Military Review

Alexander Sergeev. Modern Abkhazia: Lessons and Challenges for Russia

Alexander Sergeev. Modern Abkhazia: Lessons and Challenges for Russia

Abkhazians in their native language call their homeland "Apsny", which translated into Russian means "country of the soul." Hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists visit Abkhazia every year. Stunning nature, abundance historical monuments - all this attracts masses of people. However, Abkhazia today is of interest to Russia not only as a recreation area, but also as an important geopolitical and strategic object, a territory in which for centuries a fraternal people, connected with the people of Russia by centuries-old historical ties, has lived.

Today, Abkhazia is the most interesting object of social studies. The territory where about 240 live thousands of people, recently survived the war and the post-war economic blockade, demonstrates serious results and achievements in state and social construction. Another reason for the actualization of the Abkhazian problems is that this country is a border zone of Russia, which not so long ago was one of the “hot spots” of the post-Soviet space. The hopes of the Georgian state in their bosom Abkhaz territory, as well as the hopes of the western allies of Georgia to maximally weaken both the Russian state in general and the Russian presence in Abkhazia, in particular, are not a thing of the past. Building literate, verified relations with today's Abkhaz elite is a major strategic task for Russia.

Based on the above given paradigm, we will try to illustrate the main constants of the current Abkhazian socio-political process.

1. "The frame of consent" within the modern Abkhaz elite. At the moment, the frame of elite national consensus is clearly visible in Abkhazia. The highest task of the elite - to carry out state construction in accordance with the needs of the time - is consistently solved by the ruling circles of the republic. Despite the fierce struggle of the Abkhaz clans and the active opposition, the elite consensus and the system of tacit arrangements supported by them made it possible for the fourth President to come to power for one and a half decades while maintaining a single and fairly successful socio-political and socio-economic course.

2. Ideological-semantic fullness of the activities of state-power units. The priority for state building in Abkhazia is the creation of an Abkhaz national state. Its source is the system of Abkhazian historical, spiritual and cultural symbols that have developed over the course of more than a thousand-year historical period.

3. Honoring holy places. Christianity plays a very significant role within the spiritual world of the Abkhaz. This is illustrated by the many ancient churches built in the 9-11 centuries, during the heyday and greatest power of the Abkhazian kingdom. These temples and many of the icons that have survived to this day are a source of special pride and love of the locals. At the same time, the Christian teaching in Abkhazia entered into the closest interaction with Apsuara, the oldest code of Abkhaz ethics. Following its centuries-old covenants helps the Abkhaz to maintain fraternal relations between representatives of various religious denominations (for example, today there are more than 15 percent of Muslims in the republic) and deep national solidarity.

4. Patriotic education of the masses and the feeling of "holy paternal land." When you communicate with Abkhazians, you deeply feel that their whole life is imbued with love for their homeland. Each of its significant components, each holy place, each historical symbol is a subject of special worship and feelings of great spiritual warmth. The inexhaustible attitude of the "native home" gave the Abkhaz the opportunity to survive in extremely difficult historical conditions. This feature was clearly reflected in the course of the Abkhaz traditional feast. The Abkhazians raise the first toast to the Almighty, the second to Abkhazia, the third to commemorate those who died in the wars for their country. The current leadership of Abkhazia attaches great importance to the strengthening of this socio-forming factor, its influence on national life. Among the most important modern Abkhaz holidays are the Day of Liberation (Day of Victory over Georgia), Flag Day of Abkhazia, Day of Recognition of Independence of Abkhazia by Russia. Both the bright and tragic dates of Abkhazian history never go unnoticed, they are widely celebrated at the national level, in accordance with historically established traditional principles and rules.

5. Attitude towards Russia as a strategic ally. Russian-Abkhazian relations have a long history. Many Abkhaz residents were participants of the Great Patriotic War, heroically proved themselves, defending our common fatherland - the Soviet Union. At the national level, the Russian-Abkhaz spiritual and historical connection has never been lost. The most active assistance to the Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-93 was provided to the Abkhaz by Russian volunteers, Cossacks, representatives of the peoples of the North Caucasus, South Ossetians. The memory of these events is kept by many natives of Abkhazia. In 2008, Russia recognized the independence of the Abkhaz state, after which the socio-economic, political, military and cultural cooperation between the two countries increased very noticeably. Today, Abkhazia looks at Russia as the most important strategic ally, a true guarantor of its security and stable livelihoods.

However, despite the positive realities of the socio-political development of Abkhazia, it seems necessary to point out to today's problems that in the future could pose a threat to both Abkhaz society and Russian-Abkhaz all-round cooperation.

