''Circassian World follows closely developments affecting the fate of our Abkhazian brothers and lends its strongest support to the struggle for the independence of Abkhazia.''
ABKHAZIA IS ABKHAZIA
Аҧсадгьыл зцәыӡыз зeгьы ицәыӡит.
He who has lost his homeland has lost everything.
- Abkhazian proverb
On 22nd-23rd April 1993, while the Georgian-Abkhazian war (1992-93) was still raging, a conference on the Caucasus was held at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Stanislav Lakoba (historian, one-time Speaker of the Abkhazian Parliament, and currently Chairman of Abkhazia’s Security Council), gave a presentation entitled ‘Abkhazia is Abkhazia’. An English translation was subsequently published in Central Asian Survey (1995). Though the war has been over for 15 years, during which time Abkhazia has not only maintained but with ever increasing economic success strengthened its ‘de facto’ independent status, it remains both a thorn in the side of Georgian aspirations to move ever closer to the EU and NATO and a bone of contention with Russia. Since most of what Lakoba had to say in 1993 is just as relevant today, a few paragraphs from his presentation (edited by the original translator) are offered below.