Places You’ve Never Heard Of…Abkhazia

If I were to ask you to name an area seeking to become a sovereign nation, I’d be willing to bet that you would name Palestine, Taiwan, or maybe even Kosovo. However, I’ll bet none of you would name the Republic of Abkhazia.

Seriously- how many of you have even heard of Abkhazia? I certainly hadn’t, until I read an article in the New York Times earlier this month.

I wish I could say that this article was a stirring discussion of the pros and cons of granting Abkhazia statehood, a harsh look at its cozy relationship with Russia, or even a discussion of its governmental system, but, in reality, it was far more trivial (or so it seemed): Abkhazia had just been admitted to the International Domino Federation.

While this may seem a bit pathetic, the fact is that these days, Abkhazia has been shunned by almost the entire international community, despite having run its own affairs for almost twelve years, while, for instance, Kosovo, having been independent for about three years, has garnered recognition from some eighty-four United Nations members. The fact that any international organization, even one that seeks to make dominoes an Olympic sport, is willing to recognize the small, formerly Soviet state is a testament to the fact that recently the world’s gotten a whole lot friendlier for these sorts of tiny, largely unrecognized nations.

Abkhazia, and its fellow states like the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, the Republic of South Ossetia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and, yes, Kosovo, are the remnants of the fall of the USSR. Under Lenin and Stalin, areas inhabited by indigenous groups like the Abkhaz, the Armenians, and the Serbs, were flooded by Russians, in order to unify the megalithic juggernaut that was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. They even had a name for it- russification. After the bottom fell out of the Soviet Union, all of the little “Socialist Republics” and “Autonomous Regions” suddenly had to go it alone, and these little breakaway states are the result.

An Abkhazian View

Kosovo has been successful in its struggle for recognition because of American support, but Abkhazia, for instance, only receives aid from Russia and a few other countries. Today, Russia no longer has the clout to insist that nearby nations follow its example and recognize Abkhazia, so Abkhazia’s cause is unlikely to ever gain widespread support- or so it seemed. Today, with the United Nations in saddle and the case studies of Kosovo, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of South Sudan behind them, it has become increasingly likely that this titan of the domino world may finally enter the world stage.


-Sebastian Bates, World News Correspondant 

Posted by on September 21, 2011. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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