Over 700 people detained for crossing ‘border with Georgia’ in 2023: Abkhaz de facto authorities

By | January 23rd, 2024|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–More than 700 people were detained on charges of crossing the de facto border between Abkhazia and Georgia in 2023, states security service of the breakaway Abkhazia. Most of them were punished administratively, and criminal prosecution was started against 15. According to the Sokhumi regime government, only 30 of these "crimes" are related to smuggling. [...]

Sokhumi regime calls to revive IPRM meetings

By | October 10th, 2023|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – De facto authorities of breakaway Abkhazia are ready to revive the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) discussions, Sokhumi regime deputy foreign minister Irakli Tuzhba said during the video conference with Russian and South Ossetian colleagues Tuesday. “The Abkhaz side has prepared another package of proposals to unfreeze the MPRI format. I hope that [...]

Amid hysteria over “second front”, Abkhaz militia kicks off drills in Gali

By | March 13th, 2023|Categories: Conflict news, In brief|Tags: , , |

The pro-EU protests in Tbilisi, which forced the government to kill the highly controversial bill on “foreign agents”, have triggered a natural hysteria in occupied Abkhazia, where the narrative has stubbornly been spread as if the West is forcing Tbilisi to open a “second front”. As a climax of this hysteria, the military forces of the [...]

Row over Pitsunda estate – the Kremlin tries to dispel Abkhaz fears about losing sovereignty

By | September 13th, 2022|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , , |

The state estate in Pitsunda, Abkhazia, which was a popular retreat for Soviet leaders during communist rule, has been a hotbed of tension between Moscow and its proxy Sukhumi government for months. The matter reached a boiling point in late August when Russian ambassador threatened to halt all investment projects in the breakaway republic. However, this [...]

Russia sends first batch of Sputnik V vaccines to Abkhazia

By | April 30th, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

(Sputnik-Abkhazia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has sent its first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine to Abkhazia, where people will start receiving the jab after the May 9 Victory Day celebrations. The Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will only be administered in one location, Sokhumi Republican Hospital. Initially, only medical staff, teachers, government employees and law enforcement officials [...]

Abkhazia village appeals to Tbilisi for help after massive disease outbreak, suspected to be Covid-19

By | February 19th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

A school building in Sida, another village in the Gali region. (DFWatch.) GALI, DFwatch--In the village of Tagiloni in the Gali district of breakaway Abkhazia, there has been an explosion of cases of an illness locals suspect to be Covid-19, following a burial feast held ten days ago. Locals reached out to DFWatch, to appeal for [...]

Abkhazia temporarily reopens Enguri crossing for “humanitarian reasons”

By | June 20th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

Sokhumi regime re-opens the sole crossing point on the river Enguri for three days for “humanitarian reasons” for the return of “citizens and residents of the republic temporarily being in Georgia”, the breakaway republic’s security service states on its website. Between June 22 and June 24, the passage through the checkpoint will be carried out daily [...]

Mass unrest in Sokhumi: Khajimba flees his office, threatens to impose state of emergency

By | January 9th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Opposition activists at the Khajimba's office. TBILISI, DFWatch--Raul Khajimba, de facto president of the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia, threatens to impose a state of emergency after opposition activists stormed his office on Wednesday. "I am in Sukhumi at the workplace in the state building," Khajimba was quoted by Interfax. The authorities work to “localize” [...]

Infighting between criminal clans named as possible motive of Sokhumi restaurant shooting

By | November 23rd, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

The perpetrators of deadly shooting in Sokhumi center are still at large despite efforts by the regime law enforcers who have blocked almost all roads and checkpoints in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia. At the same time, the de facto officials reveal the identity and possible motives of the crime. Two men, both 38 years old, [...]

Three killed as masked men riddle restaurant in Sokhumi

By | November 22nd, 2019|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , |

(Apsny.Today) A mass police operation is underway in the breakaway Abkhazia in the wake of mass shooting in Sokhumi where three people were murdered and at least three others were wounded on Friday. The shootout occurred at the restaurant San-Remo in Sokhumi center on afternoon. Reportedly a group of masked men opened fire in [...]

