Geogians and
Abkhazians

Georgians and Abkhazians.
The Search for a Peace Settlement

Notes and References


Chapter 1


1. Mehmet Tütüncü, Caucasus: War and Peace. The New World Disorder and Caucasia, Haarlem, 1998 (the book can be ordered by email .

2. See the report by Anna Matveeva in: Coordinating Committee for Conflict Resolution Training in Europe, no. 5, Spring 1997, http://www.c-r.org/cr/ccts/.

3. See Naira Gelaschwili, Georgien. Ein Paradies in Trümmern, Berlin, Aufbau Verlag, 1993.

4. The conference was attended by Anthony Antoine (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Lincoln Allison (University of Warwick), Martina Bohm (La Trobe University, Melbourne), Kevin Clements (George Mason University), Rachel Clogg (University of Oxford), Jonathan Cohen (Foundation on Inter-Ethnic Relations, The Hague), Jan de Voogd (TACIS Monitoring & Evaluation Office, Tbilisi), Theodore Hanf (Arnold BergstrÉsser Institute, Freiburg), Heidi Hiltunen (European Commission), Terrence Hopmann (Brown University), Kahka Gogoloshvili (Georgian Embassy), Ria Laenen (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Anna Matveeva (International Alert, London), Nino Nanava (London School of Economics), Klaus Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen), Eric Remacle (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Andrea Schmidt (Université Catholique de Louvain), David Tirr (European Commission) and Martin Schuemer (UN Volunteers).

5. In an article for Nezavisimaya gazeta, Alexander Iskandarian has expressed his bitterness at this lack of interest: 'Uchenye obsuzhdayut problemy Kavkaza', Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 19 November 1997.

6. See Johan Galtung, 'Some observations on the Caucasus', in: Caucasian Regional Studies, vol. 2, Issue 1, http://www.vub.ac.be/POLI/.

7. cf. Will Kymlicka, 'Is Federalism a Viable Alternative to Secession?', in: Percy B. Lehning, Theories of Secession, Routledge, London and New York, 1998, pp.140-141.

8. Small but Perfectly Formed', The Economist, 3 January 1998.


Chapter 2


1. Hugh Seton-Watson, Nationalism and Communism, Methuen: London, 1964, pp. 19-24.

2. Miroslav Hroch, Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe. A Comparative Analysis of the Social Composition of Patriotic Groups among the Smaller European Nations, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1985, p. 12; Karl W. Deutsch, Problems of Nation-Building and National Development, in: Karl W. Deutsch, William J. Foltz (eds.), Nation-Building, Atherton Press: New York, 1963, p. 140.

3. There was an episode of aristocratic nationalism which expressed itself in the anti-imperial conspiracy of 1832, but it did not develop further. In the 1860s, Ilya Chavchavadze had to start Georgian nationalism on a new basis, though tribute was paid to the conspirators of the previous generation.

4. The dogmatic difference is in interpreting the nature of Christ: diophysites (i.e., Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox) recognize His dual (divine and human) nature, while monophytes (i.e., Armenian Gregorians) deny His human nature.

5. Revaz Gachechiladze, The New Georgia: Space, Society, Politics, Texas A & M University Press: College Station, 1995, pp. 19-20.

6. Ernest Gellner, Nation and Nationalism, Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1983, pp. 50-52.

7. "Georgia proper" excludes Abkhazia and South Ossetia, future breakaway regions.

8. "If the French understanding of nationhood has been state-oriented and assimilationist, the German understanding has been Volk-centered and differentialist". Citizenship and Nationhood, Harvard University Press: Cambridge/ Mass., 1990, p. 184.

9. In this section of my paper, I depend partly on my notes from the lecture delivered by the Abkhaz-Georgian historian, Gia Anchabadze, during the conference organized by the Caucasian Home and Heinrich Bűll Foundation in Tbilisi in September 1992. Of course, Dr. Anchabadze cannot be held responsible for my interpretation of his ideas. For understandable reasons, I feel less confident in my interpretation of the Abkhaz national project and would especially appreciate any criticisms or suggestions.

10. See, for instance, Stanislav Lakoba, Abkhaziya posle dvukh okupatsiy, Gagra, 1994.

11. As Georgian authors point out, Abkhazia existed as separate from Georgia only from March to December of 1921, when it was attached to Georgia as "treaty republic", and the Soviet Constitution of 1924 "treated it in fact as an autonomous republic within Georgia", so in 1931 this status was only "made official" (R. Gachechiladze, New Georgia, op.cit., p. 33). These legal subtleties, however, may mean much less today in comparison with firm belief prevalent in Abkhaz society that Georgian Stalin attached Abkhazia to Georgia in 1931.

12. "Private Schools Should Exist", Respublika Abkhazia, 15-17 Jan. 1997, p. 3.

13. Central Asian Survey, Vol. 14, no. 1, 1995, pp. 97-105.

14. "The Georgian government and public have never questioned the status of Abkhazia. I am declaring this to everybody, to the whole world, to the Abkhaz: extensive autonomy will be guaranteed, the rights of every Abkhaz will be guaranteed" - Eduard Shevardnadze's speech to the joint sitting of the Defence Council and Council of Ministers of Abkhazia on 6 July 1993, Sakartvelos Respublika, 8 July 1993. One can argue that part of the Georgian public did question Abkhaz autonomy and that some government officials (such as Minister of Defence Kitovani) denounced autonomy in personal interviews, but in principle Shevardnadze's assertion (and many more statements like this may be quoted) is correct.

