Military Review

Plague in Paradise: Georgian-Abkhaz War 1992-1993

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Plague in Paradise: Georgian-Abkhaz War 1992-1993



Paradise

Magnolia Flower is impeccable. Refined and strict, snow-white-modest - without the bright multicolor, characteristic of the subtropics, full of purity and dignity. This flower is worthy only of the bride. Abkhazian bride, of course! Do you know the Abkhaz wedding - when are thousands of relatives and neighbors going to !? When half the city rises on the ears: who puts firewood under the huge boilers, who cuts the bulls, who constructs tables and tents - knock, roar, roar. And then a holiday, a feast, and all the men in turn from the liter table horn - for a new family, for new lives! For the harvest, for the grapevine! For the progenitor mountains, visible from everywhere in Abkhazia! Pour: here 'Psou' is white, semi-sweet, and you can not have a snack, although the grape churchkhela lies close on the plate; but 'Chegem' is red and so dry, just under its fragrant juicy kebab. Here in the glass sparkles with the purple highlights of 'Amra' (in the Abkhaz - the sun), and when the drinking songs will sound, all the other sounds will subside. Magnificent thickets of magnolia, tall eucalyptus conceals, chic spreading palm trees, twisted cheeky lianas, ready to break into the house, are heard by a friendly Caucasian polyphony. Abkhazia, after all, is Apsny in Abkhazian, the land of the soul. The country that God left for himself, distributing all the lands to different tribes and nations. And when the late Abkhaz appeared, God didn’t even ask them - where were they? Of course, the guests were welcome again. I had to give them this fertile land, and myself to go to heavenly distance. Snooty mountain rivers, noisy, like Abkhazian weddings, beat from the dispersal right into the sea, but immediately subside, tamed by the immortal power of the world’s ocean. And the people here live unusual. Sacred honor traditions, the laws of their ancestors. Proud, strong, intolerant of injustice. Next to the Abkhaz, their good neighbors are Georgians. For centuries they lived side by side, fought shoulder to shoulder from the Romans, Arabs, Turks. The same dishes loved. Corn porridge - hominy; beans stew - in Georgian 'lobio', and in Abkhazian - 'akud'; Khachapur and Khachapuri, Satsivi and Achapu. But in hospitality, will the Georgians yield to Abkhaz ?! Millions of holidaymakers of the Soviet Union fell in love with magnificent Abkhazia, and came there again and again: to Ritsu, to waterfalls, to the New Athos monastery, languid Gagra, the fragrant boxwood Pitsunda with its purest water off the coast, and, of course, Sukhum. However, Sukhum is Abkhazian. Georgian will be - Sukhumi.

Plague

On August 14, 1992, when the midday heat reached a peak, a helicopter appeared over the beaches of Sukhumi, motley from the uncoating tourists. People began to turn their heads in his direction, and at first they saw lights flickering at the body of the rotorcraft. Only a moment later a lead hail hit them. And from the east, the roar of breaking into a serene city was already heard tanks. These were parts of the so-called 'guard' of the State Council of Georgia, as well as thousands of armed volunteer detachments thoroughly saturated with the nationalist and criminal spirit, under the command of the “godfathers” Tengiz Kitovani and Jaba Ioseliani. Under the general leadership of the President of Georgia Eduard Amvrosievich Shevardnadze. In the future, the author will call them “Georgian forces”. It is possible and shorter - 'guardsmen'.

Witnesses S. Zantariya (Sukhum, Frunze st., 36-27) testifies:
- State Council soldiers broke down the door and entered, allegedly for removal weapons. At that time I had my sister Vasilisa and former husband Ustyan V.A. They began to demand money, to insult. Having drunk alcohol, robbed the apartment, took the sister and V. Ustyan. They scoffed and raped my sister, beat Ustiana, and then killed her. They robbed everyone, took them indiscriminately, caught girls and women, raped them ... What they did was impossible to convey ...


Evidences L.Sh.Ayba (Sukhum, Dzhikiya str., 32):
“At night, my neighbor Jemal Rekhviashvili called me outside, saying: 'Do not be afraid, I am your neighbor, go out.' As soon as I left, they hit me on the head, then they dragged me into the house and started searching. In the house, everything turned upside down and all valuables were taken away. Then they took me to the depot area, where they beat me between cars, demanded a machine gun and three million money ... Then they went to the police station, where they said they found a grenade and showed me one of their grenades. Then they put him in a cell. Periodically tortured, using current, beaten. They gave us a bowl of food once a day, and often spat before our eyes in this bowl. When the Georgians had failures at the front, they broke into the cell and beat everyone sitting in it ...


Testifies Z.Kh. Nachkebia (Sukhum):
- 5 'Guardsmen' came, one of them put my grandson Ruslan against the wall and said that he had come to kill. Another approached my two-year-old granddaughter, Lyada Jopua, lying in a cot, and put a knife to her throat. The girl said to herself: "Lada, do not cry, uncle is good, he will not kill you." Ruslan's mother, Sveta, began to beg not to kill her son, said: "I will not suffer his death." One 'guardsman' said: "Hang yourself, then we will not kill the son." The neighbors came, and Ruslan's mother ran out of the room. Soon went to look for her and found in the basement. She was hanging on a rope and was already dead. "Guardsmen", having seen it, said: "Bury her today, and tomorrow we will come to kill you."


Testifies BAAnapha:
“The Guardsmen hit me, tied me up, took me to the river, put me in the water and started shooting next to me and asking questions about what weapons the Abkhazians had. Then they began to demand 3 million. After the beating, I lost consciousness. Woke up in the room. Having found the iron, they stripped me and began to torture me with a hot iron. They scoffed until the morning, in the morning their shift came, which again started beating me and demanding a million. Then they took me out into the yard, handcuffed me, started cutting the hens and stabbing me with morphine. In the evening of the same day, I was able to escape, got to the Armenians, who treated my wounds, cut the handcuffs, fed me, gave me overnight and showed me the way to the city in the morning.


