Op-Ed: How to become a respected person in Abkhazia
Boris Achba, director of the state-financed company Abkhazavtodor, has been arrested on suspicion of fraud and theft of 20,000,000 rubles [around $286,000].
He is accused of embezzling funds allocated for road work.
However, many well-known people in the republic, including former vice-president of Abkhazia Vitali Gabnia, say that Boris Achba’s pretrial measure should be changed, and that he should be released from the detention center.
The reason why they believe he should be treated so lightly is because of his service to Abkhazia: he is a veteran of the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992-1993.
However, many also disagree with this opinion.
Former Ainar Party Leader, Popular Blogger Tengiz Jopua
I am also opposed to Achba being imprisoned for embezzling several tens or hundreds of millions of rubles. It seems a little strange.
It would be better if they presented people like him with highest order of Abkhazia, the “Akhdz-apsha” (“Honor and Glory”) and awarded him a state-funded Glock pistol and a Lexus 570.
But that might not look too good.
And why have we become so used to hearing that this person stole 15 or 20,000,000 rubles? Even if they only stole 5,000,000!
The time has come for the parliament of Abkhazia to make a law defining what makes a person “respected,” “highly respected,” or a normal citizen, like the rest of us who aren’t respected enough to be an exception.
The first classification should be having a high social status and high-value property. Although in essence, these are the same thing.
It’s just as it was in the Roman Empire — you’re either a patrician or a plebeian.
We can’t rely on the categories “veteran” and “not veteran,” since we have both veterans with high property value and status, and those who have nothing to their names except awards and untreated battle wounds.
Your property status, then, is the best indicator.
This way you can clearly determine who is “a true patriot of the nation and a hero”, and who is just a citizen and a statistic.
The former are entitled to reverence and respect, the latter are not.
Although it’s the former who steal money from the latter. But we will not examine this provocative issue any further.
20,000,000 rubles, of course, is no Nokia phone, the theft of which can put you in an isolated cell. Stealing an old Nokia phone doesn’t require the respect and trust of the entire population. Stealing 20,000,000 rubles – that’s another thing entirely.
And there are others who have stolen 100,000,000. And 250,000,000. Some have even stolen 360,000,000 rubles.
I won’t even say a word about the person who managed to smuggle away 700,000,000 rubles.
It seems like a joke. But in reality, it’s all very sad.
Only a people who do not respect themselves can demand freedom and mercy for those who have abused their respect.