by 'SOVIET ANALYST'
(Editor and Publisher Christopher Story), Vol. 21, N. 9-10, 1993:
'Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the Legally Elected and Legitimate
President of Georgia,
Describes the Evil Revenge of KGB & the Nomenklatura'
In the following exclusive
dispatch to SOVIET ANALYST, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the freely
elected and legitimate President of Georgia, explains how the long
arm of Moscow intervened in the affairs of Georgia and prevented
the realization of the people's wish to be fully politically
independent. He describes in anguished detail how this plot was
implemented, and the key role played in it by Eduard
Shevardnadze, in response to the requirements of Yevgeniy
Pnimakov, head of the so-called Russian Foreign Intelligence
Service, a manifestation of the KGB. The first sentence of
this remarkable report is of exceptional importance to
understanding events in Georgia, and also more broadly throughout
the USSR. Gamsakhurdia writes: 'From 1987 onwards, through out the
Soviet Union, 'democratic' and national liberation movements were
activated'. The last two words reveal that, as Anatoliy
Golitsin has explained in this service and in unpublished
Memoranda seen by the Editor of this service, the 'democratic' and
national liberation movements were not spontaneous, but controlled
- via the Komsomol and the KGB - by the Soviet authorities. At
least, that was the intention. In two of the Soviet Republics - Lithuania
and Georgia - there rose to positions of leadership genuine
anti-Communists and patriots. In both countries, the Communist/Nomenklatura
networks have been restored. The West has cynically
collaborated with Moscow in confining Georgia's fate, to which
this issue is specially devoted.
liberation movement, 'liberalization' and 'perestroika'
From 1987 onwards, throughout the
Soviet Union, 'democratic' and national liberation movements were
activated. The rulers of the USSR, realizing the impossibility of
continuing with the Cold War, yet not deviating from their
intention to retain their Communist Empire, embarked upon a period
of apparent changes and 'liberalization' under the label 'perestroika'.
Simultaneously, despite the freeing
of political prisoners, they continued their bloody repressions
against the national liberation movements, especially in Vilnius,
Tbilisi, Baku and in other centers. But in the face of the
pressure exerted by the peoples' will and by world public opinion,
they were forced to permit non-Communist elections to take place
in certain Republics - a step which led to Declarations of
Independence by these Republics and subsequently to the total
disintegration of the USSR.
In Georgia, the national
liberation and democratic movement achieved its ultimate triumph
on 28th October 1990, when the country's first
multi-party democratic elections were held. This was truly a
bloodless revolution - in which Communists were obliged to hand
power over to the democratically elected Parliament and Government.
For the first time in 70 years, Georgia began to enjoy all the
normal democratic freedom - a free press, political freedom, and
It is a
serious error to imagine, as some still do, that the Soviet
Government based in the Kremlin, and their local Communist
associates, surrendered in Tbilisi without a struggle. Following
the drastic, punitive measures of repression they had taken on 9th
April 1989 against the national movement, they realized that
their efforts had been in vain; so they lost no time in organizing
a fake opposition - buttressed by powerful groups of armed
criminals (the so called 'Mkhedrioni' gangs) which had been
legalized by the Communists for emergency use.
They 'legitimized' this opposition by means of the
creation of a so-called ' national congress', the members of which
were 'elected' by means of false elections, and which was brought
into existence for the sole purpose of replacing the true
opposition, conducting political warfare, and committing acts of
terrorism against the true national movement. In parallel with
these measures, the Communists activated criminal extremists in
so-called 'South Ossetia', who embarked upon a campaign of
repression and terrorism against the local Georgian population,
ruled directly from Moscow by the KGB and the Politburo.
By activating these forces, the
Communists' intention had been to prevent truly democratic
elections taking place in Georgia. However a combination of civil
disobedience, mass popular demonstrations, protest actions by
students and, finally a railway strike, compelled the Communist
authorities to permit proper elections, in which the Communist
the defeat of the Communists' cynical efforts to prevent elections
taking place, the Communists suffered a humiliating defeat in the
elections themselves, which were overwhelmingly won by State the 'Round
Table/Free Georgia' grouping under my leadership. Faced with
this outcome, the Moscow-based Communists and their associates in
Tbilisi immediately set about preparing to reverse the course of
events, enlisting the assistance of the mass media for this
With effect from the very day of
my election as Speaker of the Georgian Parliament on 14th
November 1990, groups of criminal 'Mkhedrioni' gangs
embarked upon a campaign of attacks on police stations and
atrocities all over Georgia, while the fake 'national congress'
tried to organize acts of protest against my legally elected
Government. In Moscow, a group led by Shevardnadze, Popkhadse,
Mgeladse and other renegade Communists formed a special
staff dedicated to the task of overthrowing the legally elected,
legitimate Government of Georgia - organizing for the purpose an
unprecedented propaganda campaign directed from Moscow and carried
throughout the entire world for the purpose of discrediting it.
