The position of President of Abkhazia was created in 1994. Before the office of president was created the head of state position was known as the Chairman of Parliament between 1992 and the creation of the 1994 constitution. Before the position of Chairman of Parliament, the highest office in Abkhazia was the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet. The post would last from the declaration of sovereignty from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic on 25 August 1990 until the outright declaration of independence on 23 July 1992.
|President of the Republic of Abkhazia|
since 25 September 2014
|Term length||5 years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Vladislav Ardzinba|
|Formation||26 November 1994|
|Deputy||Vice President of Abkhazia|
During Alexander Ankvab's presidency, Parliament decided to scrap from the Presidential oath the phrase:
Жәлар рылахь соуааит иҧшьоу абри ахақәкы сацәхьаҵны саныҟала
— If I deviate from this path, then let me be punished by my people
During a meeting on 16 July 2014, following the Abkhazian Revolution, Parliament decided to restore this phrase. According to Vice Speaker Emma Gamisonia, the decision to remove the phrase had been taken because it was perceived as a curse, following the premature death of Abkhazia's first two Presidents, Vladislav Ardzinba and Sergei Bagapsh. MP Daur Arshba claimed that the decision had been taken illegally, without the necessary quorum.
Иа Анцәа Ду, суҳәоит Сыԥсадгьыли сыуаажәлари рымаҵ аураҿы амчи алшареи суҭарц!
— Almighty God, give me strength to serve country and people!
|Took Office||Left Office|
|Chairman of the Supreme Soviet||25 August 1990||24 December 1990||Communist Party of Abkhazia|
|Chairman of the Supreme Soviet||24 December 1990||23 July 1992||Communist Party of Abkhazia|
|(2)||Chairman of Parliament||23 July 1992||26 November 1994||Independent|
|Tenure||Political Affiliation||Vice President(s)|
|Took Office||Left Office|
|26 November 1994||12 February 2005||Independent||Valery Arshba|
|12 February 2005||29 May 2011
(Died in Office)
|United Abkhazia||Raul Khajimba (2005–2009)|
Alexander Ankvab (2009–2011)
|29 May 2011
until 26 September 2011
|1 June 2014
|Aitaira||Mikhail Logua (2011–2013)|
|1 June 2014||25 September 2014||Independent||Vacant|
|25 September 2014||Incumbent||Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia||Vitali Gabnia|
|Presidential candidate||Vice Presidential candidate||votes||%|
|Raul Khajimba||Vitali Gabnia||50,586||50.60|
|Aslan Bzhania||Astan Agrba||35,869||35.88|
|Mirab Kishmaria||Said Lolua||6,390||6.39|
|Leonid Dzapshba||Boris Abitov||3,397||3.40|
|Total number of votes cast||99,966||100.00|
|Total number of registered voters||132,861||100.00|
The apsar (Abkhazian: аҧсар, āpsār) is a currency of Abkhazia. So far, only coins in denominations of 1, 10, 25, 50, and 100 apsars and banknote for 500 apsars have been issued. While the coins are legal tender in the Republic of Abkhazia, their usage is very limited, and the coins are mostly made for collectors. In Abkhazia, the Russian ruble is used in practice. The first apsar coins were introduced in 2008.
The name derives from the Apsars, a tribe mentioned in The Georgian Chronicles who inhabited the region in the Middle Ages and who are believed to be the ancestors of the Abkhaz people.The Bank of Abkhazia is responsible for the apsar coins, and has so far issued two series: "Outstanding personalities of Abkhazia" (6 coins) and "The patriotic war of the Abkhaz nation 1992–1993" (2 coins). Persons who have appeared on coins include:
Vladislav Ardzinba, 1st president of Abkhazia (1994–2005)
Fazil Iskander, writer
Dmitry Gulia, writer
Samson Chanba, writer and statesman
Bagrat Shinkuba, writer and politician
Aleksandr Chachba, artist10 and 100 apsar coins are made of silver; 25 and 50 apsar coins are made of gold. The number of coins produced is low: 2,000 silver coins are minted and 1,000 gold coins.Abkhazia–Syria relations
Abkhazia–Syria relations (Russian: Абхазско-сирийские отношения) refers to the bilateral relationship between the Republic of Abkhazia and Syria. Syria recognised Abkhazia on 29 May 2018. The establishment of relations on an embassy-level were announced.In 2008, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said that Syria agrees "with the essence of the Russian position" in the Abkhaz conflict. In 2015, the Abkhaz Foreign Minister met Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad in Moscow and afterwards said that his government believes Syria will recognize the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia’s independence as a sovereign country in the future. In November 2016, President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba stressed his country’s support to Syria in its "war against international terrorism". On the same occasion, Khajimba called Syria a "sisterly country". Nonetheless, Abkhazia supports the re-migration of Syrian citizens of Abkhaz descent back into Abkhazia. In the first five years of the Civil War, about 500 Syrians remigrated to Abkhazia. In December 2015, the Foreign Minister of Abkhazia met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Syrian Arab Republic in Russia Mr. Riyad Haddad and they discussed the remigration of Syrian citizens of Abkhaz descent. In December 2016, the first match in Freestyle wrestling between national teams Abkhazia and Syria was held in Sukhum. In August 2017, Abkhazia provided humanitarian aid to Syria. Also in August 2017, an Abkhaz delegation led by Abkhaz Foreign Minister Daur Kove went to Damascus and met with Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis. Parliamentary delegations discussed the strengthening of parliamentary relations between both countries. The same month, Abkhaz products were presented at the Damascus International Fair. In November 2017, a Syrian delegation was in Abkhazia and the Abkhaz minister of economy Adgur Ardzinba, said he was preparing a free trade agreement between Syria and Abkhazia. In December 2017, there were first reports that a Syrian recognition of Abkhaz independence may be possible.In May 2018, the Syrian government recognized Abkhazia, resulting in condemnation from Georgia and the United States. As a result, Georgia severed ties with Syria.Alexander Ankvab
Aleksandr Ankvab ( (listen) AHNK-vahb; Abkhazian: Алықьсандр Анқәаб, Georgian: ალექსანდრე ანქვაბი, Russian: Алекса́ндр Анква́б; born December 26, 1952) is an Abkhaz politician and businessman who was President of Abkhazia from May 29, 2011, until his resignation on June 1, 2014. Under President Sergei Bagapsh, he previously served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 2010 and Vice-President from 2010 to 2011.
In the 4 October 2004 presidential election, Ankvab supported Bagapsh's candidacy following his own exclusion by the Central Election Commission; he was subsequently appointed as Prime Minister by Bagapsh in February 2005. Ankvab was appointed acting President of Abkhazia after President Bagapsh underwent an operation on May 21, 2011. Following the operation, Bagapsh died on May 29, 2011 and Ankvab served as Acting President until winning election in his own right later in 2011.
Ankvab survived six attempts on his life from 2005 to 2012, last time as a president on February 22, 2012, when his convoy was ambushed in Abkhazia, killing two of his guards.On May 27, 2014, Ankvab's headquarters in Sukhumi were stormed by opposition groups led by Raul Khadjimba, forcing him into flight to Gudauta in what Ankvab denounced as an "armed coup attempt". The Abkhaz parliament declared Ankvab "unable" to exercise his presidential powers on May 31, 2014, and Ankvab resigned on June 1, 2014.Bagramyan Battalion
The Bagramyan Battalion (Armenian: Բաղրամյանի անվան գումարտակ) was a battalion formed in Abkhazia and predominantly composed of ethnic Armenians living in Abkhazia that fought together with Russia backed separatist Abkhaz forces during the War in Abkhazia (1992–93). Named in honour of the Soviet Armenian Marshal Ivan Bagramyan, the battalion fought against the forces of Georgia. It was subsequently disbanded.
