15 Июн 2011

The concept “History of Abkhazia” in domestic and world historical ­ literature is treated and applied as the history of a separate country. However, some Georgian (and other) historians represent Abkhazia as ­ a component of Georgia, i.e. there are two mutually exclusive opinions. In one case Abkhazia is Georgian - more precisely speaking, a part of Georgia; in the other, Abkhazia is an independent country, not being an organic part of Georgia but­ included in the  structure of Georgia at a certain historical stage.

Statements of historical processes by some Abkhazian historians are not free from the ideological influence set in works of such Georgian ­ historians as G. A. Melikishvili, P.Ingorokva, etc. Z. V. Anchabadze and S.D.Inal-Ipa wrote about the Abkhazian kingdom as Georgian. Bagrat III and subsequent rulers were represented by them as Georgian tsars, and Abkhazia in IX-XI centuries was preoccupied, in their opinion, with only one problem - creation ­ of the incorporated Georgian state. This has compelled us to refer to primary sources and to consider in more detail the reasons for an incorrect statement of history by the specified authors. For example, G. A. Melikishvili in the ­ work “About an origin of the Georgian people”, without any clear historical ­ basis­, identifies Kurds (Kardukhs) with Kartvelians. In addition, he firstly transfers the historical period of the Kartvels to the middle of II millenium BC, and secondly transfers their habitation area from the Central Transcaucasia to mountains of the Peredneaziatski Tauri. ­ Historic facts or confirmations of them are not presented. As was  proved in 1891 by P.I.Nadezhdin1, Kardukhs living during this period in areas of the Armenian highlands are Kurds, the people of the Iranian group, instead of Kartvelians.

The first data about Kartvelians (Kartls) are given in Kartlis Tskhovreba , ­ a work originally published in Tiflis in the XVIII century  in which they are referred to as living in the VIII century. The toponym, eponym and ethnonym “Kart, Kartli” do not appear in sources­ until XI - XII centuries, and Kakhetia is mentioned for the first time in X century.

Any transfer of Kartls in space and time by a Georgian­ historian is not proved by anything. So, on Kipert’s map referring to the time of Dary and Kserx, only  Colchians, Moskhs, Caspians and Alarodis appear in Transcaucasia. Referring to a map of Caucasus from IX-VII BC, I.M. Diakonov speaks ­ only about Colchis, Urartu, Daiana, Mana and Assyria and does not see any Karts in ­ the Central Caucasus. K.P. Patkanov also says nothing about them, giving the description of internal areas of the country Iveria in VII century AD. ­Neither M. Horenatsi nor  Kagnkatvatsi  write directly about Kartls in their original notes created respectively in V and IX centuries AD.

The opinion of  G. A. Melikishvili is not an error or oversight. It is his position ­ as a  historian, and it is difficult for us to explain why an acknowledged expert has  falsified history. Possibly, national patriotism and the political situation played a role, and possibly the circumstances which developed during the Stalin cult and the threat of reprisals in the country.

Also it is necessary to notice that in the majority of the works of G. A. Melikishvili, describing the history of  the country, the contents are based on falsification of historical material to create a chauvinistic thesis, namely: “Georgia uber аllеs!”.

Many other Georgian historians display a similar attitude in their work­s. We will refer to the opinion of academician Brosse who says that “­ the Georgian chronicles cannot be called in a strict sense history, especially concerning old times. They have not been created  by eyewitnesses nor by ­ contemporaries”. D.Bakradze (1856) also says: “They are in essence a simple set of legends, and from them it is impossible to demand the accuracy which distinctively­ characterises modern historians..., as they were written in the second half of II millennium AD, and represent and treat events of I BC – I AD in the absence of initial historical materials ­ of that period”. It is known that Kartlis Tskhovreba was written in 1703-1721.

According to I.Chopin (1866):

“The testimony of the author does not give necessary reliability to his work, especially regarding ancient history: being alien to historical erudition and ­ scooping without analysis from doubtful sources, compilers have allowed incorrect news on almost each page of the book, denying this news with synchronism and common sense, as the reader will see.... It should all be accepted as the latest fantasy, not having any basis and hence not as ­ history, but a legend, including telegraphic relations with Palestine and Moses about which not a word is mentioned in original sources”.



1 Hereinafter we refer to the works listed at the end of the book


The falsification of the history of Transcaucasia is paradoxically proceeding today. V.Makhnach, publishing a vast article in the magazine "ГражданинЪ" (“The Citizen”), states and proves the pro-Georgian theory of the existence of the "Georgian"­ state since Ш BC, and the “Georgian ethnos” since II BC. This is more serious than G.A.Melikishvili's opuses­. As the stated theory contradicts historic facts, we have the right to ask the question: What is it - incompetence of the author or his position?