The US Administration generally -
and the US President, George Bush, and his Secretary of
State, James Baker, with whom Shevardnadze had
direct relationships, personally- strongly supported this cynical
disinformation campaign against the legally elected authorities of
Georgia, which had every intention of seceding from the Soviet
Union and had as its main objective the establishment of an
independent democratic state.
For its part, the Western mass media repeated in full
the elaborate lies of Soviet propaganda - including the
propagation of an image of myself as a cruel dictator of Georgia,
a kind of Saddam Hussein of the Caucasus, who was engaged in the
outright suppression of all personal freedoms, the arrest of
political opponents, the wholesale violation of human rights, the
oppression of national minorities, and the waging of 'fascist war'
against them under the slogan 'Georgia for the Georgians'.
The reality was the exact opposite
of the evil picture painted by this Soviet propaganda. A total of
25 newspapers in Georgia systematically criticized and slandered
the President and Parliament, an activity for which they were not
persecuted (unlike the treatment they would have received under
the Communists). The so-called 'opposition' was granted an
'alternative hour' on State Television, and my Government even
offered these people the possibility of opening an independent TV
channel. Since absolute political freedom was permitted under my
leadership, parties and organizations which professed hostility to
the Government were allowed to hold their incessant demonstrations
and protest rallies, supported by their own newspapers and armed
arrested while I was in power only for specific crimes and
violence, not for their political views or for propaganda
purposes. My Government insisted at all times upon the rights of
the national minorities in Georgia being considered equal to those
of the Georgian population. As for the abolition of South
Ossetia's so-called autonomy, this was brought about by the
Parliament of South Ossetia itself, which proclaimed the
establishment of an independent Republic; and the relevant
decree promulgated by the Georgian Parliament merely recognized
this fact. The violence and disorder which followed in South
Ossetia was provoked by extremist forces directed from Moscow. The
political slogan 'Georgia for the Georgians' was never proclaimed
by me at all: it was a cynical invention of Moscow's propaganda
on independence and Presidential elections
A referendum on Georgian
independence was held on 31st March 1991, at which
more than 90% of the population voted for political secession and
independence. Following this result, the Georgian Supreme Council
in Tbilisi proclaimed Georgia's independence on 9th
April 1991. On 26th May, Georgia held its first
presidential elections, and I was elected Georgia's first
Shortly after my
election, a total political and economic blockade on Georgia was
enforced, while every conceivable destructive measure was taken
against the legally elected Georgian Government. Despite our
Declaration of Independence, Gorbachev invited me to Novo-Ogarevo
to sign the Union Treaty. It was following my explicit refusal to
do so, that the Kremlin elaborated a concrete plan to overthrow
Georgia's constitutional Government.
President Bush contributed personally to this
persecution of Georgia when he visited the Soviet Union in the
summer of 1991 and persuaded Ukraine to stay within the USSR -
denouncing me as a 'man who has been swimming against the tide'.
Subsequently, his Secretary of State, James Baker,
announced the existence of an authoritarian regime in Georgia that
would never receive any assistance from the US Administration.
This statement was the signal for the armed 'opposition' to begin
its lethal activity. As a Member of the Parliament, Mr. J.
Afanasieff, has recently stated, Gorbachev and Shevardnadze
diverted 65 million pre-hyper-inflation rubles for the purpose of
financing the coup d'etat in Georgia.
Certain members of the legally
elected Georgian Government, and also of the Parliament, who
maintained dose contact with Shevardnadze in Moscow, took part in
this conspiracy against the Georgian authorities. I refer in
particular to the Prime Minister, T. Sigua, and to the
Chief of the National Guard, T. Kitovani; the Minister of
Foreign Affairs, G. Khostaria; the Speaker of the
Parliament, A. Asiatiani; and V. Adamia, N.
Natadse, and T. Paatashvili, Members of Parliament,
together with others.
and Kitovani led an agitation campaign within the national
guard, which had in fact been set up under my direction, seeking
to persuade its members that I had supported the 'August coup' in
Moscow. One of the methods they used was to state that I had
supported Yanayev [Janaev], and to promise to show members
of the National Guard some documents to prove it, resulting from
the interrogation of Yanayev. None of these documents have been
forthcoming to this day.
charge was ludicrous because in fact I was the first President to
appeal to Western countries on the second day of the Moscow 'coup'
(20th August), to recognize that all elected
presidents and parliaments in the region must be supported. I
added that the organizers of the putsch represented 'reactionary
forces'. My appeal was published in the Russian-language Tbilisi
newspaper 'Swobodnaya Grusia', and was transmitted to news
technique used to win over the support of the National Guard was
to persuade young, in-experienced recruits that I was planning to
dismantle and disarm the National Guard (despite the fact that I
had caused it to be established), basing this lie upon a decree I
had issued, in which I had laid down that the National Guard was
subordinate to the Interior Ministry of which it formed a part,
and that this arrangement was necessary in order to protect the
National Guard from Moscow's machinations.
