ON THE PROBLEM OF GEORGIAN TERRITORIAL PRETENSIONS REGARDING SOCHI DISTRICT
The historical sources of the antique epoch (Flavius, Arianne) clearly show that in the 2nd century the Georgian (Kartvelian) population, namely, Laz people, really dwelt in the North-East part of the Black Sea region. Beginning from the 5th century, the territory between the regions of Apkhazeti and Jiqeti was known under the name Nikopsia. During the period of the 8th -11th centuries, Nikopsia was a part of the Georgian principality of Abkhazeti. The following Georgian expressions which refer to the old Georgian territories: “nikopsiidan darubandamde “–– “spread from Nikopsia to Darubandi” and “ovsetidan sperad aragatsamde” – “beginning from Oseti through Speri to Aragats” - are historically confirmed and well known from the times of the Georgian King Davit Aghmashenebeli (David the Builder). Those territories were the important part of the Georgian Kingdom under the rule of David Aghmashenebeli. The intensive process of migration of the Abkhaz –Adygh people from the North Caucasus to the sea-side regions began in the 13th century. In the 14th century Georgia lost a part of its territory, namely, the outmost principality Saeristao, a part of Abkazeti region, the territory between the rivers Nikopsia and Bzipi. This processes caused expulsion of the Georgian population from the region and in parallel, moving and settling of the North Caucasus people to the mentioned region. At the time when the late middle centuries began, the Georgian population had already disappeared from the territory between the rivers Nikopsia and Bzipi. Beginning from the 30-ies of the 19th century, Russia started the process of adoption of the Sochi territory and its surroundings. It seems that at the mentioned time the territories were almost uninhabited. The Tsarist Russia tried to occupy the territory by Russian inhabitants but Russian people were accustomed to living in the prairies, called steps in Russian, so they were not eager to dwell on the sea side territory. Later, Russia inhabited these territories by Ukrainians, Estonians and Moldavians. At the end of the 19th century, the Georgians from different regions of Georgia began to live there too (from Samegrelo, Racha).
In March 1918, incited and supported by bolshevik Russia, Abkhaz bolsheviks announced the Soviet power in Sokhumi and addressed Russia for help and support. The council of Abkhaz people in its turn addressed Tbilisi (the Trans-Caucasian Seim) to help and support Abkhazeti against bolsheviks. The Georgian Army under the command of General Giorgi Mazniashvili liberated Abkhazeti and then occupies Sochi and Tuapse. The representatives of the Russian Volunteer Army Generals - Mikhail Alekseev and Anton Denikin, in the form of ultimatum, requested the Georgian Army to retreat. Mazniashvili offered negotiations to the Generals of the Russian Volunteers Army. On the 6th of September, this Army occupied Tuapse. The negotiations between the Government of Georgia and representatives of the Russian Army took place on September 6th but they brought no results. General Denikin united all the anti-Soviet forces in the South of Russia and becan military activities to occupy Sochi. In December, the soldiers of the Denikin Army occupied first Sochi and then Gagra. After the Bolshevik Army destroyed the military forces of General Denikin, the Georgian Army succeeded in deoccupying Gagra though it did not even try to enter Sochi and thus, stopped its actions at the Psou River.. Thus, the territorial pretensions of Georgia towards the Sochi and Nikopsia (Tuapse), from the viewpoint of the first native inhabitants, are reasonable, though it must be said that those territories were not taken off from Georgia by Russia. Long before Russians came to the territory, the Georgians had left it as a result of the expansion of the mountainous people. As for the role of Sergo Ordjonikidze in regard with Sochi problem, he did not have any bearing on it.
Key Words: Sochi region, Apkhazeti, Democratic Republic of Georgia.