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The voluntary movement in support of Abkhazia of 1992-1993 and process of ethnogenesis of Abkhazians



the dobrovolchesky movement in support of Abkhazia of 1992-1993 and process of ethnogenesis of Abkhazians

A.I. Broydo.

Article is devoted to tragic events of the Georgian-Abkhazian armed opposition of 1992-1993 and their background. The author investigated and noted a significant role of volunteers, in the majority disinterestedly and selflessly being at war in the ranks of the Abkhazian army and promoting its progress.

Characteristic feature of the Georgian-Abkhazian armed opposition of 1992-1993 is the high level of moral legitimacy of one of parties of the conflict. This circumstance served as the defining emergence factor in the territory of Russia, especially in its southern regions, the voluntary movement in support of Abkhazia. As it is noted in the statement of the State Duma of the Russian Federation of February 17, 2010, "in the war launched by the Georgian authorities, the Abkhazian people showed the best qualities — high patriotism, heroism, organization and ability to stand for itself. At the heavy moment people of other nationalities, the Russian volunteers" 1 were on the side of the Abkhazian people.

Is not subject to doubt that in the ranks of volunteers there was the known number of people with criminal or adventurous bents. Some part of volunteers, especially from the Chechen republic, explained the actions with need of acquisition of fighting experience. Meanwhile, a subject of our researches was studying motivation of that most part of volunteers, whose decision to battle for Abkhazia was result of the conscious vital choice.

Researches showed that for volunteers of the Abkhazian diaspora and the North Caucasus reasons of ethnic relationship, the neighbourhood, community of historical destiny became decisive. Meanwhile, the motivation of most of volunteers of other regions of Russia was characterized by wider diapazo-

number of opinions: "I am at war for restoration of the Soviet Union", "ourselves have to define life of the country". It is obvious that their choice was caused by requirement of expression of an active protest against the condition of uncertainty characteristic of the former Soviet Union of the beginning of the 90th years of the XX century. The feeling of own civil humility, "abnormality" of accession in the society of a commercialism cult, served as the cause at them the deep intra personal conflict.

Thus, participation in fight of the Abkhazian people became for these people in the way to tower over the ordinary, to defend business not only own, but also traditional Russians and the Soviet cultural wealth: service to society, aspiration to justice, internationalism, active compassion, self-sacrifice, protection of weak: "Then Abkhazia became not only the homeland of Abkhazians and those who were ready to die every minute for the sake of it, but also the place of fight of the forces of good against the evil and injustice" 2. The oath said by volunteers on August 19, 1992 in Cherkessk on the meeting devoted to departure to Abkhazia of one of the first voluntary groups is characteristic: "Since this minute we... we ask the government of Abkhazia to consider all of us... Abkhazians. Now protection of Abkhazia — our inalienable right and a duty" 3.

It is remarkable that volunteers especially persistently emphasized unselfishness of the actions, for them there was no insult heavier, than "mercenary". Unfortunately, this epithet — without due

Broydo Anna Ilyinishna is a candidate of historical sciences, the ethnopolitical scientist.

on that the bases — both a number of the Russian journalists, and Russian and foreign officials abused. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation V.S. Stepankov in a conversation with us in May, 1993 confirmed that "of course, there are people battling on the Abkhazian side is free, "for justice" 4.

In other words, in perception of the most motivated part of the Russian volunteers the battling Abkhazian people risking life for the sake of preservation of advantage became the embodiment of ideals as there were that for their grandfathers the Spanish people: "In Europe of the thirtieth years. it was difficult to breathe. The fascism came and came with impunity. And there were people which accepted battle. He did not save himself, did not save also Europe, but if for people of my generation there was a sense in the words "human dignity", then thanks to Spain. It became air, it breathed" — I.G. remembered Erenburg5.

The existential nature of the Abkhazian resistance, the national nature of war, the significant contribution to a victory of representatives of the voluntary movement, motivation of their acts, similarity of the relation to both wars from the international community and the USSR — the Russian Federation, caused a situation in which the Abkhazian volunteers openly positioned themselves as spiritual successors of the Spanish interbrigadovets. The Kabardian journalist and the soldier volunteer, the chevalier of the order of Leon Z. Berbekov wrote in the military correspondence: "All people of the earth with a pure soul and conscience — with Abkhazians. We save Apsna as we saved Grenada, Spain, Vietnam and Kuwait" 6. It is characteristic that the self-made slogan "Us Not to Pass!" was the main element of an interior of the room of the headquarters of Confederation of the people of the Caucasus which actually became the headquarters of all volunteer formations. It is remarkable that when at our presence in July, 1993 the American journalist took an interest in contents of a slogan, the female translator from Moscow, having smiled, answered in Spanish: "N0 razagap!". In turn, such "translation into English" completely satisfied curiosity of the American.

