16 August 2020, 10:18

Eyewitnesses tell about sudden onset of war in Abkhazia 28 years ago

In August 1992, the Georgian society was busy with internal confrontation and did not immediately realize the ethnic background of the conflict in Abkhazia, said Paata Zakareishvili, an ex-minister for reconciliation. The feeling of war was in the air, but its start was still a surprise, the eyewitness has recalled. Zurab Papaskiri, a historian, told how the Georgian militaries robbed the civilian population.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the war in Abkhazia broke out on August 14, 1992. It claimed over 8000 lives; about 18,000 were wounded. Sukhumi, Gagra and other cities suffered greatly from destruction. About 200,000 Georgians – almost half of the pre-war population of Abkhazia – were forced to leave their homes.

The conflict erupted after the Supreme Soviet of the Abkhaz ASSR (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic), by restoring the 1925 Constitution of Abkhazia, proclaimed the republic's independence.

According to Paata Zakareishvili, only after the shootout in Ochamchira on August 14, 1992, between the Georgian troops and the Abkhaz militia, people in Georgia understood that this was a conflict with Abkhazians.

After the outbreak of the war, many hoped for its soon termination, Zurab Papaskiri has noted, adding that during the war, Georgian soldiers repeatedly robbed local civilians.

The approach of war was felt, but all the same, its start was a surprise, said Ismail Ametov, a teacher.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 15, 2020 at 07:23 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov; Source: CK correspondent

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