By such unworthy means, the Moscow- directed plotters
succeeded in enticing onto their side a significant proportion of
the National Guard - establishing a new military camp on the
outskirts of Tbilisi. This camp was hostile to me personally and
to the Parliament, and became a base for disparate members of the
so-called 'opposition', including specially released criminals,
drug addicts and black marketers. These groups received financing
from Moscow and the local Mafia. The Transcaucasian Military
District of the Soviet Army (ZAKWO) supplied these formations
with arms and armored vehicles, communications equipment, and
Moscow-directed 'opposition' to Georgia's legitimate Government,
the Parliament and my Presidency, also received strong support
from the Communist intelligentsia, which had enjoyed exceptional
privileges under Soviet Communism, and the members of which had
lost those privileges following the democratic revolution in
Georgia, and were dreaming about a return to the years of rule by Shevardnadze.
Among the most shameless lies put
about by the Moscow propagandists at that time was an accusation
that I was seeking to isolate Georgia along Albanian lines -
whereas of course the truth of the matter was that the authorities
in Moscow had isolated Georgia through their own deliberate
actions, slandering Georgia as a 'fascist state' groaning under
'totalitarian rule'. The upheavals and disorders in the country
were so grave that I had been prevented from traveling to Western
For instance, I
had been unable to fulfill my plans to travel to Davos,
Switzerland, in January, to visit Denmark in September in response
to an invitation from the Danish Parliament, or to address the
American Congress in response to its invitation. My inability to
take up these invitations was falsely presented to the world as
confirmation of my isolationist intentions, and thus proof of my
'anti-European' and 'anti-American' policies.
With effect from September, this coalition of
officials who had defected, criminal and Mafia elements, and the
so-called 'street opposition', were sufficiently organized to be
able to intensify their campaign against the Government -
demanding the resignation of the President, the creation of a new
'coalition government', and fresh parliamentary elections. On
several occasions, these elements attacked the Parliament
building, causing bloody incidents and disorder. They occupied
the national television building and attacked the central
electricity generating station in Tbilisi. I addressed the armed
opposition on several occasions, calling for political dialogue -
but without any result.
Following the collapse of
Gorbachev's Novo-Ogarevo process, and recognizing the
inevitability of the Soviet Union's disintegration, the Soviet
leadership decided to create a new Empire model, the so-called
C.I.S., which was to be established at a meeting planned for 21st
December 1991 in Alma-Ata, when the leaders of the Soviet
Republics were to sign an agreement establishing the new political
entity. My refusal to attend this meeting was the development
which triggered Moscow's decision to overthrow Georgia's legally
elected Government. And no time was lost.
On that very day, 21st December, when the attention
of the world was focused on the meeting in Alma-Ata, rallies began
outside Tbilisi's Parliament building. One rally was attended by
supporters of the legal Government, and another consisted of the
armed so-called 'opposition', infiltrated by officers of the
Russian Army. Armored cars and military vehicles appeared on the
streets. The anti-government forces began to shoot at unarmed
supporters of my Presidency, and several people were killed.
Thus the 'opposition' had embarked
upon the final phase of its agitation to overthrow 'dictatorship'
and to establish 'democracy' by violence, in accordance with the
well-known prescription of Lenin. By means of this deceptive plan,
supported by Moscow and the Soviet military, a group of putschists,
led by the former Soviet Foreign Minister, KGB-General
Shevardnadze, set out to overthrow Georgia's legal government, and
to usurp power in Tbilisi. I openly and repeatedly warned the
Georgian people and the world's governments about this dangerous
intention, but unfortunately my warnings went unheeded.
On the following day, 22nd December
199l, the so-called 'opposition' occupied the Hotel 'Tbi1isi' and
the Kashweti church in front of the Parliament building, and
started shooting and bombing Parliament using artillery, missiles
and snipers on the roofs of nearby buildings. The Parliament
building was defended by elements of the National Guard who had
not been deceived by Shevardnadze and his associates, and remained
loyal to the President, but who lacked artillery, missiles, or
heavy armour. In the course of their attack on the Parliament
complex, the putschists burned down and destroyed all the
surrounding buildings - including the Art Gallery, the Painting
School, the City's leading college (formerly the aristocrats'
gymnasium), and other establishments.
The City's central Rustaveli Avenue was reduced to
ruins. My own house, where my wife and two children lived, was
surrounded and bombed. Attempts were made to seize my family as
hostages, but they were saved by members of the National Guard, by
now called the President's Guard, and conveyed by armored car to
the Parliament building. After they left, my house was stripped
bare by criminal elements, no doubt with 'opposition' consent, and
burned to the ground.
siege of Tbilisi's Parliament building which continued for 16
days, was noteworthy for inhumanity and barbarism. Snipers shot
anyone approaching the building, including the vehicles of First
Aid workers, and fire engines which were therefore unable to
quench the fires. Many houses were razed to the ground, and
hundreds of people were left homeless. People who had been
defending the Parliament building were killed in cold blood in
Tbilisi's hospitals by members of the 'opposition', these putschists
fighting for 'democracy'.
the end of December, the Russian Armed Forces reinforced the armed
'opposition'. After the Presidential Guard had managed to burn
several armored vehicles and tanks operated by the 'opposition',
new vehicles suddenly appeared. Their main base, the Institute
of Marxism-Leninism, was heavily re-supplied by lorries,
loaded with arms and ammunition. The accuracy with which shells,
mortars and missiles were used was so great, that there can be no
doubt that Soviet military specialists participated with the
'opposition' putschists. Moreover, drivers and troops from
the Soviet Army were found dead in some of the armored vehicles
which the Parliament's defenders had managed to hit.
