Security services suspect former presidential aid in Abkhazia of planned coup
‘Hero of the DPR’ and former assistant to the President of Abkhazia Akhra Avidzba, who was arrested on March 4, is suspected of trying to organize a coup d’etat by security services.
However, Avidzba has not yet been officially charged with this particular crime – so far, he has only been charged with illegal possession of an arsenal of weapons.
Information about the participation of Akhra Avidzba in the alleged coup d’etat appeared on the official website of the State Security Service of Abkhazia; the department reports that, together with Avidzba, five foreign citizens, mostly citizens of Ukraine, were detained.
According to the operational information available to the State Security Service, “the detained citizens planned to take part in the attempted coup d’état”.
The same message says that a criminal case was opened on the illegal acquisition and storage of weapons.
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Akhra Avidzba, aka “Abkhaz”, was one of the most famous military commanders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine during the conflict of 2014-2015.
Avidzba also served as assistant to the President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania from June 11 to November 9, 2020.
He explained his resignation by “a loss of faith in both our common cause and the further expediency of my work in a political team which contradicts its declarative statements and in reality, does not take the necessary actions”.
In late 2019 – early 2020, during the political crisis in Abkhazia, Avidzba led the street protests that resulted in the resignation of President Raul Khajimba and re-run of the presidential election.
Akhra Avidzba is a cousin of the ‘thief in law’ Alkhas Avidzba, who was killed on November 22, 2019. Following Alkhas Avidzba’s murder, Akhrik Avidzba appeared in the Abkhaz political arena.
Having rallied gathered relatives as well as some other like-minded people, Akhra Avidzba was able to achieve the dismissal of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General of Abkhazia, as well as their deputies on December 2. On January 9, 2020, he became one of the main organizers of the protests in Sukhum.
Akhra Avidzba was detained on March 4, 2021, and sentenced to 1 month by the decision of the Sukhumi City Court. Numerous Russian media spoke out in support of Avidzb, but the Russian Embassy in Abkhazia stated that the detention of Akhrik Avidzba was an internal affair of the Republic of Abkhazia.
President Aslan Bzhania has not yet commented on the State Security’s Service report regarding the planned coup d’état, however, during a meeting with MPs, he said that if the latter wanted it, it was possible for them to hold a separate closed meeting with the State Security Service officials.
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