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Analysis, book reviews and photography from Abkhazia and the wider Caucasus — updates when time permits

Abkhazian Army Purge? – Part 2

When a large number of senior members of the Abkhazian military was sent into retirement late April, this caused some speculation as to whether this wasn’t in reality a purge, and if so, whom this purge was directed against. One option was that Minister of Defence Mirab Kishmaria had removed officers with ties to the Russian Army, led by Chief of the General Staff Anatoli Zaitsev. Another option was that Kishmaria had indeed removed Zaitsev, but that in retaliation Russia had forced him to fire the others, so that the army could then get a new completely Russian command.

At the time, this was all speculative, we would get to know more once it would become known whom these men would be replaced by. Now, the first names have become known. On May the 21st, Colonel Beslan Tsvizhba was appointed Deputy Minister of Defence. Also, former commander of the Abkhazian missile and artillery forces Aslan Ankvab is the acting Chief of the General Staff, and it is likely that his position will become permanent. Tsvizhba and Ankvab are both Abkhaz, so it appears that if this was a purge, it had more to do with army-internal factionalism than with a Russian take-over.

Filed under: Abkhazia, Russia, , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. […] First Deputy Minister and Aslan Ankvab acting Chief of the General Staff and First Deputy Minister, so it appeared that the scenario which predicted a Russian take-over in revenge for the dismissal of Zaitsev had […]

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