On 27th December 1991,
members of the Presidential Guard who were defending the
television station under the command of B. Kutateladse,
betrayed the President and yielded the television tower to the
'opposition'. On 2nd January 1992, these forces
formed a 'Military council' and a 'Provisional Government',
consisting of T. Sigua, T. Kitovani and D. Ioseliani -
who was freed from jail for the purpose and linked up with the putchists
and his former criminal associates. In parallel with these
developments and Ioseliani's release, about 4,000 convicted
criminals were also released from the prisons, given arms, and
instructed to join the 'army of fighters for democracy'.
Recognizing that this war against
the putschists, blatantly supported by the Soviet military, could
not fail to result in further bloodshed, and might end up totally
destroying our capital city, I and a group of my armed supporters
left the Parliament building on 6th January 1992 under a hail of
bullets. We traveled first to Azerbaijan, then on to Armenia, and
finally to the Chechen Republic, where the President, Dshohar
Dudaev, gave us temporary shelter. From Grozny, the capital of
the Chechen Republic, I disseminated the following appeal to the
United Nations and to all peoples and governments of the world:
Appeal to the peoples and the
governments of the World.
To all peoples of goodwill.
To the United Nations
'I, popularly elected president of the Republic of
Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, address all the people who value the
ideals of democracy, human rights and freedoms and are not
indifferent to the fate of the whole nation, which became a victim
of a major disaster.
Georgia in January 1992, the military junta of political
adventurers and the local Mafia carried out a coup d'etat in
Tbilisi, having forcibly usurped power and started a war against
the constitutionally elected government and the President, which
led to the deaths of hundreds of people. The capital Tbilisi was
partially burned down and historic monuments were destroyed on the
main avenue of the city.
In order to put an end to bloodshed, I, the President
of the Republic of Georgia, left Tbilisi together with the members
of my family, who also were under the threat of physical
extermination. The putschists burned down the Parliament building,
looted my house, which at the same time is a memorial estate of my
father - the well-known Georgian writer Konstantine Gamsakhurdia.
The junta formed a self-appointed
government and is committing unspeakable crimes against the people
who put up resistance to lawlessness and tyranny. They
systematically shoot at peaceful rallies, arresting innocent
people including MPs. Their armed forces rob and terrorize
citizens. The people have launched a campaign of civil
disobedience. Strikes are being carried out at the enterprises,
railways and ports. The country's energy and food crisis has
reached alarming proportions.
I appeal to the United Nations, to the peoples and
governments of the whole world, to issue a denunciation of the
gross violations of human rights [committed] in Georgia by the
junta, to demand the restoration of the constitutionally elected
government and also to offer the Georgian people all the help they
need to recover from this disaster, caused by the adventurous
actions of the military junta'.
President of the republic of Georgia,
Georgia, 27th january 1992.
But regrettably, bloodshed
continued in Tbilisi and all over Georgia. After seizing power on
6th January 1992, the junta embarked upon systematic repression
and a reign of terror, executing supporters of the legally chosen
President, killing several hundred of them in Tbilisi alone, and
in the countryside to the west of the capital. Near the village of
Ninotsminda (Agaiani), murderous gangs were permitted to rob and
kill people engaged in peaceful protests in support of my
Government. In Tbilisi, hundreds of thousands of people
demonstrated, protesting against the banning of the legally
elected President and Parliament; and similar scenes were repeated
in other towns throughout the country. During these
manifestations, about a hundred of my supporters were
assassinated, and many hundreds were wounded and detained.
It was always clear that the bulk of
the forces of the armed so-called 'opposition' consisted of
criminal elements - a fact which was even admitted by the junta's
self-appointed so-called Prosecutor General, Vakhtang Rasmadse.
His admission appeared later in the newspaper 'Sakartvelos
Respublika' dated 25th February 1992.
Thus the notorious gangster Dzhaba Ioseliani,
who had been convicted on several counts of murder, robbery and
for other crimes, was suddenly elevated to membership of the new
self-appointed 'government'. Tengiz Kitovani, another
member of the junta, has several past convictions for various
offenses committed under Communism. Ioseliani openly authorized,
on television, all the atrocities being committed by his
controlled gangs of thugs, and threatened all attending
demonstrations and protest meetings with shooting and other forms
of execution. The influence of this criminal junta on young people
is deeply corrupting, given its repulsive use of money, drugs and
weapons as enticements.
day, the junta attacks peaceful protest demonstrations, and by
night it terrorizes and robs the population. It imposed a State of
Emergency and curfews in Tbilisi and in Georgia's five other main
cities, in violation of Article 4 of the Georgian
Constitution, which lays down that only the legitimately elected
Government and Parliament have the right to announce a State of
Later on the
illegal junta and its forces commenced punitive operations in
various cities and towns, where the protest movement against the
overthrow of the legal Government has continued. Many reports,
published in unofficial Georgian newspapers such as 'Kartuli
Azri', 'Agdgoma' and 'Sakartvelos tsis kvesh', have described
acts of ruthless terror and barbarian behavior committed by the
illegal junta's forces.
