Review of TOM TRIER, HEDGIV LOHM, DAVID SZAKONYI: Under Siege. Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia

Review of TOM TRIER, HEDGIV LOHM, DAVID SZAKONYI: Under Siege. Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia, in BSOAS 74.1, 2011.

The more information provided to Western audiences about Abkhazia and its dispute with  Georgia, the better, so that attitudes and policies can be predicated on facts rather than  ignorance, as has regularly been the case. But not all works are necessarily (wholly) accurate  in what they present to their readers. The present volume is a mixture of wheat and chaff, and the lattercould easilyhave been winnowed out prior to publication.

Abkhazia achieved de factoindependence from Georgia at the end of September 1993  after a 14-month war. Though official recognition was granted by Russia on 26 August 2008,  and since then by three other states, most of the international community is not (yet) prepared  to acknowledge Abkhazia’s de iurestatus. This needed to be stated once in the Introduction;  butinserting the words ‘de facto’ each time the country or one of its governmental posts is  mentioned soon irritates the reader.

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