Abkhaz war veteran publicly expressed solidarity with protesters in Tbilisi

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Abkhaz veteran supports Georgian protesters

In Abkhazia, Lasha Zukhba, a veteran of the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992-93, who was awarded the highest military honor of the republic, expressed support for the protest actions against the “foreign agents bill” in the capital of Georgia on his Facebook page. Due to this, the pro-government veteran party of Abkhazia, “Amtsakhara,” condemned him, while the opposition, on the contrary, criticized “Amtsakhara” for its “selective approach.”

“I express solidarity with the protesters in Tbilisi, the Georgian opposition, and the entire civil society of Georgia in their protest against the adoption of the foreign influence law. We remember your support for our protest against the Pitsunda agreement, and the protest against the foreign agents bill still awaits us ahead.

I hope your efforts will not be in vain and the bill will not be passed. I am confident that people, especially the Georgian people, are unbeatable in their determination. I wish you strength of spirit and success in achieving your goal,” wrote Lasha Zukhba on Facebook.

This post sparked intense debate in the Abkhaz segment of social media. Mostly, Lasha Zukhba was criticized for his support of the Georgian protest, but there were also those who defended him, emphasizing the veteran’s military merits.

The pro-government veteran party of veterans “Amtsakhara” called on its colleagues and opposition political forces to give a moral assessment of Lasha Zukhba’s words, almost accusing him of preparing similar protests in Abkhazia:

“How can a citizen of Abkhazia and a veteran of the Patriotic War in Abkhazia express solidarity with the supporters of Mikhail Saakashvili, who unleashed the war in 2008, supporters of the ideology of extreme nationalism, rejecting the very idea of Abkhaz statehood, independence, and sovereignty, supporters of an ideology hostile to the Abkhaz people?

Secondly, citizen Zukhba, on his own behalf and on behalf of his supporters, thanks Georgian nationalists for supporting protests against the Pitsunda agreement. Opposition forces in Abkhazia criticized the Pitsunda agreement, but what was the nature of this support?

Thirdly, citizen Zukhba announces future protests against the adoption of the foreign agents bill by the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia. Does this mean that protests in Tbilisi and future protests in Abkhazia are coordinated from the same center? And finally, a question to citizen Zukhba personally: who are your like-minded people?”

In turn, another opposition veteran organization, “Aruaa,” stated that it does not support Lasha Zukhba’s statement, but nevertheless, it is surprised by the accusations from “Amtsakhara,” considering them a display of double standards.

“Aruaa” provides its list of Georgia-related issues to which “Amtsakhara” did not react:

  • The covert trip to Georgian territory by Abkhazia’s Minister of Economy, Christina Ozgan.
  • Lifting the ban on trade relations with Georgia.
  • The visit of Georgian parliament deputies to Abkhazia, and so on.

“We hold the veteran of the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia of 1992-1993, Lasha Zukhba, in high esteem for his combat merits and remind ‘Amtsakhara’ that he was an active supporter of the current government, supporting president Aslan Bzhania during the 2020 presidential elections.

In conclusion, we demand that ‘Amtsakhara’ provide a moral assessment, first and foremost, of the aforementioned actions of the ruling authorities,” stated “Aruaa.”

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