There is no one in Abkhaz to speak in the city of Ochamchira. Only for speech can kill. The bodies of Abkhazians with traces of terrible torture, with separated parts of the body, end up in the district hospital. There have been cases of removal of the scalp, the skin of living people. Hundreds of people have been tortured and brutally murdered by the Baba’s gangbusters, whose leader is shown on Georgian television in a white burka as a national hero. The number of Abkhazians who lived in Ochamchira in the 8 months of the war has decreased from 7 thousand to about 100 old and old women, tormented by torture and harassment. To shift the brunt of the war to the Georgian population of Abkhazia, the Tbilisi “ideologues” ordered the distribution of weapons to the local Georgians. And a certain part of the Georgians began to kill their neighbors, but many, risking their lives, hid the families of the Abkhazians, and then helped them escape. About 30% of the Georgian population of the Ochamchira region left the borders of Abkhazia in order not to take part in the extermination of the Abkhazians.

Testifies V.K.Dopua (village Adzubzha):
- October 6 'Guardsmen', along with local Georgians entered the village. All those found in the houses were driven. Adults were built in front of the tank, the children were put on the tank and led all in the direction of Dranda. Dope Juliet, tied with ropes to the tank, dragged along the street. So civilians used as a barrier from the shelling of partisans.


The world virtually unknown names Abkhaz village Tamysh and Armenian Labra, and other villages, almost completely destroyed by Georgian forces. After Eduard Shevardnadze came to power in Georgia, the West declared Georgia a "democratic country", and this was a real indulgence - the forgiveness of all sins. In the West, Edward Amvrosiyevich was always attentively listened and sympathized with his problems. Probably deserved. Neither the countries of “civilized democracy” nor Russia were focused on the “problems” of the residents of Labra and Tamysh. In the meantime, the entire Caucasus shuddered from eyewitness accounts.

VE Minosyan, a resident of the prosperous village of Labra of the Ochamchira region, where hard-working Armenians lived, whose ancestors fled from the Turkish genocide of 1915, testifies:
- It was a day at three o'clock. We collected several families, a 20 man, and made them dig a deep hole. Then the old men, children and women were forced to descend into this pit, and the men were forced to cover them with earth. When the land was above the belt, the "guardsmen" said: "Bring money, gold, or we will bury everyone alive." The whole village gathered, children, old men, women fell to their knees, begging for mercy. It was a terrible picture. Once again, they collected valuables ... only then almost people went mad.


Evidences Yeremyan Seisyan, mechanic:
- The village of Labra is completely destroyed, expelled, robbed, tortured everything, many dead and raped. One guy named Kesyan was offered to rape his mother. Collective farm worker Sedu was raped by several people in the presence of her husband, as a result of which the latter went crazy. Ustyan Khingal undressed and forced to dance, while stabbed her with a knife and fired from machine guns.
The Svans, the people who inhabit the northeastern regions of Abkhazia and the Kodori Gorge, were more actively involved in this violence. Georgian tanks, 'Grads' and aviation in the end, Labru was razed to the ground, as were the villages of Tamysh, Kindgi, Merkulu, Pakuash, Beslakhu.


They destroyed not only an entire nation, but also destroyed the very memory of it. During the occupation, the institutes whose development was world famous were plundered: the Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology, the Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy with its famous monkey. Georgian soldiers left the monkeys out of their cages with the words: "Let them run around the streets and gnaw the Abkhazians." The building of the Abkhaz Institute of Language, Literature and storiesNovember 22 1992 was completely destroyed by the Abkhaz State Archives, where 17 thousands of storage units were killed only in funds of the ancient period. Petrol was poured into the cellars of the archive and set on fire; Citizens who tried to extinguish, drove away shots. The buildings of the printing houses, publishing houses, bases and storages of archaeological expeditions in Sukhum, in the villages of Tamysh and Tsebelda, Gagra Historical and Archaeological Museum, where unique collections of ancient artifacts were destroyed, were looted and burned. Professor V.Karzhavin, winner of the Lenin and State Prizes, a prisoner of the Gulag, died of starvation in Sukhum.

A bit of history

The Abkhazian kingdom is mentioned in rather ancient sources no later than the VIII century AD. Moving from one empire to another - Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Russian - the Abkhaz did not lose their national identity. In addition, the conquerors were more interested in the coast, and very few people wanted to climb into the mountains. But the obstinate nature of the Abkhazians towards the conquerors gave rise to such a tragic phenomenon as 'mahajirism' - the forced relocation of the local population from Abkhazia to other places, mainly to the territory of the Ottoman Empire. For many centuries the Abkhazians and their neighbors Georgians lived peacefully. However, in the XX century, a new wave of displacement began, now under the regime of Stalin. At the beginning of the 30-s, Abkhazia, as an autonomous republic, was transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Georgian SSR. In 1948, a large number of Greeks, Turks and other non-indigenous peoples were forcibly resettled from Abkhazia. Georgians began to be actively settled in their place. According to the 1886 census, Abkhazians in Abkhazia had 59 thousand, Georgians a little over 4 thousand; according to 1926 of the year: Abkhazians - 56 thousand, Georgians - 67 thousand, according to 1989 of the year: Abkhazians - 93 thousand, Georgians - almost 240 thousand.

The collapse of the Soviet Union served as a trigger for the conflict. The Abkhaz Supreme Council, headed by its leader Vladislav Ardzinba, demanded that Tbilisi conclude a federal treaty, following the path that Russia has taken in building a new federal-type state. This demand has caused a wave of indignation in the majority of Georgian politicians of the new time, since they saw Georgia as an exclusively unitary state. Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who came to power in Georgia in the 1991 year, called the national minorities of the country no other than “Indo-European pigs”, and considered them “okrazinivshimisya”. The adventurous policy of Gamsakhurdia in all directions pushed Georgia into the abyss, and then organized crime entered the political arena. The criminal authorities T.Kitovani and D.Ioseliani created their armed formations (the Ioseliani group was called 'Mkhedrioni' - horsemen), and overthrew Gamsakhurdia. And in its place put Eduard Shevardnadze. And the former Minister of the Interior of the Georgian SSR agreed. Now the next task was to pacify the inordinate "impudent" national suburbs: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The pretext for attacking Abkhazia was quickly found: supporters of the ousted Zviad Gamsakhurdia settled in the territory of eastern Abkhazia and began to wage a languid struggle against the Shevardnadze regime. Including they carried out attacks on trains that occurred on the only railway leading to the territory of Georgia from Russia. 12 August 1992 The Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia adopted an appeal to the State Council of Georgia, which contained the following lines:

- The new Treaty between both states, the need for which the Abkhaz Parliament speaks from 25 on August 1990, will clearly define both the terms of reference of each of the republics and the competence of their joint bodies ... The conclusion of the Union Treaty between Abkhazia and Georgia is a reliable means of overcoming mutual mistrust between by our peoples.


However, by that time the Georgian side received the main thing: Russian weapons, sufficient to complete a full-fledged division, including heavy weapons, tanks, and a large amount of ammunition. There is every reason to assume that the then President of the Russian Federation, B. Yeltsin, not only armed the aggressor, but also gave him a political carte blanche, guaranteeing non-intervention by Russian military units stationed in Abkhazia and Georgia, into the conflict. And 14 August 1992, the Georgian column of armored vehicles, hung with bunches of heavily armed criminals Kitovani and Ioseliani, with the support of aviation (Su-25 and Mi-24) moved into Abkhazia.

War

Georgian forces on the move captured a significant territory of Abkhazia, but they could not make it further than Sukhum. On the Gumista River, which serves as the western border of Sukhum, Abkhaz forces delayed the advance of the aggressor; In the course were a few machines, hunting rifles, debris. The craftsmen were making hand bombs and land mines, filling various metal cylinders with industrial explosives. Someone came up with pouring 'Guardsmen' with liquid intended for the destruction of pests of mandarins. Hot Abkhaz guys on the move jumped on enemy armored vehicles, dazzled viewing equipment with capes, destroyed the crew and shouted with their own: "Who will be the tankman?" So the Abkhaz forces gradually acquired their own tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, painted Georgian inscriptions on them, and wrote their slogans in Abkhazian. The whole of Abkhazia for the length of 200 km from the border with Russia to the border with Georgia is connected by practically the only road running along the sea. In addition, all this road passes along the mountain slopes, densely covered with forests. Naturally, this facilitated the task of defending and leading a partisan war in the occupied eastern areas of the Abkhaz militia. Infuriated by the fierce resistance of the Abkhazians, the commander of the Georgian forces G.Karkarashvili 27 August 1992, spoke on Sukhumi television and said that "... I am ready to sacrifice 100 thousands of Georgians for the destruction of 98 thousands of Abkhazians." In the same speech, he stated that he gave the order to the troops — not to take prisoners.

A few days after the start of the invasion, Georgian forces landed a naval landing in the Gagra area. Well-armed guardsmen quickly took control of a large area, distributed the weapons brought with them to the local Georgians. Now the Abkhaz forces were caught between two groups of Georgian forces: the Sukhumi and Gagra.

The situation seemed hopeless. There are no weapons and ammunition, in the east - the enemy, in the west - the enemy, at sea - Georgian boats and ships, in the north - impassable Caucasian ridge. But then a new factor entered the arena, not a material one - a spiritual one. Perhaps the appropriate name for it would be - "a just war for liberation." The savagery perpetrated by the aggressor in the occupied territories caused widespread indignation not only in Abkhazia itself. Through impassable mountain passes volunteers from the republics of the North Caucasus stretched to Abkhazia: Adygs, Kabardians, Chechens, representatives of many other Caucasian nationalities, and ... Russians. A thin stream of weapons came from Chechnya, which by that time had gained de facto independence, having completely eliminated all federal structures on its territory. Having finally realized that the situation in Abkhazia cannot be called anything other than genocide, Moscow began a “double” game. In words, she recognized the territorial integrity of Georgia, but in fact began to supply Abkhaz forces with weapons from the territories of Russian military units stationed in Abkhazia. Strong men with military bearing and Slavic physiognomies, who taught Abkhazians and volunteers, who formed their units, the science of war, appeared on the Abkhaz mountain training bases. And two months later, the Abkhaz forces stormed Gagra, coming to the border with Russia on the Psou River. The Russians (mostly Cossacks, many after Transnistria) fought in the so-called Slavbat, considered one of the most combat-ready units of the Abkhaz forces, and in small groups in different units.


Memorial plate at the bridge over the river Gumista, there were fierce battles.


Fighters of the Armenian battalion selflessly fought, participated in almost all serious operations (before the war in Abkhazia, there were more than 70 thousand Armenians). The battalion "Confederates" (volunteers from the Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus), led by Shamil Basayev, fought skillfully and courageously. It was in his battalion that the poet Alexander Bardodym fought and died, who then wrote the lines that became famous:

The spirit of the nation must be predatory and wise,
Judge ruthless detachments,
He kobroyu hides nacre in his pupil,
He is a buffalo with a motionless look.
In the land, where blood is purple from swords,
Not looking for cowardly solutions.
He is a hawk counting peaceful men.
In the hottest time of battles.
And his score is accurate, how accurate is the span.
In motion indestructible.
The less men choosing fear
The higher flight hawk.


The grave of the poet Alexander Bardodym, who fought for the freedom of the Abkhaz people. Under the bouquet of fresh color is a leaflet with the text of the poem "The Spirit of the Nation".


The fate of the war was sealed. Now the weapons to the Abkhaz arrived freely across the border with Russia, volunteers also arrived freely, the number of which, however, never exceeded more than one thousand people at the front at the same time. The Abkhaz themselves exhibited about 7-8 thousands of fighters, for the 100 of a thousand people it was the maximum. In fact, all the men and many women fought. 22-year-old nurse of the Abkhaz militia Liana Topuridze, a student of the biological faculty of the Abkhaz State University, 'guardsmen' captured and mocked her the whole day, shot dead only in the evening. The Georgian military made, of course, certain efforts to restore discipline and order in their units; there were many cases when the guards, especially at the age, stopped their fellow soldiers, who were fixing the lawlessness. However, the overall situation was depressing: violence, bullying and atrocities against civilians and prisoners, drunkenness and drug addiction flourished in the Georgian forces. During the initial successes, the Georgian side had about 25 thousands of fighters at the front, but as they realized that they would have to fight for real, their number steadily decreased. The Georgian 4-million people didn’t actually support the war, the atrocities of their own troops were well known in Georgia, so the bundling of Georgian forces was extremely difficult. I had to recruit those who were urgently interested in fighting in Ukraine and other CIS countries, and in March 1993 of the year in Sukhum on the 4-s aircraft from Ukraine arrived about 700 Ukrainian militants. A number of fighters from the Baltic states and Russia fought on the Georgian side, but the total number of 'foreigners' on the front also did not exceed 1 thousands of people. Interestingly, in connection with the end of the war in Transnistria, the liberated forces from the Transnistrian side moved to the war in Abkhazia: only the Ukrainians went to fight for the Georgian forces, and the Russians (Cossacks, mostly) for the Abkhaz. The criminals from the Mkhedrioni units and the Kitovani police, collecting all the valuables in the controlled territories and transferring them to Georgia, began to evaporate before our eyes. It’s one thing to torture old men with irons, and quite another to open battle with the now well-armed Abkhazians. After covering the capital from all sides, after a series of heavy battles, they took Sukhum during the third assault. Shevardnadze, who had flown to Sukhum to encourage his soldiers, was evacuated to Tbilisi from the battle zone on a Russian military helicopter, guarded by Russian special forces. 30 September 1993, the Abkhaz forces reached the border with Georgia, and this date is celebrated in Abkhazia as Victory Day.


