Towards the Armed Conflict
19 January, 2012
Towards the Armed Conflict

Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia instigated the ethnic conflicts not only in Georgia. Russia did all its possible best to strain the situation in the entire region of South Caucasus. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.


GJ – The military action on the Apkhazeti territory started August 15, 1992, which soon entered a very active phase and ended in fall of Sokhumi (capital of Apkhazeti) on the 27th of September of 1993. The main reasons of this war

are very well known – it was Russia’s primary goal to get Georgia (as weakened by civil confrontations, ruined economy and political mess as it was) dragged into war by any means and have it face the only option of survival which was reuniting with Russia. How did the war start in the first place?


S.M. – Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia instigated the ethnic conflicts not only in Georgia. Russia did all its possible best to strain the situation in the entire region of South Caucasus. For example, Russia forcefully stuck the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh into the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. As a result of this perfidious feint, the two former soviet republics found themselves involved in a gory ferocious war against each other. The only road connecting Armenia with the rest of the world crossed Georgia’s territory. As it is historically known, communication via Turkey is shut off for Armenia, and the road passing through Iran was not yet open at that time. Passing Georgia, Armenia first communicated with Russia, and then via Russia, with Europe and the entire West.


GJ – So this vital-for-Armenia major thoroughfare was blocked due to the Russian Georgian war, wasn’t it?
S.M. – It was vital for Georgia too. Part of that railroad lay on the territory of Apkhazeti. And right on that part of the railroad the shipments were burglarized by various armed bands and formations, identifying themselves as either the supporters of the ousted president of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, or the local Apkhaz or in any other unlikely fashion. Meanwhile, the merchandise worth of several million dollars used to be impounded or looted. Armenia sent a note of protest to Georgian authorities. Naturally, the Georgian government was pressured to have the situation under control and protect the shipments. Otherwise, both Georgia and its neighboring republic would continue suffering heavy economic losses. This is why the Georgian authorities decided to pull the armed police unit into Apkhazeti. Actually, the army or any other military units – in conventional understanding – were not functioning in Georgia at that time. Even the National Guard was part of the ministry of interior of Georgia under President Gamsakhurdia.

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