The KGB Plan for Georgia
14 April, 2011
The KGB Plan for Georgia

The new head of state in Georgia had to be the agent of the USSR State Security who had to make an impression that he was collaborating with the Fascists or any other possible force presumed to occupy Georgia. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – Why was Britain so much eager to enter the Caucasus?
SM – Because there was the Baku oil reservoir in store for them there. There was also the Georgian railway, ports and coal mines.

Stalin’s memory had never escaped the fact that for Britain Georgia was a de jure independent country. In 1921 Georgia’s independence was recognized by a number of members of the League of Nations. The Act was still in force by 1942. Stalin was losing Georgia because Georgia was automatically becoming independent once again. From this view point the worst thing that could happen to Georgia was the Victory of the USSR in the Second World War.  
GJ – Stalin of course didn’t want to let Georgia go. There was a huge chance for the process to carry on, and Bolsheviks could have been eradicated from the Caucasus.
SM – I agree with you. This is why so many pains were taken for maintaining Georgia as part of the Soviet Union and the entire Caucasus in general. Lavrenti Beria himself arrived at the Caucasus front. His arrival was followed by certain amount of purges and repressions as well as reshuffling in local management. To say the truth, Lavrenti Beria was an actual commander in the battles of Caucasus and not the Russian generals.  
GJ – But he was the minister of state security of the USSR – the chief of KGB, wasn’t he?
SM – Beria managed to put in place very serious ideological efforts in a very short period of time, and he did it with the help of the Georgian writers. The leadership of the Soviet Union was terribly stymied up until 1945 (which is the last year of the War) concerning the possibility of loss of Georgia. The same problem persisted all the time – if they did not let Britain enter Georgia, then Germans could get a chance to do it. And the worst part for the Soviets was that the independent Georgia would be restored whoever occupied its territory and a new head of state would be elected. KGB was working diligently on the main issue – the new head of state in Georgia had to be the agent of the USSR State Security who had to make an impression that he was collaborating with the Fascists or any other possible force presumed to occupy Georgia. The plan was that finally the new Georgian leader would prove to be a patriot of his country having played the double game. There were several candidates for the role. The candidate had to be popular with the Georgian people and also he had to be ready and able to work with the Soviets accordingly. There was a talk about the famous Georgian writer Constantine Gamsakhurdia (father of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia), but the Soviet State Security soon understood that nothing serious could come out of that attempt because Constantine Gamsakhurdia was not reliable enough a figure. He would never be faithful to Soviet authorities. They finally stopped their option on certain Machavariani.
GJ – What was that Machavariani?
SM – He was a man of letters. Nobody remembers his name today, but at that time KGB made enough efforts for enhancing his popularity.
GJ – Do you know of any other details of the plan made by the Soviet State Security?
SM – Had the Soviet Army started abandoning the Georgian territory, something like the following situation could have developed: the chosen candidate for the new Georgian leader would have rushed forward, Georgia’s flag in hand, and cried out ‘Long live the independent Georgia!’ All the necessary levers and resources would have been in his hands, and he would also have turned momentarily into a hero and a leader in the eyes of the nation.

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