15. Actions by the Abkhaz government are described in Svetlana Chervonnaya, Conflict in the Caucasus: Georgia, Abkhazia and the Russian Shadow, Somerset, Gothic Image Publications, 1994.

16. In this context, see my "Georgia's Identity Crisis", Journal of Democracy, 1995/1, pp. 104-116.

17. This is usually admitted by most Russian scholars. See, for instance, Dmitri Trenin, "Russia's Security Interests and Policies in the Caucasus Region", in: Bruno Coppieters (ed.) Contested Borders in the Caucasus, Brussels, VUBPRESS, 1996, pp. 91-102.

18. "Indeed, at the beginning of 1997 there appeared to be at least six key actors in the Russian foreign policy-making process: (1) Yeltsin himself and the extensive presidential apparatus; (2) the Foreign Ministry led by Primakov; (3) Lukoil, Transneft, Gasprom and other energy conglomerates linked to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin; (4) the Defence Ministry led by Igor Rodionov; (5) the Atomic Energy Ministry led by Viktor Mikhailov; (6) the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations led by Oleg Davydov, and the Rosvooruzheniye state-owned arms exporting company which is subordinate to the ministry." Robert O. Freedman, "Russian Policy-Making and Caspian Sea Oil", Analysis of Current Events, vol. 9. no. 2, February 1997, p. 6. The list of agencies may vary from one expert to another (why not add, for instance, the Border Troops Department led by Gen. Nikolayev?) and their weight changes over time, but the assessment that a single foreign policy-making centre is lacking is universally shared by experts on Russia.

19. A liberal member of the Russian Duma said in an interview with us in 1994 that the overwhelming majority of the Duma committee on relations with the CIS countries believed that Georgia should be kept weak and divided in order for Russia to dominate it. The Chairman of this committee, Konstantin Zatulin, publicly said that "Georgia should become our satellite or die".

20. In his interview with Moscow News, Sergey Leonenko, a retired officer of the Russian army who fought in Abkhazia, listed hatred of Shevardnadze as the number one reason why the Russian military (meaning regular forces deployed in Abkhazia) support the Abkhaz. He also said that the Russian military believed that by supporting the Abkhaz they were promoting Russia's national interests. When asked about specific forms of support, he said he could not say everything because there was an official order to stay neutral, but he admitted that they could always get from the Russian army a "fully detailed plan of combat operations". "The success of the Abkhaz army confirms this," he continued. "But the battle for Sukhumi will be prolonged, because the army lacks people who are capable of properly carrying out those plans. Now it is our urgent task to fill positions on the management level, predominantly at the expense of retired Russian officers." "Za Pravoye Delo?", 18 July 1993.

21. On this, see Ghia Nodia, 'Waiting for the Russian Bear', in: War Report, June 1995, no. 34, pp. 39-40.

22. For more on this, see: S. Neil MacFarlane, Larry Minear, and Stephen D. Schenfield, Armed Conflict in Georgia: A Case Study in Humanitarian Action and Peacekeeping, Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, Occasional Paper no. 21, 1996.

23. After this paper was written, the idea emerged of putting Abkhazia on the map of oil pipeline networks - an issue presumably discussed during the meeting between Ardzinba and Shevardnadze in August 1997 in Tbilisi. This appears to be based on the notion that there should be economic incentives for co-opting Abkhazia, rather than on any economic rationale for the project itself. It therefore has probably even slimmer chances of materializing than another idea for a "peace pipeline" - the one running through mountainous Karabagh.

24. According to the interview with the Georgian MP Valeri Giorgobiani, even Shamil Basaev, the commander of the Chechen fighters in Abkhazia, says that his participation in the war was a mistake and they were deceived into it by Russia: "Kartvelebi tsin tsadit da chechnebi mogqvebit ukan, - atsxadebs shamil basaevi" ("'Georgians, lead the way and we Chechens will follow you,' says Shamil Basayev"), Akhali Taoba, 6 January 1997.

25. Georgian Chronicle, March 1997.

26. As recently as in April 1997, Radio Liberty expert on the Caucasus Liz Fuller was writing that "Politicians and political commentators in both Russia and Georgia predict that fighting between Georgia's central government and its breakaway Black Sea region of Abkhazia may soon break out again". Liz Fuller, 'Is Russia's Peacekeeping Force in Abkhazia a New Casus Belli?' RFE/RL Newsline, vol. 1, no. 21, 29 April 1997.


Chapter 3


1. The Commander-in-Chief of the Georgian forces in Abkhazia, Colonel Giorgi Karkarashvili, in an address to the population of Abkhazia broadcast on Sukhum television on 25 August 1992, warned that "Even if the total number of Georgians - 100,000 - are killed, then from your [Abkhazian] side all 97,000 will be killed", and he advised the Abkhazian leader V. Ardzinba "not to act in such a way that the Abkhazian nation is left without descendants" (cf. G. Amkuab, T. Illarionova, Abxazija: Xronika neobjavlennoj vojny. Chast' I. 14 avgusta - 14 sentiabria 1992 goda. Moskva, 1992, p. 128). 97,000 was the approximate number of the entire Abkhazian population of Abkhazia. Soon after this event Karkarashvili was promoted by Shevardnadze to the rank of general, and later replaced Kitovani as Georgian Minister of Defence. In an interview given in the occupied city of Sukhum, another high-ranking Georgian official, the Minister of State for Abkhazia, Goga Khaindrava, told the correspondent from Le Monde Diplomatique (published in April 1993) that "there are only 80,000 Abkhazians, which means that we can easily and completely destroy the genetic stock of their nation by killing 15,000 of their youth. And we are perfectly capable of doing this."

