Legitimacy of Abkhazia's Sovereignty and Independence in The Light of Historical Evidence

  • 08/10/2023
Recently, the posts made by some Georgian intellectuals and so-called “scholars” on various social media platforms and publications last week on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the liberation of Abkhazia from Georgian occupation show how “educated” people could have turned into racist chauvinists. Certain Georgian circles, use the anti-Russian sentiments existing in the international community as a tool to claim that Abkhazia is Georgian territory occupied by Russia, with false arguments of "Georgia's territorial integrity".

They are trying to present ethnic Georgians who fled Abkhazia, fearing that they would be punished after the war for aiding the occupying Georgian Armed Forces during the war, as predominantly majority natives of Abkhazia and people who have been turned into refugees. While claiming that ethnic Georgians were predominantly the majority population in Abkhazia, they neglect that their forefathers prevented the Abkhaz Muhadjirs from returning to their native lands in 1920.  They also accuse the Abkhazians of ethnic cleansing but at the same time ignore the Helsinki Human Rights Watch reports of the 92-93 War which clearly states that the Mkhedrioni gangs slaughtered the Abkhazian civilians with the Soviet weapons provided by the Russian Federation army base.[1]

Even though some extreme Georgian lunatics dare to go further and bring up the racial theories of the so-called scientist Pavel Ingorovka, who was encouraged by the Stalinist regime during the USSR period, I do not want to waste the time of sensible readers who know very well that these theories are crazy nonsense.

For these reasons, it might be helpful to remember some historical facts supported by legitimate archival documents.

The statehood of Abkhazia, which dates back to the 5th century BC, was lost by the Abkhaz people in the 19th century as a result of the annexation of Abkhazia by the Russian Empire and the abolition of its statehood. So, both the Abkhaz and the Georgians were the subjects of the Tsarist regime of the Russian Empire before 1917.

Authorized representatives of the Abkhaz nation, Alexander Shervashidze (Chachba), Tatash Marshan, Simon Basaria, and Semen Ashkhatsava attended the 2nd Congress of the Representatives of the Caucasian Highlanders in Vladikavkaz.[2]   Based on the resolutions of the congress dated September 24, 1917, the abolished statehood of Abkhazia was restored through its entry into the Union of Highlanders of the Caucasus.  Reshid-Khan Kaplan, the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North Caucasus stated the following in his final report:[3]

“On the shores of the Black Sea lives the Abkhaz people, connected to us by ties of blood and historical memories. We thought that in the union of mountain peoples, our brothers the Abkhazians, whose tragic past has always awakened a sympathetic echo in our hearts, should be given their worthy place.

We sent our representative to Abkhazia, who made sure that the Abkhaz hearts beat in unison with ours and that the consciousness of belonging to the family of mountain peoples never died in them. Thus, thanks to the accession of the Abkhazians, our union is replenished, which from now on includes all mountain peoples without exception.”

During October and November 1918 regional congresses of the councils of Peasant Deputies of Abkhazia.  Samurzakan with its dense Mingrelian population was one of them.  After having lengthy discussions in Gali on November 3, 1918, the peasant deputies of Samurzakan also declared that they were willing to unite with the Union of Caucasian Highlanders and made the following statement:[4]

“ Congress of members of the Council of Peasant Deputies of the Samurzakan section of the Sukhum District with the participation of members of the Sukhum District Committee Ivan Konstantinovich Gegiya and Andrei D. Kiriya, chaired by Ivan Gegiya with secretary Andrei Kiriya; by the way, having discussed the issue regarding the entry of the population of Samurzakan into the Union of Highlanders and Abkhazians and, taking into account that under the current state system, the allocation of one part of a known territory does not make any common sense and the population of Samurzakan has a complete desire to have the same relations as with the Highlanders, Abkhazians, etc. Likewise with Georgia, to unite the peasantry more strongly to protect their interests, the Council decided to join the union of the Highlanders and Abkhazians only if Georgia also entered into a real union.

