Sunday, August 20, 2006

Holiday in Abkhazia, It's tough kid, but it's life

Whan Stalin went to his dacha he went to Abkhazia. Like a few other places in the Caucasus, Abkhazia is a semi-autonomous region.

What exactly are these places? The answers, always passionate, depend on who is asked. Nations? States? Ethnic statelets? Offshore investment regions, away from the eyes and reach of regulators? Lawless zones for black marketeers, fugitives and terrorists?
Some of these places seem like they would be good bases for pirates.


  1. I think a semi-autonomous region is a bit like Scotland - some self-government, but not enough to start showing up at the UN. Likewise, Puerto Rico.

    The really exciting places in the world are patently independent countries that no one (or hardly anyone) recognises as such - Northern Cyprus, Somaliland, Christiania, Trans-Dinistria etc.. I think Abkhazia is one of them now, but back in Soviet times it was a communist Scotland.

  2. Transnistria (as mentioned in the NYT article) sounds very exciting, a real life Thieve's Quarter.

  3. I read an article in which this geezer went there... aparently his driver was afraid to stay there after dark.

    Reputedly they turn the lights off in Moldova whenever the government there gets shirty... they have all their power stations or something.