Media in Abkhazia

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Media in Abkhazia consists of several TV channels, newspapers, magazines and radio stations. Some of them are government-owned, others are private. Apsnypress is the government information agency. Russian media are generally also available and is popular.


The first newspaper appeared in Abkhazia in 1917,[1] Dmitry Gulia was its editor. It was succeeded by Apsny Kapsh (Red Abkhazia) in Soviet times. Alongside it there were numerous other publications in Abkhaz, Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Greek and Laz languages.[2] The 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhaz war which was followed by the exodus of a large share of the republic's population and a blockade had a profound effect on all the media, with only a few surviving it.

Legislative framework[edit]

Media outlets[edit]

Print media[edit]

There are two government and several private newspapers, published in Russian (predominantly) and Abkhaz.[3] The circulation ranges from 1,000 to 5,000, most of the newspapers are weeklies.[4] There is a degree a diversity, opposition media criticise the government over the wide range of issues such as Abkhazian-Russian relations and internal politics.[2][5][6] Novy Den and Chegemskaya Pravda newspapers had a pro-opposition tone during the 2009 presidential elections.[5] There have been several claims of harassment of journalists by the authorities. In September 2009, a court in Sukhumi gave journalist Anton Krivenyuk a three-year suspended sentence for allegedly libelling Bagapsh. Some Abkhazian journalists viewed this as an intimidation of opposition in the run-up to the elections.[5]


Radio broadcasting[edit]

Main article: Radio in Abkhazia

Radio Soma is the only private radio station is very popular, broadcasting 24 hours a day, primarily music, but also carrying some news and, at times, live talk shows with invited guests.[4] The state radio, like state TV, broadcasts for 3–4 hours a day.[7]

Television broadcasting[edit]

The most important channel is a state-run one (Apsua TV), which is broadcast up to 6 hours a day, with 15-minute news in Abkhaz and Russian.[4][5] It is the only local channel available all over the country. Abaza TV, the only private station, reaches only Sukhumi and its environs.[4] It is owned by Beslan Butba and supported him during the 2009 presidential elections.[5] Another private channel, Sukhum-TV existed in the capital in 2006, there are local TV stations in Gagra and Tkvarcheli.[6][7]

Russian channels, such as Channel One, Russia 1, NTV and Kultura, are available throughout Abkhazia.[6] There is an access to Georgian TV in some parts of Abkhazia as well.[7]

On 25 January, Prime Minister Artur Mikvabia released, upon her request, Emma Khojava from the post of General Director of the Abkhazian State TV and Radio, and appointed Roland Bganba as her temporary replacement.[8][9] On 29 January, former Culture Minister Leonid Enik was appointed as the new General Director.[10]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]