‘Combatant-politician’ arrested in Abkhazia – destabilization imminent? Analysis
Akhra Avidzba and destabilization in Abkhazia
In Abkhazia, security services have detained former presidential aid Akhra Avidzba – a politician who has not held official posts since he stepped down as presidential aide in the summer of 2020.
However, Avidzba is one of the most significant figures in Abkhaz politics, and his arrest on the night of March 5 could create a new political crisis in the republic.
The reason for his detention is unknown, and no official charges have been brought against him.
He was summoned for interrogation to the state security service and has not been released from the building.
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Who is Akhra Avidzba
Akhra Avidzba is a close relative of the famous Abkhaz thief in law Alkhaz Avidzba, one of those who was killed during the scandalous shooting at a restaurant in Sukhum in November 2019.
Akhra Avidzba fought in Eastern Ukraine on the side of the regions that unilaterally declared their independence from Kyiv, and is known in Abkhazia for having the title of “Hero of Donbass”.
It was Akhra Avidzba who actually became the generator of the change of power in Abkhazia in January 2020. He did what the entire opposition, taken together, could not do for more than five years, although it tried more than once. He and a couple of hundred people stormed the presidential palace, forcing the then President Raul Khajimba to resign.
The new elections were won by Aslan Bzhania, then the leader of the opposition, today the president of Abkhazia.
For his brave deed, Akhra Avidzba received an honorary, but nothing decisive, position – Assistant to the President of Abkhazia for International Relations.
Soon after he resigned, saying: “We didn’t change the government so that later nothing would change.” He promised to return.
The authorities had to react to this with caution. In Abkhazia, there is already an understanding that these kind of politicians-fighters, if they return, they usually enter the presidential palace, first knocking down the doors.
For a while, the authorities waited. But then the current opposition found a common language with Akhra Avidzba, the very political forces that he forcibly expelled from the presidential palace just about a year ago.
Apparently, the detention of Avidzb is an attempt to go all-in on the part of the authorities, which felt a threat to their own stability.
But now the question arose: what next?
Whether Avidzba’s detention is capable of stabilizing the situation and warding off the threat of a new coup is a rhetorical question.
After all, the saying “Moor has done his job, the Moor can go” in the Abkhaz reality may not only fail to work, but also have the opposite effect. Since the ‘Moors’ in Abkhazia never leave so easily.
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