The Decree of Congres of the Council of Peasant Deputies of Samurzakan Region to Join the Highlanders' Union (Click the link to access the original document) 
It is authentically true: the commissioner of the Samurzakan district, V. Emukhvari, certifies that the real copy is completely correct with the original signature and the application of the government seal.”

Following the regional congresses of the councils of Peasant Deputies, The Congress of the Abkhaz People on November 8, 1917, adopted the Constitution of Abkhazia and elected the Government - the Abkhaz People's Council and announced the following declaration:[5]


Before the revolution, the independent activity of the people was limited, because only the servants of the old regime “acted independently” in everything. The revolution gave all socio-political and national groups the right and opportunity for self-determination and protection of their own interests.

In addition to administrative institutions, trade unions, and political organizations were formed everywhere, such as the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, etc. - these unions and organizations, while helping to strengthen the gains of the revolution, at the same time protect the rights and interests of the classes and masses they lead.

Of course, in need of support for the peoples oppressed by tsarist imperialism, the revolution put forward the slogan of self-determination of nations, which was greedily taken up by the interested masses and was immediately put into practice in many places (Ukraine, Finland).

The Abkhaz people, like all other peoples of the Russian Republic, see in the revolution, first of all, freedom of national self-determination.

Taking into account all that has been said, the Congress of the Abkhaz People decisively states that Abkhazia, which has a thousand-year history and has enormous features in the “structure of its life, must have such a national-political organization that, uniting the Abkhaz people, would express the will of the majority and stand on the guardian of his interests.

Such an organization will be the Abkhaz People's Council. The tasks of the Abkhaz People's Council should be as follows:

  1. Firstly, the defense and consolidation of the gains of the revolution and the political education and organization of the masses.
The Abkhaz people understand that all freedoms, including the freedom of Abkhazia, depend on the revolution.

And Kornilov’s speech, the numerous anarchic outbreaks observed throughout the country, undoubtedly proves that the masses must sensitively stand guard over freedom and revolution because not all dangers have yet been eliminated.

At the same time, the popular masses, as elsewhere in Russia, thanks to the criminal policies of the fallen regime, turned out to be insufficiently prepared and organized, and these masses can become a reliable stronghold of the revolution only when they are united into one organized and conscious whole.

And, the Abkhaz People's Council, in addition to measures aimed at raising and developing the revolutionary consciousness of the masses, must take decisive measures to create a real revolutionary organized force from the Abkhaz people.

  1. The Abkhaz People's Council must also protect the national, cultural, and economic interests and political rights of the Abkhaz people from all attacks, no matter where they come from.
In these alarming times, when much is being destroyed to the ground and much is being created anew, when the conditions and situation of life throughout Russia and, consequently, Abkhazia are radically changing, every people must be sensitive to ensuring that their rights and interests do not suffer from attacks and are not would be forgotten during the reorganization of Russia on a new basis. The Abkhaz people are confident that their brothers, the Highlanders of the North Caucasus and Dagestan, will support them in cases where they defend their rights.

  1. One of the next important tasks of the Abkhaz People's Council is to work on the self-determination of the Abkhaz people.
It must be remembered that this work will not involve the immediate implementation of the right to self-determination, but will mainly be preparation for self-determination, the final forms of which will be clarified in the Constituent Assembly for all the peoples of Russia.

This preparation should be expressed in collecting all available materials and reflecting the will of the people, developing projects for organizations of various parties in Abkhazia.

At the same time, the Abkhaz People's Council must take the initiative to immediately resolve those issues that, being related to self-determination, cannot be delayed due to the conditions of the time (the school issue, etc.).

  1. The Abkhaz people are part of the Union of United Highlanders of the North Caucasus, Dagestan, and Abkhazia - and, of course, need to maintain the closest connection with their northern brothers.
The body that unites the Abkhaz people with the Mountaineer Union represented by the Central Committee of the Union and carries out the common political slogans and resolutions of the Union will be the Abkhaz People's Council.

In addition to the listed tasks and goals, the implementation of which the Abkhaz People's Council must strive to achieve, the competence of this Council should also include issues of a current nature, for the resolution of which there has not yet been an organized people's center.

