07 March, 2013
Not long ago the released political prisoners informed us about illegal imprisonment of Revaz Sakhvadze, former head of Air Service of Land Forces. We got interested in Revaz Sakhvadze and even received his letter.
Revaz Sakhvadze – ‘I’ve been in prison for 5 years and only because I covered somebody else’s crime. Yes, this is the reason why they made me a prisoner. They covered illegal purchase by my case and made it ‘classified’. Is anybody in Georgia interested in
improving its defense potential? Is it possible to keep in prison somebody, who has invented an innovated technology? I’m not asking for an indulgence, I only want to be free and serve my country. I address the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Defense to unclassify my case and let the civil society decide who did what during or after the war. What was purchased by Kezerashvili and Pochkhua (Zurab Pochkhua was the commander of air force) and how many millions were saved for Georgia by Sakhvadze and his team.
Sulkhan Sakhvadze, Revaz Sakhvadze’s (head of Air Defense Service of Land Forces) son gave us more details:
– When Irakli Okruashvili was minister, a group of American experts studied the missiles and concluded that it was possible to renovate them. Who else could be tasked to do it except my father? In the meantime the Minister of Defense was replaced and it turned out that some group was not interested not only in restoration of armament but it was not expedient for them even to register the old missiles because Ministry of Defense considered writing off of old missiles was much more profitable. The price of one missile was between EUR 25-30 thousand. To make such missile functional it was needed to charge it. In the post-soviet countries there were several plants having the so-called wall devices. It was a rather big device that could accommodate and charge a missile. Afterwards it was taken to the battle-field. This device cost about EUR 800.000 – 1.000.000.
Ministry of Defense had to purchase it or find some alternative way to solve the problem. Revaz Sakhvadz together with engineer Givi Zurabishvili (who was arrested together with him) designed an apparatus that would charge the device in field conditions and at that it would be compact. It was the latest invention having no analog. An agreement was drawn up between the Ministry of Defense of Georgia and physical person Revaz Sakhvadze according to which the device was made and transferred to the Ministry of Defense. All this is confirmed by acceptance report.
Q. – So, your father’s device was tested and approved.
A. – Even more. I know it’s used even today during exercises. Actually, it’s a primitive device being unique for its abilities.
In the air defense service of land forces my father had a group whom he trained; besides, every month he went to different battalions and trained soldiers how to use the device.
In parallel to that, being headed and controlled by Zurab Pochkhua, commander of air force, they bought missiles of ‘Osa’ type. Cost of each one came up to half a million. But during the 2008 war ‘Osa’ didn’t live up to its expectation, they couldn’t be made functional. Zurab Pochkhua was in close relations with then-Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili. Behind the scenes it was everybody’s knowledge that purchasing of ‘Osa’ actually was money-laundering. This information was gained by me because my father never spoke about such things. It’s quite natural, if anybody displays interest in armament purchasing and Sakhvadze’s case is unclassified, a lot can be learnt.
But the main thing is that during the 2008 war when air attacks began, it was thanks to repaired missiles and the device invented by my father that the Russian fighters were shot down. My father headed tactical moves as well, positioning of anti-aircraft gunners on the quadro-cycles was his know-how – quadro-cycle enables a soldier to quickly leave the place targeted by enemy fighters. Such maneuvering is especially profitable at mountainous relief.
After the war the President began awarding people for their share in military deeds. A special commission was set up to analyze military achievements or failures. In a nutshell there was a big chance for somebody to say, if ‘Osa’ was unfit why half a million was paid for each. For this reason on Kezerashvili-Pochkhua’s order every fighter shot down by Sakhvadze was ascribed to Pochkhua’s command and ‘Osa’(?!), but the leadership of that time still made a big mistake.
I remember, in October issue of the ‘Arsenali’ magazine it was written that the fighters allegedly shot down by Pochkhua were actually shot down by Sakhvadze and in two weeks after this publication, on Kezerashvili’s order my father was arrested. He was tried on charges of cheating; in the incrimination it was written that invented-by-him device didn’t meet the contract requirements and functions. Authorities of Georgia avoided scandal and by making this case ‘classified’ a lot remained unknown for people.
In the Ministry of Defense there still are people who don’t want this. Believe me, making this case unclassified will be equal to bomb explosion, money-laundering of millions may be revealed. In all this are involved high-ranks of Ministry of Defense who still retain influence and warm seats. They are performing sabotage against current authorities even today but it’s another story.
Q. – Where is Pochkhua now?
A. – After 2008 war this elderly man was sent to America to study and as far as I know he hasn’t come back.
Irakli Aladashvili, Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Arsenali’ magazine:
Sakhvadhe created a portable compact charging device that is connected to antiaircraft missile complex, i.e. if a shooter can’t locate a target at first attempt, he can try it again. It’s true that this charger is heavier and bigger than the above mentioned aircraft missile complex battery but yet it has the function of multiple use.
As for the quadro-cycles, as far as I know it was Sakhvadze’s initiative to use them. Each quadro-cycle could accommodate two ‘Strela-2m’, ‘Igla’ or ‘Grom’-type portable missile complex. The quadro-cycle was driven by a driver and the shooter sat behind. Presumably, Georgia was one of the first to use quadro-cycles for this purpose.

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