Fighters of the Abkhaz forces: Sukhum ahead!


The mining town of Tkvarchal, sandwiched between the Caucasus Mountains and the Georgian forces in the eastern zone, held out throughout the war - more than 400 days. The Georgian forces could not take it, despite repeated shelling and air strikes, as well as a carefully organized blockade. Angry "Guards" shot down a Russian helicopter that evacuated women and children from Tkvarchal to Gudauta - more than 60 people were burned alive in a huge bonfire. Tkvarchaltsy - Abkhazians, Russians, Georgians - starved to death on the streets, as in the besieged Leningrad during the Great Patriotic War, but did not surrender. And it is not by chance that today in Abkhazia they call that war 1992-1993gg. - Patriotic. The total irretrievable losses of all parties in it are estimated at 10 thousand people. Almost all Georgians left Abkhazia, almost all Russians left. Armenians left more. As a result, the population has declined by about two thirds. There were facts of mass killings of the civilian Georgian population, committed by a certain part of the Abkhaz and 'confederates'. Such tricks, like cutting throats by captives, the Chechens began to practice at that time. However, the Georgian side and the prisoners did not stand on ceremony. In fact, the population has decreased by two thirds of the pre-war. Around 50, thousands of Georgians without spotted crimes, have already returned to the Gali district, where they lived compactly before the war.

Today

Today tourists again go to Abkhazia - one million a season. They look at the magnificent thickets of magnolia, tall eucalyptus know-it-alls, chic spreading palm trees, twisted sassy vines, ready to burst right into the house. Many creepers burst into the houses - these are the houses of people expelled by the war. They scare tourists a little with the hostile blackness of windows and ruined roofs. Monuments now stand next to magnolias and eucalyptus trees, memorial plaques with portraits of different people who defended the honor, freedom and right to exist of a small but proud people are now visible right on the rocks. In the midst of the tourist season in August-September, vacationers periodically see the ceremonies of local residents. This is what the Abkhazians recall on August 14 - the day the aggression of Georgian forces began, they celebrate August 26 - Independence Day and September 30 - Victory Day. Today, Russia has finally decided. In Gudauta, now the military base of the Russian army, on the New Athos raid - warships of the Russian fleet.


Small rocket ship in the raid of New Athos under the flag of St. Andrew.


The threat of a new war has not disappeared. In August, Georgian forces led by the new Commander-in-Chief M. Saakashvili tried to take revenge in August 2008, but a big brown bear came from the north, clapped with a paw, and all fled. The war ended in 3 day. And rightly so, the magnolia flower must be flawless.

Additional materials:

1. From the memoirs of the Polish journalist Mariusz Wilk, who visited 1993 on the side of the Georgian forces:

'... We came to a small, old-looking village near Tbilisi, where the formation camp was located. It reminded me of Fellini’s films, where he tells about the birth of fascism in Italy. It is in Italy, and not in Germany. So camp. There was a drill of the members of the formation. These were men of years 40. The picture seemed a little ridiculous to me, because these were obviously former teachers, villagers, and collective farmers who were not used to military uniform. They roused themselves with belligerent cries and greeted each other with a fascist gesture of throwing out their hands. They were not scary, but rather, grotesque. But it was worth remembering that these people could kill other people to feel the thunderstorm. These were the "Whalers" - the "black" political police. "


“Here the drunk Commander began to be frank ... He said that war became a profession for him, and his vocation was to live in a war. He said that they will return to South Ossetia, because by that time the Ossetians will get rich and that there will be something to plunder. And if not Ossetia, then rich Ajaria, which can be stripped. In the meantime, we will rob Ossetia and Ajaria, Abkhazia will get rich. Thus, he showed me that in this war, and maybe not only in this, political goals do not concern people with weapons. For them, war means entering the city, robbing all the shops, robbing apartments, then transporting it all to Tbilisi to their familiar merchants. '


2. A letter from Mikhail Dzhincharadze, the First Deputy Head of the Administration of Gagra, addressed to Eduard Shevardnadze (written during the occupation of the Gagra area by Georgian forces):

'Mister Edward!
Today we have in the city of 600 a man of armed guards and Mkhedrioni forces. The rest, before 400 people, went to Tbilisi in an organized way ... At the same time, we are concerned about one question. In connection with the arrival of new forces during these 4-5 days, life in the city has virtually gone out. Rob houses and apartments. We started with the robbery of Abkhaz houses, then continued the robbery of Armenian, Russian, and now we have begun to rob the Georgian apartments. In the city, in fact, not a single private or state machine remained that was not taken out. I am more concerned about the political significance of this process. In fact, the population of other nationalities has already dissociated itself from the Georgian people. In the city and among Georgians, there is a tendency towards dissatisfaction with the army, which may cause undesirable results, since in our city there are still numerous groups of Zviad supporters who are carrying out undesirable propaganda, and robbery by armed units pours water on their mill.