Those main tasks that life and the revolution have set for the Abkhaz people and which the Abkhaz Council is obliged to fulfill determine the position of this Council with all political organizations and administrative institutions of the Caucasus and Russia.

The Abkhaz People's Council, as a body responsible, first of all, to the Abkhaz people and protecting their interests and rights, recognizes the power and competence of the District Sukhum Committee, the Special Transcaucasian Committee, all socio-political and administrative institutions and persons of the Transcaucasus of the Central Committee of the Union of United Highlanders and the Provisional government insofar as these organizations and institutions comply with the slogans of revolution and democracy and do not violate the national interests and political rights of the Abkhaz people.

In the same cases, when any administrative institution, person, or socio-political organization commits an act or issues a resolution that contradicts the principles of democracy or violates the national-political, cultural, and economic interests and rights of the Abkhaz people - the Abkhaz People's Council reserves the right to resolutely protest and joint revolutionary resistance with the people.

The Abkhaz people, taking the first steps towards identifying their national essence and putting it into practice, express the wish that other nations and social groups and organizations of the Sukhum District and Transcaucasia believe that the Abkhazians, who suffered under the old regime, are not only social but also national oppression, are doubly revolutionary and long for a common fraternal life with all their neighbors.


  • 1. The Abkhaz People's Council is a national political organization uniting the Abkhaz people.
  • 2. The representative and exponent of the will of the Abkhaz people in relations with government and administrative institutions and socio-political organizations is the Abkhaz People's Council.
  • 3. The Abkhaz People's Council is responsible primarily to the Abkhaz people represented by the general congress.
  • 4. Tasks of the Abkhaz People's Council:
  1. a) protection and strengthening of the gains of the revolution; political education and organization of the masses; the fight against anarchy and counter-revolution;
  2. b) protection of national and cultural-economic interests and political rights of the Abkhaz people;
  3. c) preparatory work for the self-government of the Abkhaz people;
  4. d) maintaining and strengthening the connection of the Abkhaz people with the Union of Caucasian Highlanders and implementing the political slogans, resolutions, and events of the Central Committee of the Union;
  5. e) work on current issues that require manifestation of the will of the Abkhaz people.
  • 5. The District Committee, commissars, and other administrative institutions and persons retain their previous management functions, but the work and activities of all administrative and other institutions and persons - insofar as this work and activity concerns Abkhazia - must proceed in contact with the Abkhaz People's Council, in the interests of achieving fruitful results.
  • 6. The Abkhaz People's Council recognizes the power and competence of the relevant administrative institutions and socio-political organizations insofar as these institutions and organizations respect the principles of democracy and self-determination of nations.
  • 7. To protect the interests of national minorities, issues affecting the interests of others must be resolved either by the District Committee, the general congress of the district, or a congress of interested parties.
  • 8. The Abkhaz People's Council has its representatives in the district committee and, as necessary, in other local administrative and socio-political organizations.
  • 9. The People's Council must implement the resolutions adopted by the General Congress of the Abkhaz People.
  • 10. The Council submits a report on its activities to the General Congress of the Abkhaz People.
Note. While showing personal initiative on current issues and issues requiring immediate resolution, the People's Council, however, is obliged to report to Congress on its activities on these issues as well.

  • 11. The Council has the right of co-optation, but co-opted members, until approved by the General Congress, have only an advisory vote.
  • 12. The Council appoints a presidium from among itself; chairman, three fellow chairmen, secretary, and treasurer, and the presidium is approved by the General Congress.
  • 13. As necessary, the Council must select from among its members sections on various special issues: for example. on school, spiritual, financial, land, and other issues.
Note: In addition to members of the Council, persons invited by the Council may take part in the work of these sections.

  • 14. A quorum is considered to be 1/2 of the total number of members of the Council (including the chairman), and decisions are made by a simple majority of votes.
Note: In cases where the votes are evenly divided, the chairman's vote gives the upper hand to the relevant party.