Former Soviet bureaucrat re-appointed as Abkhazia’s de facto PM

By | October 14th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Valeri Bganba. De facto president Raul Khajimba has re-appointed Valeri Bganba, former Komsomol activist, as a “prime minister” of breakaway Abkhazia. Bganba was first appointed at the office in September 18, 2018, after his predecessor, Genadi Gagulia, was killed in a car accident on the road connecting Sokhumi with Russia’s Sochi when he was [...]

Sokhumi regime lifts restrictions on Enguri bridge

By | October 3rd, 2019|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

Restrictions on Enguri bridge imposed on June 27 were abolished on Wednesday, the Security Service of the breakaway Abkhazia states. The restrictions were imposed in the wake of anti-Russian protests in Tbilisi due to “security reasons”. Later the Sokhumi regime partially eased the ban to cross the sole passage to the breakaway republic from Georgia proper, [...]

Sokhumi brings in new restrictions at Enguri Bridge, locals charged USD 17 for passing

By | September 28th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

The Enguri Bridge crossing is essential to many local businesses, who rely on trade in products such as hazelnuts. (DFWatch.) GALI, DFWatch--Sokhumi has brought in new restrictions on the administrative borderline between breakaway Abkhazia and Georgia proper, affecting many businesses in the area.  Crossing north-south across the Enguri Bridge is essential to many in [...]

Sokhumi claims opposition leader’s illness due to food intoxication, not deliberate poisoning

By | June 6th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Aslan Bzhania fell ill in April. TBILISI, DFWatch--Abkhazia’s breakaway authorities claim opposition leader Aslan Bzhania's sudden illness is due to ordinary food intoxication, not deliberate poisoning. Sokhumi thus rejects conclusions by a laboratory in Munich, which found earlier that samples from the leading opposition contender contained high levels of lead and cadmium. De facto [...]

Breakaway Abkhazia to reintroduce the death penalty for drug crime from 2020

By | April 5th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

An unidentified prison in Abkhazia. (Ekhokavkaza.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Breakaway authorities in Abkhazia plan to lift its moratorium on capital punishment in 2020 as tougher sentences are brought in against drug crime. The de facto parliament of breakaway Abkhazia has adopted a new law which imposes tougher punishments for selling large quantities of drugs, including life [...]

Illegal trade on rise due to dire economic situation, Gali residents say

By | October 20th, 2018|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , , , |

GALI, DFWatch – The loss of sources of income related to the spread of deadly brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), which has devastated locals’ orchards, urges residents of Gali to return to illegal business of smuggling goods, particularly cigarettes, from the breakaway Abkhazia to Georgia proper. […]

Abkhazia’s de facto prime minister killed in car accident

By | September 9th, 2018|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , , |

Gennadi Gagulia. The prime minister of Sokhumi regime was killed in a car accident on the road connecting the capital of breakaway Abkhazia with Russia’s Sochi on Saturday, when he was returning from his trip to Syria. […]

Sokhumi regime vice president resigns, declares vendetta to punish offender

By | August 22nd, 2018|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: |

Vitali Gabnia. Vice president of breakaway Abkhazia has stepped down after an incident when he was hit by a glass to his head, saying that plans to retaliate in “Abkhazian spirit”. […]

Abkhazia declares Soviet passports invalid

By | August 18th, 2018|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , |

GALI, DFWatch–Sokhumi has declared as invalid passports issued during the Soviet Union, which will cause problems for Georgians living in Abkhazia, many of whom rely on the documents for traveling in and out of the breakaway republic, locals told DFWatch. […]

Catastrophic mandarin harvest deals heavy blow to Abkhazia’s exports

By | December 6th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Abkhazia’s export of mandarins and other produce has plummeted by 2.7 times, dealing a heavy blow to the breakaway republic’s economy. Local media blame the bad harvest on the spread of brown marmorated stink bug, which has devastated crops also in Georgia. […]

