Russia Takes Key Step Toward Annexing a Slice of Georgia
Russian President Vladimir Putin further tightened his grip on Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia on November 24: He signed a new treaty that places Abkhazian and Russian military forces under joint control.
On paper, “joint control” means Abkhazia has as much control over Russian forces as Moscow has over Abkhazia’s. In reality, however, Abkhazia’s influence over Russia will be approximately as robust as Mercury’s gravitational influence on the sun.
The treaty comes as tensions rise sharply between Russia and Ukraine, which, like Georgia, was part of the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991. Many in Georgia believe Russia’s moves in Abkhazia parallel its moves in Ukraine.
“Putin’s treaty with Abkhazia is very similar to Crimea’s scenario,” Dr. Irakli Bokuchava, a resident of Tbilisi, Georgia, told the Trumpet. Putin’s clear plan, according to Bokuchava, is the “creation of a renewed ussr.”
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that in signing the new treaty, Russia took a “step toward the de facto annexation” of Abkhazia.
Abkhazia broke away from Georgian authority in a 1992-1993 war. In 2008, after Russia’s five-day war with Georgia, Moscow recognized Abkhazia—and Georgia’s other breakaway region of South Ossetia—as independent. Moscow then asserted Russian control over the two regions. Only a handful of other nations have recognized the two regions’ declarations of independence, and Georgia insists that they remain part of Georgia.
Just after that 2008 war, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry forecast:
Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more! … Today, you have [Western leaders] trying to also bring Georgia and Ukraine into nato. I don’t believe Russia will ever allow that to happen. … Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.
Time has proven that prediction stunningly accurate.
Mr. Flurry could see in 2008 that Ukraine was not safe from Putin’s expansionist ambitions, and now it is clear that he was right. To understand more about the ongoing Ukraine crisis, and what to expect for Abkhazia and other former Soviet nations and regions, read Mr. Flurry’s article “The Crimean Crisis Is Reshaping Europe.”