Bagramyan Battalion is considered as a terrorist organization in Western countries . The Bagramyan Battalion directed its attacks against Georgians living in Abkhazia. Together with other Abkhazian groups, they were able to ethnically cleanse the region of Georgians, forcing some 250,000 to flee. The Battalion was reported to have been disbanded in 1996, but in 1998 a high-profile terrorist attack in Georgia was attributed to it.A total of 1,500 Armenians participated in the war, a quarter of the Abkhazian army. Twenty Armenians were awarded the highest honor Hero of Abkhazia and 242 were killed in battle. The first President of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba praised the high discipline, organization, and accomplishments of the Bagramyan Battalion.Beslan Eshba
Beslan Eshba is a vice premier of Abkhazia and the head of a sociopolitical organization Apsadgyl (Abkhazian: Апсадгьыл). Prior to his current position, he was a deputy commander in the Sukhumi battalion and an advisor to the President of Abkhazia.Human rights in Abkhazia
Human rights in Abkhazia are granted by Chapter II of its Constitution which makes reference to adherence of Abkhazia to UDHR, ICCPR and ICESCR (Article 11). However, Abkhazia is not a UN member state and is not a party of UN human rights treaties, unlike Georgia, whose sovereignty over Abkhazia is recognized by a bigger part of the international community.
Abkhazia was classified as partly free by the Freedom House, its 2009 report naming corruption, problems in the legal system and the unresolved Georgian refugee problem as the main human rights issues.In the 1990s, ethnic cleansing of Georgians took place in Abkhazia; many ethnic Georgians remain displaced persons to this day.Juan Vicente Paredes Torrealba
Juan Vicente Paredes Torrealba is a Venezuelan diplomat and Venezuela's current Ambassador to Russia and Abkhazia.
Paredes Torrealba has been ambassador to Russia since 21 June 2013.
On 3 September 2015, Paredes Torrealba presented his credentials to President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba.Kesou Khagba
Kesou Khagba was the Representative of the President of Abkhazia in the Ukraine from 1992 to 1995. From 1995 to 1999, Khagba was Minister of Culture and from 2000 to 2004, a Deputy of the People's Assembly of Abkhazia. He co-founded the newspaper Novy Den. Khagba was born in 1950 in the village Duripsh in Gudauta District.Mikhail Logua
Mikhail Valerievich Logua (Russian: Михаил Валерьевич Логуа born 27 July 1970) is an Abkhaz politician who has been Vice President of Abkhazia from 2011 until 2013. He previously served as Governor of Gulripsh District from 2006 until 2011.
On 23 May 2013, Apsnypress reported that Logua had renounced his membership of the political party United Abkhazia.On 25 December 2013, Logua announced his resignation as Vice President for health reasons.Minister for Defence of Abkhazia
The office of Minister for Defence (Abkhazian: атәыла хьчара аминистр, Georgian: თავდაცვის მინისტრი, Russian: министр обороны) has been one of the most important in the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia due to the ongoing conflict with Georgia. The position was created 11 October 1992, shortly after the outbreak of the 1992-1993 war with Georgia. The first Minister for Defence was Vladimir Arshba, but due to his injuries for most of the time his functions were carried out by Deputy Minister for Defence and Chief of the General Staff Sultan Sosnaliev, who eventually also formally succeeded Arshba on 25 April 2003. Sosnaliev oversaw Abkhazia's successful expulsion of Georgian forces and remained Defence Minister until on 1 July 1996 he resigned to return to his native Kabardia.
Sosnaliev's successor was Vladimir Mikanba, who held the position during the May 1998 war in the Gali district and the October 2001 incursion of Chechen fighters down the Kodori valley.
Mikanba was succeeded by Raul Khajimba, who would go on to become Prime Minister, and who is the current Vice President of Abkhazia. 22 April 2003, when Khajimba became Prime Minister, Viacheslav Eshba became Minister for Defence. On 8 November 2004, during the height of the crisis following the 2004 Presidential election, a source within the government claimed that Eshba had been replaced by Mukhamed Kilba, the deputy chief of Khajimba's presidential campaign, but this was denied by Prime Minister Nodar Khashba.On 25 February 2005, newly elected Predident Sergei Bagapsh called on Sultan Sosnaliev to become Defence Minister once more. Sosnaliev agreed and held the office until shortly after his 65th birthday on 8 May 2007 he resigned for personal reasons.26 June 2007 then Deputy Defence Minister Mirab Kishmaria was appointed Sosnaliev's successor. During the August 2008 war in South Ossetia, he oversaw the Abkhazian conquest of so-called Upper Abkhazia, the only part of Abkhazia that had remained under Georgian control since the 1992-1993 war. Kishmaria remains Minister of Defence until the present day.Prime Minister of Abkhazia
The Prime Minister of Abkhazia is the head of government of the Republic of Abkhazia.Raul Khajimba
Raul Jumkovich Khajimba (Abkhazian: Рауль Џьумка-иҧа Ҳаџьымба, Georgian: რაულ ჯუმკოვიჩი ჰაჯიმბა; born 21 March 1958) is the current President of Abkhazia, having been elected in 2014 after the May Revolution. He was also Chairman of the Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia from 2010–2015. Khajimba previously held the offices of Vice President (2005–2009), Prime Minister (2003–2004) and Defence Minister (2002–2003). He unsuccessfully ran for President in 2004, 2009 and 2011.Semyon Grigoryev
Semyon Vyacheslavovich Grigoriyev (Russian: Семён Вячеславович Григорьев) (born 1960 in Moscow), is a Russian diplomat and is the first Russian ambassador to Abkhazia.