Easter Georgia, demonstrations and protests took place in Gurdshaani,
Telavi, Akhmeta and Kareli. However, after punitive
operations conducted by the junta's forces, these demonstrations
ceased. By contrast, in western Georgia, where the junta was able
to deploy fewer forces, active resistance has continued to this
The junta's version of
events is that because I am a west Georgian, the people in that
part of the country support me more than they do elsewhere. In
reality, the electorate in both western and eastern Georgia cast
their votes for me in equal proportions; and I received
particularly strong support from Georgians in Sagaredsho
('South Ossetia'), Kartli, Kakheti, Meskheti, etc.
The actual reason for the
imbalance in the protest movement is the imperfect distribution of
the junta's forces of repression, which are mainly concentrated in
Tbilisi, Sagaredsho and in other regions of Kakheti, which they
are able to control the most effectively. But the junta has
launched several punitive expeditions into west Georgia, against
the 'disobedient' populations in the towns of Zugdidi,
Tsalendzhikha, Senaki, Martvili, and Khobi.
Intelligence concerning the resulting brutalities, vandalism,
terror, robbery and violence, and about the hundreds of victims
among the peaceful populations in those locations, was published
in the news- paper 'Sakartvelos tsis kvesh' (which means 'Under
the Sky of Georgia'), issue number 37, dated 16th August 1992,
printed in the Chechen Republic.
In February 1992, the former US Secretary of State, Mr.
James A Baker, visited Moscow and met Shevardnadze and
the head of the so-called 'Provisional Government' of Georgia, T.
Sigua. The unofficial meetings and negotiations which then
took place prepared the ground for the return of Shevardnadze,
the former hated Communist dictator of Georgia, to Tbilisi for the
stated purpose of guaranteeing 'political and economic
stabilization, peace and democratic elections'. During his visit
to Tbilisi, I sent a telegram of protest to Secretary of State
Baker in the following terms:
'I express my protest against your intention to visit
Georgia, which means support of the most illegal, anti-democratic,
criminal and terrorist regime in the world, which has overthrown
the legal authorities [who were] elected by the people, which
wages war against its own people, rudely violates human rights and
fundamental freedoms, chastening and shooting at peaceful meetings
and demonstrations, has imposed a monopoly over the entire mass
media, and collaborates with and stimulates the activities of, the
underworld and the Mafia.
seven towns and cities of Georgia including Tbilisi, there is
still a curfew. Real power is in the hands of the notorious
criminal and gangster Ioseliani. The criminal junta
misappropriates all humanitarian aid received from the West and
resells it on the black market at sky-high prices, while the
people receive nothing. The economic situation is catastrophic;
hunger, chaos and total destabilization are increasing; there is a
great lack of foodstuffs and medicines; many people are dying of
hunger and various diseases every day, especially old people and
reviving Stalinism in Georgia, has begun mass repressions and
tortures; innocent citizens are arrested every day in large
numbers because of their part in organizing protest actions;
meetings, demonstrations, hunger strikes, strikes and protests are
prohibited; and there is strict censorship throughout the country.
In such a situation, all possibility
of free and honest elections is excluded. The situation
[prevailing] in Georgia will soon come to resemble that in Somalia
and Ethiopia. The United States' Government's actions in
supporting this criminal totalitarian regime and establishing
diplomatic relations with it, amount to a rude violation of all
the democratic principles upon which American society is based, a
violation of the [principles of the Helsinki Final Act, of the
Charter of Paris, and of international law - a state of
affairs which has induced indignation among the Georgian people,
which is aware of the United States' positions vis-?is Cuba,
Venezuela and Haiti.
result [of the position adopted by the United States],
anti-American feelings are increasing. I demand from the US
Administration that it should cease its [open] support of state
terrorism in Georgia, and that it should establish contacts only
with the legal authorities of Georgia, who are now in exile'.
It was not long before Shevardnadze
himself arrived at Tbilisi airport, where he was met by a group of
'Mkhedrioni' gangsters, militiamen and some Nomenklatura
intellectuals - his supporters. He saluted these intellectuals
from the Nomenklatura, "who had taken up arms and
fought for the establishment of 'democracy'". Then he went
first to the Sioni church, simulating piety, where he was welcomed
by the local 'Patriarch', a long-term agent of the KGB, before
proceeding to 'Government House', where he was there and then
'elected' as head of the new anti-constitutional body - the
so-called 'State Council', which was in fact the same as the
Military Council, but broadened and disguised.
Following his arrival on the scene, Shevardnadze
presided over increased mass repression and a heightened reign of
terror against his innumerable political opponents, who had
continued to hold meetings and demonstrations, now against his
arrival and his blatant usurpation of power. Punitive
operations were carried out and repeated several times in western
Georgia, with greater brutality and ruthlessness than before.
