Country List Committee Report, December 1996
Another New Country
By Don Jensen, Chairman
Earlier this year, the seven-member NASWA Country List Committee added two new countries: Moldavian S.S.R. (Pridnestrovie) and Konigsberg (European R.S.F.S.R.)(Kaliningrad).
This followed a lengthy and detailed committee study of the shortwave and political situation in various areas of the former USSR. At the same time, another ex-Soviet area also was considered for “radio countryhood” but at the time was rejected because a majority felt the evidence then was insufficient that a SW transmitter was actually located within its territorial boundaries.
Since that time, more information has surfaced. The Country List Committee has voted again. As a result, you may mow add the following new radio country to your copy of the NASWA RADIO COUNTRY LIST under Europe:
- Georgian S.S.R. (Abkhazia)
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Abkhaz of northwestern Georgia staged a 1992 uprising against the Georgian government. Abkhazian attacks on the Abkhaz capital of Sukhumi in 1993 (aided “unofficially” by the Russians) left 7,000 dead. Some 200,000 ethnic Georgians were driven from the territory. A cease fire agreement eventually led to Georgian forces withdrawing from Sukhumi and Abkhazian forces taking over. A peace accord was signed Dec. 1, 1993, and a Russian “peacekeeping” force was installed, with Russian troops patrolling the border. The Georgian refugees were not allowed to return.
Within the former USSR, Abkhazia always enjoyed a certain autonomy as the Abkhazian A.S.S.R. within Georgian S.S.R. Abkhazia and Georgia had an uneasy relationship for many years, with Abkhazia occasionally putting forth proposals to become part of Russia. Georgia has always considered Abkhazia part of Georgia, but with the uprising, lost effective control over the area.
In November 1994, the Abkhazian parliament adopted a new constitution designating Abkhazia an independent sovereign republic.
According to a BBC Monitoring Service source, when Abkaz Radio first was heard in 1993, it definitely broadcast from a medium wave transmitter at Krasnodar in Russia. The station began broadcasting on shortwave in 1994 but it was unclear if these broadcasts were aired from facilities within Abkhazia.
A letter from Yury Kutarba, Deputy General Director of Abkhazi State TV and Radio Co., now says specifically that the Radio of the Republic of Akbhazia shortwave transmitter on (nominal) 9495 kHz (5 kw) “is in Abkhazia, in her capital, Sukhum” (Sukhumi).
Based on this information, the committee has added this country to the NASWA Country List.
The committee, early in 1997, will begin discussing possible Country List format changes. This will not add or subtract any countries but may result in a different presentation of the list and its supplemental information. If you have any ideas or suggestions, you may send them to me, Don Jensen, Chairman, NASWA Country List Committee, 5204 70th Street, Kenosha, WI 53142, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.