The politician Igor Drandin, 20 years later, again visited Abkhazia and was horrified: over the years, nothing has changed there, but everything has only gotten worse:
“At the beginning of the 2000s, I was there with a group of students. Surprisingly, nothing has changed in Abkhazia for a long time. Perhaps the dilapidated Soviet infrastructure has aged even more.
In the once popular resort town of Pitsunda, not a single new building, not a single new pedestrian path, nothing, nothing at all have been built in 20 years. Even the ancient Soviet tiles on the embankment remained unchanged. Rust, broken glass, grayness, crumbling concrete slabs, palm trees and the sea - this is what Pitsunda looks like in 2020.
Today Abkhazia is a poverty-stricken country, after the war everyone who could leave for Russia or Georgia did it. The population of Abkhazia is about 250 thousand people. But this is the official data of 2016. In fact, at the moment, there are fewer people.
After crossing the Russian-Abkhaz border, civilization ends. Abandoned houses, devastation and mountains. Signs of life can be seen only at the places where tourists are brought.
Patriotic Abkhazians told me 2 decades ago that the cause of poverty is a war that ended quite recently, and it takes time for life to get better. Today, at the end of 2020, they tell the same thing, they say that they need to be patient a little longer.
Abkhazia has amazing nature, there are places worth visiting. For example, Lake Ritsa and New Athos. But it is dangerous to come to rest in Abkhazia. There is a bad crime situation and no medicine.
Abkhazia is supported by Russian taxpayers. The share of Russian money in the budget of Abkhazia ranges from 50 to 70 percent. Our country is the main creditor of Abkhazia. At the same time, the debts have been repeatedly restructured by the Russian authorities. In return, the citizens of Russia do not receive anything.
Yes, I also wanted to write about wine. There is no Abkhaz wine. Moldovan concentrate is taken in barrels and poured into bottles with the inscription "wine of Abkhazia". The local wine is vinegar. But the tangerines are very good..."
This post, as expected, caused a lot of responses, and from the former and current residents of this country, as well as from Russian citizens:
- A fertile place, stunning beach and sea. There this could be done - the Cote d'Azur would bite its' elbows... but everything is as usual...
- It will be so until Abkhazia returns to Georgia. Georgians from Batumi made candy. A new resort, Anaklia, was built on the site where the cows were grazing. Right on the border with the unrecognized territory. Tourists on the Anaklia beach see the eyes of Apsuians (Abkhazians, ed.) Burning with envy from the border bushes on the other side of the border.
- Russia does not need the development of occupied Abkhazia, the Kremlin needs a buffer zone between Sochi and Georgia aspiring to NATO. Well, the buffer zone should be just like that.
- And with local products is bad. They bring everything from Russia: meat, milk, eggs. Its only figs, lemons, tangerines.
- Many are mining. And even a tariff that is several times less than the Russian one is not paid. They just steal. One traffic policeman in Novy Afon has a large hotel and farm. He pays 1,500 rubles a year for electricity, I'm not mistaken, 1,500 rubles. They don't want to go to Russia, pride doesn't allow, they don't want to go to Georgia, anger and resentment get in the way. But it does not interfere with being treated in Georgia. The saddest thing is that they sold all the boxwood. Two tobacco factories of counterfeit cigarettes were built. For Europe. Turkey roofs. The conclusion is simple and sad. The nation is unable to carry out the functioning of a state institution. Mostly a parody. Smart and competent specialists and managers survived, including Abkhazians. They live on handouts from Russia and they steal 95%. This is beneficial for Moscow.