The concept “Abkhazia is a part of Georgia” initially assumes an idea about ­the presence of double indigenous aboriginals (the Georgian and Abkhazian) in ­ Abkhazia. And this idea forces its way, despite its full contradiction with the facts of the historical science of this territory. For an establishment of the fact of the absence  of "Georgian" in Abkhazia there is no necessity to search for such facts in deep layers of the history of centuries - they were not here till the end of XIX century. The invasion of the Central ­ Transcaucasia by Abkhazians in IX century and establishment of the Abkhazian kingdom in the acquired territory which included subdued tribes alien­ to the Abkhazian ethnos  (Kartvelians,  Mingrelians *, Svans, etc.), does not give the right to consider ­ the Abkhazian conquerors  as a component of Kartvelian ethnos.

These peoples differ in every way. The Abkhazian language has nothing in common with modern Georgian, except for some everyday words which have come to it as a result of close joint residence. The centuries-old ­material-spiritual culture of the Abkhazian people “Apsuara” has ­ no analogue in Georgia. Rituals and a pantheon of the Abkhazian ancient gods do not coincide in any way with those of the people of Iberia. Legends of the people of Abkhazia and Georgia have nothing in common. It is a fact that in IX-XV centuries the Abkhazian kingdom consisted of not only the states of the Western Caucasus, but also the countries of Central Transcaucasia (Kartalinia, Каkhetia, Imeretia, Eretia, Tao-Klardzheti etc.). This does not give any historical basis to the postulate that Abkhazia is a part ­ of Georgia. Distinction of ethnocultures also proves that Abkhazians, who ostensibly lived in the environment of "the Georgian ethnoculture”, did not become its followers, did not take advantage ­ of the written Georgian language, and have kept their own language and ethnoculture. Such are the facts. Statements that Abkhazia was and remains a component of Georgia, Georgian politicians and historians are compelled to build, as G.A.Melikishvili did, on the basis of opinions, instead of the facts.

We did not put before ourselves the problem of writing a classical sketch of the history of the country. The present work represents an ordered list ­ of historic facts presented mainly on the basis of the primary sources, and allows us to draw conclusions regarding the groundlessness of Georgian claims  on the sovereignty and territory of Abkhazia.

Historians, analyzing the termination of existence of the Abkhazian kingdom, specify the principal cause as the  formation and strengthening of Kartalinia and its claims for hegemony in this area. This took place, but ­ the principal cause was different. It lay in the creation, evolution ­ and disorder of all empires of the world, and consisted of a constant increase ­ in the quantity of problems connected with the management of increasing structure, due to the attachment of territory occupied by peoples different in language, ­ character, and customs. For the management of such a complicated state structure which has not united voluntarily and shows continuing resistance,­  great strengths and human resources of the mother country (in this case, Abkhazia) are required for the suppression of discontent, for taxation, and ­ for the maintenance of calm in colonies and protectorates. Also there comes the moment when ­ centrifugal forces start to prevail, resistance grows ­ everywhere, there are external enemies and intrigues of opposition in the empire - and all falls. So it was with the Roman and Byzantine empires. The Russian empire, as well as its successor the USSR, have passed the same way and have failed independently without external  influence. Similarly there is also  present-day  Georgia, “A small empire with big ambitions”, created by the efforts of incompetent politicians, who do not understand the course of history and its ­ laws. They are using military expansion, terror, genocide and external support to keep freedom-loving Caucasian people, who are ethnically alien to them, under their power.

The Abkhazian kingdom did not fail as a state structure, but as a result of ­ the capture of Kartalinia and Каkhetia  by Arabians, and its borders were displaced to the West as far as the  Lihsky mountains. In addition, a new dynasty of tsars came to power at the beginning of II millenium AD – Armenian Bagratids  representing the ancestral lands of Tao-Klardjheti and led by Bagrat III, whose title was “the Tsar Abkhazian and Novelissimus of all the East”­. No, not tsar of Georgia, nor of Kartli or Iberia, but of Abkhazia.





* In the historical literature of the different periods the terms Megrels, Migrels, Mingrelians are used. In our work the term "Mingrelians" is applied. In citations the term of authors is kept.


With the falling of Armenia as an independent state, and its enslavement, ­ the eastern frontier of the Abkhazian kingdom was displaced further to the West. During this period ­ it settled down only in the territory of the western coast of the Black Sea. Its tsars carried the name "Abkhazo-Imeretinsky". Kartli, from the moment of its occurrence, was nothing remarkable, just an ordinary state formed as a typical ­ princedom of which there were ten in Transcaucasia. It is not necessary to speak about any of its ­military  achievements or political merits, ­ as this territory was constantly exposed to invasions or annexation from Persians, Romans, Arabians, Khorezmians, Khimerians, Khazars, Urartuans, etc. both before its formation, and during all subsequent periods. It is also impossible to say anything about the blossoming of this kingdom during any period of its existence, as this site of Transcaucasia did not, until the end of XVIII century, have any ten-year period free from invasion by overseas aggressors reducing cities and settlements to ashes, withdrawing women and children into slavery, and  killing men.

Kartli and its neighbouring kingdoms were  continually trampled down by the same Mongols, Turks, Persians, Arabs, etc.  throughout almost two millennia,  in both a direct and figurative sense. In the given situation it is not possible to speak about the ethnic purity of Kartls (Georgians, in modern understanding). It is also necessary to notice that in so-called Georgia, (meaning Kartli),  governors ­ did not belong to the native ethnos. They were Arshakids - the Armenian Persians, Bagratids - the Armenian descendants of Khanaenians, Selevkids - Hellenes, etc. Also, the first tsar Farnaoz  was Persian.

