Project "Voices of the South Caucasus". Magazine Liberali

Project "Voices of the South Caucasus". Magazine Liberali

Who is the vendor?

According to the general prosecutor's office, Nevolin obtained the Abkhaz passport from an unknown mediator in 2007 and paid 300,000 roubles for it. Such a high price of Abkhaz passports in the "black market" is due to the fact that it is impossible to purchase property in the republic without a passport. That is precisely what Nevolin wanted. A few days after he obtained the passport, he bought a house in Gudauta.

By Inal Khashig

Solution of puzzle delayed

Two weeks ago, the Abkhaz president signed a decree, appointing education, interior, and social welfare ministers. Daur Nachqebia, Otar Khetsia, and Olga Koltukova respectively will work on these posts.

By Inal Khashig

Contraband connections

It is very risky to stammer on one and the same note like a damaged phonograph. No matter how fine a song may be, the deformed phonograph can spoil the feast once and for all. The owner of the "phonograph" will sooner or later become bored with the repetitive music. In such cases, owners either replace the disk or try to repair the instrument.

By Inal Khashig

Old new government

Acting President of South Ossetia - Vadim Brovtsev has already started doing business. Various personnel changes were made last week. However, no room has so far been found in the Brovtsev government for the opposition, whose supporters intend to mobilize in the centre of Tskhinvali again in the near future.

By Maria Bestayeva

Ex-president Kokoyty is still active

The opposition and government in South Ossetia have reached an agreement: President Eduard Kokoyty has resigned, new presidential elections will be held in March, and opposition candidate Alla Dzhioyeva will be allowed to participate in the elections.

By Mariya Bestayeva

Free lunch

The careless era for the Abkhaz government is coming to its end. 2012 will be the last year covered by the Moscow-funded “comprehensive plan for the socioeconomic development of Abkhazia”. The local elite was quite spoiled by the gold rain of 11 billion. The path from an ordinary salesman to a nouveau riche owning large real estate, Limousines, and cases of cash (as a rule, such people have little trust in banks), has proved to be quite short for the Abkhaz elite. Even Bill Gates could envy such a speed of becoming rich. But I would like to emphasize – only a speed, because what we have here is not a business with its traditional sense and never meant to be.

By Inal Khashig

Snowy Impasse

"No compromises! The only way out of the situation is to recognize the results of the elections. Thousands of people supported me. I am South Ossetian president," 62-year-old Alla Dzhioyeva said at a rally of her supporters as she emerged from her meeting with Russian president's envoy Sergey Vinokurov.

By Mariya Bestayeva

Putin's gamble vs Kokoyty's companion

Such a surprise was the most unpredictable in South Ossetia, a region where pro-Russian sentiments are quite strong. But events have unfolded so that in the second round the Kremlin's candidate and the South Ossetian Minister of Emergency Affairs, Anatoliy Bibilov has to defeat an opposition candidate, the former Education Minister Alla Dzhioyeva. It is hard to predict whether he manages to do so.

By Mariya Bestayeva

On the Verge of Confrontation

Last week South Ossetia found itself on the verge of civil confrontation. According to the various reports, from 1,000 to 2,000 people assembled themselves outside the Central Electoral Commission. They were supporters of presidential candidate Dzhambulat Tedeyev, the chief coach of the Russian national freestyle wrestling team. Tedeyev is now Kokoyty's main enemy and the opposition's number one presidential candidate.

By Mariya Bestayeva

Start of Ankvab Era

Less than a week remains until Ankvab officially receives the status of president, but preparations for changes have already started in government offices in Sukhumi.

By Olesya Vartanyan

Coordinated campaign

The Abkhaz presidential candidates have signed a memorandum for "fair elections" and pledged to play according to the rules in order to prevent a situation like that in 2004 from taking shape again. The election struggle is already under way at a full pace. Several dozens of influential people have already pledged to support one of the candidates - Sergey Shamba. Everything was fair. There was no black PR at this meeting.

By Anton Krivenyuk

Prosecutor, Envoy, or Wrestler?