  • 15. The Council itself must draw up a detailed order and internal regulations, without deviating from the general paths outlined in the declaration and constitution adopted by the Congress.
  • 16. All members individually and the People's Council as a whole undertake to base their activities on this declaration and the constitution.
Chairman of the Congress Simon Basaria

Secretaries: Tsaturia, Alanya and Tarnava

Speaker Sheripov

Declaration of the Congress of the Abkhazian Nation and the Constitution of the Abkhazian National Council (Click the link to access the original document)

After the Constitution of Abkhazia was published in newspapers in early December 1917, one of the prominent Political leaders of the Georgian national movement, Akakiy Chkhenkeli wrote a letter to Alexander Shervshidze (Chachba) and invited him to Tiflis to discuss the mutual interests of Abkhazian and Georgian nations and reach an agreement on some fundamental issues.  In his letter, besides his provocative expressions about the Samurzakan district, Akakiy Chkhenkeli confirmed that Abkhazia's participation in the Highlanders’ League does not pose a problem for Georgia.  The full text of the letter was as follows:[6]

“Through the bearer of this I. Chikovani, the National Council of Georgia sends an invitation to the Abkhaz People's Council to a joint meeting on the issue of mutual relations between the said Councils, as well as on the forms of the future structure of Georgia and Abkhazia.

You will agree, I hope, with me that these issues are of great interest to neighboring countries, regardless of what the aspirations of each of them are. Your alliance with the Highlanders should not, in my opinion, prevent you from entering into a certain agreement with Georgia - this is all the more so since the latter does not want anything other than the good of Abkhazia, into which Samurzakania is considered a part. Meanwhile, the latter has not yet delegated its representatives to your council, the reason being your alienation from Georgia.

I believe that your close acquaintance with the Georgian people, who are entirely committed to the principle of self-determination of all nationalities, hence the Abkhaz nation, should protect you from any doubt about the best feelings of Georgians towards the Abkhazians.

As a native of Samurzakan, I am deeply pained by the fact that normal relations have not yet been established not only between Georgians and Abkhazians but also between the latter and the Samurzakanians. We must never forget that the unity of solidarity of small nationalities is the surest guarantee of the preservation of their national physiognomy from encroachments by the ruling classes of large nationalities.

I ask you to completely sincerely and trustingly follow the call of your noble heart and take steps towards the Abkhaz People's Council accepting the invitation of the National Council of Georgia.

Please accept the assurances of my sincere respect.

  1. Chkhenkeli, Tiflis,6/1/18”

Letter from Akakiy Chkhenkeli to Alexander Shervashidze (Chachba) about Abkhazia and Highlanders' Union (Click the link to access the original document)

Under such circumstances, Abkhaz and Georgian National Councils had a meeting in Tbilisi and signed a treaty on February 9, 1918.  The text of the treaty was as follows;[7]

“I. Protocol of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Georgia No. 30. February 9, 1918.

In Tiflis, a meeting of the Presidium of the i/k and n/s of Georgia was held together with the representative of the Abkhaz People's Council Alexander G. Shervashidze on the issue of establishing relations between Georgia and Abkhazia, and the following provisions were developed:

  1. Recreate a single, indivisible Abkhazia from the Ingur to the river. Mzymta, which will include Abkhazia itself and Samurzakan, or what is also the current Sukhum District.
  2. The form of the future political structure of a united Abkhazia must be developed with the principle of national self-determination at the Constituent Assembly of Abkhazia, convened on a democratic basis.
  3. If Abkhazia or Georgia wishes to enter into political contractual relations with other nationalities or states, they mutually undertake to have preliminary negotiations with each other on this matter.
Signed by: V. Kakubava, G. Tumanov, Gurdzhua, Adzhamov.

Correct: Office Manager

People's Council of Abkhazia /signature/

  1. The Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic, represented by its authorized Ministers of Justice Sh. V. Alekseev-Meskhiev and Agriculture N. G. Khomeriki and the Abkhaz People's Council, represented by the authorized representatives Razhden Ivanovich Kakuba, Georgy Davidovich Tumanov, Vasily Georgievich Gurdzhua, and Georgy Davidovich Adzhamov, in development and addition of the agreement between the People's Council, held on February 9 this 1918, concluded the following agreement:
1/ The Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic invites, on the proposal of the Abkhaz People's Council, the Minister for Abkhaz Affairs.

