A report on Eduard Shevardnadze

Shevardnadze in 1997
Original CIA file on Shevardnadze, seized from the former United States Embassy in Tehran
Shevardnadze at the Reykjavik Summit with Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jack Matlock and George Shultz, 10.11.1986
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Banners on Parliament of Georgia saying: "Georgia without Shevardnadze", "Poti is with you"

Soviet and Georgian politician and diplomat who governed Georgia for several non-consecutive periods from 1972 until his resignation in 2003 and also served as the final Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1990.

- Eduard Shevardnadze
Shevardnadze in 1997

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Georgia (country)

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Country located in the Caucasus, at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, identifying itself as European.

Country located in the Caucasus, at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, identifying itself as European.

"Gorgania" i.e. Georgia on Fra Mauro map
Patera depicting Marcus Aurelius uncovered in central Georgia, 2nd century AD
Northwestern Georgia is home to the medieval defensive Svan towers of Ushguli
Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Queen Tamar, the first woman to rule medieval Georgia in her own right.
King Vakhtang VI, a Georgian monarch caught between rival regional powers
The reign of George XII was marked by instability.
Noe Zhordania, Prime Minister of Georgia who was exiled to France after the Soviet takeover
The Bolshevik Red Army in Tbilisi on 25 February 1921. Saint David's church on the Holy Mountain is visible in the distance.
Georgian Civil War and the War in Abkhazia in August–October 1993
The Rose Revolution, 2003
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice holding a joint press conference with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili during the Russo-Georgian war
Salome Zourabichvili, the first woman elected as president of Georgia
Presidential residence at the Orbeliani Palace in Tbilisi
Pro-NATO poster in Tbilisi
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, President of Moldova Maia Sandu, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the European Council Charles Michel during the 2021 Batumi International Conference. In 2014, the EU signed Association Agreements with all the three states.
Georgian built Didgori-2 during the military parade in 2011
A Ford Taurus Police Interceptor operated by the Georgian Patrol Police.
Map of Georgia highlighting the disputed territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region (South Ossetia), both of which are outside the control of the central government of Georgia
Köppen climate classification map of Georgia
Mount Kazbek in eastern Georgia
Svaneti region of Georgia
View of the cave city of Vardzia and the valley of the Kura River below
Georgia's diverse climate creates varied landscapes, like these flat marshlands in the country's west
Southwest Georgia has a subtropical climate, with frequent rain and thick green vegetation
Georgian Shepherd Dog
GDP per capita development since 1973
A proportional representation of Georgia's exports in 2019
One of several plants operated by HeidelbergCement in Georgia
Wine-making is a traditional component of the Georgian economy.
The most visited ski resort of Georgia, Gudauri
The Georgian Railways represent a vital artery linking the Black Sea and Caspian Sea – the shortest route between Europe and Central Asia.
Port of Batumi
Ethno-linguistic groups in the Caucasus region
Tbilisi State University, Corpus I
Illuminated manuscript from medieval Georgia, showing a scene from nativity
Old Tbilisi – Architecture in Georgia is in many ways a fusion of European and Asian.
Rather than serving food in courses, traditional supras often present all that a host has to offer
Château Mukhrani, one of the centres of Georgia's viticulture in the 19th century, has recently been restored to produce its eponymous wine.
Dinamo Tbilisi, winner of 1981 European Cup Winners' Cup on stamp of Georgia, 2002
Château Mukhrani, one of the centres of Georgia's viticulture in the 19th century, has recently been restored to produce its eponymous wine.

Eduard Shevardnadze (Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1991) returned to Georgia in 1992.

Zviad Gamsakhurdia

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Georgian politician, dissident, scholar, and writer who became the first democratically elected President of Georgia in the post-Soviet era.

Georgian politician, dissident, scholar, and writer who became the first democratically elected President of Georgia in the post-Soviet era.

Leaders of Georgian independence movement in late 80s, Zviad Gamsakhurdia (left) and Merab Kostava (right)
Gravestone of President Gamsakhurdia in Tbilisi.
Gamsakhurdia on a 2019 postage stamp commemorating his would-be 80th birthday

In Georgia, the government of Eduard Shevardnadze (who was then First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party) arrested Gamsakhurdia and his fellow dissident Merab Kostava on 7 April 1977.

Gorbachev at the White House Library in Washington, D.C., 1987

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Russian and former Soviet politician.

Russian and former Soviet politician.

