The 13-month Russian-Georgian War in Apkhazeti (Abkhazia)
18 January, 2012
The 13-month Russian-Georgian War in Apkhazeti (Abkhazia)

The Russians distributed the weapons from the Eshchera military base in Apkhazeti (Russian: Abkhazia) not only among the Apkhaz (Russian: Abkhaz) separatists to fight the Georgians, but practically among every destructive force in the area including the local bands and other unlawful formations. The armed clashes started taking place and bloodshed became commonplace. By the end of August and beginning of September of 1992, the Russian military units got actively involved in battles. Those Russian military units carried a false appellation

of the Abkhaz & Caucasus Confederates. The gory and serious confrontations were witnessed in the Apkhazeti of that time. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – It should be noted that the act of deployment of armed formations on the territory of Apkhazeti was accordingly negotiated with the leader of Apkhazeti of that time Vladislav Ardzinba. Nothing was done arbitrarily and unexpectedly; all was agreed upon in good time and faith. Is this true?
S.M. – Yes, it is! Everything had been negotiated and agreed upon with the leadership of the Autonomous Republic, but it so happened that Ardzinba left Sokhumi when the Georgian police unit entered the city. The Russians distributed the weapons from the Eshchera military base in Apkhazeti (Russian: Abkhazia) not only among the Apkhaz (Russian: Abkhaz) separatists to fight the Georgians, but practically among every destructive force in the area including the local bands and other unlawful formations. The armed clashes started taking place and bloodshed became commonplace. By the end of August and beginning of September of 1992, the Russian military units got actively involved in battles. Those Russian military units carried a false appellation of the Abkhaz & Caucasus Confederates. The gory and serious confrontations were witnessed in the Apkhazeti of that time. After several months it became clear that the Russian military units could not achieve any serious success. Starting from March of 1993 and later in the battles of June and July of the same year, the Russian military divisions got openly and actively involved in ongoing battles. Russia was no longer concealing is direct involvement in the war in Apkhazeti.
GJ – The Georgian armed forces achieved outstanding victory in those battles, and the adversary incurred serious human and technical losses. This is at least what I know for sure about that Russian-Georgian war in Apkhazeti. What was the final outcome of the war?
S.M. – Russia certainly tried to keep face on the international arena, and it agreed to enter post-war negotiations. Russia though had no way to assume the role of a peacekeeper in the region because Russia’s role of an occupant was too obvious in the bloodshed. The peacekeeping mission was finally assumed by the United Nations Organization which kept apart Georgians and the Russian occupants.
GJ – What do you exactly mean by saying ‘kept apart’?
S.M. – The UNO peacekeeping forces were supposed to be stationed at River Gumista. Both the Russians and the Georgians were given time for pulling out their respective military gear many kilometers away from the combat zone. The Russians placed their gear very near to the front line whereas they demanded that the Georgian side keep theirs at a distance three times farther from the combat zone. 
GJ – And who demanded that – the United Nations or the Russian side?
S.M. – Both! As it seems, the Russian factor was quite effective in the United Nations at that very time. The worst part of the whole deal was that the Russian propaganda machine was successfully trying to sell the clearly Russian-Georgian conflict for a conflict between Georgia and Apkhazeti (Abkhazia). Georgia lost that information war – the international organizations refused to consider us as the patriots fighting the totalitarian empire in defense of our own motherland. And that was happening as a consequence of serious efforts made by the Russian side.

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