2. "Abkhazi [sic!] terrorist-separatist movement", in point B of the "Resolution on the situation in Georgia" (B3-1452, 1474, 1490, 1505 and 1516/93, November 1993).

3. G. Gotlieb, Nation Against State. A New Approach to Ethnic Conflicts and the Decline of Sovereignty, New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993, pp. 19-20.

4. No precise figures exist on the relative proportions of Christians, Moslems or atheists among Abkhazians living in Abkhazia. One may suppose that the proportion of Christians among the religious Abkhazians must reach 60%. My personal observations indicate that the number of believers among Abkhazian intellectuals has increased since the war of 1992-1993. All Abkhazian Moslems belong to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam, while Christians are Russian or (more rarely) Eastern Orthodox. The role of the Abkhazian language in church ceremonies has increased in recent times. The major Christian texts have been translated into Abkhazian since the middle of the 19th century. There is no antagonism whatsoever between Christian and Moslem Abkhazians and mixed marriages are very common. Abkhazia has never known any form of religious fanaticism, Abkhazians are very tolerant of other faiths, and, in all fairness, tend to be quite indifferent to matters of religion. Christian Abkhazians in general are not diligent churchgoers, and until recently those who regard themselves as Moslems have not had a single mosque to attend in Abkhazia. As rightly observed by many authors, the plain truth is that neither Christianity nor Islam forms more than a surface laid over the old Abkhazian paganism. Diaspora Abkhazians, on the contrary, are Moslems in the true sense of the word, although they are not renowned for any fanaticism either.

5. The pre-emigration figure for Abkhazians was between 130,000 and 150,000, and for Abkhazo-Abazas about 180,000 (cf. V.A. Chirikba, Common West Caucasian. The Reconstruction of its Phonological System and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology. Leiden: CNWS Publications, 1996, pp. 1-3). In 1897 the first official all-Russia census established the presence in Abkhazia of 58,697 Abkhazians, which comprised 55.3% of Abkhazia's 106,000 population; the figures for other ethnic groups in Abkhazia were: 25,875 Georgians (24.4%; these were mainly Megrelians), 6,552 Armenians (6.1%), 5,135 Russians (5.6%) and 5,393 Greeks (5.0%) (cf. S.Z. Lakoba (ed.), Istorija Abkhazii. Uchebnoe posobie, Gudauta: Alashara, 1993, p. 347).

6. The exact number of Abkhazians in Turkey is not known, as the official Turkish data on minorities are notoriously unreliable. Some specialists speak of more than 100,000 Abkhazians (G.A. Dzidzariya, Makhadzhirstvo i problemy istorii Abkhazii XIX stoletija. Sukhumi: Alashara, 1982, p. 493), while other authors estimate their numbers in Turkey (together with that of the closely related Abazas) at half a million (cf. I. Marykhuba, Abkhazija v sovetskuju epokhu. Abkhazskie pis'ma (1947-1989), Sbornik dokumentov. Tom 1. Akua (Sukhum), 1994; P. Overeem, "Report of a UNPO coordinated human rights mission to Abkhazia and Georgia", in: Central Asian Survey, vol. 14, no. 1, 1995, p. 18). According to the results of my own field research in Turkey, there are no fewer than 250 Abkhaz-Abaza villages in that country (V.A. Chirikba, "Distribution of Abkhaz dialects in Turkey", in: Proceedings of the Conference dedicated to the memory of Tevfik Esenç, Istanbul, forthcoming). In addition, a large number of Abkhazians are now living in cities and towns, the most numerous communities being in Istanbul, Ankara, Duzce, Inegol, Bilecik, Eskishehir, Samsun and Sinop. As well as in Turkey, there are also some 5,000 Abkhazians in Syria (information from Syrian Abkhazians); still smaller Abkhazian communities are to be found in some other Middle Eastern countries. Abkhazian colonies (made up mainly of Turkish Abkhazians) exist also in many Western European countries, such as Germany (some 3,000), the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Britain, Switzerland and Austria. A small Abkhazian community in New Jersey, USA, is mostly made up of immigrants from Syria.

7. Apart from the forced emigration to Turkey, another factor responsible for the sharp decrease in the relative number of Abkhazians in Abkhazia was the (often forced) resettlement from Georgia to Abkhazia of tens of thousands of Georgians. This resettlement policy, aimed at shifting the demographic balance in Abkhazia in favour of ethnic Georgians, was successfully carried out by the Communist authorities of Georgia up to 1992, but this policy was practised on its largest scale in the 1930s and 1940s, under the rule of Stalin and Beria.

8. P. Overeem, op.cit., p. 138.

9. UN Document S/26795.

10. R. Gachechiladze, The New Georgia. Space, Society, Politics, London: UCL Press, 1995, pp. 43, 178. According to the Georgian State Committee for Refugees and Displaced Persons, some 160,000 refugees from Abkhazia have been officially registered and accommodated in 63 districts of Georgia, cf. "The Georgian Chronicle", February-March 1994, as cited in A. Zverev, Ethnic Conflicts in the Caucasus. In: Bruno Coppieters (ed.). Contested Borders in the Caucasus, Brussels: VUB University Press, 1996, pp. 13-71.

