Abkhazia: A forgotten conflict

Ghost towns, bombed houses: The frozen conflict in the South Caucasus region Abkhazia is almost forgotten. It’s time to remember it, to find a possible solution. But is that even possible? Can the corona pandemic bring a change? 

A podcast by Lea Dillmann

Abkhazia, known as the favorite holiday spot of former Russian dictator Josef Stalin, located northeast at the black sea along the Russian border. But: Is it a region or a country? And where does it belong to?

Questions which cannot be answered easily. Under International law it is clear: Abkhazia is part of Georgia. It has been since the Soviet Union were founded. After the fall of the union in the early 90ies, when the borders had to be discussed again, Abkhazians didn’t accept to be part of Georgia any longer. Such as the citizens of South Ossetia, another region in Georgia along the border to Russia. That have led to two bloody civil wars.

In 2008, Georgians neighbor Russia got more involved. After a five-day-war in South Ossetia, Russia declared both regions as independent. Today, only a handful of states accept that decision and the fronts are hardened. The borders are closed, controlled by Russia.

In this podcast, Lea Dillmann of the International Angle, analyses how the current situation in Abkhazia looks like and if there is a way out of this frozen conflict.

She speaks to 20-year-old Deividas Miknius from Lithuania whose grandfather lived in Abkhazia until his death two months ago and to Rainer Kaufmann, a German journalist who has been reporting in Georgia for over 40 years. Marion Kipiani was part of two peacebuilding projects in the South Caucasus. She explains, what can be done to create a positive change for everybody and why the EU should be more involved.

Have fun listening to it!