2/ Internal administration and self-government in Abkhazia belong to the Abkhaz People's Council.

3/ Loans and money needed to govern Abkhazia are issued from the funds of the Georgian Democratic Republic and spent on the needs of Abkhazia by the Abkhaz People’s Council,

4/ For the speedy establishment of a revolutionary order and the organization of firm power, the Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic is sending a detachment of the Red Guard to assist the Abkhaz People's Council at its disposal.

5/ An international detachment is being organized in Abkhazia, which is at the disposal of the Abkhaz People's Council. The equipment and money necessary for the detachment are issued by the Government of Georgia.

6/ Social reforms are carried out by the Abkhaz People's Council based on general laws, but in relation to local conditions.

7/ A congress of the population of Abkhazia on a democratic basis will be convened in the near future to finally resolve issues related to the structure of Abkhazia and

8/ This agreement is being revised by the National Assembly of Abkhazia.

Noy Georgievich Khomeriki

Shalva Vladimirovich Alekseev-Meskhiev

Georgy Davidovich Adzhamov

Vasili Georgievich Gurdzhua

Sacred Georgy Davidovich Tumanov

Razhden Ivanovich Kakuba

  1. The Abkhaz People's Council decided to authorize its representatives R.I. KAKUBA, G.D. TUMANOV, V.G. GURDJUA and G.D. ADJAMOV to conclude the following agreement: The Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic, represented by its authorized Ministers of Justice ALEKSEEV-MESHKHIEV and Agriculture KHOMERIKI.
The Abkhaz People's Council represented by the authorized representatives Razhden Ivanovich Kakuba, Georgy Davidovich Tumanov, Vasily Georgievich Gurdjua and Georgy Davidovich Adjamov, in development and addition of the agreement between the Georgian National Council and the Abkhaz People's Council, held on February 9, 1918, concluded the following agreement:

1/ The concluded agreement is reviewed by the People's Assembly of Abkhazia, which will finally determine the political structure and fate of Abkhazia, as well as the relationship between Georgia and Abkhazia.

2/ The Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic has an authorized representative of the Abkhaz People's Council, with whom the Georgian Government communicates on the affairs of Abkhazia.

3/ Internal administration in Abkhazia belongs to the Abkhaz People's Council.

4/ In matters of foreign policy, Georgia, being the official representative of the contracting parties, actually acts together with Abkhazia.

5/ Loans and funds necessary for the governance of Abkhazia are released from the funds of the Georgian Democratic Republic at the disposal of the Abkhaz People's Council.

6/ For the speedy establishment of a revolutionary order and the organization of firm power, the Georgian Democratic Republic is sending a detachment of the Red Guard to assist the Abkhaz People's Council and at its disposal until the need passes.

7/ The Abkhaz People's Council organizes military units and the equipment, uniforms, and funds necessary for these units are released by the Georgian Democratic Republic at the disposal of the Council.

8/ Social reforms are carried out by the Abkhaz People's Council based on general laws issued by the Transcaucasian Seim, but in relation to local conditions.

This document is taken into account and attached to the agreements concluded between the Georgian National Council and the Georgian Republic on the one hand and the Abkhaz People's Council on the other hand.”

The Treaty Between the National Councils of Abkhazia and Georgia signed on February 9, 1918, in Tbilisi
(Click the link to access the original document)

In the meantime, the Treaty of Brest Litovsk was signed in March 1918 and the Soviet power withdrew Russia from the scene of World War I. Representatives of the Trans-Caucasian Seym started negotiations with the Central Powers and did not want to accept the articles of the Brest-Litovsk treaty stating that Ardahan, Kars, and Batumi would be returned to the Ottoman Empire. Germany, the ally of the Ottoman Empire, did not want these lands, especially Baku and other Caucasian oil fields, to come under Ottoman control, and was secretly negotiating with Georgians and Russians. 

During the negotiations, the members of the Abkhaz National Council arrived in Batumi and presented a petition to the representatives of the Central Powers.[8]

“We, delegates of Abkhazia, confirm that the people of Abkhazia, having already entered the Union of United Mountaineers of the North Caucasus and Dagestan for the past year, preserve this union in a sacred and inviolable manner with the related peoples of the North Caucasus and Dagestan.

In none of their assembly did the Abhaz make the slightest allusion concerning the rupture of this Union which for them is sacred and related by blood, as well as their entry exclusively into the family of Transcaucasian peoples.

We, delegates, expressing the will of the people, categorically confirm that the Abhaz recognizes only the general Caucasian family and desires to be members of this important Caucasian family with the same rights as it.

Delegates who would think otherwise can be said that their mandates do not come from the Abkhazian people, but are the product of the wicked and devious work of particular enemies of little Abkhazia, enemies swallowing up the rights of national minorities.

Resident of the village Kinda, Kodorsky district; Kegva Kiout

A resident of the village Lykhny, in the Goudaout district; Hitchine Ghizba

A resident of the village Echera, in the Goumistin district; Haki Auitzba

A resident of the village Djgherda; Medjid Bagapsh

A resident of the village Kvitaoula; Simon Basaria

Batum, 25/05/1918” 

The petition of the members of the Abkhaz National Council to the representatives of the Central Powers during the negotiations in Batumi in June 1918 
(Click the link to access the original document)

Taking advantage of the situation, Georgian Mensheviks signed an agreement with the German Empire and began to follow an expansionist policy in the Caucasus. Under the guise of the anti-Bolshevik struggle, they invaded Ossetia and tried to take control of the region up to Vladikavkaz. On the other hand, by allying with the Volunteer Army, they planned to capture all of Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast and the Circassian lands up to Tuapse.

Positions of the German Armed Forces in Abkhazia in June 1918
(Click the link to access the original document)

On the one hand, they gave messages of friendship to the Government of the Union of the North Caucasian Highlanders, on the other hand, they continued peace negotiations with the Ottoman Empire in Trabzon and Batumi. But beyond these, they brought the peace negotiations to a deadlock, completed their preparations, and invaded Abkhazia in June 1918 within the framework of the agreement they made with the Germans.[9] The real target of the invasion, which was carried out under the guise of an operation against the Bolsheviks, was the nationalist Abkhazians. In the operation targeting the groups affiliated with Tatash Marshan, Simon Basariya, and Alexander Shervashidze, they used disproportionate force with the help of German forces, inflicting great terror in Abkhazia and occupying the country.  Ignoring the agreements signed and the commitments made by the Menshevik Georgian Government, the Georgian armed forces declared martial law, declaring that Georgian laws would mercilessly apply in the country.  The occupation forces rebuilt the Abkhaz National Council with new members who followed their orders.

Upon arrival in Sukhum, the commander of the occupational forces, General Mazniev (Mazniashvili) published an order on the Sukhum General Government dated June 23, No. 1, by which Abkhazia, according to the telegram of the Minister of War, was declared the Sukhum General Government, and General Mazniev - the Governor General...[10]

“Moreover, I bring to your attention that The Abkhaz People’s Council gave General Mazniev broad powers, including the right to impose a state of siege, but only when conducting military operations.”

The Order No.1 of the Commander of Georgian Occupation Troops in Abkhazia, General Mazniashvili
(Click the link to access the original document)

The Abkhaz sovereignty and independence were crashed by the Menshevik Georgian troops violently.  The Republic of the Union of the North Caucasian Highlanders made all necessary diplomatic attempts to stop the unscrupulous invasion in Abkhazia before the German Government and delivered many futile protest notes.  Due to the invasion of Azerbaijan and Dagestan by the Cossack gangs under the command of Lazar Bicherakhov supported by the British forces, neither the national forces of the Union of Highlanders nor the Ottoman Army could help the Abkhazian people against the Germano-Georgian conspiracy.  

