Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Georgia: Bomb Strikes Abkhaz Capital etc." New York Times et al., September 26, 2008.

[This mapping of the Caucasian issue should be understood in the context of earlier reports about the Georgian oppositions call for Saakashvili's ouster. -jlt]

Michael Schwirtz, "Georgia: Bomb Strikes Abkhaz Capital," New York Times, September 25, 2008.

A car bomb exploded in front of a law enforcement building early Thursday morning in Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, the breakaway Georgian enclave, causing some structural damage but no casualties, a spokesman for Abkhazia’s Interior Ministry said. Abkhazia’s foreign minister suggested that Georgian intelligence services were behind the explosion, the Interfax news agency reported. Tensions remain high in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the other separatist region over which Georgia fought a short but bloody war with Russia last month. In Tskhinvali, South Ossetia’s capital, a 13-year-old boy was killed Thursday when an unidentified explosive device detonated after he picked it up, the separatist government’s official Web site reported.
AFP reports that "The incident came as a 13-year-old boy was killed by an explosive device near the main city in Georgia's other rebel region, South Ossetia, the separatist information agency there said."

AFP provides several quotations:
"Officials and a doorman at the security service building said the blast was caused by explosives packed in a Russian-made Lada car.

"'I was blown down by the blast, but not hurt,' the doorman, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

"Blaming Tbilisi for the blast, the Abkhaz separatists' foreign minister, Sergei Shamba, said: 'Such explosions are an activity of Georgian secret services with which we are well-acquainted.... We simply have no domestic reasons for such terror acts,' Interfax reported.

"Another Abkhaz official linked the blast to approaching independence celebrations on September 30, marking the end of fighting with central authorities in Tbilisi in the early 1990s.

"The claim that Tbilisi was involved was denied by the secretary of Georgia's security council, Alexander Lomaia.

"'These accusations are not substantiated at all. This is not the first case when something happens in these law-free areas,' Lomaia told AFP."
Read the whole AFP article here =>

Civil Georgia ( reports:
"The Abkhaz parliament has ratified a treaty on cooperation and friendship between Russia and the breakaway region, Russian news agencies reported on September 24.

"The treaty was signed by Russian President Medvedev and secessionist leader Sergey Bagapsh in Moscow on September 17. A similar treaty was signed with breakaway South Ossetia.

"Speaking in Parliament on September 24, Bagapsh reiterated that Russia would have two military bases in the region, one in Gudauta and the other – in Ochamchire.

“'The Russian army will have as many soldiers on Abkhaz territory as is necessary for the security of our republic,' Interfax news agency quoted Bagapsh as saying."
The Oregon-based iStockAnalyst passes along this report from Interfax:
(Source: Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English)trackingMINSK. Sept 25 (Interfax) - The leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Sergei Bagapsh and Eduard Kokoity, have sent letters to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. They asked for Belarusian recognition of independence of their republics, a source at the Belarusian presidential office told Interfax on Thursday.

"Letters, which define the Belarusian position, will be sent to leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," the source said.

(c) 2008 Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
Finally a week-old article from RIA Novosti, Russia reports that the Security Council is interested in hearing from South Ossetian and Abkhazian representatives. However,
"'UN Security Council members have expressed great interest in such meeting, but we have not overcome the well-known obstacle of obtaining American visas and are currently working on this,' Vitaly Churkin said."
Uzbekistan has still not decided whether or not to recognize the two independent republics.
Read the rest of that story here =>

See also this story about the 2014 Winter Olympic Games =>
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