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Russia Aids Separatist Republic of Abkhazia with both Finances and Forces

The Dilis Gazeti; The Resonance

The Dilis Gazeti considers it unreal for peacekeeping troops of other countries or international organizations to replace Russians in Abkhazian conflict zone. In case Russian peacekeepers leave the region the situation may get out of control, the paper presumes. This was why President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze made an initiative to the OSCE member country ambassadors about replacing Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia with international contingent. The Dilis Gazeti is surprised because of the President’s statement that Russia should take an active and maybe even major part in forming the international peacekeeping forces. Judging from the President’s speech, Russia remains a dominant country in settling the conflict in Abkhazia.

The Dilis Gazeti reports about military equipment of self-declared Republic of Abkhazia. As it turned out “Georgian armed forces and Abkhazian army have equal amount of arms”, the paper says and does not regard the fact strange. “Russia has actually created numeral parity during the first war in Abkhazia”. Georgia is superior in the soldier amount only. “It can lead out 27 thousand soldiers and officers while Abkhazian “regular army” has 5 thousand warriors only. Besides, separatist Abkhazia is capable of leading out 25 thousand reservists. “Of course, troops of a foreign country are also included in the number”, the paper says. It considers that war in Abkhazia will last long.

The Resonance talks about Russia supporting Abkhazia with military equipment. Legitimate government of Abkhazia and Georgian Defense Ministry state that while fighting against Georgian partisans Abkhazian military units use the technique, which Abkhazian separatist Republic does not actually own. “Russian militaries have given large part of arms to Abkhazians during the Abkhazian-Georgian conflict years ago. Abkhazians are successful in using the military equipment of Gudauta Russian military base even now”, the Resonance says.

The newspaper remembers the fact when north Caucasian people fought on the side of Abkhazia and they were financed by Russian authorities in 1992. Budget of self-declared Abkhazian Republic does not have enough sources to hire guerrillas. “There are non-budget sources though. For example, daughter of Ardzinba, president of the breakaway Republic, owns the majority of sanatoriums in Abkhazia, which is a rich source of income. According to the paper, almost every member of the separatist government is a citizen of Russian Federation and has accounts in Russian banks. “They appropriated all the resources Abkhazia had”, the paper claims.

The Resonance does not exclude that Russia may aid the separatist government with both finances and forces this time again.

by Salome Jashi

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