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Sunday, 23 October 2016


Abkhazia: how the war began

2011-08-16 11:27

Abkhazia: how the war began. 20859.jpegOn August 14, 1992 a war broke out in Abkhazia. Several thousand people hardly defined as soldiers invaded Abkhazia driving military vehicles recently obtained by Georgia as its share in the Soviet army's "heritage",. It was planned to organize a victory march within two or three days. Yet, things grew into a real war. The war that not only transformed Abkhazia and the political pattern of the region beyond recognition - it became a reference point in contemporary history for entire Transcaucasia. Let's get back to global consequences


later. For the time being let's recall the first days of the war.

Many authors that report on August 14, 1992 for some reason consider it haut ton to repeat a cliché-ridden story of the start of the Great Patriotic War. "On the other side of the river the dawn was quickening, a carefree summer day was starting and hundreds of residents of Abkhazia's villages near the Georgian border planned to spend it as usual, in summertime works in fields. No one thought a war would break out on that day".

The dawn could really be quickening, but residents of near-border villages did not notice anything. They were sleeping. A civil war between Shevarnadze and Zviadists was starting in Georgia, tanks locals got used to seeing were moving back and forth. Besides, at that time near-border localities were inhabited by Georgians only. To them, Georgian tanks were friendly.

There was no feeling of a starting war. And it was natural: summertime, sea, the collapse of the Soviet Union a year before. Abkhazians, Georgians, Russians, Greeks - all lived in one house. The situation was tense, interethnic separation was in full swing. Famous cafes on the seafront sold only stale buns. Everyone had a feeling that something should happen. Yet, no one thought it would be a war.

A suburb of Sukhum, late July 1992. An Abkhaz banner is raised over the city for the first time. A conversation between 12-year-olds on a playground.

- What is Nurik's nationality?

- He's Georgian.

- Then he has to be booted out.

- Why?

- Because Georgians offend Abkhazians.

A girl interferes:

  • Then Russians must be ousted too, mustn't they?

  • Why?

  • Because Russians offend Georgians.

People were ready to break off with friends, neighbors, relatives only for being different. The way of "breaking off" became evident at the time of the war.

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