11. The dangerously increased tension was due to certain declarations made by Georgian leaders and to the actions carried out by the Russian military in Abkhazia. Thus, in an interview published in Nezavisimaya Gazeta (29 June 1994), the Georgian leader Shevardnadze announced that the so-called "Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia", based in Tbilisi, would soon move to the Gal region. In its statement of 29 June, the Abkhazian Supreme Council characterized Shevardnadze's declaration as "provocative", and expressed deep concern about the actions of the peacekeeping force which, by permitting the uncontrolled mass return of refugees, had caused the destabilization of the situation in the region. On two occasions, around 15 May and 15 July 1995, tension in Abkhazia rose considerably owing to the statements issued by Georgian officials in Tbilisi, who called for the mass repatriation to Abkhazia of Georgian refugees. The statements made in early July by the Russian Commander of the CIS peacekeeping force, endorsing such an uncontrolled mass repatriation and promising the repatriates the protection of his forces, sparked sharp criticism from Abkhazia's officials, who declared that this could result in renewed hostilities. In the end, the much-heralded mass return of refugees was halted. In September 1995 a high-ranking Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin visited Tbilisi. On 15 September the sides concluded a number of agreements, among them one on Russian military bases in Georgia, including the base in Gudauta, and they declared their support for the principle of territorial integrity and the inviolability of existing borders, condemning "aggressive separatism and terrorism in any form" (cf. S/1995/937). The Russian-Georgian deal on military bases and the unexpected announcement that military exercises would be carried out on 30 September 1995 by the CIS peacekeeping troops, obviously designed to exert pressure on Abkhazia, prompted the Abkhazian forces to go into a state of heightened alert. It was planned to carry out the exercises in the Gal region of Abkhazia, in parallel with the introduction there of a CIS battalion consisting mainly of ethnic Georgians. Following the arrival of this battalion, it was planned that Georgian police troops would enter the region. These plans coincided with Shevardnadze's statement that the problem of the Gal region would be solved in the next few days, and that Georgian sovereignty over this region of Abkhazia would be restored (cf. the statement by the Abkhazian Parliament on 4 October 1995).

On 20 March 1996 tension between the Abkhazian authorities and the Russian border troops in Abkhazia again rose sharply. A Russian military ship, N 040, entered Sukhum Bay without permission from the Abkhazian authorities and, having arrested the Ukrainian trading ship "Vega", forced it to proceed to the nearby Russian port of Sochi. This incident, which happened during Shevardnadze's visit to Moscow, was supposedly meant as a pro-Georgian gesture. During Shevardnadze's visit Russia gave in to the Georgian demand that all foreign ships bound for Abkhazia - even those with humanitarian cargoes - would have to pass through customs in the Georgian port of Poti. In addition, it was decided that the Russians would forbid the boarding of any passengers or loading of any cargo in the port of Sukhum, which was tantamount to an almost total naval blockade of Abkhazia. In its statement of 21 March 1996, the Abkhazian Government protested against these measures, regarding them as having been taken unilaterally in the interests of Georgia and interfering in the internal affairs of Abkhazia. On 2 July 1996 an Abkhazian police post on the Gal canal was fired at with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. At the end of September 1996, Georgia carried out military exercises in the vicinity of the conflict zone, contravening the cease-fire agreement of 14 May 1994. These and some other incidents seriously aggravated the situation and led many to think there was a real possibility of renewed hostilities.

12. Resolution 233 (97), cf. www.coe.fr/cp/97/233a(97).htm.


Chapter 4


1. Actually economic sanctions imposed according to the decision of the Council of the Heads of State of CIS on 19 January, 1996 forbidding economic and other contacts with this secessionist region without the permission of the Government of Georgia. Lifting the sanctions is being linked to serious efforts to settle the conflict, primarily the return of internally displaced persons, mostly of Georgian nationality, who were driven from the region as a result of the civil war, and guaranteeing their safety.

2. I. Maksakov, "Vozobnovlenie voyny vozmozhno", Nezavisimaya gazeta, 24 April 1997.

3. E. Kharket, "Kontury dokumenta proyasniayutsia", Nezavisimaya gazeta, 17 June 1997.

4. Calculations based on Sakartvelos respublikis sotsialur-ekonomikuri informatsiis komiteti, Sakartvelos regionebis sotsialur-ekonomikuri mdgomareoba, Tbilisi, 1991

5. A. Krylov, "Peregovory mogut prekratit'sia po vine Tbilisi: takoe mnenie v intervyu 'NG' vyskazal prezident Respubliki Abkhaziya V. Ardzinba", Nezavisimaya gazeta, 5 March.1997.

6. Sakartvelos respublikis sotsialur-ekonomikuri informatsiis komiteti, Sakartvelos regionebis sotsialur-ekonomikuri mdgomareoba, op.cit., p. 3

7. I. Rotar', "Dazhe reguliarnye voyska inogda maroderstvuyut: intervyu c V. Ardzinba", Nezavisimaya gazeta, 15 October 1993.

8. F. Corley, "Peoples on the move" War report, no. 28, January/February 1997, pp. 22-23

9. Sakartvelos mosakhleobis dasakmeba. Sakartelos respublikis sotsialur-ekonomikuri informatsiis komiteti, Statistikuri krebuli, Natsili 2, Tbilisi, 1992, pp. 74, 196, 200.