Meanwhile the scale of assistance to the junta and its terrorist
formations provided by the Russian military was stepped up, with
supplies of armaments, technological equipment for warfare, and
Soon after Shevardnadze's
arrival in Tbilisi, his gangs again attacked, robbed and burned my
home at 19, Gali Street, which also served, as I have mentioned,
as a memorial and museum to the memory of my father, the
well-known writer Konstantine Gamsakhurdia. My house
remains a burnt-out ruin to this day, in exactly the same
condition as after these attacks, in spite of public remarks by Shevardnadze
about his 'friendship' with Konstantine Gamsakhurdia. To
make matters even worse, my house has been repeatedly defiled by
members of the junta's mobs.
Western politicians, and most of
the mass media in the West, kept silent about the reign of terror,
the repression and the barbarian vandalism unleashed in Georgia
following the illegal seizure of power by the junta. The
exceptions were the press in Finland and newspapers in Switzerland,
which described the truth about the newly installed terror regime
and the crimes it was committing. The United Nations, the CSCE,
the Red Cross and most human rights organizations refused
to investigate the facts about state terrorism and the human
rights violations being suffered by the Georgian people - the
exceptions here being IGFM, the International Society of
Human Rights (based in Frankfurt), and the Finnish Helsinki
Group. Both of these organizations manifested deep concern
about these tragic events in Georgia.
Western cynicism and hypocrisy reached unheard-of
levels with the further visit paid by Mr. James Baker to Georgia,
on the anniversary of our independence, 26th May 1992.
While Mr. Baker congratulated Shevardnadze and his boorish
supporters gathered in the Square of the Republic in front of the
Hotel 'Iveria', and spoke about democracy, about 200 meters from
where Mr. Baker was speaking, a large force of 'Mkhedrioni'
chastisers and police with dogs were busily engaged in dispersing
another meeting of my supporters, shooting at the crowd, and
beating people without mercy. Baker overheard this shooting in the
streets, but made no comment, carrying on with his speech.
The CSCE's biannual summit meeting
took place in Helsinki in early July. As the President of Georgia,
and founder of the first Helsinki Group in 1975, I was invited to
attend by the Georgia group in the Finnish Parliament. Mr.
Heikki Riihijavi, the leader of that group, made three
unsuccessful applications to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in an attempt to obtain a visa for me to attend the CSCE
Summit. The Ministry informed Mr. Riihijavi and the Chairman of
the Finland-Georgia Society, Mrs. Aila Niinimaa-Keppo, that
I would only be allowed to arrive in Finland after the
conclusion of the Helsinki Summit. No explanation was given to the
Finnish Parliamentary Group concerning this delay to my visit; and
nor was any explanation forthcoming about the fact that members of
the 'Mkhedrioni' gangster formations and officers from the
KGB were allowed to enter Finland, whereas I was not.
Faced with this situation, Mr.
Riihijavi complained, with justification [see ABN
Correspondence, May-June 1992, Number 3, Volume XLIII]:
'This goes against the rules of
the CSCE, which is based upon respect for legality, democracy and
access to information and freedom to travel within the territories
of the CSCE member states. How can the CSCE stop Gamsakhurdia from
coming to Finland, while heartily welcoming Shevardnadze, who was
involved in last year's putch and who masterminded the illegal
takeover in Georgia? The CSCE was meant to protect nations against
criminal leaders like Shevardnadze'.
I sent a similar letter of protest directly to the
CSCE, but without any result. Meanwhile, Shevardnadze had
taken part in the Helsinki Summit as a messenger of peace and
democracy. By this illegal behavior, the CSCE violated its very
own document, drawn up at the Moscow meeting of the participating
states at their meeting lasting between 10th September and
4th October 1991. Specifically, the CSCE violated
Article 17.2 of that document, which declares:
'If in any participating state an attempt is made to
overthrow, or the overthrow takes place of, the democratically
elected government by undemocratic methods, the participating
states will support the legal bodies of the state concerned, in
accordance with the United Nations Charter'.
In Georgia's case, this solemn
stipulation was reversed. After receiving the blessing and
approval of the CSCE - amounting, as one Finnish newspaper put
it, to 'a license to kill' - Shevardnadze's bloody regime
redoubled the intensity of its reign of terror all over Georgia.
It did so, too, in the knowledge that it had the tacit support of
the United Nations, as well as of the CSCE. Faced with this
further onslaught, people in western Georgia have organized
themselves to conduct guerrilla warfare against the marauding
gangs and formations dispatched by the junta, which have been
invading towns and villages. Many partisans have been tortured and
executed by Shevardnadze's junta.
