Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 28

President Eduard Shevardnadze and other Georgian officials yesterday voiced strong suspicions that the previous night’s attempt on Shevardnadze’s life (see Monitor, February 10) had originated in Russia. "They can not forgive me [the Soviet withdrawal from] Afghanistan, the [fall of the] Berlin Wall, the [Soviet] troop withdrawal from Europe, the [planned] oil pipelines and Central Asia-Europe transit corridor. That’s why they to destroy me… I can not rule out further attempts. Behind them stand very powerful forces, which our small country currently lacks the means to confront." These were Shevardnadze’s words to a specially summoned meeting of executive officials, parliamentary deputies, and cultural figures in Tbilisi yesterday. The president was referring to his record as Foreign Minister of the former USSR and to his current projects, which Russia opposes, for Georgia and the South Caucasus region. He and other Georgian officials did not specify whom they had in mind.

The officials at the gathering directly expressed similar suspicions. Shevardnadze repeated them more obliquely in statements yesterday to both Russian and international media. All the statements, however, stopped short of implicating Russian officials, only mentioned unspecified "circles" or "certain forces." The president and law enforcement officials announced plans to investigate possible involvement by the Russian military based in Georgia. However, contrary to some media reports, the planned investigation does not include a Georgian blockade of Russian garrisons. (Russian and Western agencies, RTR, February 10)

Was Shevardnadze Assassination Attempt on the Work of Rogue Chechen Field Commander?