New Abkhaz ‘Interior Minister’ Appointed

Leader of Russian-occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania today appointed Valter Butba as the new ‘interior minister’ to replace Dmitri Dbar, who was dismissed on December 2. 

Butba previously served as the deputy ‘interior minister’ from 2014 to 2016, during the administration of Bzhania’s predecessor, Raul Khajimba. Since 2016, he headed the ‘interior ministry’ efforts against corruption in the private sector.

Earlier, since 2001, Butba held various positions in the Russian Interior Ministry (MVD), including in the Main Directorate of Economic Security and Combating the Corruption, according to the Sokhumi-based Apsnypress news agency. He has also a medal received a medal “For Distinction in the Protection of Public Order,” decreed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

Bzhania sacked Dmitri Dbar following months-long calls by the opposition and war veterans for the dismissal of the ‘interior minister’ over a controversial brawl between police officials on one hand, and lawmakers and war veterans on the other, on Sokhumi promenade on September 30. The decision came amid concerns mounting over deteriorating law enforcement.

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