The historical broth in the Western Transcaucasia cooked to the Middle Ages and the evidence of that is frequent changes to the names of cities, the names of ethnic groups within the population, ­and toponyms, in particular the names of the rivers. This is particularly noticeable at the Western coast of Caucasus, where the territory history has been registered ­ since the times of the Argonauts. The new people arrived and introduced new names to dales and  rivers, and the old names did not remain.

A number of historians carrying out political orders  and receiving payment from the party-distributive  system of the country (G. A. Melikishvili, etc.), and also a­ modern type of “experts – historians” (G.V.Tsulaya, E.Hoshtaria-Brosse) , continuing similar work, gradually introduce into our consciousness the thesis that Abkhazians are a type of ancient Georgians, but that they are  ignorant of this  and do not suspect. Who are they - illiterate ­ laymen or expert historians? More likely, they are experts who have deliberately undertaken falsification of the history of Transcaucasia. As an example it is possible to cite G.V.Tsulaya’s work “Abkhazia and Abkhazians in a context of history of Georgia” (1995), pejoratively and scornfully characterising Abkhazians  and carrying them to “the lowest level of development” in comparison with Georgians. Such ­ works inevitably do harm to relations between Abkhazia and Georgia, and provoke ­interethnic dissension between the people of these countries. Similar methods and approaches do not produce a good result, and the further occurrence of similar works will support existing tension in this region.

As Prince S. Baratov correctly stated in “History of Georgia” (1865), “­ It is possible to trust in the most authentic native annals, any state fairly concurs,­  in the cases when their indications actually concern  internal state affairs,­  in compliance with its internal forces, but stories about external affairs  by all means demand confirmation from the outside”.

G.A.Ezov in this situation says that “legends receive reliability if they have comparison to geographical and genealogical ­ information”. Thus, to prove the truth in a historical science it is necessary to be armed with "a comparative historiography”, and only when ­ the statement of historical events has been cleared of personal opinions, ­ unfair assumptions and suggestions, will original ­ facts confirmed with historical documents remain. All the rest, from the point of view of the law, is insignificant.

Whether freely or involuntarily, the creator and  founder of the Georgian ­ state  was Russia, which first used (in Russian) the terms "Georgia", referring to joining it with the Transcaucasian princedoms, and "Georgians", as the general designation of the people (several ethnic groups), living ­ in this territory. Then, having created this Caucasian region as a part of the Russian empire ruled by a governor-general (administrative formation, by the way, not having the official name “Georgia"), and serially entering into it separate ­ independent princedoms of Transcaucasia, a basis was laid for the association of these princedoms in a uniform state formation,  and  Georgian separatists did not fail to take advantage of this during the disorder of the Russian empire at ­the beginning of XX century.

What is to be done with those who lived on this land and still continue to live here until now - Ossetians, Armenians, Turks, Meskhs and other people? All of them, according to the  Georgian politics of genocide, are subject ­ to exile or deportation (as  has been carried out in relation to the most ancient ­ population , autochthons of the country   - Meskhs) with the purpose of seizing their lands according to the proclaimed principle “Georgia for the Georgians”. On ­ a wave of chauvinism,­  in charcoal fumes of xenophobia, the Georgian politicians, propagandists, and historians actively introduce into consciousness a myth about a centuries-old history of uniform Georgia, flavoured with its thesis about the greatness and antiquity of the Georgian people.


Besides revealing historical validity, we also show methods of solving the problem of removing Abkhazia from its international-legal deadlock within a lawful approach, and how to cover the basic ­ directions of realisation of such a program. Into the list of these directions should enter:

- Transfer of discussion of the question of mutual relations between Georgia and Abkhazia ­ into a legal channel and achievement of decisions on it;

- Drawing of  borders of a circle of cases in point and, accordingly, solving of each point of the general problem independently, without dependence on other points;

- Work on the whole program in a uniform legal field and within ­ international public law;

- Transfer of questions at issue to the structures capable of solving them;

- Use as an evidentiary base only legal documents or the historic facts confirmed by such documents.

In the course of formation of this evidentiary base, it is necessary:

- To carry out the constructive analysis of views of the Georgian historians on ­ questions of ethnogenesis and formation of statehood of the peoples of Transcaucasia;

- To specify an existing dualism in the description of situations from ­ Abkhazia and Georgia on genocide, change in ethno-demography,  and other main points in mutual relations of the parties;

- To designate the reasons for aggressive behaviour by Georgia, and its expansionist purposes concerning Abkhazia, with the aim of forecasting the possible ­ succession of events in the future.

All peoples and all nations have rights and the basis of self-determination, but not by violence over other peoples and not by their enslavement. Georgia, as a young country, is in an initial stage of formation of statehood and can successfully realise this attempt only by taking into account the experience ­ of development of other countries and  peoples in the course of history. Any claims ­it makes for exclusiveness and a special status, or for expansionism as a state policy, will lead to its self-liquidation, which time and again has taken place in history.