Corruption – One Reason of Conflict
20 October, 2011

The bribery which they entertained was conducive to admitting the students who had money, not talent, which was catastrophic for the nation’s future. Georgia would soon be left without properly educated specialists. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.


GJ – Even nowadays there are many people in Apkhazeti who have Georgian names (both last and first) who are more Apkhaz than Georgian. This is just a fact if this fact means anything . . .

SM – The new rector immediately made the

Georgian department teachers aware that he was not prepared to let them make illegal money. He said he did not want to be part of the corruption. The Georgian faculty hated the new rector’s attitude and they rallied against him.

GJ – They were probably fabricating the reasons for justifying their open bickering with the newly-appointed rector. After all, they could not have used the fact of his refusal  from  using unlawful incomes as an argument against him. This would have been ludicrous.

SM – Certainly! Their argument was that a bad guy was appointed a rector without consulting the Georgian faculty at all, justifying their argument with their indignation about strongly hurt national pride and dignity. They came to Tbilisi to complain to the Georgian government about the situation and petitioned it to turn Sukhumi University into an affiliated branch of Tbilisi State University. I am the witness to all those events because I personally participated in the related processes. One of the teachers of Tbilisi State University Kote Gabashvili was in permanent touch with his rebelled colleagues, and I remember very well how fiercely he had defied their demands. He told the Georgian faculty of Sukhumi University without beating around the bush that they wanted the change only for continuing their corrupt dealings, emphasizing that their action was destructive for the Georgian national cause in general. He did not hesitate to tell them that the bribery which they entertained was conducive to admitting the students who had money, not talent, which was catastrophic for the nation’s future. Georgia would soon be left without properly educated specialists, reasoned Gabashvili. On top of that, not a single Georgian scientist would be left on the scientific council of Sukhumi University in case the Georgian faculty left the University, allowing the Apkhaz to make every single decision in compliance with the Russian instructions. Indeed, there was a solid chance of filling Sokhumi University with professors from Siberia, the Urals, Far East of Russia in case it was vacated by the ethnic Georgian faculty. Russians had internationally renowned scholars who could and would teach with enthusiasm at a warm and beautiful place like Sukhumi, but the problem was that the Sukhumi University, one of the most favorable places for maintaining Georgian cultural presence in Abkhazia would become absolutely void of ethnic Georgian professorial attendance which was terribly unwise on part of the Georgian nation as a whole. In a word, this was all conducive to the fact of turning Sukhumi University into a Russian educational and cultural sphere of influence of federal (all-union) significance, thus giving impetus to complete russification of Apkhazeti (Abkhazia). Unfortunately, nobody had thought about the gravity of possible consequence, working to the detriment of the entire Georgian nation in the long run. The hysterical stupidity of that part of the involved Georgian intellectuals persistently kept on with the demand of turning Sukhumi University into the affiliate subsidiary of Tbilisi State University. The manifestations of the protest became serious, including even the numerous ethnic Georgian residents of Sukhumi. As a matter of fact, if given a little thought to the events, the Apkhaz population should have been glad to get a chance of getting rid of Georgians at their University, but the KGB agents were being efficient in this particular case too. They told the Apkhaz side that Georgians wanted to ruin their beloved university. And the Apkhaz started the manifestations of protest although they could not overpower the Georgians because ethnic Georgians were far more numerous than the ethnic Apkhaz in Sukhumi and elsewhere in Apkhazeti. Months passed in street protests and demonstrations which were followed by the Apkhaz public meeting in the village of Likhni of the Gudauti region in Apkhazeti, inspired by expressly nationalistic ideas. The meeting was organized by Constantine Ozgan - the ethnic Apkhaz, definitely controlled by KGB. The Apkhaz upheaval was immediately followed by the protests on part of the Georgian national-liberation movement. The situation in Apkhazeti became even more strained.

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