottoman suppression at the end of 19th century.

    I feel ashamed when we let the mogul owned television and bogus western and especially Russian experts judge our behaviour, our living and history in way as if we are a couple of unique breed of monkeys in the zoo.

    It must be noted that Abkhaz, Megrelian, Gurian, Ajarian, Imeretian, Karlian, Svan, Kakhetian, Pshav and Khevsur WE ARE ALL GEORGIANS. Oseetians is another ethnicity but is part of our family as well.

    Historically we intuitively worked out the habit to federate ourselves facing the scarceness of resources to fight against the Persians, Ottomans, Mongols and Russians. Forming into regional groupings we used to become hardly identifiable by the enemy, and the unexpectedness of guerrilla attacks were so effective that thousands of troops were forced to step back.

    We were debilitated under Russian tsarist rule; we were forced to merge and disappear during the soviet union. We were very unskilful and unable to administer ourselves after the fall of USSR.

    Undercover KGB provocations worked well. We started hating and killing ourselves. But thank god all is clear now. We have to learn the lesson, otherwise we are the most stupid people in the world.

    We have to stop repeating Jerenovski, Zatulin and other sick men who neither care about Russia not its citizens. But what they care about is to have a peace of Kalbasa every breakfast and supper on the table. They will sell all and everything for it.

    Please be cautious. There is no separatism in Georgia, no division between the regions. There is an imaginary hatred that was successfully implanted by Russian propaganda in our minds.

    God bless all who care others.

  • Beknur Chaushba

    Sorry there are some spelling mistakes. If it’s not a problem please make the following corrections:

    Instead of
    It is time to stop letting OTHER to treat us like puppets in hands of evil.

    PLEASE REPLACE WITH
    OTHERS

    Instead of
    But what they care about is to have a PEACE of Kalbasa every breakfast and supper on the table.

    PLEASE REPLACE WITH

    PIECE

  • My Abkhaz Brothers,
    terrible things did take place in past, but you know and I know, Russia does not offer future to Abkhazia and needles to say that Russia offers future to anybody, except to itsself.
    Our future is together, where Abkhaz and Georgian people make united State better, give a federal ideas new swing and become a true European Democracy keeping unique characteristics of each Nation.
    God Bless

  • Metin

    North Caucasian autonomies (such as Adyghea, Kabardino-Balkaria, etc…) were indeed upgraded; it was, I think, to do with allowing them to claim ’sovereignty’ over their own territories. Declarations of ’sovereignty’ have been misinterpreted in the West as declarations of ‘independence’, which is why one reads in different sources that Abkhazia declared independence in the early 1990s, whereas it only did so in late 1999. It always seemed to me that such measures on the part of the Abkhazians were taken in direct response to the various maneuverings in Tbilisi and done to protect Abkhazians’ own interests. If Georgia had been prepared to allow Abkhazia (and South Ossetia) true -con-federal status instead of going down the road of chauvinistic aggression, there would have been every chance that Abkhazians would have accepted this and been satisfied with it, and it’s a pity that those in Tbilisi who had the power to manipulate popular opinion were not sensible enough to go down this path instead of the one of war, which was always the danger and was what prompted me to get involved in the politics of the region, as I was reading what Georgian historians and literary experts were writing back in late 1988 and early 1989; it alarmed me to think where all of this nationalist rhetoric might lead, and, of course, we all know where it did lead.

    Why shouldn’t the Abkhazians have been happy with TRUE -con-federal status, when for years after the end of the war, they were still saying that they’d accept -con-federal status? It was as a result of Georgia’s determination to thwart discussions along these lines, while at the same time financing such terrorist-organisations as the White Brethren and the Forest Legion, that finally led to the decision no longer to accept anything less than full independence and thus to the declaration of independence in 1999.