As reported by SOVIET ANALYST, on 24th June 1992,
Shevardnadze's secret services feigned a 'coup attempt', when some
of my unarmed supporters were lured into the TV building by
officers from the Ministry of Interior's troops, with the promise
of an opportunity to broadcast their appeals to the Georgian
people, without charge. When they accepted this offer, they were
arrested and tortured. Shevardnadze's junta announced that
an 'unsuccessful coup d'etat had taken place; and to
dramatize the situation, provocateurs under the control of
Ioseliani carried out terrorist atrocities, in the course of which
several people were killed. The provocateurs then 'confessed' on
television that they had received instructions from myself to
commit these acts of terrorism. In response to this episode, I
sent a telegram to Shevardnadze, in which I accused him of
trying to discredit me using the methods of Stalin and Beriya.
Turning now to Shevardnadze's
policy concerning national minorities. In his propaganda, Shevardnadze
accused me of being a 'fascist', a 'nationalist' and an 'enemy of
the national minorities'. Now, however, he is visiting upon them
direct violence and genocide - depriving them not merely of their
autonomy, but also of even the right to live and exist. On 11th
August 1992, troops of the 'State Council' embarked upon an
extensive punitive campaign in the Abkhazian Autonomous
Republic. Shevardnadze and his 'State Council' insisted that
this invasion was necessary for the purpose of sustaining public
order in this region, especially along railway lines. But the fact
is that, following this invasion, the region has experienced, and
continues to suffer, wholesale public disorder, anarchy, genocide,
and total destruction and burning of entire towns and villages. In
reality, Shevardnadze's objective was to overthrow the authorities
in the Autonomous Republic.
What irritated Shevardnadze was that the authorities
of this Autonomous Republic had not been persecuting my
supporters, and had refused to introduce totalitarian rule, as
practiced by the junta, in Abkhazia. There had been no reign of
terror or repression of my supporters in Abkhazia, where
the people had continued to enjoy political freedom, were able to
publish their own newspaper 'Agdgoma', and were free to speak out
on local television.
evident that the main purpose of the Abkhazian war is to establish
in this region Shevardnadze's dictatorship and the rule of
his junta and Mafia. The war in Abkhazia, which had already cost
4,000 lives by the end of last year, seems to be without end [culminating
recently in the virtual flattening of Sukhumi: -Ed.]. The most
descriptive expression to date of the true objectives of this war
of oppression in Abkhazia, and of Shevardnadze's
approach to the question of solving the problems of the
minorities, came from Shevardnadze's Commander-in-Chief, 'general'
G. Karkarashvili, who explained on a national television
programme [25th August 1992]:
'If Abkhazia does not cease its resistance, my troops
will kill all 97,000 Abkhazians'.
In other words, Shevardnadze and his murderers are
prepared to liquidate the entire nation [- a process which
appears to be well advanced: - Ed.]. For this purpose, too, Shevardnadze
and Karkarashvili are evidently prepared to sacrifice
approximately 100,000 Georgians, as well.
This, then, is the nature of the policies of Shevardnadze
- former Communist dictator of Georgia, KGB General, promoter of
terror, robbery, rape and genocide of national minorities and of
his political opponents.
29th October 1992, the Defense minister, Kitovani,
stated on Moscow Television that that autonomous regions are to be
liquidated in Georgia, and that the matter of the autonomous
regions will be resolved by military force. This statement, alone,
makes it abundantly clear that, despite 'democratic elections'
[see below] in Georgia, the country remains a terror dictatorship
ruled by a criminal junta - and that all talk by Shevardnadze
about 'civilian rule' prevailing in Georgia are lies. Furthermore,
by involving the north Caucasian peoples in his Abkhazian war, Shevardnadze
and his junta are preparing the ground for a new Yugoslavia in the
Caucasus. Western Georgia, including Abkhazia, is simply in ruins,
with thousands of refugees fleeing these regions daily.
Concerning the elections, which Shevardnadze
promised to hold in Georgia 'in accordance with all the standards
adopted in democratic countries', I would like to ask the
democratic world whether, in any democratic country of the West,
the following behavior is normal:
are 'called', not by an elected body, president, or
parliament, but by some illegal, self-proclaimed gathering
called a 'State Council' which possesses no legitimacy and
imposed itself upon the country by force.
The 'election' organizers fail to identify the
electors by name and address, omitting to carry out the
preparations necessary to ensure absolutely fair voting.
The people are subjected to intensified terror
and repression ahead of the 'election', and are forced in many
cases to provide written undertakings that they will vote for
a single candidate for the post of Speaker of Parliament - the
top post in Georgia.
position of Speaker of Parliament is decided not by the votes
of MPs, but in fact by 'public voting'.
'Elections' take place against a background of
civil war, anarchy, and curfews in many towns and cities.
'Elections' take place without secret voting in
in a few districts of the capital, electoral arrangements,
ballot boxes and booths for 'secret voting' are rigged up for
the benefit of intentional observers, who are misled into
deducing that the ballot boxes and booths for secret voting
are replicated throughout the city and the country.
Moreover, the international observers are steered
away from all other polling stations (where the voting
arrangements are decidedly not secret).