Strengthening of this figurative row was promoted directly also by multinationality of voluntary groups. In the ranks of the Abkhazian "interbrigad", "Abazins, Avars, Adyghes, Armenians, Balkars, Belarusians, Dargins, Jews, Ingushs, Kabardians, Karachays, Cossacks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Kumyks, Laks, Lezgians, Latvians, Mordvins, Germans, Ossetians, Poles, Russians, Tabasarans, Tatars, Turkmens, Ukrainians, Circassians, Chechens, Shapsugs, Estonians" 7 battled.

It is interesting to note that existence of these historical and cultural parallels was obvious also to Abkhazians. Presence of characteristic "Spanish" rhetoric can be tracked easily as in the statements of ordinary citizens: "If it is necessary, then we will die, but we will not live on a lap" — so solved the Abkhazian people" 8, "A victory or death — much to us it is not given" 9,

and in propaganda lines of professionals: "Since childhood lines entered our consciousness: "Liberty or Death!". Try to insert into these lines instead of the word "freedom" of the word "territorial integrity" — and you will easily imagine all absurdity of what the Tbilisi promotion" 10 was obliged to inspire in the Georgian people. The famous Abkhazian writer D.V. Akhuba, appealing to the Russian colleagues about support, called: "Remember feats. Hemingway, Ehrenburg and Koltsov, with a feather and weapon fighting for freedom and independence of other people fighting against fascism in others countries!" 11.

The chief military commissioner of the Republic of Abkhazia S.M. Shamba in a conversation with us in July, 1993 emphasized that references to experience Spanish interbrigad were used also by the Abkhazian leaders when conducting difficult international negotiations, helping to disprove charges about presence of mercenaries in the ranks of the Abkhazian army. In April, 1993 at our presence the Chairman of the Commission on affairs of prisoners of war and refugees of the Republic of Abkhazia B.V. Kobakhiya used this argument in a discussion with the representative of the similar Commission of the Republic Georgia M. Topuriya, said: "Very ridiculously now to prove to me that someone from Moscow or Leningrad comes to protect Abkhazians — I will never believe it in lives". B.V. Kobakhiya objected: "What surprising if the person, say, from St. Petersburg, can come to be at war for freedom of Abkhazia? To Spain went to be at war for Spain".

In turn, presence of volunteers in the ranks of the Abkhazian army had significant effect not only on the direct result of battles, but also on moral spirit of Abkhazians, strengthening in them confidence in correctness and justice of the fight. The army doctor V.F. Abukhba told us in July, 1993: "When such people come, believe more firmly that justice — on our party. And fatigue is already not so felt.".

Moreover, the conducted field researches show that the voluntary movement in support of Abkhazia had considerable impact both on ethnopsychology of Abkhazians, and on an ethnoevolutionary condition of society. The Abkhazian traditional culture, as well as the culture of other militarized traditional societies, is characterized by existence of the developed heroism cult — Afyrkhatsara. Only existential of the Abkhazian traditional values, it possesses pronounced altruistic coloring — legendary heroes, those whose feat was connected not with successful attack, but with dedicated protection of the homeland and the people against external threat became characters of epic songs steadily. Existence in language along with the term of "afyrkhayets" — "male hero", the term "afyrpkhyus" — "female heroine" testifies to her antiquity.

International relations

Meanwhile, our researches fix noticeable changes of an essence of this category since the beginning of the 90th years of the XX century. If earlier esteemed in the people were only ethnic Abkhazians, then among legendary war heroes of 1992-1993 a significant amount of men and women of other ethnic and confessional origin for the first time appeared: both soldiers volunteers, and natives of Abkhazia: Alexander Bardodym, Ibrahim Yaganov, Anatoly Mayevsky, Muhammad Chilba, Caspar Martynyuk, Vladimir Antsupov, Sergey Matosyan, Irina Zavyalova, Muhammad Bli, Georgy Trapizo-nyan, Vladimir Kardanov and many others.

So remarkable circumstance allows to draw two important conclusions. First, it confirms that armed conflict of 1992-1993, contrary to incompetent or malicious statements, did not carry either ethnic, nor religious character. But the main thing — active support from representatives of, at first sight, uninterested ethnic groups, led to deep transformation of the Abkhazian national mentality, to understanding of not simply by the people, but the state-building people. Education of new supra-ethnic community — the multinational people of the Republic of Abkhazia — where ethnic groups, keeping the language and cultural features turned out to be consequence of the process begun during the war, possess elements of the general consciousness.

Among these uncommon persons a specific place in consciousness of Abkhazians is held by an image of the Moscow poet Alexander Bardodym. The choice of specialty at the Moscow Literary institute — the translator with Abkhazian — his genuine interest and love for history, culture and people of Abkhazia, eventually defined also its civic stand: the decision to battle for its freedom. For a month of active participation in fighting Alexander Bardodym managed to become famous for courage and courage. Having died in incomplete 26 years, he is buried in. New Athos. At the same time, it is obvious that actually military feat the line of its bright image which — is not defining, but finishing. The characteristic feature of the Abkhazian mentality — transfer of merits of the representative of the people on all people caused a situation when this young man became for the battling Abkhazia a symbol of Russia and a symbol of hope for Russia.