    The proposal of Abkhazia to establish –con-federation (actually there was discussion of Common State – two states within common borders) with Georgia was a step closer to a legal secession. Abkhazia’s position before the war was to propose Georgia to revew no longer existing relations which were based on the Soviet Law. By the way if Georgia accepted that proposal Abkhaz claim could be even more beneficial for Georgia. If Georgia received Abkhaz proposals accordingly it would be more effective and peaceful velvet divorce between Abkhazia and Georgia. Today Georgia and Abkhazia could be two friendly states with major Georgian population living in Abkhazia and transparent borders and other joint actions.

    Fortunately today Abkhaz position is more clear and straight. No union within Georgia may save and preserve Abkhaz nation.

  • Daniel

    That is the point, they are not Georgians. Nor Ossetians, nor Abkhazians, and so on. Please stop dispelling this lie to people. They have their own traditions, cultures, languages. These people have suffered long enough under Georgian domination. It is time Georgia realizes its mistakes and leaves them alone already. We can all live in peace together in our region and as independent states who take care of their own people. That is the right thing to do. Enough, Georgia, please leave Ossetians alone. Please leave Abkhazia alone. We all want nothing to do with you anymore. With that, you must stop forcing yourself to us. We are fine without you. Goodbye and goodluck.

  • George

    I came across to this discussion. To tell the truth, I ended up reading it with spliting emotions: I am Georgian and support my country, but I understand that what our Abkhaz brothers have written here is also true from their point of view. The fact is that we need to talk a lot, before any changes appear, we need to calm our emotions. But there is a problem anyway:there’s always more than one side to the truth.
    Last time I was in Sukhumi in 2000. It was painful to see how deserted the place was. This city was quite different in my childhood memories. I remember an old lady approaching me and talking in Georgian, but she was almost whispering, because, as she said, she was afraid to talk on this language.
    Remember the movie “Truman’s show” ? Where the hero finds out that everything that surounded him for all his life was false. I am afraid that many of us, both in Tbilisi and Sukhumi will have to face this someday. We are generation who didn’t go to war, but whose relatives were killed. We are generation who haven’t meet for even once. So how we know what THEY tell us is true?

  • Tinatin

    Dear All,

    Georgia since 1992 had suffered economically and politically. Warlords and corrupted politicians had run the country down to the poverty and chaos.
    There has not been a region left in Georgia not affected by the brutality of anarchism – Abkhazia and South Ossetia were no exception.

    We, Georgians, think of Abkhazians and Ossetians as our brothers and sisters and rest assured no harm or hatred are in our hearts.
    Georgia is at the point when things are improving. Economy is better, country is moving forward steadily and it has showed a lot of great potential to the world.

    We should be able to settle any differences between us and move forward as one strong country with one strong economy, infrastructure and learn respect to each other.

  • Gavin

    I believe that making new countries in the world is impossible, even 5 years old kids know that nobody including Russia will allow that Abkhazia will become independent, then Russia will gain its own problems. What Russia did in Chechnia was awfull abd be happy dear Abkhazians that USA and Georgia will not make soup out of your country like Russia did in Chechnia or USA in Iraq…
    It is pointless to speak about independence and i think Abkhazians know that. Germany, UK, France has already produced peace plan in 3 Stages which will be implemented as Russia will never go against countries which buys their goods and brings money to them. There is a big chance that all the above mentioned countries could get Asian Gas and oil through Georgia (which is not controlled by Russia) so Russia will do everything that Georgia will keep its Frozen conflicts for long time.

  • Skycross

    I know concerning the fact of Georgia that Georgia doesn’t have sovereign and territorial rights. Because Georgian authoriation always bias & liar like western style, weapon of mass murder, and ethnic cleanising since 15 years. I compared Georgia are National Fascism and Roman plutoarcy (Liberal Democracy) Like USA and NATO that I heard Georgia soliders kill more 1,500 ethnic Armenian Javakheti since 1998. I hate NATO and supported Abkhazia, Ossetia, Katveli and Javakheti to be liberated and indepedent states in the 21st century.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.