Andrei Illarionov at his best as a “great” expert.
In his article Abkhazia's Independence Farce Illarionov asserts: “The Abkhaz regime exists only because Russia backs it with military might and financial support”. The author called the international recognition of Abkhazia a mockery of international law and a chilling validation of ethnic cleansing. He expressed bewilderment at Abkhazia’s strive to continue achieving recognition as an independent state and expressed his satisfaction with the European Union and the United States reject of recent Abkhaz presidential elections as totally illegitimate.
From the Abkhazian perspective, after what Georgia did to Abkhazia during the Soviet regime (especially at the time carefully orchestrated by Stalin), actual pure mockery is rather to be found in the attitude of the European Union and the United States, now coinciding with the opinion of their vassal Illarionov, the dependent opinion which surely have been derived out of Georgian brainwashing. Any sober-minded reader will question several of the author’s assertions, lacking (as they do) simple logic, or citations from doubtful sources.
His desecration of Abkhazia as totally subordinated to Russia immediately raises the question whether the expert Illarionov is aware of the following: “The military of the United States is deployed in more than 150 countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its 1,580,255 active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories. Most of these overseas personnel are deployed in combat zones in the Middle East, as part of the ‘War on Terror’. Many of the remainder are located at installations activated during the Cold War, by which the US government sought to counter the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. U.S. personnel are seeing active combat in several countries, most notably Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.”
Illarionov speaks of “international recognition conveniently overlooking how it was established: through the killing of around 10,000 civilians in the 1990s”. Such an allegation cannot be ignored. Perhaps this information was lifted from some source without due consideration, for Illarionov seems to have no clue as to the identity of the victims. Abkhazia was invaded by Georgian tanks headed by Georgian commanders who in a televised address to the Abkhaz population declared their intention to cleanse all Abkhazians even at the expense of sacrificing thousands of Georgians to attain their goals. Preconceived Georgian sources hide facts how Georgian soldiers were searching for Abkhazians holding the lists of Abkhaz names and their addresses to torture, humiliate or kill. Abkhazians want to live on their Abkhazian land, as there is no place designated for them. That is why they defended their motherland, families and their children and Georgian army had to retreat.
It is not quite clear what Illarionov was trying to say. One may conclude:
1) Georgians cleansed Abkhazian civilians when they invaded Abkhazia in 1992.
2) Shame Georgians for being incompetent and disorganized.
3) Point out the lack of ability of a mere 100,000 Abkhazians to inflict a humiliating defeat on a five million Georgian nation.
4) Unmask Georgian trick to delude international community presenting the Abkhaz - Georgian conflict as Russian - Georgian.
Illarionov’s use of Soviet census data, where ethnic Abkhazians comprised 17.8% of the 525,000 residents of Abkhazia in 1989, whilst ethnic Georgians accounted for 45.7% (numbering roughly 240,000) is tricky. The point is that the term ‘Georgians’ (or ‘kartvelebi’, as they call themselves in Georgian) actually covers Georgians properly so-called, Mingrelians, Svans and the Laz. Mingrelians, Svans and the Laz have their own languages, but, since the 1930s they have been deprived of the right officially to state their ethnic identity, being compelled to register themselves as ‘Georgians’.
Illarionov’s suggestion that international courts should define the legal nature of the atrocities gives hope that truth might finally be revealed. Last and for all.
10.06.2011 ALLS Independent Media Monitoring Team