Grigoriyev graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1983, and went on to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a position at the Soviet embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.From 1990 – 1997 he was third, second and first secretary at the Soviet and Russian embassies in Tehran, Iran.From 2003 – 2006, he was Deputy Director of the Fourth Department of the CIS Countries at the Russian foreign ministry, and from 2006 – 2008, he was an adviser-envoy at the Embassy of Russia in Kabul.From February 2008, he was again Deputy Director of the Fourth Department of the CIS Countries, specialising in issues relating to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On 25 October 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Grigoriyev as the first Ambassador of Russia to Abkhazia, after Russia recognised Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence following the war in August 2008. Grigoriyev presented his Letters of Credence to President of Abkhazia, Sergey Bagapsh on 16 December 2008.Grigoriyev speaks Russian, English, Dari and Pashtu.Sultan Sosnaliyev
Sultan Aslambekovich Sosnaliyev (Russian: Султан Асламбекович Сосналиев; 23 April 1942 – 23 November 2008) was a Soviet Army officer of Circassian ethnicity who served as a commander of Abkhaz and allied forces during the War in Abkhazia and as the defence minister of Abkhazia in 1993–1996 and 2005–2007.Tkvarcheli
Tkvarcheli (Georgian: ტყვარჩელი [tʼqʼvɑrtʃʰɛli] (listen); Abkhazian: Тҟəарчал, Tqwarchal; Russian: Ткварчели, Tkvarcheli) is a town in Abkhazia. It is situated on the river Ghalidzga (Aaldzga) and a railroad connects it with Ochamchire. An area within this settlement is Akarmara, a ghost town with abandoned apartments and factories which became uninhabited in the early 1990s due to the War in Abkhazia (1992-3).Vice President of Abkhazia
The Vice President of the Abkhaz Republic, a partially recognized state, internationally regarded as a part of Georgia, is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of Abkhazia upon the death, resignation, or removal of the President. Additionally, the Vice President would assume the presidency in case the President becomes incapable of carrying out the presidential duties.Visa policy of Abkhazia
Visitors to Abkhazia must obtain a visa unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries.Vitali Gabnia
Vitali Viktorovich Gabnia (Abkhazian:Виталик Виктор-иҧа Габниа; Russian: Виталий Викторович Габния) was Vice President of Abkhazia from 2014 to 2018. He was elected along with President Raul Khajimba following the May 2014 revolution against previous President Alexander Ankvab, which Khajimba and he had led. Gabnia is Chairman of the veterans organisation Aruaa. He resigned after being caught in a brawl in August 2018.Vladislav Ardzinba
Vladislav Ardzinba (Abkhazian: Владислав Арӡынба, Georgian: ვლადისლავ არძინბა; 14 May 1945 – 4 March 2010) was the first de facto President of Abkhazia. A historian by education, Ardzinba led Abkhazia to de facto independence in the 1992–1993 War with Georgia, but its de jure independence from Georgia remained internationally unrecognised during Ardzinba's two terms as President from 1994 to 2005.
A noted specialist in Hittitology, he was a member of the first parliament to be elected democratically in the Soviet Union in 1989.
Heads of State of Abkhazia
Heads of state and government of Europe