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First secretary of the Russian embassy in Abkhazia Dmitry Vishernev shot dead

September 10, 2013, 13:59 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, September 10 (Itar-Tass) -- First secretary of the Russian embassy in Abkhazia Dmitry Vishernev was shot dead in Sukhum- the capital of Abkhazia, on Monday. He died of a gunshot wound in the head. The wife of the killed diplomat, Olga, was seriously wounded during the attack.

The tragedy coincided with the fifth anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Abkhazia. Representatives of the authorities of both Russia and Abkhazia have declared that the terrorist act was politically motivated.

“The law enforcement bodies in Abkhazia immediately declared that the terrorist act was thoroughly planned beforehand,” Noviye Izvestia newspaper said. "If the suggested motive of the terrorist act is correct, then it first prompts a conclusion that it has "a Georgian track". As a matter of fact, no subversive agents from Georgia, who were earlier involved in subversive acts in Abkhazia, and in the 1990s in particular, have been heard of in Abkhazia for more than five years already. Besides, their activity was traditionally confined to the Ghali region. One might suppose that there is a link between the murder of the diplomat with the recent developments in Abkhazia. Thus, recently, President of Abkhazia Aleksander Ankwab declared that Abkhazia was prepared to initiate lifting the ban on sale of land in Abkhazia to foreigners. However, it is well known that there are quite a few opponents of the suggested step in Abkhazia."

A source from Rossiskaya Gazeta, who is well familiar with the situation in Abkhazia, said that the assassination of the Russian diplomat was "an outrageous event which might entail far reaching consequences. Two versions of the crime cannot be ruled out: a political provocation and murder for reasons of professional activity," the source said. "The fact that the assassination of the Russian diplomat coincided with the fifth anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Abkhazia speaks in favor of the first version. But Abkhazia is no Iraq or Afghanistan, where the life of a foreign diplomat is at risk every day. Abkhazia is a republic friendly to Russia and it has big respect for Russian citizens," Rossiyskaya Gazeta said.

"Moreover, the assassination of a guest who arrived in the Caucasus with goodwill is regarded in any place of this region as an act of blasphemy," the newspaper said.

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