I’ve written a few articles now both here at SOFREP and at Foreign Intrigue on what I identified last year as fracture points. Loosely defined, fracture points represent geographical areas and regions occupying space along important lines of demarcation between the two belligerents and represent geostrategically important terrain straddling the two competing sides of the conflict between Russia and the West. These areas are fissures between the two sides, representing contested strategically valuable terrain in the ongoing conflict. You can find my articles on Abkhazia both here at SOFREP and at Foreign Intrigue:

In one of several articles on the issue of Russian exploitation of instability in fracture points lining the area of Eastern Europe through the South Caucasus, I have noted that instability in places such as Crimea, Transnistria (Moldova), Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia serves the interests of a Russian foreign policy strategy that has been resurgent in the past 24 months. An increase in defense spending, a dedicated strategy to “professionalize” the Russian military, and an outward-looking Kremlin bent on imperialist policy with regard to its near abroad in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia has renewed fears in some quarters of a Russian strategy of fomenting conflict. This conflict, analysts say, serves the interests of the Russian government as it seeks to dislodge regimes that have been heretofore less-than-open to Kremlin pressure to support Russian interests and have made themselves targets for Russian aggressive policy.

One of the more intriguing points of pressure continues to be the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia. Following the Russo-Georgian war in 2008, Russian policy makers and strategists continued to support the separatist factions in both Abkhazia and in fellow breakaway region South Ossetia to the east. In August, the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia held a presidential election. In the lead-up to the election on August 30th, analysts and observers began noting the importance of Abkhazia to Russian foreign policy strategists. Raul Khajimba, twice defeated previously in his candidacies for the office of President of Abkhazia was declared the winner in the 2014 election. You can find my article on the election here: Presidential Election in Abkhazia and the Marginalization of Ethnic Minorities.

Russian military might and diplomatic coercion has exacerbated the fissure that exists between the government of Abkhazian capital of Sukhumi and the Georgian government of President Giorgi Margvelshvili in Tbilisi. Georgian political rhetoric has escalated in recent weeks as talk of Russian annexation of Abkhazia has intensified: