The Chronology of Soviet Abkhazia: 1921
From “Soviet Abkhazia in Dates” compiled by L.M. Pritzker
This is a translation from the 1981 Russian-language Soviet book, “Советская Абхазия в датах: ХРОНОЛОГИЯ ВАЖНЕЙШИХ ПОЛИТИЧЕСКИХ , ЭКОНОМИЧЕСКИХ И КУЛЬТУРНЫХ СОБЫТИЙ” [Soviet Abkhazia in Dates: The Chronology of the Most Important Political, Economic and Cultural Events].
Part I: Year 1921
Publishing House “Alashara”
A.E. Kuprava (Doctor of Historical Sciences)
B.E. Sagaria (Candidate of Historical Sciences)
The brochure provides a brief overview of the most important events in the field of economic and cultural construction and state-building in the Abkhazian ASSR from the establishment of Soviet power to the present in chronological order.
Compiled by L.M. Pritzker
“Don’t say — Abkhazia is small!
In the commonwealth of our glorious Republics,
We are a vital branch of the powerful trunk
That is the Soviet land, equal among equals.”
— B. Shinkuba
The history of Soviet Abkhazia does not lack important events and great people, their significance extending far beyond the borders of our region. This brochure provides a brief, but consistent summary of the main dates worth remembering, highlights the most important and significant events of the 60-year long path of the Abkhazian ASSR. It showcases how the Abkhazian people began state-building under the leadership of the Communist Party, the process of restoring and reconstructing the national economy, the great successes of the cultural revolution, the contribution to the defense of the motherland during the Great Patriotic War, the participation of the Abkhazian ASSR workers in the construction of communism; it underlines the close economic, political and cultural ties of Abkhazia with the fraternal people of the Soviet Union.
The brochure is based on archival material and published sources. It is a partial publication of the chronicle of events accepted by the Abkhazian Organization of the Georgian Historical Society.
February: The uprising of the working people of Georgia and Abkhazia against the Menshevik government.
February 17: The formation of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia led by E.A. Eshba.
February 20: Appeal of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia to the Abkhazian people to rise up and struggle for Soviet power.
February 22: The first issue of the newspaper “Voice of Abkhazian Labor” [Голос Трудовой Абхазии], an organ of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia, was published in the city of Sochi.
February, 22–23: Soviet power is established in Gagra.
February 26: Soviet power is established in Gudauta.
March 1–3: Fighting near New Athos.
March 4: Soviet power is established in Sokhumi; the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia sends a telegraph to V.I. Lenin  about its proclamation in Abkhazia.
March 5: Appeal of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia to the workers and peasants of Georgia for a joint struggle against the Menshevik dictatorship.
March 5: The Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia creates the Soviet of National Economy (Sovnarkhoz) of Abkhazia.
March 6: In Sokhumi, at an enlarged plenum of the Revolutionary Committee, a new composition of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia is approved and the Organizational Bureau of the RCP(b) in Abkhazia is established.
March 6: Soviet power is established in Ochamchire.
March 6: The Central Organizational Bureau of the Communist Youth Union of Abkhazia is formed.
March 7: Soviet power is established in Gali.
March 8: Rally in Sokhumi on Freedom Square dedicated to the victory of Soviet power in Abkhazia.
March 15: The Council of Trade Unions (Совпроф) of Abkhazia is created.
March 24: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the permission of petty trade and handicraft production.
March 25: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the nationalization of industry.
March 28–29: Meeting in Batumi of senior officials of the Caucasus Bureau and Abkhazia on the issue of the structure of Soviet power and the Communist Party in Abkhazia.
March 30: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on schools.
March 31: The Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia proclaims of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.
April 4: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the nationalization of theaters.
April 14: Letter from V.I. Lenin: “To the Comrade Communists of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Daghestan and the Mountaineer Republic”.
April 19: The Abkhazian branch of the Russian telegraph agency “ROSTA” — “Abtsentropechat” is created.