I would not want to disturb you, Mr. Edward, I would have acted together with the commandant myself if there had been no robbery. But the process is already becoming unmanageable, since it is virtually impossible to control the various parts. Probably, it is necessary to urgently allocate a group of the Ministry of Defense in order to control military units in time, otherwise we will lose the political struggle. '


3. Battalion of Bagramyan (Armenian battalion of Bagramyan, separate Armenian motorized rifle battalion of USSR Marshal I. Kh. Bagramyan) —the military formation of the Abkhaz armed formations of the Georgian-Abkhaz war during the period of the Georgian war, 90, during the formation of the Georgian-Abkhazian war, the formation of Abkhazian armed forces of the Georgian-Abkhazian battalion of the USSR Marshal I. Kh. . The battalion consisted of ethnic Armenians and was created 9 February 1993 of the year. The battalion took part in hostilities against the government troops of Georgia. After the start of the Georgian-Abkhaz war, Georgian forces launched punitive operations against non-Georgian, including the Armenian population of the republic. After the robberies and violence against the Armenians, at an urgently convened meeting of the leadership of the Gagr community, Mashtots, it was decided to officially support the Abkhaz side and speak in arms on the Abkhaz side. The first battle, in which the battalion participated, took place 15 - 16 March 1993 of the year during the second assault on Sukhum. The battalion was tasked with taking a strategic and well-fortified bridge across the Gumista River, which he completed after losing many fighters. There was a need to replenish the battalion, for which several Armenians arrived from Nagorno-Karabakh, who fought against the government troops of Azerbaijan. They, as well as Russian mercenaries - professional military men, engaged in the preparation of the battalion. The number of battalions exceeded 350 people, and the second Armenian battalion was organized in Gagra. The estimated number of Armenians in the ranks of the Abkhaz armed formations was more than 1500 people. In September, 1993, after unsuccessful negotiations, the Abkhaz side launched an operation against Georgian government forces. Both Armenian battalions took part in the operation to capture Sukhumi. According to eyewitnesses, the Armenian battalions were very well armed and equipped. Back in the early summer of 1993, with the help of representatives of foreign diasporas, the Armenian diaspora of Abkhazia was able to organize the supply of several batches of modern weapons, in particular, Bumblebee jet flame throwers. During the fighting in the city, the Bagramians actively used these weapons to suppress firing points and destroy armored vehicles. After the capture of Sukhum, the Armenian battalion was redeployed to the Kodori Gorge. The battalion’s task was to liquidate the defensive area near the village of Lata and in the area of ​​the tunnels, where the Svans were defeated.

Sources of:
1. 'White Book of Abkhazia 1992-1993'. Documents, materials, certificates. Moscow, 1993.
2. "The Armenian battalion in the Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia 1992-1993", R.Hojaa.
3. Materials from the New Athos Museum of Military Glory, provided by its director Yuri Hibba.



Tourists listen to the story of the war director of the New Athos Museum of Military Glory Y.Hibb.
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  1. SectoR
    SectoR 7 August 2012 08: 52
    +6
    I read about this ... but all the time covers horror ... ANIMALS, under the guidance of a patient ...
    Many felt the weakening of Russia, someone took advantage of this, someone suffered from it ...
  2. andrey903
    andrey903 7 August 2012 09: 00
    .
    Georgia must say, We are a neutral country and we ask everyone to respect our neutrality, and no one will dare touch it. Why does our money go to Turkey and Greece when a Russian-speaking and hospitable Georgia is nearby
    1. 53-Sciborskiy
      53-Sciborskiy 7 August 2012 09: 55
      +4
      Georgians are very nice and hospitable people, but not today's Georgia. The country's leadership not only does not see Russia, but also its citizens. Why? And so everything is clear.
    2. Pacifist
      Pacifist 7 August 2012 13: 37
      +9
      2andrey903
      I would have believed the storyteller if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes at 93m and felt this hospitality in Pitsunda and Sukhumi on my own hump.
      These nits must be crushed. The Nazis Georgians are worse than the Germans and all their history only proved it.
      And in 2008 they showed the rest of their foul nature and continue to show it.
      1. andrey903
        andrey903 7 August 2012 14: 16
        0
        Caucasians are all corrupt. Georgians are trade thieves, but not bandits and murderers like the North Caucasus. Recently, I often met 20 year old Georgians, thieves in law, not convicted
        1. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 7 August 2012 23: 40
          0
          Do not generalize!
        2. Drednout
          Drednout 8 August 2012 15: 58
          0
          Quote: andrey903
          Caucasians are all corrupt.

          Did you have experience of communicating with all Caucasians? Are you taking on too much, Andryusha? Georgians (as you call them) 4 years ago entered Tskhinvali exclusively as hucksters and thieves without killing anyone, right? Do you think I am a murderer and a bandit? Although, if you basically have to communicate with twenty-year-old "thieves in law" (?) And even not convicted !!! ?? then you are probably really special.
  3. SectoR
    SectoR 7 August 2012 09: 20
    +6
    The beginning of the twentieth century, 1992 and 2008 showed all the hospitality ...
    First you need to overthrow the puppet power there, and then recall the past hospitality ...
  4. Sakhalininsk
    Sakhalininsk 7 August 2012 09: 21
    +11
    When you read this, you immediately recall the Middle Ages, during which the "heroes" of such adventures, after being caught, were mercifully planted not with a Persian stake, so that in their writhings they would know the pain that they brought to others. It is a pity that those responsible for organizing these bloody atrocities were not rewarded with an exemplary landing on Persian colas.
  5. Middle-brother
    Middle-brother 7 August 2012 09: 22
    +16
    Thanks to Yeltsin for this. Squeezing sovereignty
    1. mda
      mda 20 November 2012 18: 28
      0
      Quote: Middle Brother
      Thanks to Yeltsin for this. Squeezing sovereignty