A presidential election is to be held in South Ossetia in November, but the names of the politicians, who will compete for the presidential post, are still unclear.

By Maria Bestayeva

Shamba - Kremlin's choice

Moscow will have to choose not only a new tactic, but also a fundamentally new approach regarding the presidential election in Abkhazia.

By Olga Allenova

End of the Bagapsh era

Last week, Abkhazia gave the last honours to its president. Sergey Bagapsh died in Moscow on 29th of May after he underwent a complicated lung surgery. Tens of thousands of people attended the mourning ceremony on 2nd of June, including Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The second Abkhaz president was buried in his ancestral village of Jgerda in Ochamchire District.

By Anton Krivenyuk

Suspended Services

For two years and a half, the Sailor company was a kind of office of the de facto governments in Washington. The staff of the company attended all discussions on Georgian conflicts held at analytical centers, held meetings at the Department of State and Senate, and talked to the US media.

By Olesya Vartanyan

Abkhaz El Dorado

Sukhumi was very active in April. President Bagapsh visited Turkey. Israeli businessmen close to the Israeli government visited Sukhumi. Before that, a representative German delegation, which included even ministers of some German lands, arrived in Abkhazia. Some experts said after the visits that Sukhumi had started cutting a window to another, non-Russian world.

By Inal Khashig

Father superior or aide?

After the media reported that hegumen Yefrem (Vinogradov), who had been dispatched from the Moscow Patriarchate, was appointed father superior in Akhali Atoni Monastery, the square outside the monastery became filled with people.

By Inal Khashig

Absolutely deadlocked

President Sergey Bagapsh may find himself facing a most complicated test in his political career. The dramatic events that accompanied Bagapsh's coming to power in 2004 seem insignificant compared with it.

By Inal Khashig

Abkhaz Opposition

On the heels of Abkhazia’s Feb. 12 local elections, evaluating the strength and allegiance of the Abkhaz political opposition remains difficult. 

By Nick Clayton

What is Turkey doing in Abkhazia?

Although Georgia continues to maintain an embargo on all trade and foreign economic activity with the breakaway republic of Abkhazia since 1996, local observers say trade and economic links between Turkey and Abkhazia have in fact grown rapidly in the past two years.

By Nick Clayton

Peculiarities of Abkhaz democracy

Bagapsh, under whom Abkhazia emerged from the ruins of war and was recognized as an independent state, is losing popularity day by day.

By Anton Krivenyuk

Moscow Bagapsh's Capital

During his recent visit to Moscow, Abkhaz president Sergey Bagapsh made an unexpected statement in his interview to a Russian edition: "Moscow was a capital for me and it will remain my capital, just like Russia will remain a great and powerful country". Had a well-known Abkhaz writer, artist or singer said these words, hardly anyone would presumably have paid any attention to them. Creative people are always a little cosmopolitan and they sometimes demonstratively destroy borders. Some do this, because they believe in this, and others want to underscore their individuality. Yet others, being obsessed with their creation, simply forget their own origins.

By Inal Khashig

Changing of the guard

Over the three months in the post of Abkhaz interior minister, Leonid Dzyapshba was transformed from an ordinary official into an influential political figure, who can make an impact on the post-Bagapsh era.

By Inal Khashig

Specific features of propaganda

A wedding party held in Tbilisi recently took on symbolic overtones thanks to the efforts by the government and media. The bride was Abkhaz and the bridegroom was Georgian. The authors of this impressive mystery decided that the couple was an exceedingly good embodiment of unity and the pathos and sense of the restoration of territorial integrity. At any rate, those who watched the report on this wedding party on Rustavi-2 must have received precisely such an impression. The happy couple have already been given a flat in Tbilisi and time on the air.

By Akhra Smyr

Emigrants return to Abkhazia

Abkhazia hopes that Turkey will become a source of new immigrants, which will change the demographic balance in the republic in favour of the Abkhaz.

By Anaid Gogoryan

Does Abkhazia need a currency of its own?

After Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia as an independent state, a number of issues emerged on the agenda of the country which should be solved step by step.

