Last week's hair-trigger uprising in Abkhazia, the Georgian breakaway region supported by Russia, ended in a matter of days. It was over before it could be properly understood or even noticed by the outside world.

The proximity to events in Ukraine, both geographical and political, grabbed attention. But in Abkhazia, no lasting geopolitical shifts are expected. This was a change from within.

De-facto President Aleksander Ankvab resigned on June 1 after putting up only token resistance to a diverse band of opposition groups who stormed the building from which he governed. A new presidential vote has been called for 24 August. In the meantime, de-facto Parliamentary Speaker Valery Bganba is serving as the region's leader.

Local observers see this outcome as both the result of Ankvab's own shortcomings and as a failure of the breakaway region's system of governance.

Inal Khashig, editor-in-chief of the Sokhumi-based Chegemskaya Pravda newspaper, argued that 61-year-old Ankvab had failed to serve as Abkhazia's "chief foreman" and fix all of the territory's many problems, ranging from limited jobs to a crumbling public order, as had been expected of him. “What was expected of him was to set things in order in various fields,” Khashig said in commentary broadcast by the online Asarkia TV.

When anti-government sentiment erupted in late May, Ankvab made tactical mistakes, argued RFE/RL reporter Demis Palandov. “He failed to go out to meet the people… which created an image of a president, who is afraid to face his own people and does not respect the authority of the elders, who demanded him to come out to meet with the people gathered outside [the presidential office],” Palandov said in comments to the Tbilisi-based

He failed to go out to meet the people… which created an image of a president, who is afraid to face his own people

In his departure speech, Ankvab blamed his opponents for leading an uprising against him. He accused them of making past attempts on his life and claimed that his resignation was the only way to bring the temperature down, and preserve Abkhazia's statehood (which is only recognised by Russia and some of its allies). His current whereabouts are not clear.

Looking beyond Ankvab’s personality, some blamed Abkhazia's de-facto constitution and the powers it vested in the president. Hastily drafted and largely unmodified since Abkhazia cast off Georgian rule in the early 1990s, the document provides for a president, who is a “czar” and “king of the heap,” said analyst Alkhas Tkhagushev. The founding law was a post-war, transitional document, which now does not reflect the current thirst for more democracy and communal decision-making, Tkhagushev told Asarkia.

Moscow, the regional power with the most direct influence on Abkhazia, which houses hundreds of Russian troops, played the role of arbiter between Ankvab and the opposition.

For Tbilisi, developments in Abkhazia remain out of reach, behind a heavy cordon of Russian troops. The most immediate concern for Tbilisi is the fate of those ethnic Georgians who remain in Abkhazia and whose status is debated by separatist politicians.

This article was originally published by Giorgi Lomsadze for Eurasianet. It is part of the Guardian's New East network.