      And many thanks to the USA. We participated in the collapse of the USSR ..
  6. borisst64
    borisst64 7 August 2012 09: 29
    +9
    He rested in 1995 in Gudauta, in the sanatorium where the peacekeepers lived. The local population received a pension of 2000 rubles. per month, a loaf of bread cost 2200 rubles. With that money I received 1 million a month, a 3-room apartment in Sukhumi was sold for 300 thousand. I am glad that Abkhazia is rising from its knees!
  7. 53-Sciborskiy
    53-Sciborskiy 7 August 2012 09: 59
    +15
    Saakashvili at a meeting with Bush:
    - Georgians are a great nation!
    Bush: YES!
    - We have a very strong army and economy with great potential!
    Bush: YES YES!
    - We are a proud and strong people! We will win the war in Russia, outweigh everyone
    Ossetians and Abkhazians and we will live as in paradise in our free
    a democratic country, and I will be elected president for life!
    Bush: YES YES YES! OH YEAH! Suck Mishenka, suck, don't get distracted.
  8. grizzlir
    grizzlir 7 August 2012 10: 11
    +14
    By and large, those freaks were to blame for the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among them was Shevarnadze. He tried to stay political afloat in Abkhazia, while his popularity in Georgia began to decline. The worst thing happened, what the West dreamed about .One of the most friendly Russian people in the Caucasus has become our enemy.
    1. apro
      apro 7 August 2012 11: 31
      +10
      The Georgians never visited us as friends, yes. As something didn’t immediately go to the enemy or harmed. Russia raised them, they began to live much better than Russians and there was a swagger. Neglect of Russia,
  9. patriot2
    patriot2 7 August 2012 11: 15
    +5
    This article in the UN would be read to those who do not recognize the state of Abkhazia as independent.
    Yes, the Abkhazians won their right to independence by blood, and did not buy for gold and other natural resources!
  10. Zhaman-Urus
    Zhaman-Urus 7 August 2012 11: 55
    +4
    Now Gergin will come and explain to everyone that the "Bloody Gebnya" and the "Abkhazian separatists" are to blame for everything, and Georgia is a true elven kingdom, white and fluffy.
    PS Of all I agree only with the last one about "fluffiness"
  11. klimpopov
    klimpopov 7 August 2012 13: 38
    0
    It is just necessary to write about it and not only now, but always, that would be remembered.
    Regarding Chechnya: the situation is twofold, on the one hand Abkhazia and on the other, Budenovsk and the village of Kurskaya (emphasis on A is from the name of the Kura River).
    Embittered and impoverished people are always more inclined to fascism in its most atrocious manifestations, I do not justify, but these are the laws of history, remember Germany after the First World War, the consciousness of the people is easier to manipulate: "all the troubles from them go and win a place in the sun, who will destroy interfere "- this is the formula of fascism. The same thing has happened and is happening in Georgia, and until there is a normal economy and prosperity for the population, militancy towards its neighbors will flourish there.
    1. apro
      apro 7 August 2012 14: 06
      +3
      Allow me to disagree with you. In those places in 1985 everything is beautiful. Paradise is growing really. Compared to the Far East, people lived in abundance of holiday-makers. Buy-sell it is interesting when they drove a bucket of apples 50 kopecks across Russia. .and the Georgians didn’t live in the Soviet jokes of the Georgians are always rich. It’s not the poverty but the loss of control over the thoughts of the people and the indulgence of nationalism.
      1. klimpopov
        klimpopov 7 August 2012 14: 18
        0
        Well then, not prosperity, but rather not confidence in the future, and the desire can gain this confidence at the expense of others.
        I had in mind precisely Georgia and the period of the beginning of 90x, Abkhazians were always self-sufficient - such is the geographical position.
        Nationalism does not develop from scratch, it always has an economic and political background, that's what I'm talking about.
        1. apro
          apro 7 August 2012 15: 00
          +2
          Well, I don’t know today what tomorrow I don’t know what to wear, I’ll beat my neighbor and rob her. Nationalism thrives when it’s allowed or when there is no other way. The Georgians were allowed this robbery.
          1. klimpopov
            klimpopov 7 August 2012 15: 15
            +1
            Well, today I don’t feel good tomorrow. I don’t know what to wear. I’ll beat my neighbor and rob him.
            Well, there is some truth to this.
            The fact that the Georgians were allowed to do this is understandable, in turn, the Georgians, through their actions, instigated adequate opposition, is also understandable, but this is all a consequence (and here I must make a reservation, I do not think that all Georgians were for it, they probably found the most offended).
            Yes, and Georgia and Abkhazia did not live badly in the Union, but the same Georgians thought that if they separated now, they would live even better, but it turned out, on the contrary, the tangerines that they were going to trade - in Abkhazia, the sea - also in Abkhazia, and on the other hand "let everyone take as much freedom as they want" - here's a conflict on interethnic grounds.
  12. klimpopov
    klimpopov 7 August 2012 14: 18
    0
    Well then, not prosperity, but rather not confidence in the future, and the desire for this confidence can be gained at the expense of others.
    I had in mind precisely Georgia and the period of the beginning of 90x, Abkhazians were always self-sufficient - such is the geographical position.
  13. Lexo
    Lexo 7 August 2012 14: 30
    -5
    You know how disgusting it is to read continuous insults - after all, Abkhazia is not Russia !!! This is Georgian land so you don’t speak :)
    And the fact that the war came to this paradise place is the fault of those who destroyed the Union! We became enemies like obedient rams ....
    They included this vile music to us and there were those who began to dance with frenzy to it! This is the grief of both nations.
    The one who watered the Georgian and Georgian nation so stupidly and ignorantly = simply a disgusting blind idiot who does not understand History. It is a pity that everything became so :(
    1. apro
      apro 7 August 2012 14: 55
      0
      Well, it happens, but people need to stay or what?
    2. andrey903
      andrey903 7 August 2012 14: 59
      +1
      We are not enemies, it is necessary for Saakashvili to monitor the bazaar, not to rattle his arms and gradually everything will settle down. Why should Gruzie arm herself. She will not be able to fight with anyone and is not necessary. Let it be a resort country
    3. urich
      urich 8 August 2012 08: 32
      +3
      Quote: Lexo
      because Abkhazia is not Russia !!! This is Georgian land so you don’t speak :)

      Well then, according to your logic, Crimea is not Ukraine! You are very well versed in history!
  14. Lexo
    Lexo 7 August 2012 15: 17
    +3
    How can the simple poor Georgian people RETURN JUSTICE and restore the friendship of our peoples?
    My grandfather fought in the Second World War along with the Russians ... I want Russia to become STRONG again and drive out strangers from our lands ....
    They quarreled us .... they brought war to our house ....
    What does the unfortunate Georgian people have to do with it :(
    1. Igarr
      Igarr 7 August 2012 16: 43
      +11
      And here the people. Georgian.
      The article clearly named scumbags - Kitovani, Iosseliani, Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze, the commanders there.
      If Karkarashvili declares this "... I am ready to sacrifice 100 thousand Georgians for the destruction of 98 thousand Abkhazians." In the same speech, he stated that he had given an order to the troops - not to take prisoners. " - he who? Georgian, or what?
      In my opinion, a scumbag ... knocks down more than enemies.
      It is these "friends" that must first of all be called to account. To the Georgian people.
      And do not dissolve snot - poor, miserable ...
      ...
      I doubt very well that the Georgian grandfather from the film "Soldier's Father" could have raped a 22-year-old student nurse.
      ...
      Actually, it is said that the people are worthy of their ruler.
      You have Saakashvili, Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze.
      We have Yeltsin.
  15. Skavron
    Skavron 7 August 2012 16: 16
    0
    I don’t know how anyone ... but I was in Georgia recently and I can say that hospitality is peculiar to the Georgian nation ...
  16. Lexo
    Lexo 7 August 2012 17: 05
    +4
    Dear Igarr! In all comments here I saw the words of the Georgian-goats, etc. = and not a word that both YOU and WE are Led by our rulers, which as you know is not chosen by the people .. And the technology ....
    After all, everything that happens after they KILLED the USSR = all this is the result of a lost Cold War .... We were divided and put ruled princes ... What do you have, what do we have ... (One Berezovsky in the 1st Chechen what is worth)

