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Abkhaz Leader’s Aide Rams Border Gate, Faces Investigation

The press office of Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania said on August 10 together with ‘Russian colleagues’ they are investigating an incident involving Akhra Avidzba, Abkhaz leader’s aide charged with international relations.

The statement comes as video spread in social networks showed that on August 7, Avidzba driving Toyota Land Cruiser 200 had rammed the gate of Psou crossing point and forcefully entered Abkhazia, after being denied to leave Russia for having unpaid taxes, traffic fines, and utility bills.

Avidzba, 34-year-old ethnic Abkhaz born in Sochi (Russia), made his name after joining the ranks of local insurgents in Eastern Ukrainian territory of Donetsk in 2014, with whom he fought against the Ukrainian forces, adopting a nom de guerre “Abkhaz.” Bzhania appointed Avidzba as his aide on June 11.

Commenting on the incident, Avidzba himself said he decided to ‘just go’ after being delayed “at the border” for five hours. Abkhaz leader’s aide also told Russian RBC news agency that one of the Russian border guards acted “provocatively,” adding that  “even if I had a debt equalling billion, my diplomatic passport did not allow them to stop me. They must have written notification to Abkhaz foreign ministry.”

In the meantime, the telegram channel “Apelsin” reported that a criminal case was initiated against Avidzba in Russia under Article 322.1 of the Russian criminal code – involving illegal transit through Russian Federation – punishable by 200,000 Russian Rubles (USD 7,250) fine, or obligatory labor for a term of up to two years, or jail for up to two years.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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