April 19: Departments of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia are reorganized into people’s commissariats.
April 20: The first issue of the weekly Abkhazian newspaper “Apsny Kapsh,” the organ of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia, is published.
April 24: The first communist subbotnik [Voluntary collective unpaid work to perform socially useful labor, initially conducted on Saturdays — ed.] in Sokhumi.
April 25: Beginning of the formation of a separate Abkhazian brigade of the Red Army.
April 30: Order of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the nationalization of private estates and the formation of state farms.
May 1: The first kindergarten is opened in Sokhumi.
May 16: A Soviet party school is opened in Sokhumi.
May 21: The Office of the Authorized People’s Commissariat of Health of the RSFSR for the health resorts of Abkhazia is created, followed by the Main Resort Administration of the People’s Commissariat of Health of the Abkhazian ASSR.
May 21: Declaration of the Revolutionary Committee of Georgia “On the Independence of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.”
May 26-June 3: A congress of the working people of Abkhazia is held in Sokhumi.
May-December: The writer K.I. Paustovsky lives and works in Sokhumi.
June: In Sokhumi, under the leadership of D.I. Gulia, an amateur travelling Abkhazian theater troupe is created.
July 4: The People’s Central Library of Abkhazia is opened.
July 7: The first congress of trade unions of Abkhazia is held.
July 13: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the nationalization of banking institutions.
August 7: The Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia formed the Central Commission for the Assistance to the Starving in the Volga Region.
September 18: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the introduction of a tax in kind.
October 2–6: The second congress of trade unions of Abkhazia takes place.
October 10: Pedagogical and industrial technical schools are opened in Sokhumi.
December 12: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the eradication of illiteracy among the adult population of the republic.
December 16: A union treaty is signed between Georgia and Abkhazia.
December 17: Decree of the Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia on the creation of a worker-peasant militia in the republic.
- This telegram was sent by the Abkhazian Revolutionary Committee on 26th March, 1921. It reached Moscow on 28th March:
“To: Lenin, Stalin.
Rostov-on-Don: Kavburo [Caucasian Bureau], Central Committee, note by direct transmission to Beloborodov.
Tiflis: To Ordzhonikidze.
From 130 PTK 1414 226, 27, 2, 7, to Lenin and Stalin only.
Received March 28 in Moscow.
Since the restoration of Soviet Power in Abkhazia three weeks have passed. We still have no definite indications as to whether Soviet Abkhazia will be an independent republic or an administrative unit and of what kind Abkhazia’s policy should be. Two meetings of senior officials of Abkhazia, with the participation of Comrades Ivanitski (Plenipotentiary of the Caucasian Bureau’s Central Committee), […] Vlasov and […] Vorobev, unanimously reached the following conclusion: Firstly, Abkhazia should be declared a Soviet Socialist Republic. Secondly, Soviet Abkhazia should be directly included in the All-Russian Federation. Thirdly, the general policy of Abkhazia should be moderately cautious with respect to the petty bourgeoisie and the peasantry.
The motives behind these decisions are: Firstly, the tendency towards national self-determination among the Abkhazians, who make up 80% of the population of the Sokhumi District, was sparked by the chauvinist policy of the Georgian Mensheviks. Secondly, this same policy has caused among the Abkhazians a massive desire to link their fate directly with the Russian Federation. Thirdly, the declaration of the independence of Abkhazia will consolidate the liberating nature of the Red Army’s struggle in the minds of the working people of Abkhazia and in public opinion abroad. Any delay in solving the basic problem will greatly complicate all our work and pose us the question as to whether we can continue to be responsible for it: should no quick response be received, objective conditions will force us to take responsibility for the declaration of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.
Revolutionary Committee of Abkhazia. Eshba, Lakoba, Akirtava. Secretary of the Organizational Bureau of the Communist Party, Agniev.
Sokhumi, 26th March.”