By Stephen Blank
November 15, 2023
Russia has recently announced that it has obtained a new naval base on the Black Sea at Ochamchira. The base is located in Northwestern Georgia in the Abkhazian territory Russia conquered from Georgia in 2008, close to several other Russian army bases there and in neighboring South Ossetia, another region conquered in the 2008 war. This new base represents another example of Russian imperialism in progress. This imperialism is the same force that drove and now drives Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.
By Tomáš Baranec
November 18, 2022
Abkhazia’s de facto authorities have agreed with Moscow that Russia will lease 186 hectares of land and 115 hectares of the sea in the city Pitsunda (Bichvinta in Georgian) for a period of 49 years. During the period in question, Russia is to receive direct ownership of leased buildings and infrastructure as well as lands that in the past constituted the private recreation complex of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The deal, which might have severe consequences for the already limited factual sovereignty of the de facto government in Sokhumi, was met by protests from local activists and opposition figures.
By Tomas Baranec
September 28, 2020, the CACI Analyst
On August 1, 2020, Sukhumi reopened its border with Russia. The border had been closed since early April to halt the spread of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The decision was driven by Abkhazia’s economic concerns, given the region’s heavy dependence on the flow of Russian tourists. However, the development of the epidemiological situation in Abkhazia in the first three weeks after the border reopened indicated that the combination of a massive influx of tourists from the world’s third most infected country and a lack of medical infrastructure in the region could have a negative impact overriding any economic gains from tourism.
By Andreas Pacher
October 2, 2017, the CACI Analyst
70 percent of Abkhazia’s diplomatic notes do not address its patron state Russia, but are sent to the few other states that have recognized its independence. It is surprising that countries like Nauru or Vanuatu obtain so much sustained attention from Abkhazia. The contested territory is usually perceived to rely solely on Russia. However, by exercising courtesy towards all partner countries, Abkhazia wants to present itself as a polity that is capable of behaving as a real sovereign state within the international community, projecting the image of normalized statehood that the region seeks to attain. Any attempts to thoroughly understand post-Soviet breakaway territories should pay closer attention to their external ties beyond their patron.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.