    The formula of Britain = divide and conquer forged for centuries ...
    Just let's be human and understand = that the people have nothing to do with it ....
    Moreover ... I want to tell the Russian guys - both yours and OUR Enemy = WASHINGTON !!!!
    HE TURNS OUR LAND AND DECLINES THE MEMORY OF OUR ANCESTORS !!!
    THIS IS OUR TRUE ENEMY .... AND WE SHOULD NOT DANCE UNDER HIS MUSIC .... I BELIEVE THAT AMONG YOU FULLY THINKING SMART PEOPLE! GEORGIAN PEOPLE YOU ARE NOT AN ENEMY! COME AND BE SURPRISED AS YOU WILL MEET!
    1. Zhaman-Urus
      Zhaman-Urus 7 August 2012 19: 27
      +9
      They will meet us for our money. Just the same way they meet me in Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Russia, and anywhere. The question is why the Tatars did not go to cut the Bashkirs, Kazakhs of Russians and Russians of Ukrainians? Despite any contradictions, these nations could not step over the blood. But the peoples of the Caucasus, unfortunately, did not have enough, the mind of goodwill patience or something else to judge me but except Transnistria, all conflicts after the collapse of the USSR were in the Caucasus. And for all this, the participants blame not themselves but Russia.
      1. apro
        apro 8 August 2012 11: 47
        +1
        Zhaman-Urus said very well. +
  17. Shooter308ful
    Shooter308ful 7 August 2012 18: 30
    +5
    Georgians, what kind of hatred do you have to have for your Abkhaz neighbor, Ossetian, to come to his house, rob, kill unarmed people, force women? What do you say to that? I am proud that I am Russian. What are my great-grandfathers, grandfathers-warriors, but I have never heard that so a warrior could deal with a defenseless, not even an enemy, but an old man and a child? I am very sorry that Yeltsin, the then ruler of Russia, he did a lot of trouble for the Russian people, and now I see the Abkhazian too, having shown the policy of a prostitute, both ours and yours. Until the blood of the Abkhazians and Ossetians flowed, then, probably, I woke up from another booze.
    Georgians, you are not our enemies, because only a warrior can be our enemy.
    You are already beginning to understand that your Mishiko, who has played a game of democracy, allows Georgia to lose its independence before Turkey - this is the territory of Adjara, open genocide against Ossetians, as a result of which the Georgians lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia forever. If this goes on like this, then the territory of Georgia will become another Turkish resort, and you will be assimilated with them, well, or who will make the Georgian Diaspora on its territory. If the Russian empire, and later the empire of the USSR, was granted to the Georgians the realization of their full self-identity, then the Ottomans will not give you such an opportunity.
    Georgia is now nobody for most Russians and there is no way to call you, but without the Russians and Russian peoples you will be completely kirdyk.
    So quickly and of course, in a democratic way, unanimously dump your destroyer Mishiko, repent for the shed blood in front of the peoples of the Caucasus and enter into economic, political and military alliances with Russia. Only in union with her will you live in peace with yourself and the world around you. I do not take into account the enemies of all independent humanity, the United States. These will, of course, scream in full about the rollback of Georgia from democracy.
    1. lg080580bbp
      lg080580bbp 7 August 2012 22: 56
      -3
      "For the majority of Russians, Georgia is now no one to call you, but you will be absolutely kirdyk without the Russian and Russian peoples."

      From here on in more detail, otherwise I hear the opposite from the Georgian side. Everyone sits and thinks when the "great nation" will lag behind them at last.
      1. MI-AS-72
        MI-AS-72 8 August 2012 22: 05
        -1
        And why do they need us, we understand tourists, money, buyers, in a word, plus refuge for thieves in law, and they
  18. Num Lock UA
    Num Lock UA 7 August 2012 19: 16
    +2
    war is scary, regardless of the nationalities of the warring parties
    there are enough criminals and mentally ill everywhere, and in the war they also have weapons
  19. Lexo
    Lexo 7 August 2012 19: 53
    +2
    Shooter308ful RU - tell me where in the war did you meet the truth, love and harmony?
    In addition, it feels like you are overwhelmed with love to cry for a Georgian ...
    If you are so bravely insulting my national feeling, then work for the TRUTH to find statistics (and not rumors or a census from another site) about the actions of the Abkhazians and Russians (by the way, covered up by Chechen battalions) ... = so that you would remain as noble as Do you want that....
    and I also advise you to carefully look at the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia ... what is going on with your rape ...
    The Svans once did not allow the Germans during the Second World War - because they DEFENDED the Motherland ....
    08/08/08 was a crime against the people of Georgia in the first turn! and then everything else .... and therefore, why didn’t we die ... Russians are not our enemies! that's all...
    I think in war we won’t find the truth. We just do not need war.
    1. BSSR
      BSSR 7 August 2012 23: 26
      0
      Yes, do not pay attention to those who call Georgia and Georgians, to put it mildly, not in good words. For them, the image of your country is closely connected with the image of Saakashvili - a sort of, in their opinion, American litter. What Georgians think, and not only that, they don’t give a damn.