The absence of a clear and clear strategic line of Moscow with respect to Abkhazia forces the Abkhaz elite to seek support in other regions of the planet, including the forces, the excessive rapprochement with which can pose a serious danger to the stable functioning of both states. For example, the reality of today's Abkhazia is the maximum actualization of the Mahajir theme, which includes the building up of Abkhaz immigrants on a pedestal in the countries of Asia Minor, who left their homeland under pressure from Russia in the era of the Caucasian War. The mahajir theme has a pronounced anti-Russian content, it is successfully used in its game against Russia, Georgia, Turkey and many other countries. Further escalation at the state level of this problem can create additional strategic difficulties in relations between Abkhazia and Russia. In addition, the Mahajir component of modern Abkhaz ideology inevitably leads to two things: the build-up of ethnic Abkhaz nationalism and the deformation of the modern ethno-religious balance of Abkhazia. Already today, conditions are being created in Abkhazia for the mass migration of descendants of Mahajirs from Middle Eastern countries. Their ancestors two centuries ago left Abkhazia. Today, these people come from a completely different social, cultural and religious environment. What can connect them with modern Abkhazians, the overwhelming majority of whom were born in the USSR, and from birth bears the sociocultural codes of the Russian multinational civilization? The feeling of some kind of ethnic solidarity and common historical symbols resurrected from the past two hundred years ago. It is clear that such a synthesis will most likely have an anti-Russian and, above all, anti-Russian orientation. Moreover, the mass resettlement of the descendants of the Muhajirs will harm other national communities living in the territory of Abkhazia, since they, unlike the indigenous Abkhazians, do not have the experience of living together and interacting with them.

A serious threat to Russian-Abkhaz relations is also represented by the activities of many non-governmental organizations in the republic. Very often, it is indirectly controlled by Western socio-political structures, whose goal system does not coincide with Russia's geopolitical interests. The events of recent months show that their activity in the Abkhaz political world is very great, and over time it can create a serious hotbed of tension on the territory of Abkhazia, and this, in turn, will bring a very serious sense of danger to the life of Russia's southern regions. The Russian power vertical must urgently analyze the current state of affairs and work out an adequate set of measures allowing it to be proactive and to prevent the loss of the current Abkhaz frontier in the future.

The Russian leadership also needs an urgent elaboration of a clear strategy in the Abkhaz foreign policy direction. Both Moscow and Sukhum must clearly understand that the preservation of the currently existing ethno-confessional balance within Abkhaz society is the most important condition for stability and security both for Abkhazia itself and for the whole multi-profile system of Russian-Abkhaz relations.

The current geopolitical position of Abkhazia dictates the exceptional importance for Russia of the specified geographical region. In turn, Russia is the only guarantor of the vital activity of modern Abkhazia. The development of sustainable principles and guidelines for the Russian-Abkhaz system of relations is the most important task of our foreign policy. It is hoped that it will be adequately resolved and will become a true guideline for state bodies, officials, business departments and other elite-social groups of both countries, on which the future of our peoples directly depends.

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  1. Ratmir
    Ratmir 28 October 2014 21: 44
    The main point here is not to miss. It is worth letting it drift, what results we already know.
    The enemy, his mother, is not asleep.
    1. Giant thought
      Giant thought 28 October 2014 22: 14
      It is impossible to appoint only liberalists as curators of Abkhazia, then we slander Abkhazia as well.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Alexan
      Alexan 29 October 2014 04: 52
      As always, we follow the principle: we would have to sort out our own. There was no strategy with Ukraine, no with the Caucasus. The position only needs to be principled and tough, otherwise it turns out that everyone is starting to blackmail, like Belarus, like Ukraine always, and the Kazakhs are no different.
  2. Lukich
    Lukich 28 October 2014 21: 53
    Abkhazia cannot be missed in any way. we need each other.
    1. WKS
      WKS 29 October 2014 00: 06
      The Russian leadership also needs urgent development of a clear strategy for the Abkhaz foreign policy direction.

      And not only in the Abkhazian and in many other countries recognized and not recognized. Developing such a strategy should be specialists, not random people. And this strategy must be guided in politics.
  3. Agarkov Vitaliy
    Agarkov Vitaliy 28 October 2014 21: 55
    And not only Abkhazia, but also South Ossetia should not be missed.
  4. Lyolik
    Lyolik 28 October 2014 22: 05
    There is little information about the life of the Abkhaz people, about Abkhazia itself in the media.
    A very good article, thanks to the author, there is something to ponder over the leadership of our Country, and you and I.
  5. A1L9E4K9S
    A1L9E4K9S 28 October 2014 22: 15
    No one is going to refuse to provide assistance to Abkhazia, especially since half of the population of Abkhazia has Russian passports.
  6. Yugra
    Yugra 28 October 2014 22: 25
    Abkhazians have already asked to go to Russia? If so, why not? We must accept. All cards in the game with geyropa and americos are open. There is nothing to lose ...
    1. Vasyata
      Vasyata 28 October 2014 22: 42
      It seems to me that not all cards are revealed ...
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Lelek
      Lelek 28 October 2014 22: 48
      Quote: Ugra
      Abkhazians have already requested to go to Russia? If so, then why not?

