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Abkhazia: Memory of War Still Looms Large

Photos of Abkhazia’s war dead framed for the annual Victory Day commemoration on September 30. The conflict with Georgia remains fresh in the memory of Abkhazia’s veterans and the post-war generation alike. (Photo: Alice Aedy)

Abkhazians will commemorate Victory Day on September 30, marking the day in 1993 that the last remaining Georgian troops fled across the Enguri River, and Abkhazia began its life as a quasi-independent state.
 
In the capital, Sukhumi, preparations have been underway for several weeks – with soldiers practicing their parade march, workers polishing memorials and the state war museum refreshing its exhibitions. A quarter of a century since the internecine violence began, Abkhazia’s conflict with Georgia remains fresh in the memory of veterans and the post-war generation alike.
 
For Abkhazians, the war is remembered in divergent ways. It provides the celebrated inception story for the modern de facto Abkhazian state, while also representing an event that traumatized the population. The conflict’s unresolved status amplifies its legacy, as does the territory’s lack of widespread international recognition. In Abkhazia, the war is not over yet.
 

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Kieran Pender is a freelance journalist, contributing to a range of publications including The Guardian. He is also a Research Fellow with the Black Sea Institute.

Abkhazia: Memory of War Still Looms Large

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