At most polling stations, the 'elections' are
conducted under the control of gunmen, who watch the voters as
they place their votes, and check for whom they have voted. If
they have not voted in accordance with the gunmen's
the gunmen visit such 'disobedient' voters with ballot boxes,
and force them under threat of death to 'amend' their previous
vote, and to place their vote in accordance with the 'party
vehicles pursue 'electors' in the streets and drive them to
the polling stations by force - a practice observed in the
west Georgian town of Martvili.
Noticing that the number of ballot- papers cast
is hopelessly insufficient for the authorities' purposes, the
'Election Commission' removes the boxes and replaces them with
new ones - an activity observed, for instance, in the town of Vani.
People are seen stuffing ballot-boxes with
100-200 ballot papers.
'Election Commissions' consist of carefully selected people
loyal to the illegal government, without any involvement by
'democratic elections' take place without any involvement on
the part of opposition parties or individuals.
Was it not quite natural that,
following such 'elections', the dictator Shevardnadze was
'elected' by 96% of the 'electorate'? Elections like these were of
course standard under the Communists; and it is no coincidence
that Communism has been revived in Georgia under Shevardnadze
with great success, incorporating many of the 'innovations'
introduced when Shevardnadze was in power earlier.
Shevardnadze has since
boasted that he presides over a 'democratically elected'
parliament in Georgia. It is curious, therefore, that 15 days
after the elections, only a proportion of the parliamentary lists
had been published - although even among the names published to
date, the distribution of forces was remarkably favorable to Shevardnadze.
Among these names were very well- known nomenklatura-plutocrats,
including notorious accomplices of the events of 9th April 1989,
and Mafia bosses - all of whom had unaccountably emerged with huge
majorities in the new 'parliament'.
The rest of the new parliamentary lists were published
after a long delay, due to the fact that there erupted a great
struggle among 'candidates' for inclusion within the favored Nomenklatura
'parliament', and a burning desire among their number for the
opportunity of proving by their words (and deeds) their undying
fidelity to the 'Speaker'.
all of a sudden, Shevardnadze announced, on 21st
October 1992, that the first session of the new 'parliament'
had been delayed for an indeterminate period, due to the
'complicated situation' prevailing in Georgia. In actual fact, the
real reason for this delay was a political struggle between the
'deputies' and a growing, indeed acute, danger from Kitovani,
who threatened a fresh putsch, should he be removed from
the position of power he had usurped.
As for Shevardnadze's boasts about the
introduction of the market economy and the country's prosperity,
the economic situation in Georgia is in fact catastrophic. The
Russian Federation has allotted Georgia credits in the sum of 20
billion rubles [source: the Moscow-based newspaper 'Kuranti',
October 1992, No. 38 ], while the United States and Turkey
have assisted Georgia with several million dollars. All these
credits,, as well as the humanitarian aid, are being
systematically misappropriated by officials - applied for personal
profit and for the financing of the Abkhazian war and punitive
expeditions in west Georgia (Megrelia).
Privatization in favor of the Nomenklatura, is
implemented on the orders of the junta members Ioseliani
and Kitovani, and by others - with all national property
and sources of valuable production distributed among the Nomenklatura/Mafia
most of the Georgian population, especially in the towns and
cities, is on the verge of abject poverty and starvation. The
agricultural sector has been totally paralyzed, especially in
western Georgia. The main reasons for this breakdown are the civil
war, a lack of fuel, an absence of agricultural equipment and
technology, and the absolute chaos which has accompanied the
privatization in favor of the Nomenklatura (known as 'Nomenklatura-privatization)
of the land, which has been taking place without any legislative
basis, in the absence of any law governing land and property, and
in the midst of endless conflicts among landowners as they
struggle against the former state farms for property, and
production, while having to contend with banditry and robbery, and
with the wholesale misappropriation of assets.
Even the illegal government's media has admitted that
in Tbilisi alone between three and five men die of hunger every
day - a figure dismissed by our sources as a gross understatement
of the position, which is that dozens are dying every day from
lack of food to eat.
In conclusion, I need to add that
Shevardnadze's criminal regime is in the habit of
repeatedly violating the Charter of the United Nations, the
Declaration of Human rights, all principles of intentional law
including the Helsinki agreement and the Paris Charter, and all
declarations, pacts and conventions on Human rights and
regime operates by means of ruthless terror and violence, which
are the main principles and instruments of state policy in
It has no
right to represent Georgia at the United Nations and in the forum
of the CSCE, and it must be thrown out of these organizations.
This heinous regime, which has brought Georgia to a state of
political and economic catastrophe, is in the process of creating
great dangers of destabilization and warfare throughout the
Caucasus region, with the possibility of the war spreading even
into Russia, and further fueling the basis for the emerging world
legally and democratically elected President of Georgia-in-Exile,
therefore appeal to the United Nations, to the governments and
parliaments of the world, to the mass media, to all international
political and religious organizations, and to all men and women of
goodwill, to help Georgia in the midst of its terrible disaster,
to condemn the state terrorism practiced by Shevardnadze's regime,
to impose a total boycott on it, and to help restore the legal
Parliament and Government.
Unless this happens, there can be no peace,
stabilization or democratic development in Georgia, and throughout
the whole of the region of the Caucasus.