- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Russian Ambassador Dmitry Vishernev was assassinated in Sukhum, the capital of Abkhazia, on Monday, in what some are calling a politically motivated attack.

Vishernev was first secretary of the Russian embassy in Abkhazia and was reportedly shot in the head. His wife Olga was seriously injured in the attack, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS said.

The tragedy coincided with the fifth anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Abkhazia, the report said.

“The law enforcement bodies in Abkhazia immediately declared that the terrorist act was thoroughly planned beforehand,” Noviye Izvestia newspaper said. “If the suggested motive of the terrorist act is correct, then it first prompts a conclusion that it has ‘a Georgian track.’ As a matter of fact, no subversive agents from Georgia, who were earlier involved in subversive acts in Abkhazia, and in the 1990s in particular, have been heard of in Abkhazia for more than five years already. Besides, their activity was traditionally confined to the Ghali region. One might suppose that there is a link between the murder of the diplomat with the recent developments in Abkhazia. Thus, recently, President of Abkhazia Aleksander Ankwab declared that Abkhazia was prepared to initiate lifting the ban on sale of land in Abkhazia to foreigners. However, it is well known that there are quite a few opponents of the suggested step in Abkhazia.”

A source from the government-run newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta said that the assassination of the Russian diplomat was “an outrageous event which might entail far reaching consequences.

Two versions of the crime cannot be ruled out: a political provocation and murder for reasons of professional activity. The fact that the assassination of the Russian diplomat coincided with the fifth anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Abkhazia speaks in favor of the first version. But Abkhazia is no Iraq or Afghanistan, where the life of a foreign diplomat is at risk every day. Abkhazia is a republic friendly to Russia and it has big respect for Russian citizens.”

“Moreover, the assassination of a guest who arrived in the Caucasus with goodwill is regarded in any place of this region as an act of blasphemy,” the newspaper said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide