Sultan Sosnaliyev

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Soslan Sosnaliyev
7th Minister of Defence of Abkhazia
In office
February 2005[1] – May 2007[2]
Preceded by Mukhamed Kilba
Succeeded by Mirab Kishmaria
2nd Minister of Defence of Abkhazia
In office
April 1993 – July 1996[1]
Preceded by Vladimir Arshba
Succeeded by Vladimir Mikanba
Personal details
Born 23 April 1942
Baksan, Kabardino-Balkar ASSR, Soviet Union
Died 23 November 2008 (2008-11-24) (aged 66)
Moscow, Russia

Sultan Aslambekovich Sosnaliyev (Russian: Султан Асламбекович Сосналиев) was a Soviet Army officer of Circassian ethnicity who served as a commander of Abkhaz and allied forces during the War in Abkhazia and as the defence minister of Abkhazia in 1993–1996 and 2005–2007.

Early life[edit]

Sultan Sosnaliyev was born in Baksan in Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, to Kabardin parents. He graduated from the Syzran aircraft school and from the Zhukov anti-aircraft military academy and served in the Soviet anti-aircraft forces for 29 years. He retired in 1990 in the rank of a colonel and worked in Kabardino-Balkaria's construction industry till 1992.

Role in the war[edit]

Sosnaliyev became the head of the military department of the newly formed Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus. After the beginning of the War in Abkhazia he arrived to Abkhazia with the group of Kabardin volunteers through on 15 August 1992. He was appointed the head of the staff of the Gudauta-based State Committee of the Defence and was one of the planners of the victorious Battle of Gagra.

He was appointed the minister of defence in April 1993 and later awarded the rank of Major General. Sosnaliyev and Sergei Dbar planned the July and September Sukhumi offensives. On 24-25 March 1994 Sosnaliyev was in charge of the last operation of the war - capture of the village of Lata in the Kodori Valley.

Post-war life[edit]

Sosnaliyev resigned in July 1996 and returned to Kabardino-Balkaria. After Sergei Bagapsh had been elected the President of Abkhazia he offered the office of the minister of defence to Sosnaliyev as "reforms were desperately needed"[3] in the Abkhazian army. The latter agreed and served in the Abkhazian government as a minister of defence and a vice-premier till May 2007.

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b Official site of the president of Abkhazia, Полководец Султан Сосналиев (Commander Sultan Sosnaliyev)
  2. ^, Министр обороны Абхазии ушел в отставку, (Abkhazian minister of defence resigns), 08.05.2007
  3. ^, интервью президента Абхазии Сергея Багапш, (Interview of Sergei Bagapsh, the President of Abkhazia), 04.03.2005