10. P.B. Henze, "Georgia and Armenia: Troubled independence", Eurasian Studies, no. 2, 1995, pp. 25-35.

11. I. Rotar', "‚Stat' nashimi satellitami ili umeret'é: takovo mnenie o Blizhnem Zarubezhye Konstantina Zatulina - Predsedatelya komiteta po delam SNG i svyazyam s sootechestvennikami Gosudarstvennoy Dumy", Nezavisimaya gazeta, 5 May 1994.

12. For more detail see R. Gachechiladze, The New Georgia: Space, Society, Politics, London, UCL Press, 1995.

13. D. Slider, "Crisis and response in Soviet Nationality Policy: the Case of Abkhazia", Central Asian Survey 4(4), 1985, p. 54.

14. Robert J. Kaiser, The Geography of Nationalism in Russia and the USSR, Princeton/New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 362.

15. Obrashchenie [uchastnikov sobraniya v sele Lykhny Gudautskogo raiona] k General'nomy sekretaryu TsK KPSS, Predsedatelyu Presidiuma Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR tovarishchu M.S. Gorbachovu, Sovyetskaya Abkhaziya, 24 March 1989.

16. J.R. Eshelman, B.G. Cashion, L.A. Basirico, Sociology: An Introduction, New York, Harper Collins, 1988, p. 69.

17. S.P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilisations?", Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993, pp. 22-49.

18. "Statisticheskie tablitsy naseleniya Kavkazskogo regiona", in: N. Seidlitz (ed.), Sbornik Svedeniy o Kavkaze, vol. VII., Tiflis, Tipografia glavnogo upravlenia namestnika kavkazskogo, 1880.

19. Z.V. Anchabadze, Ocherk etnicheskoy istorii abkhazskogo naroda, Sukhumi, Alashara, 1976, p. 86.

20. Ibid.

21. Sakartvelos akhal administratsiul erteulebad daqopis proekti. Memorandumi - statistikuri tskhrilebi, Tbilisi, Saxelmtsipo stamba, 1920.

22. A. Totadze, Sakartvelos demografiuli portreti, Tbilisi, Samshoblo, 1993, p. 69.

23. Z.V. Anchabadze, Ocherk etnicheskoy istorii abkhazskogo naroda, Sukhumi, Alashara, 1976, p. 96.

24. R. Gachechiladze, The New Georgia: Space, Society, Politics, op.cit., p. 84.

25. Yu.V. Bromley (ed.), Narody mira: istoriko-demograficheskii spravochnik. Sovetskaya Entsiklopediya, Moscow, 1988, p. 430.

26. V.I. Kozlov, Natsional'nosti SSSR (etnodemograficheskii obzor), Moscow, Statistika, 1975, p. 215.

27. A. Totadze, Sakartvelos demografiuli portreti, Tbilisi, Samshoblo, 1993, p. 192.

28. Sakartvelos dasakhlebuli punktebi da mosakhleoba. Sakartvelos respublikis statistikis sakhelmtsipo komiteti, Sakartvelos dasakhlebuli punktebi da mosakhleoba. Statistikuri krebuli, Tbilisi, 1990.

29. R.J. Kaiser, The Geography of Nationalism in Russia and the USSR, op.cit.

30. A. Rondeli, "Georgia in the Post-Soviet Space", Caucasian Regional Studies, no. 1, 1996, pp. 96-100.

31. "Commonwealth of Independent States: the beginning or the end of history?", Nezavisimaya gazeta, 26 March 1997.

32. D. Trenin, "Russia's Security Interests and Policies in the Caucasus Region", in: B. Coppieters (ed.), Contested Borders in the Caucasus, Brussels, VUB Press, 1996, pp. 91-102.

33. Moskovski Komsomolets, 10 June 1997.

34. B. Coppieters, "Conclusions: The Caucasus as a Security Complex", in: B. Coppieters (ed.), Contested Borders in the Caucasus, op.cit., p. 196.

35. B. Coppieters, "Introduction", in: Ibid., p. 9.


Chapter 5


1. S. Lakoba, Stoletnyaya voyna Gruzii protiv Abkhazii, Gagra, 1993

2. Abkhazia. Khronika neobyavlennoy voiny, Moscow, 1993, Part 2, p. 9

3. Pamyatnaya zapiska "O sobytiyakh v Abkhazskoy avtonomnoy respublike", Svobodnaya Gruziya, 20 August 1992.

4. E. Shevardnadze, 'Shulerskoe razygryvanie etnonatsional'nykh "kart" sozdast problemy ne tol'ko v Gruzii', Svobodnaya Gruziya, 3 September 1992.

5. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 3 October 1992.

6. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 13 October 1992.

7. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 19 April 1997.

8. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 12 January 1993.

9. Sevodnya, 25 January 1993.

10. 'Nashi narody nevozmozhno razdelit'', Svobodnaya Gruziya, 24 March 1993.

11. G. Nodia, "Political Turmoil in Georgia and the Ethnic Policies of Zviad Gamsakhurdia", in: Bruno Coppieters (ed.), Contested Borders in the Caucasus, Brussels, VUBPress, 1996, p. 84.

12. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 4 November 1992.

13. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 6 October 1992.

14. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 1 January 1993.

15. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 19 April 1997.

16. Svobodnaya Gruziya, 20 November 1992.


Chapter 6


1. The Confederation of Caucasian Peoples (initially the Confederation of Mountainous Peoples of the Caucasus) is a loose association of national movements which claim to represent most of the North-Caucasian nations. It was created just before the break-up of the Soviet Union and was actively involved in all the conflicts apart from Karabakh. It has been dominated by the Abkhaz, the Adyghes and the Chechens.

2. Olivier Roy, 'Crude manoeuvres', Index on Censorship, 4, 1997, p. 148.

3. Tim Potier, The Constitutional Future of the Post-Soviet Caucasian Autonomous Republics, unpublished Briefing Paper.

4. Human Development Report: Georgia 1997, UNDP, Tbilisi, 1997, p. 30.

5. "Rezonansi" newspaper, 4 March 1997; Electronic Bulletin of the US Embassy in Georgia "Recent political Developments in Georgia", no. 5, 14 March 1997 (http://www.sanet.ge/usis/usistbl.html).

6. ITARTASS of 15 March, "Akhali Taoba" newspaper of 17 March, "Rezonansi" newspaper of 17 March 1997.

7. "Sakartvelos Respublika" of 29 March 1997; Electronic Bulletin of the US Embassy in Georgia "Recent Political Developments in Georgia", no. 7, 11 April 1997.

8. Potier, Tim, op.cit.

9. Ibid.

10. "On 4 April 1994, an agreement on the refugee question was signed in Moscow in the presence of Boutros Boutros Ghali, the UN Secretary-General, Andrey Kozyrev, the Russian minister of foreign affairs, and various Western ambassadors. The Moscow agreement set up a quadripartite commission with representatives of Russia and the UN, as well as Georgia and Abkhazia, to supervise the return of refugees; this began work in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi at the end of April 1994..." Jonathan Aves, Georgia: From Chaos to Stability, RIIA, London, 1996, p. 31.

11. Wesselink, Egbert, The North Caucasian Diaspora in Turkey, WRITENET, May 1996, [pp. 17-18]; see also Joel Boutroue and Stephen F. Jones, Prospect for the Return of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees to Abkhazia, UNHCR, May 1997.

12. There are also some other Caucasian leaders who have withdrawn their support from Abkhazia. Remarkably, this trend has been noticed in North Ossetia, and even more unexpectedly, in South Ossetia. "In Georgia's pre-independence and early independence period South Ossetia maintained close links with Abkhazia but these ties have gradually weakened...", Jonathan Aves, op.cit., p. 35.

13. The Caucasus and the Caspian: 1996 Seminar Series, vol. II, F. Hill (ed.), Harvard University, J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, 1996, Presentation by Michael Ochs, p. 77.

14. Ibid.

15. Otyrba, Gueorgui, 'War in Abkhazia: The Regional Significance of the Georgian-Abkhazian Conflict', in: National Identity and Ethnicity in Russia and the New Independent States of Eurasia, (ed.) Roman Szporluk, Armonk, NY, Sharpe, 1994, p. 287.

16. Baev, Pavel, Russia's Policies in the Caucasus, RIIA, London, 1997, p. 47.

17. I thank Edie Kaufmann of the University of Jerusalem for these suggestions.


Chapter 7


1. Gazeta: Kavkaz (Sukhum), 1990, no. 1.

2. Soyuz obedinennykh gortsev Severnogo Kavkaza i Dagestana (1917-1918), Gorskaya respublika (1918-1920). Dokumenty i materialy, Makhachkala, 1994, p. 4-5, 134.

3. TsGVIA RF, f. 1300, op. 1, d. 130, l. 135 ob.

4. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 2, p. 11.

5. Dokumenty i materialy po vneshney politike Zakavkaz'ya i Gruzii, Tiflis, 1919, p. 312-313.

6. Ahmet Hazir Hizal, Kuzey Kafkasya (hurriet ve istiklal davasi) (Ankara, Orkun Basimevi, 1961), p. 143.

7. Istoriya Abkhazii, Sukhum, 1991, p. 291.

8. R. Clogg, "Documents from the KGB archive in Sukhum, Abkhazia in the Stalin years", Central Asian Survey, 1995, 14(1), pp. 181-188.

9. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1935, no. 9, p. 16.

10. US Congress Bulletin, 9 May 1984, 2nd Session, sitting 98, vol. 130, no. 59 (in English).

11. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1937, no. 37, p. 13.

12. Z. Avalov, Nezavisimost' Gruzii v mezhdunarodnoi politike 1918-1921, Paris, 1924; New York, 1982, p. 68.

13. Ibid., p. 68-69.

14. Arkhiv russkoi revolyutsii, Berlin, 1922, Vol. 3(5-6), p. 114.

15. Soyuz ob'edinennykh gortsev, op.cit., p. 132.

16. Ibid., p. 133-135.

17. N. Zhordania, My Life, Stanford, 1968, p. 98.

18. G. Avetisyan, 'K voprosu o "Kavkazskom dome" i pantyurkistskikh ustremleniyakh', in: Alexei Malashenko, Bruno Coppieters, Dmitri Trenin (eds.), Etnicheskie i regional'nye konflikty v Evrazii, vol. 1, Moscow, 1997, p. 140.

19. Soyuz obyedinennykh gortsev, op.cit., p. 197.

20. S. Kiladze, 'Edinstvo Kavkaza: popytka vykhoda iz krizisa', Tbilisskii meridian, 1997, no. 1, 20-22.

21. C.E. Bechhofer, In Denikin's Russia and the Caucasus. 1919-1920, London, 1921, p. 14.

22. Z. Avalov, Nezavisimost' Gruzii v mezhdunarodnoi politike 1918-1921, Paris, 1924, p. XI-XIV.

23. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1935, no. 9, p. 11.

24. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 8, p. 26.

25. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 8, p. 13-14.

26. Edinenie (Sukhum) 1991, no. 1; Kavkaz, 1990, no. 1.

27. Abkhazia, 1991, no. 51, 1st issue, December.

28. Abkhazia, 1991, no. 51, 2nd issue, December.

29. See Central Asian Survey (1995), 14(1), p. 103.

30. Severnyi Kavkaz, 1934, no. 2, p. 12.

31. R. Aliev, '"Kavkazskii dom": vzglyad iz Azerbaidzhana', in: Alexei Malashenko, Bruno Coppieters, Dmitri Trenin (eds.), Etnicheskie i regional'nye konflikty v Evrazii, vol. 1, op.cit., p. 162.

32. Ibid., p. 168.


Chapter 8


1. R. Brubaker Nationalism reframed. Nationhood and the national question in the New Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996.

2. G. Nodia, "Nationalism and democracy", in: L. Diamond, M.F. Plattner (eds.), Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict, and Democracy, Baltimore & London, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, pp. 3-22.

3. D.L. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict, Berkeley & Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1985.

4. I.W. Zartman, Elusive Peace. Negotiating an End to Civil Wars, Washington D.C., The Brookings Institution 1995.

5. L.N. Rangarajan, The Limitation of Conflict. A Theory of Bargaining and Negotiation, London, Croom Helm, 1998.

6. C.R. Mitchell, "Asymmetry and strategies of regional conflict", in: I.W. Zartman, V.A. Kremenyuk, Cooperative Security. Reducing Third World Wars, Syracuse-New York, Syracuse University Press, 1995, p. 36.

7. J.Z. Rubin, B.R. Brown, The Social Psychology of Bargaining and Negotiation, New York, Academic Press, 1975, p. 5.

8. Kochan (T.A.), Verma (A.). "Negotiations in organizations: blending industrial relations and organizational behavior approaches", in: M.H. Bazerman, R.J. Lewicki, Negotiating in Organizations, Beverly Hills, Sage Publications, 1983, p. 19.

9. P.H. Gulliver, Disputes and Negotiations. A Cross-Cultural Perspective, New Yord Academic Press 1979; Rangarajan, op.cit., 1985.

10. D.G. Pruitt, "Achieving integrative agreements", in: M.H. Bazerman, R.J. Lewicki, Negotiating in Organizations, Beverly Hills, Sage Publications, 1983, p. 39.

11. The Belgian ethnonational conflict did not produce any fatal casualties, while South African political fatalities run to tens of thousands.

12. Horowitz, op.cit.; Mitchell, op.cit.

13. Report on the First Meeting of the Group of Experts Responsible for Preparing Recommendations on the Political Status of Abhkazia, Moscow, 15 and 16 December 1993, submitted by Professor Giorgio Malinverni, Chairman of the Group of Experts, to Ambassador Edouard Brunner, the Secretary-General's special envoy to Georgia.

14. S.N. MacFarlane, L. Minear, D. Shenfield, Armed Conflict in Georgia: A Case-Study in Humanitarian Action and Peacekeeping, Occasional paper of the Watson Institute: Brown University, Providence, 1996, p. 73.

15. Statement by a senior Russian diplomat cited in ibid., p. 57.

16. Proposals by Georgia on the status of Abkhazia, Georgia. United Nations, Security Council document S/1996/165, 5 March 1996.

17. Liana Kvarchelia, 'Georgia-Abkhazia Conflict: View from Abkhazia', in: Fiona Hill (ed.), The Caucasus and the Caspian: 1996 Seminar Series, v. II, Harvard University, J.F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, 1996.

18. D.G. Pruitt, P.J. Carnevale, Negotiation in Social Conflict, Buckingham, Open University Press, 1993, p. 38.


Chapter 9


1. The second sort of unjust government that may rightly be overthrown is one which has seized power unlawfully and which has not been legitimized afterwards by time or the lack of alternatives. cf. Terry Nardin, "Introduction" to Terry Nardin (ed.), The Ethics of War and Peace. Religious and Secular Perspectives, Princeton/New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1996, p. 31.

2. Carolyn McGiffert Ekedahl and Melvin A. Goodman, The Wars of Eduard Shevardnadze, London, Hurst & Company, 1997, p. xxii.

3. Ibid., p. 265.

4. In the literature, federalism is considered a normative or value concept defining the way in which sovereignty is shared between central government and the federal units, whereas a federation is a descriptive concept which refers to a concrete state structure based on federalist principles.

5. See Luc Huyse, "Justice after Transition: On the Choices Successor Elites Make in Dealing with the Past", in: Albert J. Jongman (ed.), Contemporary Genocides: Causes, Cases, Consequences, Leiden, PIOOM, 1996, pp. 187-214.

6. Nardin, "Introduction", op.cit., p. 17.

7. Robert Phillips, War and Justice, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1984, p. 15.

8. Allen Buchanan, Secession. The Morality of Political Divorce from Fort Sumter to Lithuania and Quebec, Boulder-San Francisco-Oxford, Westview Press, 1991, p. x.

9. Ibid., p. 1.

10. Such an argument is to be found in Paul B. Henze, "Abkhazia Diary 1997", in: Mehmet Tütüncü (ed.), Caucasus: War and Peace, Haarlem, 1998, pp. 90-107.

