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    Russian businessman’s beating tells of systematic violence in Abkhazia

    by | Apr 27, 2012

    TBILISI, DFWatch – A Russian businessman was severely beaten at his office in Abkhazia by local business partners. A video was posted to Youtube showing footage taken from a surveillance camera.

    Igor Varov was taken to the hospital on April 6, due to injuries suffered by being beaten on his head with wine bottles. He confirmed to the Moscow-based analyst Andrey Epifantsev that the video is real.

    The brothers Chambas, who beat Varov, founded a large trade center called Continent together with him. Varov created this trade center on the basis of department store in the city Gagra in Abkhazia.

    Ilarion Argun, chair of the Abkhazian Central Bank, was trying to take away Igor Varov’s business last year, together with the now deceased president Sergey Bagapsh, who was his relative.

    “Abkhazia, this is a bandit state, the system there is called banditism. What president can handle this? At first they tried to formalize Varov’s business to ex-president Bagapsh’s sister; now the Chambas appeared, who beat businessman, they are from the administration of current president Alexander Ankvab,” Epifantsev says.

    “There will be no Russian investment in Abkhazia, and there is only one explanation for this: Igor Varov.”

    Mamuka Areshidze, a Tbilisi-based Caucasus analyst, also talks about the poor background for business activity in Abkhazia and suppression of Russian who try to establish a business there.

    “Russians are suppressed and oppressed in Abkhazia. There is a number of cases of outwitting people. For example when they want to purchase a flat, they make people pay and then don’t give them the flat. What’s important, there are 4 000 appeals to the Russian embassy about how Abkhazians suppress local ethnic Russians and how they are thrown out of their flats. Not just ordinary Russians, but an Abkhazian hero, twice Knight of the Order, Deputy Commander of the Eastern Front and twice Member of Parliament Nikitchenko was thrown out of his home. This is a person, who has great merits to Abkhazians. It was his idea to distribute Russian passports to Abkhazians.”

    Russian analyst Andrey Epifantsev says that Abkhazia is a bandit state where Russians generally are being suppressed, and not only businessmen.



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