One killed in attack on Georgia rebel region leader

Print version
Feb. 22, 2012, 11:20 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters


MOSCOW - The leader of a Russian-backed Georgian breakaway region narrowly survived an assassination attempt on Wednesday that killed one of his bodyguards and badly wounded another, local media reported. Abkhazia, a sliver of land along the Black Sea coast, has been racked by turmoil and ethnic tension since breaking away from Tbilisi's rule as the Soviet Union collapsed two decades ago.

The Kremlin recognised Abkhazia as an independent state after a 2008 war in which Russia crushed a Georgian attempt to take control of another breakaway region, South Ossetia. Russia dominates the two regions which Georgia claims as its own.

Authorities in Abkhazia said their self-styled leader, Alexander Ankvab, was not wounded when a remote controlled mine exploded in the path of his cortege as he was driven to work.

Attackers then opened fire with machine guns and a grenade launcher, local media said.

"Abkhaz President Alexander Ankvab was not wounded in the assassination attempt and is now at his desk," his head of security, Anri Bogua, was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

"One guard has been killed and one is in an extremely grave condition," Bogua said.

Ankvab has been the target of at least four assassination attempts in the past, including an attack on his house with a grenade launcher while he was vice president.

Officials in Abkhazia say they are trying to use Russian protection to grasp independence and throw off centuries of Georgian domination.

But Georgia says the region is completely dominated by Moscow and is being used as a hideout for Russian criminal gangs and corrupt officials.
The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.