Abkhaz leader Alexander Ankvab mentioned “mafia, criminal groups” and “political circles close” to these groups when speaking about possible masterminds of his assassination attempt on February 22 when his motorcade was attacked killing one of his bodyguards.
“There are forces, which want Abkhazia to have controllable President and weak-willed, dependent supreme leadership,” Ankvab said in an interview with the Abkhaz official news agency Apsnipress on February 23.
“Abkhazia should not turn into a country where criminal, extremist groups and political circles close to them would be able to undermine plans to establish order.”
“I share opinion of the Abkhaz citizens, that it was an assassination attempt on our statehood and sovereignty and that it was an attempt to destabilize situation from within,” he said.
“Such crimes and terrorist acts are well paid for. Ordinary people, peasant, workers and representatives of medium business do not possess such money. Only wealthy people or mafia, criminal groups have such money.”
Ankvab also said that “extremism” and “groups inclined towards using extreme means in politics” were “especially dangerous” for Abkhazia.
“Plans to fight crime is not my whim,” he continued, “this is the demand of the time and majority of our population. We will fight against those who destabilize situation and who would like to derail Abkhazia from the path of developing and strengthening democratic and civilized state based on rule of law.”
He vowed to undertake “tough measures” against this “dangerous process” and added: “I hope, that this is not a deep rooted process and it is still possible to fight against it.”
“Support of the people gives me strength and confidence in truthfulness of our actions. I do not want people to have sense of fear because of what happened yesterday,” he said.
Also on February 23 Apsnipress reported that a team of investigators and forensic experts from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrived in Sokhumi to assist Abkhaz law enforcement agencies in investigating the assignation attempt on Ankvab.