Really, peculiar to Alexander Bar-dodymu an attraktivnost, quiet courage, fidelity in friendship, the sequence in words and acts, determination and courage, self-sacrificing readiness to protect weak, sensitivity, not - the verbosity, strict external beauty are the embodiment of traditional values of the Russian culture. Their so high concentration in one personality, brightness of manifestations, do Aleksandra Bardodyma by the carrier national nravstven-

ideal leg. "We are the people not of businessmen, and poets. Sasha left as "the slave of honor", as the person not only words, but also an act, that is the poet. The poet on that and the poet that carries out national idea of honor and advantage. It was the character in which lines of the Cossack from Zaporizhia Sechi (such is the sort Bardodymov) are combined with lines of the Russian hereditary intellectual" — the literary teacher poet Lev of Ozerov12 emphasized it. At the same time, the feature of a situation is that the Russian young man having this complex of moral qualities at the same time acted as the spokesman of an ideal stereotype of life and behavior of the Abkhazian male. About such rare people the Abkhazians say: "Apsuara of an ilsna dykoup" — "he like Apsuar's spirit".

Not accidentally verses by Alexander Bardodym "Spirit of the nation", "Over the terrible city the peals", "The gray-headed Caucasus", written already during fighting, were printed in fighting leaves, became favourite front, and now and folk songs. Classically Russian in a form, they undoubtedly carry on tradition of the Abkhazian folk epic songs — not only on a figurative system, but also on the social function which is carried out by them. The same social function in Abkhazia is performed to this day also by an image of the poet where not only his life, but also death became a part of folklore. The fact of unwillingness of Abkhazians to disclose the tragic absurdity of original circumstances of death of Alexander is characteristic: povinuyas to the law of a genre, the rumor unanimously attributes to the hero proud death in fight.

Merge of ideals of two cultures in so high point also made Alexander Bardodym the person symbol. Considering its long-term aspiration to comprehension of national culture and spirituality of Abkhazia, here it is not necessary to speak about accident. G.G. Shlet notes that the person is capable "to be a part and spirit of other people. by long and persistent work, recreation of the spiritual way determining it" 13. Meanwhile, Alexander Bardodym managed to become the ideal Abkhazian, having remained ideal Russian that gives the chance to speak about an original bietnichnost of this unique personality.

Thus, during war of 1992-1993 which by right received the name of Patriotic war of the people of Abkhazia the phenomenon when representatives of other ethnic group actually became symbols of ethnic self-affirmation of Abkhazians was observed. The passionarity of these uncommon persons in combination with the high level of passional tension of society, stimulated the course of process of ethnogenesis of Abkhazians, having become one of the factors promoting transition of ethnic group to its highest form — the nations.

It is necessary to emphasize that the vast majority of the interviewed volunteers realized the public importance of own act.

In turn, Abkhazians also perceived volunteers not as individuals, but as representatives of the people. According to their judgments, Russian volunteers in Abkhazia defended not only own human dignity, but also honor of Russia. The dedication of volunteers, as well as activity of all Russians of good will who rendered the political, humanitarian, information aid of Abkhazia caused also orientation post-war out of -

a shnepolitichesky course of the Republic towards rapprochement and the union with the Russian Federation.

of Summary. The article is devoted to the tragic events of Georgian-Abkhaz armed conflict 1992-1993, and their background. The author researched and noted the significant role of volunteers, mostly selflessly and devotedly fought in the ranks of the Abkhaz army and contributed to its success.

Abkhazia, Georgian-Abkhazian war, volunteers, Alexander Bardodym. Keywords:

Abkhazia, Georgian-Abkhazian war, volunteers, Alexander Bardodym.

1. Rossiyskaya Gazeta. On February 19, 2010
2. A.F. Avidzba. Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-1993 and some issues of personal, ethnic and cultural self-identification. (Problems of identity and marginalism)//Abkhazovedeniye. Release of III. Sukhum, 2004. page 112.
3. Genocide of Abkhazians. M, 1997. page 58-59.
4. A.I. Broydo. A way to truth under firing / Predis. R.F. Kazakova. M, 2007. page 41
5. I.G. Ehrenburg. Collected works in nine volumes. T. 9. M, 1967. page 112.
6. Tsit. on: I.R. Marykhuba. War of Georgia against Abkhazia (1992-1993) / On abkh. language. Sukhum, 2006. page 203.
7. I.Sh. Tsushba is Volunteers of Patriotic war of the people of Abkhazia (August, 1992 — September, 1993). Sukhum, 2000. page 19-20.
8. V.K. Vremya's Basaria of ordeals. Sukhum, 2006. page 81.
9. In the same place. page 129.
10. V.V. Shariya. Preface of the originator//Heroes of Abkhazia: collection of essays. Issue I. Sukhum, 1995. page 4.
11. D.V. Akhuba People and chasteners. Articles, reports, interview. Gagra, 1993. page 54.
12. A.V. Bardodym Prorvatsya for a side (verses). - M, 1993. page 6-7.
13. G.G. Shpet. Introduction to ethnic psychology. SPb., 1996. page 153.
Lester Gary
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