The 9 April Aftermath – Survival Chance or Downfall of USSR?!
17 November, 2011
The 9 April Aftermath – Survival Chance or Downfall of USSR?!

The aim was achieved on the whole – serious discrediting of the Soviet Army had actually taken place. In Europe, the anti-soviet movement and manifestations had started. The soviet communist party and the Russian occupation of Eastern Europe became the target of harsh criticism. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – The dawn of April 10 of 1989 in Georgia was sullen, gloomy and mournful. The news of the massacre in the capital of Georgia, perpetrated by the Russian special punitive

squad with heartless cool went all over Georgia like lightning. The death toll resulting from brutal killings and gas poisoning was not yet estimated. The soviet tanks were standing in the streets of Tbilisi. The armed Russian soldiers were silently averting the hateful and angry looks of passers-by. The Nation was overwhelmed with a monolithic sense of solidarity and unanimity. National unanimity of this magnitude will not be known to this country for a long time to come . . . Curfew was declared in Tbilisi.

SM – The Dzerzhinsky special squad of soviet state security which had performed the 9th of April act of manslaughter with unimaginable cruelty was no longer in Tbilisi that morning. They did their job and left. With them, they took the video footage of details of that night’s butchery. The leaders of the national-liberation movement were arrested, but soon they were released. Yeltsin sent his condolences to Georgia on the occasion of what had happened here. The KGB-engaged journalists, playing the trendy game of ‘democracy’, arrived from Moscow in Tbilisi. The investigation into the events of the 9th of April was on its way . . .

GJ – There goes the opinion that the process of demise of the Soviet Union had realistically started on the 9th of April of 1989. It is my strongly personal opinion that the demise of the USSR was in its nature an inevitable historical logic. Georgia could not have avoided one additional gory incident in the process, could it?

SM – Here is the tandem of the events developed in Georgia in the aftermath of the 9th of April: May, June July and August were noted for the fact of critical propaganda of the cruelty committed by the Soviet Army in Georgia. At that time, Katushev was the soviet military prosecutor who started the investigation of his own. He came up with solid material and a conclusion as a result of the performed investigation which was brought to the family of the Georgian political scientist Soso Tsiskarishvili by Boris Yeltsin personally. I read Katushev’s Conclusion in that particular family.

GJ – What was written in the Conclusion?

SM – The Conclusion described in details the chronology of events of those days – in amazing details: names of participants in the protest manifestation in front of the Government House in the Rustaveli Avenue; who was standing where; who shouted what; the slogans and names of their authors; the number of troops of the Dzerzhinsky special squad and the number of soldiers of the Soviet Army. It is based on that conclusion that I am insisting that the sadistic carnage was committed by the special punitive squad of soviet state security. Notably, nobody was lower than lieutenant’s military rank in the squad. And all of them were of solid age. That was a well-trained and professionally-concentrated group of combatants which had always been absolutely conscious of its well-planned actions, and knew very well what they were going to do in Tbilisi either. So the Soviet Army was made a scapegoat in vain – their part was minor in this case. Loud reading of Katushev’s report on the events of the 9th of April in Tbilisi and the Conclusion of his commission was put on the agenda of the congresses of the Soviets (parliamentary body) and the USSR Communist Party. The report was not at all covering up the behavior of the Georgian government, but it also made a clear statement that the Soviet Army had nothing to do with the massacre in Tbilisi. It was the KGB special squad who did the job. So Katushev’s report was calling for immediate stoppage of anti-soviet-army propaganda, discrediting it badly.

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