Support The Moscow Times!

MMA Fighter Jeff Monson Awarded Abkhazian Citizenship

Jeff Monson / Twitter

American mixed martial arts (MMA) star Jeff Monson was granted honorary citizenship on Thursday by the internationally unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia, which declared independence from Georgia in 1999.

The honor was bestowed upon Monson during a meeting with the breakaway region's president, Raul Khadzhimba, in the Abkhazian capital of Sukhumi. Monson is in town for an MMA match Thursday evening.

Khadzhimba granted Monson citizenship in recognition of “his great personal contribution to the protection and defense of the right of peoples to self determination and independence,” according to Interfax news agency.

Monson, a self-declared anarcho-communist and harsh critic of American foreign policy, sees himself as a fighter for unrecognized independence movements throughout the former Soviet Union.

Last month, he became the first American to receive citizenship from the self-declared People's Republic of Luhansk, a Russian-backed statelet in eastern Ukraine. With the help of Russia's Communist Party, Monson is applying for Russian citizenship before moving to Moscow.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.