Despite the ruthless government of Abkhazia by the Georgian invaders, the Abkhazian Muhadjirs in the territory of the Ottoman Empire expressed their will to return to their homeland in 1920. The elders of the prominent Abkhaz families such as Marshans and Maans had visited the Diplomatic Mission of the Republic of Georgia in Istanbul on February 16, 1920, and asked the Georgian occupation regime to grant permission for 150.000 Abkhaz to return to their homeland.  The head of the Georgian mission in Istanbul, Grigol Rtskhiladze had reported the petition of the Abkhaz elders to the Chairman of the Georgian Delegation, Nikoloz Chkheidze on February 19, 1920, with the following letter:[11]

“On February 16, representatives of Abkhazians resettled to the Ottoman Empire Marshania and Margania paid a visit to me. They congratulated recognition of the independence of Georgia on behalf of Abkhaz resettled to the Ottoman Empire and asked to convey their congratulations to the Government of Georgia.

Both on their behalf as well as on behalf of all Abkhazians, they stated that they are in favor of unity with Georgia and will strive towards that goal in the future. They also asked how could the Abkhaz Muhajirs return to their homeland. They claimed their number in Turkey is up to 150,000 in the Izmit region. In addition, I have to report that Muhajirs who resettled to the Ottoman Empire from different parts of Georgia are considered Ottoman subjects and their return to the original homeland faces many obstacles if this matter will not be taken into consideration in advance at the Conference. Therefore, please keep this in mind and demand at the negotiations on the Peace Treaty with Turkey demand that the right of repatriation to the homeland to those Muhajirs that were resettled to Turkey from the Caucasus during the Russian reign. A timeframe of several years may be established to implement that right and a mixed commission set up to determine who exactly can exercise such right. This condition will bear importance not only for Abkhazians but also for the Georgian Muslims who as well have declared their wish to return.

I did not give the Abkhaz any promise. I informed them that I would convey their wish to you in order for the necessary measures to be undertaken. I also attach a copy of their request.”

The petition of the Abkhaz Muhadjirs to return to their homeland in 1920
(Click the link to access the original document)

As expected, the Menshevik Georgian leadership never responded to this demand. Because the return of 150,000 Abkhazians to their homeland would make the demographic conspiracy they planned in Abkhazia impossible. They wanted to complete the work left unfinished by the Russian Tsarist regime and create an Abkhazia without Abkhazians. The Georgianization operation in Abkhazia, initiated by the Georgian Menshevik regime, continued during the rule of two ethnic Georgian leaders, Stalin and Beria.[12] Today, the Georgian administration refers to the population rates in Abkhazia when defending their history theses. However, by doing that they unconsciously admit that they continued the genocide initiated by Tsarist Russia and their Menshevik forefathers.

Abkhazia has never joined Georgia voluntarily, and its statehood, restored in 1917, still exists today. The Act of Independence of Abkhazia and its Constitution still have legal force today, since the government of the democratic republic did not sign the act of surrender and continued its activities under the occupation regime. Today, while the Georgian occupation regime defends its historical theses, it considers the decrees of the Abkhaz People's Council at the end of 1917 as null and void and tries to present the decisions of the puppet council they established after the occupation as legitimate. The same mentality considers the letter written by Akakiy Chkhenkeli on behalf of the Georgian National Council, which confirms the recognition of Abkhazia's unity with the Highlanders’ Government as a pure individual interpretation of Mr.Chkhenkeli. Nevertheless, they also ignore the clear expressions of sovereignty in the agreement dated February 9, 1918, and They claim that this agreement only promises autonomy to Abkhazia by citing some clauses in the agreement that describe the conditions of some material aid and the need for joint strategy determination due to the conjuncture of the period.

The entire period of Abkhazia’s forced stay within Georgia was marked by bloody terror and repression, the latest manifestation of which was the tragedy of August 14, 1992. The hidden war against Abkhazia continues today, its goal is to hinder Abkhazia's desire for freedom and democracy.  The Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia, elected on October 28, 1991, based on multi-party, democratic elections, relying on the will of the population of Abkhazia, unanimously expressed by them in a referendum on March 17, 1991, decides and proclaims to the whole world the restoration of state independence of Abkhazia based on the decision of the first Congress of the Abkhaz people, held on November 8, 1917, at which the country's Parliament was elected - the Abkhaz People's Council, which determined as its main task the work of self-determination of the Abkhaz people, and also, as per the decision of the Organizing Bureau of the RCP (b) and the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia dated March 31, 1921, which declared Abkhazia Independent Soviet Socialist Republic.

