Minister for Defence of Abkhazia

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Minister for Defence of the Republic of Abkhazia
Mirab Kishmaria

since 26 June 2007
Appointer President of Abkhazia
Term length unrestricted
Inaugural holder Vladimir Arshba
Formation 11 October 1992

The office of Minister for Defence (Abkhaz: атәыла хьчара аминистр, Georgian: თავდაცვის მინისტრი, Russian: министр обороны) has been one of the most important in the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia[1] due to the ongoing conflict with Georgia.[2] The position was created 11 October 1992, shortly after the outbreak of the 1992-1993 war with Georgia. The first Minister for Defence was Vladimir Arshba, but due to his injuries for most of the time his functions were carried out by Deputy Minister for Defence and Chief of the General Staff Sultan Sosnaliev, who eventually also formally succeeded Arshba on 25 April 2003. Sosnaliev oversaw Abkhazia's successful expulsion of Georgian forces and remained Defence Minister until on 1 July 1996 he resigned to return to his native Kabardia.

Sosnaliev's successor was Vladimir Mikanba, who held the position during the May 1998 war in the Gali district and the October 2001 incursion of Chechen fighters down the Kodori valley.

Mikanba was succeeded by Raul Khajimba, who would go on to become Prime Minister, and who is the current Vice President of Abkhazia. 22 April 2003, when Khajimba became Prime Minister, Viacheslav Eshba became Minister for Defence. On 8 November 2004, during the height of the crisis following the 2004 Presidential election, a source within the government claimed that Eshba had been replaced by Mukhamed Kilba, the deputy chief of Khajimba's presidential campaign, but this was denied by Prime Minister Nodar Khashba.[3]

On 25 February 2005, newly elected Predident Sergei Bagapsh called on Sultan Sosnaliev to become Defence Minister once more. Sosnaliev agreed and held the office until shortly after his 65th birthday on 8 May 2007 he resigned for personal reasons.[4]

26 June 2007 then Deputy Defence Minister Mirab Kishmaria was appointed Sosnaliev's successor. During the August 2008 war in South Ossetia, he oversaw the Abkhazian conquest of so-called Upper Abkhazia, the only part of Abkhazia that had remained under Georgian control since the 1992-1993 war. Kishmaria remains Minister of Defence until the present day.

List of people to hold the office[edit]

# Name Entered office Left office President Comments
1 Vladimir Arshba 11 October 1992 [2] 25 April 1993 Vladislav Ardzinba
2 Sultan Sosnaliyev 25 April 1993 [2] 1 July 1996 [2] First time
3 Vladimir Mikanba July 1996 9 December 2002 [5]
4 Raul Jumka-ipa Khajimba 9 December 2002 [5] 22 April 2003
5 Viacheslav Eshba 22 April 2003 [5] 25 February 2005 [6]
6 Sultan Sosnaliyev 25 February 2005 [7] 8 May 2007 [4] Sergei Bagapsh Second time
7 Mirab Boris-ipa Kishmaria 26 June 2007 [8] Incumbent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Abkhazia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.
  2. ^ a b c d "Полководец Султан Сосналиев". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Премьер-министр Абхазии не подтвердил назначение нового министра обороны непризнанной республики". Кавказский узел. 8 November 2004. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Министр обороны Абхазии ушел в отставку". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c "Регистрация средства массовой информации Эл №77 - 8262". Секретные материалы России. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Указ Президента Абхазии №1 от 14.02.2005". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 14 February 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "Указ Президента Абхазии №26 от 25.02.2005". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 25 February 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  8. ^ "Мераб Кишмария назначен на должность Министра обороны Республики Абхазия". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 26 June 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2009.