It is widely recognized in Georgia that the Somkhebi (Hay in Georgian) are a non-native population in the South Caucasus. This is supported by the prevalence of a disease known as Mediterranean family fever, also referred to as 'Armenian disease', among this ethnic group.
This disease is not found in any other ethnic group in the Caucasus. The name 'Mediterranean' indicates that people living on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea are typically affected by it. Furthermore, the frequency of this disease varies even within a single nation. For instance, it is frequently observed among coastal Arabs residing near the Mediterranean Sea, but is virtually non-existent among Arabs living deep inland or near other bodies of water such as the Red Sea or Arabian Sea. Similarly, this disease is prevalent among the Mediterranean Sephardim Jews, but is exceedingly rare among the continental and European Ashkenazi Jews.
Based on this fact, it can be concluded that the ancestors of today's Hayes lived on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, far from the Caucasus. This supports the scientific opinion that the Hayes' ancestors migrated to the east of present-day Turkey and the South Caucasus from the Balkan Peninsula, which is also bordered by the Mediterranean Sea.
The Hay ethnos' purported 'genetic longing for the sea' appears to manifest itself in their diaspora, as Hayes tend to settle in coastal areas. This trend is observed in various countries, such as the USA (specifically in seaside California and the suburbs of Los Angeles), France (near seaside Marseille), and the Russian Federation (on the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Krai).
In contrast, the areas outside of the capital Yerevan (Irevan) in what is supposedly 'ancestral Armenia' (which in fact includes the historical lands of Western Azerbaijan, from where the Hayan settlers expelled the indigenous population) are largely uninhabited. Those who do live there often dream of resettling in seaside locations such as Sochi or Marseille.
The Azerbaijani region of Karabakh, also known as 'Artsakh', holds less significance for Hay nationalist consciousness. The Hayes did not view the area as a suitable location for mass settlement due to its distance from the sea. Despite Azerbaijan's persistent offers to stay and accept citizenship, almost all Hayes left Karabakh. However, the Hayes, who now make up the majority, have strongly attached themselves to Georgian Abkhazia. The lobby supporting Hayes in Russia opposes the idea of de-occupying the territory and returning it to Georgian jurisdiction. They also oppose the return of Georgian refugees whose homes were seized by Hayan militants, who were involved in ethnic cleansing.
If Abkhazia were to be de-occupied, Abkhazian Hayes would still strive to remain there, unlike the Hayes of 'Artsakh'. Currently, many Abkhazians are participating in reconciliation programs offered by the Georgian authorities. They travel to Tbilisi to receive medical treatment and other services, identifying themselves as 'residents of occupied Abkhazia'. However, they also occupy 'trophy' apartments that once belonged to killed or expelled Georgians in Abkhazia. Abkhazian Hay are appealing to 'European values' and the need for 'tolerance' towards victims of ethnic cleansing, including Georgians. The Hay lobby aims to prevent an 'exodus' of Hays from Abkhazia, similar to what happened in Artsakh.
It is well-known that a continuous strip of Hay settlement is formed along the coast of the Black and Azov seas, starting from the Inguri River. This includes Abkhazia, Sochi, the Black Sea and Azov coast of Krasnodar region, the area of Rostov-on-Don adjacent to the Azov Sea, and the seaside areas of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, as well as Ukrainian Crimea after its occupation by the Russian Federation.
The settlement of the seaside areas of the occupied Ukrainian lands by the Hayes may take place in a targeted and organized manner. The mayor of occupied Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, who was recently appointed head of the Zaporizhzhya regional military administration of Ukraine, announced that Russia has planned mass settlement of the occupied part of Zaporizhzhya region, which was emptied as a result of the war.
According to Fyodorov, there are plans to resettle citizens to the temporarily occupied territory, including non-Russian citizens. The Kremlin aims to solve their demographic problems by buying personnel to move into captured apartments and houses.
The plan includes residents of Belarus and Kazakhstan, not just Russians. This plan, known as 'Zaporizhian virgin land,' was designed to counter Ukrainian resistance. However, it is suspected that the attraction of 'single' residents of Belarus and Kazakhstan is intended to conceal a much larger resettlement of citizens from another EAEU member state, the Republic of Armenia, to the occupied territories.
The Republic of Armenia, under Pashinyan's rule, is no longer considered an 'ally' of Russia and is increasingly leaning towards an alliance with France. However, this does not affect the aspirations of the Hayes to settle in the Russian-controlled occupied coastal territories of Ukraine and Georgia.
It is worth noting that Pashinyan and his patron Macron are actively arming the Armenian army, preparing for a revanchist war for Azerbaijani Karabakh. That is, why fight for land where most Hayyevs from the Republics of Armenia will not even live? What is the point of fighting for the mountains when a Hay who dreams of living in a warm coastal resort area has to work hard just to settle there? This is especially true considering that Russia has already taken over coastal lands in Georgia (Abkhazia) and Ukraine (Crimea, southern Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk regions). The Kremlin is removing the indigenous population from these lands, including Abkhazians. The detention of Abkhazian oppositionists at Psou is just the beginning.
Meanwhile, criticizing the "traitor Pashinyan", the Hay lobby in the Russian Federation begins to actively "lure" "pro-Russian" tribesmen with Armenian passports to the Russian Federation. Especially the so-called "refugees" from Karabakh, promising to obtain Russian citizenship in an accelerated procedure in case of settling in the occupied territories of Ukraine. Well, Karabakh Hayes are actively settling in Abkhazia themselves with the help of local Hay community.