Russian soldiers took control over the Enguri River on August 19, 2008. Photo:  REUTERS / Umit Bektas (Georgia)

08 August 2018, 17:59

Residents of Abkhazia describe devastation in villages 10 years after five-day war

After the five-day war of August 2008 and recognition of the Abkhazia's independence, there is no significant development there, but even in the Kodori Gorge, local residents feel safer despite the devastation. Some residents of Abkhazia say they want the republic to become part of Russia, while others want to preserve their independence.

The combat actions spread beyond South Ossetia and involved the Kodori Gorge, which, following the results of the "five-day war," came under the control of Abkhazia. After clashes broke out between the Georgian and Abkhaz forces in the Kodori Gorge, about 2500 people left its upper part.

At present, about 100 people live in the Kodori Gorge, reports a resident of Abkhazia. According to him, the standard of living is "very low." There are only one store and one doctor for three villages.

Anna, a resident of Sukhumi, said that when the war broke out in South Ossetia in 2008, she was very scared, since she remembered "all the horrors" of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict of 1992-1993.

During the conflict of 1992-1993, more than 8000 people were killed, and about 18,000 were injured. About 200,000 Georgians  almost half of the pre-war population of Abkhazia left their houses, and the problem of their return has not yet been solved.

Anna believes that after Russia had recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, people got confidence in tomorrow.

"Nothing has much changed in the state: the infrastructure has remained collapsed," believes Stella Adleiba, another local resident.

No one should speak of a possibility to join Russia, notes Inga, a resident of Sukhumi. "Our fathers and brothers died to ensure our independence," the woman explained.

On the contrary, David, a resident of Sukhumi, believes that the best option for Abkhazia would be to join Russia. "We are guarded by Russian troops ... Are we independent? We should not deceive ourselves," the local man concluded.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 8, 2018 at 12:44 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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