      IMHO. We have not yet signed acts recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the Transnistrian Republic. Or I'm wrong? If I am right, then you need to start with these acts, without looking back at Western opinions, as Count Gorchakov did in his time.
    4. abc_02
      abc_02 29 October 2014 07: 20
      In 2007 I served just there. The attitude towards the Russians is very warm, especially towards the soldiers. When we were guarding the elections, people constantly approached us and said sincere words of gratitude. In a conversation with one of the old Abkhazians, I asked him this question: "Do you want to go to Russia?" The meaning of the answer was that ordinary citizens in the majority - yes! But the government and local crime are not. They are very satisfied with the position of Abkhazia as a kind of transit point.
  7. Cossack Lee Hoy
    Cossack Lee Hoy 28 October 2014 22: 25
    At the end of the nineties, we stood at the base in Gudauta, four years ago we went for a vacation on the coast. The difference is huge. The republic is developing, but what has remained unchanged is a good attitude towards the Russians. It is necessary to preserve and increase everything, including at the state level.
  8. major071
    major071 28 October 2014 22: 30
    Russia will not let Abkhazia pass by, and neither will South Ossetia. These are our brothers, these are our people. It's just that all these "gestures" are not submitted for general discussion. In the world of big politics, against the background of the war in Syria and Ukraine, we simply do not notice the problems of these small republics. But, I think that no matter how it goes on, the Abkhaz and South Ossetians will become part of Russia. This is our outpost in the Caucasus, a strategic point. And if we do not want enemies on our borders, then, no matter how cynical it sounds, we need to be friends with these republics. And world opinion (from the United States) shove yourself in your jo * y.
  9. gav6757
    gav6757 28 October 2014 23: 35
    A very important topic in Abkhazia, and relevant!
    Russia needs not only to support the Abkhaz elite, but to invest in the country's economy! Why not put gas there? This should be both economically beneficial and politically motivated. Private capital is gradually entering Abkhazia, an example is the Babaevsky concern. But it is necessary to invest more in agriculture, in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, this is mutually beneficial, especially under Western sanctions.
    Instead, there are continuous lines at the border, and therefore - requisitions from the various services of Russia! The State University needs to think how to simplify the delivery of agricultural products from Abkhazia, and not how to establish new obstacles !!!
  10. Tra-ta-ta
    Tra-ta-ta 29 October 2014 00: 27
    Appoint Kadyrov as a caretaker for the Caucasus and everything will be OK. I respect the Chechen guys.
    1. Styx
      Styx 29 October 2014 01: 03
      The specifics of the Caucasus is such that the beholder can only be outside, they are there like herrings in a barrel and have seen enough of each other, the people are hot and emotional. Need a cold mind and a third-party look. I think Babylon should be sought precisely in the Caucasus :))
  11. hitech
    hitech 29 October 2014 00: 36
    Can you slow down? Navel will not tear to restore all at once? In order.
  12. hitech
    hitech 29 October 2014 00: 38
    Everything has been thought out for you. No need to rush slogans.
  13. regsSSSR
    regsSSSR 29 October 2014 02: 47
    among amers, the antarius bumped
    WASHINGTON, Oct 29 - RIA News. The Cygnus space truck, which was supposed to deliver more than 2 tons of cargo to the ISS, exploded at the time of launch at the Wallops space center on the Atlantic coast of the United States, and the launch is broadcast live on NASA's website.
    The launch was scheduled to take place at 01.22 Moscow time Wednesday from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia (Wallops Flight Facility) on the Atlantic coast using the Antares launch vehicle. "The explosion took place approximately six seconds after launch," the host said.

    RIA Novosti

    and opa part of the Antarius rockets for amers does along the way of Ukraine! (Yuzhmash Dnepropetrovsk)
    At the first stage, two AJ-26 oxygen-kerosene rocket engines are installed - an Aerodget company developed and licensed in the USA NK-33 engine modification for use on American launch vehicles (including Antares), created by removing some equipment from the original NK-33 (out of 37 copies purchased from the N.D. Kuznetsov SNTK), the addition of American electronics, the adaptation of the engine to fuel produced in the USA, and the equipping of a universal joint for controlling the thrust vector. As of March 31 [2010, the company Aerojet Rocketdine was purchased from SNTK them. Kuznetsov about 40 engines NK-33 at a price of 1 million US dollars, there were about 30 available. [12].

    Since Orbital did not have enough experience working with large liquid stages and cryogenic components, a contract was signed with the SE Yuzhnoye (Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk), the developer of Zenit series space rockets, to work on the first stage of Antares. The Yuzhny site includes the main phase of work with fuel tanks and related equipment. The main task of Yuzhnoye Design Bureau is to develop and control the manufacture of fuel tanks, high pressure tanks, valves, sensors, fuel and power supply systems, pipes, wires and other related equipment at the Yuzhmash plant

    The Irony of Fate))
    1. ia-ai00
      ia-ai00 29 October 2014 05: 52
      And PROTONS also had parts of missiles from "UKRAINA"?
  14. veteran56
    veteran56 29 October 2014 09: 01
    Another parasite. Close the border and let them deal with Georgia themselves if they really want independence.
  15. Prager
    Prager 29 October 2014 15: 18
    Abkhazia is a very important operational and tactical theater on the Black Sea, which should only be in OUR hands!