By Svetlana Avidzba

The Rubicon of the Kokoiti opposition

The “Day of Rage” announced by the Russian opposition and meaning countrywide protest demonstrations was to become a certain Rubicon for the opposition of Kokoiti as well. The opposition planned to organize a massive demonstration in Tskhinvali and said that this day was to become the beginning of the end for Kokoiti. Before that the opposition had only been able to stage protests in Moscow and Vladikavkaz. But as the proverb goes, a barking dog never bites.

By Zalina Siukaeva

Patriotic Society

It has been a month since the Georgian-Ossetian forum lately arranged in Holland and its result, namely, adopted appeal to participate in Geneva discussions – has been dominating themes in South Ossetia. After the August 2008 war, the Geneva discussions represent the only format of negotiations where representatives of Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and international organizations meet.   

By Varvara Pakhomenko

The new era of South Ossetia

The seventh congress of the ruling “Yedinstvo” (Unity) Party was held in South Ossetia in the beginning of July. According to the members of the government party, the congress was historic as it marks the second stage in the modern history of South Ossetia. “The recognition of the republic’s independence by the Russian Federation started the process of peaceful revival and democratic development of the country,” the congress said.

By Murat Gukemukhov

Absence of will and logic

"Absence of Will" - a film by Georgian director Mamuka Kuparadze turned into the main topic in Abkhazia's internal political life. Discussions of the movie exceeded the show room and the channel that broadcasted it. The film taken in Georgia over a year ago served as a reason for massive political hysteria in Abkhazia.

By Akhra Smyr

New resort in Abkhazia

The flow of tourists so much expected in Abkhazia is nowhere to be seen. They said in the tourism department that people just preferred watching the World Cup at home and as soon as Mundiale finished thousands of people would head to the Abkhazian seaside. They wanted it so much to repeat the record of 2007 when almost one million people spent holidays in Abkhazia.

By Anaid Gogoryan

What is happening in Gali?

"Gali Region is on the territory of Abkhazia, our citizens live there and it is our duty to create normal living conditions for them and protect their security," - stated Sergei Baghapsh, President of de facto Republic of Abkhazia, on a specially conviened meeting of the Security Council.

The process of recognition in a deadlock

The Abkhazian government does not rule out the possibility of Bolivia and Equador adding to the list of countries supporting Abkhazia's independence in a near future.

By Svetlana Avidzba

"Privilege" for Russian tourists

At a press conference organized specially for Russian journalists President Sergei Baghapsh spoke about the new initiative concerning the Russian citizens who visit Abkhazia in their own vehicles. The initiative is about not noticing them.

By Inal Khashig

17 years of solitude

17 years ago, despite the victory in the Georgian-Abkhazian War, only a handful of Abkhaz experts thought that the newly formed Republic of Abkhazia had future. Heavy losses encountered in the war, completely destroyed economy with little prospect of recovery taking into consideration the Russian blockade, and the international community that only recognized Abkhazia within the boundaries  of Georgia. This was the reality surrounding the country, which was left alone and looked like an ill child who the doctors thought would not make it. But the child recovered, started moving and is slowly looking more like its healthy peers.

By Inal Khashig

South Ossetia – a gunpowder barrel or a gold mine?

Last Wednesday the President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoiti criticized the Ministry of Regional Development of Russia and accused it of sabotaging the reconstruction works carried out in South Ossetia. A number of Russian mass media means made hasty assumptions that the president of South Ossetia was not under Russia’s control any more.

By Murat Gukemukhov

Liberalism of Shamba

Prime Minister Shamba has kept his promise made in front of journalists at a press conference. From now on the representatives of independent media will be allowed to attend government sessions.

By Inal Khashig

Kokoiti's prisoner

The South Ossetian “KGB” found a large stock of arms and explosives in the house of a 51-year-old pedagogue of a higher education institution and the editor of an opposition newspaper titled “The Position”.  Fatima Margieva is currently held in a Tskhinvali prison awaiting the court ruling.

By Gedevan Pronev

Conflict transformation

The persisting “frozen” military conflicts surrounding the South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh regions restrict sustainable economic and social development as well as the establishment of free democratic civil societies in the South Caucasus.