The strange normality of life in a breakaway state


48 points | by bauc 155 days ago


  • Salamat 155 days ago

    It is not normal in Abkhazia at all, it is depressingly suffocating for the young generation to survive there with no hope of normal life. There is no longer any Russian financial support, they are broke now. Kids are allowed to drink alcohol at an early age because of their old traditions, drugs and suicide are rampant, even the coach of a football team was caught doing cocaine, and the legal system is broke due to tribalism. I visited Abkhazia last July, they are cut off, no airport, no seaport, just one crossing controlled by Russians.No real economy, just Russian tourists who would generate some business in the summer, now in winter I heard many calls for help. (edited for spelling)

    • gk1 155 days ago

      Honest question: I don’t get what is strange about this normality, can someone share their perspective? Mine is skewed as I grew up in Transnistria and visited a few years ago.

      My guess is that it seems strange only if you expected those territories to be in a constant state of war. No, they are not under siege, but life is not exactly dandy there, either.

      • abrowne 155 days ago

        I think it's that people expect more disruption of normal, daily activities from being outside of international recognition (and without a major economy like Taiwan's). War may be part of it, or just hearing more about "failed states" like Somalia.

        • amaccuish 155 days ago

          > I grew up in Transnistria

          Can I ask, what's the main language? Russian right, not a dialect? Not Ukranian? If I spoke Moscow Russian there would I be understood?

          Also is it fairly socialist or...? Just wondering from all the СССР insignia.

          • gk1 154 days ago

            Russian is the main language. I don’t know a word of Moldovan (which is practically Romanian). Yes you’d be understood, minus some slang.

            It is not socialist but the older generation seems to wish for those times to return, when food and work were guaranteed.[1] Wealth is concentrated among very few nefarious businessmen and politicians.

            [1] Of course this is nonsense; times were just as difficult during the USSR—bread lines, etc—but people’s memories are faulty.

        • duxup 155 days ago

          Abkhazia lost more than half its population. That would change things fairly dramatically.

          • 99052882514569 155 days ago

            "Lost" obscures the fact that the ethnic Georgian majority of Abkhazia's pre-1993 population was ethnically cleansed, with 20-30 thousand civilians killed (most were brutally murdered, not mere collateral damage of indiscriminate warfare).

            This was accomplished against a rag-tag army of the newly independent Georgia because the Abkhazian rebels were controlled (armed, financed, provided with air support and heavy weaponry, and thousands of mercenaries) directly by Russia.

            Current breakaway Abkhazia is a byproduct of genocide and imperialism, pure and simple.


            • Salamat 155 days ago

              I think the Georgian fascist fervour was behind the drive of Abkhazian for independence.I was told the other side of the story by several Abkhazians, they said they were deprived of jobs, housing and oppressed by the Georgians in their capital Sukhumi. I am saying their capital because Abkhazia was a state before the USSR, they joined and were promised independence in case USSR got dissolved, yet Georgian Stalin obstructed that and got rid of all Abkhazian nationalists in his circle (source in the youtube this documentary:

              • 99052882514569 154 days ago

                Nothing justifies ethnic cleansing and mass murder. Abkhazia was not a state before USSR. They were not in a position to bargain with anyone about joining the Soviet Russia (USSR was created later). They were forcibly annexed like all other parts of the former Russian Empire whom the Bolsheviks managed to capture in a civil war.

              • drugme 155 days ago

                Can we get sources on that figure of 20-30k killed please?

                • Salamat 155 days ago

                  I know of several ethnic Abkhazians from Jordan and Syria who volunteered and fought against the Georgian army which was threatening to conduct total ethnic cleansing of Abkhazians. "August 25, 1992: The commander of the Georgian army, Gia Karkarashvili, stated on TV that he would sacrifice 100,000 Georgians to kill all 97,000 Abkhazians, if that is what it took to keep Georgia's borders inviolate.' [A similar threat came from the head of Georgia's wartime administration, Giorgi Khaindrava, on the pages of Le Monde Diplomatique in April 1993. Goga (Giorgi) Khaindrava, told the correspondent from Le Monde Diplomatique that "there are only 80,000 Abkhazians, which means that we can easily and completely destroy the genetic stock of their nation by killing 15,000 of their youth. And we are perfectly capable of doing this.'']

              • Salamat 155 days ago

                Things are in limbo, destroyed buildingS are still deserted, lives shattered, this 5-year-old documentary seems from yesterday, I went there 3 months ago, nothing is normal.

              • fixvzbdjzis 155 days ago

                Hmm the BBC didn’t mention Kosovo, which, after Cyprus, is maybe the most geopolitically significant quasi-state

                • abrowne 155 days ago

                  I thought of that too, but Kosovo has much more recognition: "104 out of 193 (54%) United Nations (UN) member states, 23 out of 28 (82%) European Union (EU) member states, 25 out of 29 (86%) NATO member states, and 35 out of 57 (61%) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states have recognised Kosovo."

                • madeuptempacct 155 days ago

                  Any crappy country feels "normal" while visiting. Not so much when trying to get a job or medical care.