11. On this distinction, see Basam Tibi, "War and Peace in Islam", in: Nardin (ed.), op.cit., p. 140.

12. James Turner Johnson, Just War Tradition and the Restraint of War, Princeton, Princeton. University Press, 1981, p. 23.

13. Roger Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationhood, Cambridge/ Mass, Harvard University Press, 1990

14. Interviews by the author with Abkhaz archaeologists and historians in Sukhum(i) in August 1997.

15. A.J. Coates, The Ethics of War, Manchester and New York, Manchester University Press, 1997, p. 21.

16. Philip Abbott, "The Lincoln Propositions and the Spirit of Secession", in: Percy Lehning (ed.), Theories of Secession, London and New York, Routledge, 1998, p. 187.

17. Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, New York, Basic Books, 1992, p. 8.

18. Coates, op.cit., p. 243.

19. Terry Nardin, "The Comparative Ethics of War and Peace", in: Nardin (ed.), op.cit., 1966, p. 256.

20. David R. Mapel, "Realism and the Ethics of War and Peace", in: Nardin (ed.), op.cit., pp. 63-64.

21. Robert W. Tucker, The Just War: A Study in Contemporary American Doctrine, Baltimore, 1960, p. 1.

22. Sanford Levinson, "Responsibility for Crimes of War", in: Marshall Cohen, Thomas Nagel and Thomas Scanlon, War and Moral Responsibility, Princeton - New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1974, p. 104.

23. Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Mass Expulsion in Modern International Law and Practice, The Hague/Boston/ London, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1995, p. 164.

24. Andrew Bell-Fialkov, Ethnic Cleansing, London, Macmillan, 1996, pp. 3-4.

25. Robert Holmes, "Can War be Morally Justified?", in: Jean Bethke Elshtain (ed.), Just War Theory, New York University Press, New York, 1992, p. 200. For a discussion on this issue see Coates, op.cit., pp. 239-264.

26. The difficulty in finding empirical evidence of the intentions of a government can be seen in Robert Paul Churchill's analysis of genocide. He states that it is often difficult to find conclusive evidence of the intention of genocide but that such evidence can be deduced from the consequences of an act: "Conclusive evidence of a premeditated and planned state policy is too stringent as a standard, especially since governments can lie about their intentions and obstruct efforts to uncover them. For this reason, it is necessary to impute or infer intent from consequences. Thus, genocide occurs when the foreseeable, predictable, and cumulative results of a course of action are the extermination of an outgroup and when a state either produces this outcome or acquiesces in bringing it about by consistently refusing or failing to protect victims, often in contravention of its own legal code." Robert Paul Churchill, "Genocide", in: Donald A. Wells (ed.), An Encyclopedia of War and Ethics, Greenwood Press, Westport/Connecticut - London, Routledge, 1996, p. 167. It is thus possible to consider war crimes committed by subordinates as being part of the intentions of the authorities if these authorities had been informed about them but had not taken legal action. The failure of a government to protect victims is implied in the broader definition of ethnic cleansing given above.

27. Ibid., p. 245.

28. On the following, see Henckaerts, op.cit. p. 183ff.

29. Ibid., p. 185.

30. See The United Nations and the Situation in Georgia, Reference Paper April 1995, United Nations, Department of Public Information.

31. Report of the Secretary-General Concerning the Situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, Security Council Document S/1995/342/1 May 1995, p. 6.

32. See Paula Garb, "The Return of Refugees Viewed through the Prism of Blood Revenge", in: The Anthology of East Europe Review, vol. 13, no. 2, Autumn 1995, which may be read on the Internet: www.socsci. uci.edu/socsci/personnel/garb/garb.html

33. RFE/RL NEWSLINE vol. 2, no. 125, Part I, 1 July 1998.

34. On the following, see Henckaerts, op.cit., pp. 183ff.

35. John Finnis, "The Ethics of War and Peace in the Catholic Natural Law Tradition", in: Nardin (ed.), op.cit., p. 27; Jeff McMahan, "Realism, Morality, and War", in: ibid., p. 88.

36. Coates, op.cit., p. 235.

37. Ibid., p. 234.

38. See Henckaerts, op.cit, pp. 140ff.

39. Quoted in: ibid., p. 186.

40. On the following, see Ronald D. Crelinsten, "Prosecuting Gross Human Rights Violations from the Perspective of the Victim", in: Jongman (ed.) op.cit., pp. 175-185.

41. On these four strategies, see Huyse, op.cit., pp. 187-214.

42. On the following, see The Economist, 1 November, 1997.

43. The Independent, 24 May 1998.

44. United Nations Security Council, 3535th Meeting , 12 May 1995, UN Document S/PV.3535.

45. UN Document S/1994/1333 (23 November 1994).

46. On this issue see my contribution "Georgia in Europe: The Idea of a Periphery in International Relations" in: Bruno Coppieters, Dmitri Trenin and Alexei Zverev, Commonwealth and Independence in Post-Soviet Eurasia, London, Frank Cass, 1998, pp. 44-68.


Chapter 10


1. See Carolyn McGiffert Ekedahl and Melvin A. Goodman, The wars of Eduard Shevardnadze, Hurst & Company, London, 1997, pp. 238-251.

2. The Economist, 11 April 1998.


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Georgians and Abkhazians. The Search for a Peace Settlement

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