51 people jailed for entering Georgia’s breakaway territories the wrong way

By | February 11th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

The bridge over the river Inguri is currently the only legal way to enter Abkhazia. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has jailed 51 persons over the last nine years for entering Abkhazia or South Ossetia from the wrong direction. The ombudsman now calls for a review of the law. Georgia’s Law on the Occupied Territories […]

Abkhazia won’t hand over murderer of Georgian IDP

By | July 6th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Raul Hajymba (Ria Novosty) TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto president of Abkhazia Raul Hajymba (Khadzhimba) told Russian media that the murderer of Georgian IDP Giga Otkhozoria won’t be handed over to the Georgian side. […]

Mshybzia! Futile activism serves the interests of elites

By | June 27th, 2016|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , |

A screenshot from the project’s website (mshibzia.com) The new Georgian social media campaign aimed at reaching out to Abkhaz society is an example of a futile activism informed by nationalist narratives which are being used by Georgian political elites to distract society from the core issue of unresolved ethnic conflict […]

Georgia to seek international criminal prosecution for suspect in Khurcha incident

By | May 22nd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

The Prosecutor’s Office in Ortachala, Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In a statement released on Saturday, Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia laid out its version of the tragic event of May 19, and announced it would appeal to the court demanding detention in absentia of Rashid Kanciogli, identified as a person who allegedly […]

Georgian IDP killed by Abkhaz guards at checkpoint

By | May 21st, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Russian-Abkhazian checkpoint between Khurcha and Nabakevi. (Sputnik) An ethnic Georgian man was fatally wounded by an Abkhaz border officer in an incident that occurred at the Khurcha-Nabakevi checkpoint at the de facto border with Abkhazia, inside the territory under control of Georgian authorities. The video (+18) from a surveillance camera distributed by Rustavi 2 [...]

Abkhazian MFA slams Georgia for blocking Montenegro exposition

By | April 26th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

Montenegrin police covered the exposition with tarp following Abkhazia’s refusal to remove it from the fair (Chamber of Commerce of the de-facto Republic of Abkhazia) Abkhazia accuses Georgia of pursuing a policy of isolation and puts a question mark on the restitution of the IPRM, while Georgia points towards individual countries’ policies of non-recognition of Abkhazia. […]

Abkhazian exhibition in Montenegro shut down on Georgia’s request

By | April 25th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |

Montenegrin police covered the exposition with tarp following Abkhazia’s refusal to remove it from the fair (Chamber of Commerce of the de-facto Republic of Abkhazia) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia filed an official complaint with the authorities of Montenegro, as a result of which Montenegrin police shut down an Abkhazian tourism exposition. The Abkhazian exposition was a part of an international […]

Abkhazia’s parliament: MP’s car explosion was an ‘act of terrorism’

By | April 18th, 2016|Categories: Caucasus region|Tags: |

Sputnik Abkhazia TBILISI, DFWatch–The opposition suggests that the explosion could be connected to the government’s plans to allow foreign nationals to buy property in Abkhazia, while major political actors call for cross-political solidarity. Members of Abkhazia’s de facto parliament, […]

Abkhazian MP’s car hit by explosion in Sokhumi center

By | April 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Sputnik Abkhazia) Tbilisi, DFWatch – The official car of Almas Japua, MP in Abkhazia’s de facto parliament called the National Assembly, was hit by an explosion on Saturday evening, Sputnik Abkhazia reports. The car exploded on Sergei Bagapsh Square in […]

Sukhumi and Tbilisi commemorate war-related anniversaries

By | October 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Commemoration of the 22 year anniversary from the Abkhazian War. Heroes Square, Tbilisi (Defense Ministry) As the question of political status of Abkhazia remains a major challenge to peace and security in the region, the two societies commemorate the events of 1993 in radically different manners. As twenty-two years have passed since the end of the war in Abkhazia, […]

