The dramatic growth of national movement in the former USSR is an
actual response to the totalitarian system of rule with its policy of
rigid centralization and complete disregard of sovereign rights oi the-
republics, that has brought to naught the provision of the SU
Constitution stating that the USSR is a united state of equal sovereign
republics which have delegated part of their rights to the center.
Discontent choked down by tear and terror for decades, has splashed out being encouraged by democratization and "glasnost", however, occasionally acquiring an excessive emotional coloring.
The process of "perestroika" is establishing a new way of social and
political thinking with priority given lo the common human values like
in any, other civilized country. This approach calls for reconsideration
of historic processes and events which will, in turn, encourage
researchers to give up old pal terns and dogmas and restore a full and
impartial picture of the past. This will help lo fill in gaps caused by
one-sided class approach to history distorting the historic truth, in
particular, that of the post-October period.
Insinuations are extremely dangerous in relations between nations, especially in such a multinational republic as Georgia. What with tensions created nowadays in our society, the slightest looseness in speech or perversion of facts is fraught with ethnic conflicts that will inevitably strike a fatal blow at the process of democratization of the society.
More than ever, now the peoples inhabit Georgia have to unite in order to achieve the highest target: an independent statehood of the republic, as it is a reliable guarantee for national revival and free development of the peoples and nationalities living in Georgia.
Lately, certain separatist-minded represents lives of the Abkhaz people have been taking pains both in press and in speeches to convince their people that Abkhazia must be separated from Georgia. By juggling with facts, they suggest a conclusion that .soon after the October Revolution Georgia occupied and actually annexed Abkhazia and has been since forcing assimilation of the Abkhaz people. Those statements are usually based on anti-Georgian ideas of tsarist generals whose purpose was to restore "united and inseparable" Russia and on falsification of certain facts from the history of Georgian- Abkhaz relations in 1918-1921.
Unfortunately, the authors of such statements managed to lead the Supreme Council of the Abkhaz Autonomous SSR, a representative body of the Autonomous Republic, which issued a resolution "On Legal Guarantees of Defense of Abkhazia Statehood" and a "Declaration of Stale Sovereignty of the Abkhaz Soviet Socialist Republic" on 25 August 1990. Both of the documents were based on distorted facts and events of the recent times. For instance, the Resolution says that the Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic "having violated the treaty of 11 June 1918 and a previous agreement of 9 February 1918 between the People's Council of Abkhazia and National Council of Geor- gia, intervened militarily later in the June of 1918 with the aim of forced joining of the territory of Abkhazia and annihilation of independence of the Abkhaz; people" (The Sovetskaya Abkhazia, 28 August, 1990). This is far from being true, to say the least, as there are numerous documents evidencing otherwise and referred to in this book.
The Resolution mentions a policy of cultural genocide of the Abkhaz people by the government of the Georgian SSR. However, it parses over in silence such important events in the cultural life of the Autonomous Republic as the opening of the Abkhazian State University and Abkhazian TV, growth of the publishing business in the Abkhaz language, and so on, and so forth. Besides, the budget of the Georgian SSR allocated large sums for the purposes of environmental control in Abkhazia. According to the Georgian Sea-shore Protection organization 1982-1989 reports, 53,100,000 roubles were spent on the protection, revival and improvement of Abkhazian sea-side landscapes and 43,000,000 roubles on beach creation.
The Resolution says that "Georgians came to live in Abkhazia in compactly inhabited settlements only after the Caucasian war". But there are monuments of Georgian culture in the territory of Abkhazia which date back to antiquity and Middle Ages; there are originally Georgian place-names and written monuments. Aren't they all a result of compact settlements of Georgians living in Abkhazia since the most ancient times?
The above mentioned resolution of the Supreme Council of Abkhazia was
characterized by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Georgian
SSR as a blatant violation of the constitutions of the Georgian SSR,
Abkhaz ASSR and USSR. On 26 August 1990 the said Presidium announced The
Declaration and Resolution null and void and legally invalid.
Undisguised distortion of facts and anti-Georgian Demonstrations in South-Ossetia incurred damage to the interests of all the people of this multinational republic.
The emotions and feelings expressed outdoors and even in representative bodies of the autonomous units ought to be counterposed by facts and documents, provided with impartial assessment.
This work is an attempt to reveal the reasons of ethnic conflicts
that occurred in Georgia in 1918-1921, since a close investigation and
analysis of the past, can contribute to a better understanding of the
present and a forecast of the future.
The facts and data used in this work were drawn from the funds of the Central Party Archives of the Marxism-Leninism Research Institute of the CPSU (CPA MLI-CC CPSU), Central Historic Archives of Georgian Republic (CSHA GR), Foreign Policy Archives of the USSR (FPA USSR) and the archives of the Georgian Democratic Republic kept at Harvard University, USA. Considerable part of these documents have been published and used for the first time.
"Some national and ethnic problems in Georgia (1918-1922)" - Avtandil Menteshashvili
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