The territory of the sovereign Republic of Abkhazia is united and indivisible. On the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia, only the Constitution and the authority of the Republic of Abkhazia are supreme. Any action aimed at limiting the supremacy of the power of the Republic of Abkhazia or violating its territorial integrity will be qualified as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and aggression, as a gross violation of international law.

The primacy of international law concerning the laws of the Republic of Abkhazia and the direct effect of its norms on the territory of Abkhazia are essential to the main constitutional principles of the Republic of Abkhazia.  The Republic of Abkhazia, striving to take its rightful place in the community of states of the world, recognizes and equally ensures all fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, and national, ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups provided for by international law, as required by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international covenants and conventions.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia declares that it will firmly adhere to the generally accepted principles of political, economic, and cultural cooperation with other states. The restoration of state independence of the Republic of Abkhazia is fully consistent with the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki, and Vienna Acts, which recognize and consolidate the right of all peoples to independently determine the political destiny of their country.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia hopes that international cooperation of states will not remain indifferent to the legal and fair steps of the Abkhaz people and will recognize the revived state independence of Abkhazia, which will be one of the firmest guarantees of the security of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Cem Kumuk
Istanbul, 8 October 2023

[1] For further information you may Access the report of Human Rights Watch, “Georgia/Abkhazia: Violations of the Laws of War and Russia's Role in The  Conflict” in our Library through the following link: https://www.historycaucasus.com/archives/georgiaabkhazia-violations-of-the-laws-of-war-and-russias-role-in-the-conflict/reader

[2] Readers may access the complete resolutions of the first and the second Congress of the Representatives of the Caucasian Highlanders in Vladikavkaz by clicking this link for the work “Comite des Emigres Politiques de la Ciscaucasie en Turquie, Compte-Rendu des Assembles des Peuples de la Ciscaucasie et de Leurs Travaux Legislatifs, Istanbul, 1918”

[3] Click this link to access the complete work of Amerbi Khazretovich Karmov, Materialy S"yezdov Gorskikh Narodov Severnogo Kavkaza I Dagestana 1917 Goda, Nalchik, 2014, s.140

[4]  Sakartvelos Erovnuli Arkivi  (SEA), The decision made by the congress of members of the Council of Peasants' Deputies of Samurzakan of Sukhum district in Gal district regarding the entry into the Union of Highlanders and Abkhazians. Person, signed, certified by Samurzakan district commissioner V. Emukhvari, Fund. 1836, Inscription 1, File 459, L.1-2

[5] Gazeta Vpered. 8 Dekabrya 1917

[6] Tsentral'nyy Gosudarstvennyy Arkhiv Oktyabr'skoy Revolyutsii i Sotsialisticheskogo Stroitel'stva Gruzinskoy SSR, F. 142, D. 189

[7] Gazeta Nashe Slovo, 10 Fevralya 1918

[8] Cumhurbaşkanlığı Devlet Arşivleri, Başbakanlık Osmanlı Arşivi (BOA), HR-SYS-2293-8, L.8-10

[9] Das Bundesarchiv, Politisches Archiv, Sig. RZ 202/22195

[10] Tsentral'nyy gosudarstvennyy arkhiv Abkhazia (TSGAA), F. I-39, D. 6

[11] Sakartvelos Erovnuli Arkivi  (SEA), F.1864, Ins.2, D.296

[12] For more detailed information about the events of the era, you may access the 3 volume work “Bolshoy terror v Abkhazii 1937-1938 gg.” in our Library by clicking the links below:
Volume 1: https://www.historycaucasus.com/archives/bolshoy-terror-v-abkhazii-1937-1938-gg-t1/reader
Volume 2: https://www.historycaucasus.com/archives/bolshoy-terror-v-abkhazii-1937-1938-gg-t1-1/reader
Volume 3: https://www.historycaucasus.com/archives/bolshoy-terror-v-abkhazii-1937-1938-gg-t1-2/reader