Confrontation in National Government of Georgia
24 November, 2011

The current state security service in Georgia, as in the rest of the Former Soviet Union, was still manned by the cadres, left over from the communist regime. They started abetting minister of defense of Georgia Tengiz Kitovani, pushing him to act in compliance with their plan.  Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

 

GJ – The National Guard was created after the multi-party elections had taken place in Georgia, when Zviad Gamsakhurdia became chairman (speaker) of the Georgian Parliament. National Guard was

headed by Tengiz Kitovani, the Minister of Defense. How did the events develop further?

SM – When National Guard was created it was called the ‘Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’, which was meant for relevant actions within the country, but we all called it popularly the National Guard. When Gamsakhurdia was asked to dismiss the Guard he issued the order about the transfer of the National Guard under the command of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Nothing had changed practically. The only thing that happened was the repetition of the executive order with a slight modification and interpretation thereby. The current state security service in Georgia, as in the rest of the Former Soviet Union, was still manned by the cadres, left over from the communist regime. They started abetting minister of defense of Georgia Tengiz Kitovani, pushing him to act in compliance with their plan. It was deliberately underlined for him to hear that Gamsakhurdia transferred the National Guard under the command of the Ministry of Internal Affairs because Gamsakhurdia wanted to get rid of him (Kitovani). Gamsakurdia said at that moment that he would make statement only after the session of the Supreme Soviet (parliamentary body) of Russia. Tengiz Kitovani took it all personally and got angered at Gamsakhurdia. At that very moment, Kitovani, together with his entourage (a small group of supporters – about 100 men) was in Rkoni (Near Tbilisi). He was also encouraged to go against the president personally. On top of all that, the prime-minister of independent Georgia Tengiz Sigua was also dissatisfied with Zviad Gamsakhurdia for various objective or personal reasons. As it was noted, there were many KGB agents around in the Georgian government whose behavior was really irritating. Prime-minister Sigua was also a subject of influence on part of the KGB agents, telling him that Gamsakhurdia was trying to fight him, even desiring to physically eliminate him and his entire family. He was being told to leave the country until it was time for him to escape peacefully.

GJ – And Sigua joined Kitovani who was sheltered in the woods, didn’t he?

SM – That’s what he did. He was later followed by foreign minister Gogi Khoshtaria. Thus the KGB started to split apart the Gamsakhurdia camp. That was the time when the process of Georgia’s recognition had started. By the end of August of 1991, Rumania recognized Georgia as an independent nation.  The KGB had even managed to increase pressure on Gia Chanturia, the leader of the National-Democratic Party. They started manifestations in September against Gamsakhurdia regime. On the 2nd of September of 1991 the first bullet was shot during the manifestation against Gamsakhurdia.

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