      And I assure you that most of Georgia will not say anything bad, but as usual in the family, it’s not without a freak.
  20. Vlaleks48
    Vlaleks48 7 August 2012 20: 45
    0
    What a dispute people are talking about! In 1917, the ENEMY came to the lands of the Great Russian Empire! He was cruel and inhuman, he destroyed the concept of FAITH, FAMILY and FATHERLAND! This enemy gave birth to people destroying their tribesmen and neighbors, only because they were not from the plebs. They forced the people to renounce their roots and faith in order to stay alive!
    This beast gave rise to an IUD of the type of Gorbachev, Yakovlev, Shevarnadze, Yeltsin, Krav
    chuka
    Shushkevich, Sobchak and many more kings in all areas of our once immense Motherland!
    In order to prevent people from changing their minds and using the methods of the lowest damage to amnesties and attracting criminals to conflicts on a territorial basis.
    They understood that together all the peoples of the Soviet Union were a force that could not be broken.
    The results we are now living!
    1. Drednout
      Drednout 8 August 2012 16: 11
      0
      Quote: Vlaleks48
      What a dispute people are talking about! In 1917, the ENEMY came to the lands of the Great Russian Empire! He was cruel and inhuman, he destroyed the concept of FAITH, FAMILY and FATHERLAND!

      Not even in 1917, but much earlier. Read Dostoevsky, "Demons" for example. Without the oath-renegades who betrayed the tsar and the homeland among the officers and nobility, no enemy could have come.
  21. nnz226
    nnz226 7 August 2012 22: 45
    +4
    A small nuance in the signature of the penultimate photo: in the picture there is a small anti-submarine ship, not a small missile one. But the article is good, however, for some reason, the actions of Russia to evacuate citizens were not noted, the news of those times showed how tourists from coastal cities and villages that ended up in the battle zone were taken out by landing ships ...
  22. lg080580bbp
    lg080580bbp 7 August 2012 22: 54
    -5
    The article is 100% customized. Just fits into the theme of the site as "patriotic".
    What did you want to read here? The truth that Abkhazia is part of Georgia ??? :)

    My relatives live in Tbilisi, for the last time in May they came to visit. They live well, abruptly. As I understand it, it infuriates all Russian nationalists.
    Read articles about economic development, about the absence of crime, about resorts in the end.
    1. MI-AS-72
      MI-AS-72 8 August 2012 22: 19
      -1
      Keep fantasy for yourself, you need money for a good life, and the country lives on credit, and everyone can live just fine, it can’t be Kuwait, and even the emirates, in villages and in most cities, poverty is a problem with light and heat. And I don’t understand one thing (although on the other hand we need this Georgia) why not show this truth about the life of Georgians, so that no one would talk about a happy life in Georgia, by the way the same thing in the Baltic states, train and see they were dropped by level life is also far away, I travel periodically and grin, you wanted it here and eat you are now free. And when you go to any cafe or shop everyone remembers the Russian language, and in the 80s they forgot.
  23. nekromonger
    nekromonger 7 August 2012 23: 02
    +2
    Georgians were always nationalists and the Soviet government was not there. Everything was sold and bought (judging by 1985) when I was there. Georgians openly told me that in Georgia they are current people, whose surname ends in dze or shvili, and the rest are Abkhazians , Mingrels, Adjaras, etc. this is human trash.
  24. Trapperxnumx
    Trapperxnumx 7 August 2012 23: 59
    +1
    War is always bad, and civil war is a hundred times worse. And I wouldn’t defend the Abkhazians so unambiguously and attack the Georgians. After all, it’s enough to remember why it all started. How Georgians occupied all leading and leading posts in Abkhazia, how they fled from there saving their lives, how their things were looted. As then, the Georgian leadership decided on this stupid (you can not say otherwise) step. Do not forget that at that time, fighting for the Abkhazians, Shamil Basaev also honed his military-guerrilla craft. The mere mention of his name in the ranks of the defenders of Abkhazia nullifies for me the whole heroism of his defenders. I had a chance to visit Abkhazia, and had a chance to chat with people (Russians), for whom Abkhazia is their homeland and who were forced to flee from there. When I was there with them, I saw how hard it was to look at their homeland. I saw how hard it was for them to see their homeland destroyed and neglected. Why, answer me, why, the proud and freedom-loving people of Abkhazia for 20 years still not put their country in order? Maybe it’s just time for them to stop playing backgammon in the yards and dismantle these buildings already broken by shells? Or is everyone waiting for the Russians to come and all will be repaired?
    This is a view from the other side. And I believe that he also has the right to be.
  25. 8 company
    8 August 2012 09: 38
    0
    Quote: Trapper7
    And I wouldn’t defend the Abkhazians and attack the Georgians so clearly


    As for Basayev - you say that because you know about his future. And during the war in Abkhazia no one knew him, there were no Chechen wars yet, and he was just one of many who came to the aid of the Abkhazians. As can be seen from the article, among those who gave their lives for the freedom of Abkhazia, there were many Russians. By the way, when the Confederation of Mountain Peoples after the victory over the Georgians began to push through the issue of unification of the Caucasian republics under anti-Russian slogans and invited the Abkhazians to participate in this, they categorically refused. And about the fact that Abkhazia still has not put its country in order - this is true. They don’t have their own currency there; in fact, they live largely at the expense of Russia, especially due to tourists from Russia.
  26. Lexo
    Lexo 8 August 2012 11: 10
    0
    Stop quarreling and groaning each other .... Overseas strangers did everything for this ... every nation has meanness and betrayal, on which they played ....
    All of us here must understand where the "legs grew" from in the beginning = Alan Dalas, whether he did not go well, performed his program brilliantly :(
  27. Bosk
    Bosk 8 August 2012 20: 37
    +1
    All peoples have enough scum, Georgians have it, we have it, there are aliens too ...., the current war in movies looks romantic and heroic, but in real life it's dirt, dirt and again dirt, and the attacker always bastard and meaner at least because of the current because it got into me with its dirty boots and already spit the current into my soul, the Georgians feel sorry for the small friendly people, and because of some narcissistic half-witted idiot, she stained herself unchildly. And on the subject of these freaks with trunks and show-offs ....... everyone will get the full amount from that bearded uncle behind the clouds no one else left him, they got out for an hour, well, two, or a year ...... but they will pay will be forever.
  28. Leka1684
    Leka1684 13 August 2016 22: 53
    -1
    They forgot to write how Russian and Georgian families were massacred in Tkavrcheli ... How drunk Abkhazians killed their own children with crazy bullets ...
  29. Leka1684
    Leka1684 13 August 2016 22: 56
    0
    How civilians of Tkvarcheli helped each other ... Abkhazians, Georgians, Russians ... Helped each other survive in this hell ...