01 September, 2011


Interview with Iago Kachkachishvili, sociologist

“According to the data of Abkhazia’s so-called central election commission, in Abkhazian ‘Presidential elections’ the winner is Alexandr Anqvab with 54.86% of votes, the runner-up Sergei Shamba got 21.04% and Raul Khajimba – 19.83%. As it seems, the Kremlin decided to cooperate with Anqvab.

Presumably the process of self-determination is on in Abkhazia and this process is directed not against Georgia but Russia. We discussed current Georgian and global problems with sociologist Iago Kachkachishvili.


Q. – How realistic is

it to say that in Abkhazian elections desirable and undesirable for Russia candidates participated? Or, how desirable is for Georgia the candidate that is undesirable for Russia?

I.K. – I think there is no substantial difference between the presidential candidates from the viewpoint of their attitude towards Russian authorities. Unfortunately the Abkhazs view Russia as the only guarantee for their security. No move has been made to have this function substituted by Georgia. The Abkhaz will turn his back to you while you are considered to be his ‘enemy’. They prefer to try to protect their identity under the Russian shield than find themselves facing the vagueness, uncertainty and alienation that exist between us.

Q. – The troupe of Rustaveli theatre and public are disturbed over sacking of famous director Robert Sturua from the theatre. Sturua has a lot of offers from Argentina, Greece, Russia and other countries but the main emphasis for some reason is made on Russian propositions. What caused it and is it possible, as some politicians hope, that the protest of the theatre may turn into the discontent of wider public?

I.K. – Actually, Sturua has instigated present authorities and exposed their face. This fact once again demonstrated that here everything is measured by the degree of loyalty to the authorities and if you don’t play their game, you must always keep the horse saddled. Who but inadequate people will believe Sturua’s xenophobia? Thanks to this, i.e. in the context of Sturua’s complete creative work, I don’t take seriously his xenophobic expressions; otherwise, separately taken, they of course are unacceptable. A real creative person isn’t limited by some national locations. For him it isn’t of great significance where creative work is conducted – at home or beyond its boundaries. I’m not saying that Sturua doesn’t care about leaving the Rustaveli theatre but still I presume it’s of secondary nature. I say it again, that evidently he considers himself the winner because he exposed the absurdity in which the Georgian people live. His probable transfer to Russia to work is continuation of the intrigue, i.e. it’s a revolt against limiting freedom. The reaction of the Rustaveli theatre troupe and generally that of the others is a serious test for everybody to show their dignity. I read in the internet that allegedly Sturua is a product of soviet intelligentsia and the current non-soviet authorities continue the practice of liberation from these vestiges of the past. I don’t know how ungrateful must one be to call Sturua a ‘soviet intellectual’. Simply, it’s a shame.

Q. – Gennadi Onishchenko, the chief sanitarian of Russia declares that it’s time that ‘Borjomi’ issue be transferred from political into technical perspective and start negotiations directly with the producers of the mineral water in order to return it to the Russian market. It’s strange but the Georgian producers modestly keep mum about this rather profitable offer. Even more – they refused and made excuses saying that they didn’t request Russia to be admitted to the market. What threat can the return of ‘Borjomi’ bring to Georgian statehood if we turn the tables on Russia and leave it without ‘Borjomi’?

I.K. – Here everything is marked with the authorities’ seal and actually there is no independent activity in any sphere. This is absolutely true regarding business as well. Today the return of ‘Borjomi’ to Russia is least connected with business. It’s a purely political issue. This is true about the export of culture, science, etc. to Russia. Whether you sell ‘Borjomi’, sing or conduct joint research is no more the business of a businessman, singer or scientist. This attitude very much resembles whatever was happening in the Soviet Union…

Q. – ‘Gaddafi will be followed by Bashar al- Assad and in the countries like China and Russia the situation is tense. People wish freedom and exactly this was achieved by the Libyan people’- declared US Senator McCain. According to him, every dictatorship is under threat. ‘Despite the bloodshed I’m sure this situation will bring better future to the Arab world’ – declares the former runner for the Presidency and he is sure that the ‘Arab spring’ will embrace the whole world. ‘If I were Vladimir Putin I wouldn’t be so self-confident’- declared the senator. What are McCain’s suppositions based upon?

I.K. – Generally, McCain is famous for his ‘loud’ declarations. I think to bring the attitude of Russian people against Putin to the condition that may result in mass revolt will take many years (if it happens at all). Public survey shows that Putin has not yet discarded the mantle of a ‘hero’ and ‘reviver of Russia’. I’m sure it’s impossible to import revolution from ‘above’ to any country. Interference from above is effective only from the point of view of management and provision of resources. Is Russia ready from ‘inside’ and the progressive world from the ‘outside’ to provoke revolution in Russia? At this stage I consider it to be an issue of political speculations.



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