Moldova issues entry ban against two Abkhazian politicians

By | September 8th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Two politicians from Abkhazia have been banned from entering Moldova for ten years after they celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the breakaway region Transnistria. On the way back from the celebration, Sukhumi’s vice president Vitaly Gabniya […]

Abkhazia’s Georgians still a hostage of regional tensions

By | August 10th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Gali, Abkhazia (Dominik K. Cagara) Gali, DFWatch – As the Abkhazian de facto government fails to adopt constructive integration policies, many ethnic Georgians living in the eastern districts of Abkhazia complain about prejudice as well as political, economic, and cultural discrimination. […]

UNDP plans aid projects for USD 15 million in Abkhazia

By | March 13th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , , |

The maternity ward at Gali hospital was renovated with the help of UNDP. (Frame from UN’s video report.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The United Nations is ready to finance projects in Abkhazia with USD 15 million this year. Resident Coordinator for the UN Development Program in Georgia, Niels Scott, told this to de facto President Aleksandre Ankvab, according to Apsnypress. […]

Athlete from Georgian breakaway region ‘born in Russia’

By | February 10th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Olympic Committee has complained to the International Olympic Committee about a Russian athlete’s biographical details. The website of this year’s winter games incorrectly indicated that Marika Pertakhiya, who represents Russia […]

Georgia will consider proposal to open McDonald’s in Abkhazia

By | January 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says it is necessary to correctly evaluate the political risks of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola entering the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia. Gharibashvili Thursday said at a press conference that he will discuss […]

McDonald’s to open restaurant in Abkhazia?

By | January 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A statement by McDonald’s that it wants to open a branch in the disputed Georgian region Abkhazia has caused strong criticism in Georgia. Temur Chkonia, representative of McDonald’s in Georgia, says the statement will be removed from the […]

Suspect in Batumi shooting wanted for diplomat’s murder in Abkhazia

By | September 20th, 2013|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A Russian citizen who was detained for shooting a cop in Batumi is suspected of murdering a Russian diplomat in Abkhazia on September 9. According to Russian channel NTV, Yusuf Lakayev is suspected of murdering the Russian envoy to the breakaway […]

Russian diplomat shot in Abkhazia

By | September 9th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The first secretary at the Russian embassy in Abkhazia, Dmitry Vishernev, was Monday morning shot and killed in Sukhumi, the capital of the breakaway region. According to Abkhazian and Russian media, Vishernev was shot in the morning […]

Georgia eases punishment for entering breakaway regions

By | February 7th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The new government in Georgia wants to amend the law on the occupied territories in order to soften the punishment for people who violate it. The Law on Occupied Territories was adopted in October 2008, a few months after the Russian-Georgian war. […]

Abkhazia holds second round of election

By | March 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Abkhazia today holds the second round of the elections for parliament. 20 constituencies are selecting a candidate in a first past the post system. In the first round, March 10, 13 candidates were chosen, out of a total of 35. In one district, less […]

Russia appoints officials to oversee Georgian regions

By | March 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed a special representative to South Ossetia, five days after awarding the same kind of job title in regards to Abkhazia, the other Georgian breakaway region. The person in charge of South Ossetia, the arena […]

US and EU do not recognize Abkhazian election

By | March 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The delegations of the U.S. and the EU in Georgia do not recognize the recent de facto parliamentary elections in Abkhazia as legitimate. Both have releases statements expressing support for Georgia’s territorial integrity. “The United States […]

Abkhazia election goes to second round

By | March 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – There will be a second round of the de facto elections for parliament in the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia, because representatives were elected from only 13 electoral districts out of a total of 35. Abkhazia is a part of Georgia currently occupied […]

10 years after the peace plan

By | October 20th, 2011|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , |

Almost 10 years have passed since the UN, in an attempt to help solve the Abkhaz conflict, launched the Document on "Distribution of Competences between Sukhumi and Tbilisi". Basically, this was an effort to have the Abkhaz and the Georgian sides to the conflict sit down at the negotiating table and work out modalities for a [...]