War in Rustaveli Avenue of Tbilisi
08 December, 2011

All of a sudden, a bullet was shot during the dialogue. Nobody had a clue where the shot came from, or who did it. What followed after were the aimless shootings in every possible direction. The situation got out of hand. In about two hour’s time, the military grouping under the command of Kitovani was seen in front of the Parliament House, engaged in shooting.  Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

 

GJ – Do you know the details of the plan which

was laid down by the opposition to topple President Gamsakhurdia?

SM – The anti-Gamsakhurdia plan was made in the Tbilisi Sea head-quarters of Tengiz Kitovani. The joint meeting of the opposition and the current government was planned to be held on December 22 of 1991. As a mater of fact, the date was agreed upon by the parties the previous day – 21 December. It was also planned that during the meeting one of the participants in the scheduled meting from the Chanturia National-Democratic Party would shout ‘Let’s go and capture the Bastille!’ This was meant to strain the situation even more by running towards the Parliament House. At that moment, 3000 armed National Guardsmen – supporters of President Gamsakhurdia – were guarding the President and the parliament building.

GJ – The Chanturia-prepared provocateur could not have been all by himself in working up the panic, could he?

SM – He was supposed to be accompanied by the Georgian rugby players and other able-bodied young men. It was well presumed that the oppositional meeting participants would join them too. They could not have thought even in their wildest imagination what kind of havoc was going to happen in the place of destination they were headed for.

GJ – A tremendous blood-bath was in making at that very moment . . .

SM – Yes! That was the plan – the stupidest one could possibly put together . . . Eventually the events developed in the following way: President Gamsakhurdia was offered to break up the opposition meeting using jet water hose, or even using force, but Gamsakhurdia was wary of the confrontation between the parties, which clearly meant spilling of fraternal blood between the Georgians.

GJ – We could not manage to avoid the hell anyway...

SM – At 3 in the morning President Gamsakhurdia left the Parliament House to go home for a while. He left in the building the commander of National Guard, minister if internal affairs and other officials. In the morning a dialogue took place between the Inferior Ministry staff and the opposition. All of a sudden, a bullet was shot during the dialogue. Nobody had a clue where the shot came from, or who did it.

GJ – Nothing is known about the incident up until today . . .

SM – The fact is that there came a shot. What followed after were the aimless shootings in every possible direction. The situation got out of hand. Kitovani started moving from the Tbilisi Sea Territory towards downtown Tbilisi in his dilapidated Russian-made old armored troop carriers. In about two hour’s time, the military grouping under the command of Kitovani was seen in front of the Parliament House, engaged in shooting in the direction of the Parliament House. The war in Rustaveli Avenue of Tbilisi was unleashed by the opposition to the legitimate government of Georgia. There were certain attempts to enter negotiations – all in vain. Thus passed December 22, 23 and 24 . . .  Roundabout December the 29th, there was a complete chaos in the country. Even the Kitovani camp had collapsed. He himself was sheltered in the South Caucasus Army Staff headquarters in Saburtalo (district in Tbilisi).

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