There was a very interesting reaction in separatist Abkhazia to information about plans to resettle at least 50,000 Armenians from Karabakh on separatist territory.
Usually, if the party to whom an issue is addressed - in this case, the Armenian community in Abkhazia - disagrees with the information, it provides refuting arguments. For example, it provides data on actually resettled Armenians and says "here, look, so many have actually resettled, so many are planned.... Don't be afraid... This is very little...". And then all questions would immediately fall away.
Moreover, there are already some figures and they have already provoked a scandal. So it is known that from 2020 to 2022 3 061 Armenians officially received a separatist passport as "citizen of Abkhazia". And for some reason none of the leaders of the Armenian community of Abkhazia commented on these official figures.
But at the same time it should be taken into account that, given the separatist bureaucratic procedures and corruption component, a very small proportion of migrants, not more than 5% receive separatist passports. In other words, at least 60 thousand Armenians have already moved into the separatist territory in addition to those who already live in Abkhazia.
Of course, "inconveniences" of living in the separatist territory, constant blackouts, lack of infrastructure lead to the fact that some of the resettled here are still in the status of "vacationers" or "holidaymakers". They temporarily leave the separatist territory when the holiday season ends. But there is no doubt that they are gradually settling down here, acquiring accommodation through their compatriots with separatist "citizenship" and planning to bring family members and relatives here.
However, the leaders of the Armenian community in Abkhazia categorically refuse to even give answers and explanations to questions about relocation of compatriots on separatist territory. This only confirms fears of sensible Abkhazians that Abkhazia is rapidly turning into "Maritime Armenia" where the indigenous population may simply have no place left.
This, in particular, was confirmed by a recent article in the publication "Caucasian Knot" of Abkhazian journalist Vitaly Sharia "Allegedly Armenians from Karabakh will be moved to Abkhazia". The journalist in his article tries hard to "deny" and present information on mass resettlement of Armenians in Abkhazia as " throw-in" by Georgian security services. But in the end it becomes clear that there is no "allegedly" resettlement, it is in progress and information about it is deliberately ignored. Here are excerpts from the article:
"The Congress of the People of Abkhazia and the Centre for Socio-Economic Studies held a roundtable discussion in Sukhum on "The Development of Modern Abkhazia in the Context of National Security".
The head of the CNA, David Pilia, stressed that the likelihood of renewed military action against Abkhazia had risen sharply this year. In his opinion, it is necessary to prepare the country's armed forces for waging a modern hybrid war. And it is also important not to undermine the situation within the Abkhazian society, to address issues of energy security, "very carefully deal with problems of issuance of passports" in order not to aggravate interethnic relations in the country.
Secretary of the Security Council of Abkhazia Sergei Shamba said about this: "... As for us, our security, I repeat - demonstrate loyalty to Russia and overcome the internal rift, what David Chichevich said. We saw many times in our history how the Georgian side planted various factors in order to destroy our inner unity. And now what has been planted? That Armenians will allegedly be resettled from Karabakh to Abkhazia, that 50,000 people are to be resettled there... This is all probably done by Georgian special services.
Abesalom Kvarchia, a member of the Public Chamber, stressed that ideology, which would unite all nationalities of Abkhazia, should be in the first place now. He continued the theme raised by Sergei Shamba:
"Against the background of these events we have many phenomena that should not be there in Abkhazia. Sergei Shamba rightly noted - this is a fake or some other message. Well, is it impossible to find out the person who wrote that fifty thousand people have to move? And he names allegedly moderators of the process. If we are not able to identify the authors of these trumpet messages then we are not protected from such ideological aggression. This is very bad.
Today Ekho Kavkaza got in touch with Abesalom Kvarchia. And our first question was about his overall impression of the round table. He said:
"We had planned the round table to be more extensive. Members of Parliament - current and past MPs had been invited. But, unfortunately, for some reason they did not come. In fact, twenty people came - committee members, invitees. However, practice shows that a smaller number of participants only enhances the quality of the talk and its effectiveness. And this was confirmed yesterday. Oleg Nestorovich made a very interesting presentation and there I drew attention to the key phrase: "If we are not united, that is, the Abkhaz people, no one is interested in us".
Then there was a discussion about a throw-in regarding Nagorno-Karabakh. Sergei Shamba, we should remind, saw here a "Georgian trace", but there were other suggestions - that it could be an "internal throw-in". Kvarchia said:
"I agree with you on that part. It could be either/or. Someone could 'out of spite' run such a fake within our society. But we should be ready for all challenges. If we cannot find the author of this fake, which I think is "Apsny always" or something like that ... It means that our level of training of our special services does not correspond to today's threats. Who is this? Who needed it? Why this could have happened? And, you see, they do not just say: they want to move. But they are named: the moderator is Galust Trapizonian, a hero of Abkhazia. Then they come - from the Presidential Administration Zurab Kajaia. And the President himself is patronized. Business... They name figures: 15 thousand dollars... Well, you know how... Simple people who do not follow, do not analyze information, take it as truth...
- And now it fell on such fertile ground, if we have in mind another aggravation over Nagorno Karabakh.
- I will remind you one thing. When there is no unity, the result will always be pitiable.
Kvarchia began to recall how the internal strife in Armenia, up to and including the shooting in Parliament, the habit of declaring all those ready for reasonable compromise as national traitors led to the dire consequences for Armenians of the 2020 war. And he continued:
"We also have today... We have some people thinking: the worse, the better. That's the opposition's task - the worse it is in the country, the easier it is for them to come to power. Well, how much worse can it get?".
"The "throw-up" about which the conversation at the round table took place appeared in social networks a couple of weeks ago. Representatives of the Armenian diaspora in Abkhazia, who took part in the Internet discussion at the time, indignantly called the statement nonsense.
We tried to contact Galust Trapizonian, head of the Armenian community of Abkhazia, but his phone was not available. We got through to Suren Kerselyan, a well-known person in this community. He was brief:
"I saw this trumpet, but I wouldn't even read it. Who can write such things? Either the Georgians or the Azerbaijanis. Is it the first time? It is always being discussed".
That's it! Instead of specific numbers and specific answers to questions - hysterical statements about "throwing in of the Georgian security services". Is it really the fault of "Georgian security services" that Abkhazians in Abkhazia have become a minority compared to Armenians, and Sukhumi and Gagra will soon be difficult to distinguish from Yerevan in ethnic composition of the population? Who "throws" so many Armenians into Abkhazia? After all, total domination of the representatives of "the most ancient people" in Abkhazia has long been apparent.
And the reaction of leaders of the Armenian community of Abkhazia is very interesting. Especially the complete unwillingness to give comments from the richest and most influential Armenian of separatist Abkhazia, former commander of the Baghramyan battalion Galust Trapizonian. Usually Trapizonian is generous with his comments on any subject and topic, including those that have nothing to do with Abkhazia. For example, on "Artsakh". But here, he "stupidly" does not get in touch at all and is not willing to answer questions and his "phone is not available. Hence, the conclusion is that he has something to hide.
And the words of Suren Kerselyan that he "saw" information about mass resettlement of Karabakh Armenians in Abkhazia, but "did not even read it" shows that inside the Armenian community itself today it is forbidden even to tell the "outsiders" about the resettlement of compatriots in Abkhazia and comment on it. In order not to derail the process prematurely. And this means one thing - resettlement of Armenians in Abkhazia is not just taking place, but it is a well-organized and well planned operation, which is already underway, but which is deliberately not made public.