Gorbachev at the White House Library in Washington, D.C., 1987
Gorbachev and his Ukrainian maternal grandparents, late 1930s
Gorbachev studied at Moscow State University from 1950 to 1955
Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader whose anti-Stalinist reforms were supported by Gorbachev
Gorbachev on a visit to East Germany in 1966
Part of the Great Stavropol Canal established under Gorbachev's regional leadership
Gorbachev was skeptical of the deployment of Soviet troops in Afghanistan (pictured here in 1986)
In April 1983, Gorbachev gave a speech marking the birthday of Lenin (pictured), founder of the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev in 1985 at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland
Gorbachev at the Brandenburg Gate in April 1986 during a visit to East Germany
Gorbachev's visit to Lithuania in 1990 in an attempt to stop Lithuania's declaration of independence which passed two months later
U.S. President Reagan and Gorbachev meeting in Iceland in 1986
Gorbachev with Erich Honecker of East Germany. Privately, Gorbachev told Chernyaev that Honecker was a "scumbag".
Gorbachev speaking in 1987
Gorbachev and his wife Raisa on a trip to Poland in 1988
Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with Reagan at a summit in Geneva, Switzerland, 19 November 1985
Reagan and Gorbachev with wives (Nancy and Raisa, respectively) attending a dinner at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, 9 December 1987
Gorbachev meeting the Romanian Marxist–Leninist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1985. According to Taubman, Ceaușescu was Gorbachev's "favorite punching bag".
Berlin Wall, "Thank you, Gorbi!", October 1990
Gorbachev addressing the United Nations General Assembly in December 1988. During the speech he dramatically announced deep unilateral cuts in Soviet military forces in Eastern Europe.
In September 1990, Gorbachev met repeatedly with U.S. President George Bush at the Helsinki Summit
Tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters surrounding the White House
Leaders of the Soviet Republics sign the Belovezha Accords which eliminated the USSR and established the Commonwealth of Independent States, 1991
Gorbachev visiting Reagan, both in western wear, at Rancho del Cielo in 1992
Gorbachev, daughter Irina and his wife's sister Lyudmila at the funeral of Raisa, 1999
Gorbachev attended the Inauguration of Vladimir Putin in May 2000
Gorbachev (right) being introduced to U.S. President Barack Obama by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, March 2009
Gorbachev in 1987
The official Soviet portrait of Gorbachev. Many official photographs and visual depictions of Gorbachev removed the port-wine birthmark from his head.
Gorbachev at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, 16 June 1992
Former US president Ronald Reagan awards the first Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to Gorbachev at the Reagan Library, 4 May 1992

He promoted Gromyko to head of state, a largely ceremonial role with little influence, and moved his own ally, Eduard Shevardnadze, to Gromyko's former post in charge of foreign policy.

Demonstrators spending the night in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi

Rose Revolution

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Nonviolent change of power that occurred in Georgia in November 2003.

Nonviolent change of power that occurred in Georgia in November 2003.

Demonstrators spending the night in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi
Mikheil Saakashvili with protestors
Saakashvili's inauguration as President of Georgia

The event was brought about by widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections and culminated in the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze, which marked the end of the Soviet era leadership in the country.

A map of the conflict region

War in Abkhazia (1992–1993)

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Fought between Georgian government forces for the most part and Abkhaz separatist forces, Russian government armed forces and North Caucasian militants between 1992 and 1993.

Fought between Georgian government forces for the most part and Abkhaz separatist forces, Russian government armed forces and North Caucasian militants between 1992 and 1993.

A map of the conflict region
Events of the war in August 1992 – October 1992
Events of the war in October 1992 – August 1993
Events of the war in August 1993 – October 1993
The 12th anniversary of ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia, which was held in Tbilisi in 2005. One of the visitors of the gallery recognized her dead son on the photograph
"Monument to the heroes, who fell fighting for the territorial integrity of Georgia", Tbilisi
The names of Abkhaz troops and their allies killed in action during the war are inscribed on the "Alley of Glory" monument in Sukhumi
Ukrainian UNA - UNSO volunteers in Georgia

The handling of this conflict was aggravated by the civil strife in Georgia proper (between the supporters of the ousted Georgian president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia – in office 1991–1992 – and the post-coup government headed by Eduard Shevardnadze) as well as by the Georgian–Ossetian conflict of 1989 onwards.

Inside garden of the Parliament building after the coup

1991–1992 Georgian coup d'état

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Internal military conflict that took place in the newly independent Republic of Georgia following the fall of the Soviet Union, from 22 December 1991 to 6 January 1992.

Internal military conflict that took place in the newly independent Republic of Georgia following the fall of the Soviet Union, from 22 December 1991 to 6 January 1992.

Inside garden of the Parliament building after the coup
Inside garden of the Parliament building after the coup
The Act of Restoration of Georgian Independence signed on 9 April 1991.
Kitovani in the Rkoni Gorge following his mutiny.
Former HQ of the Tbilisi KGB, where several political prisoners were jailed by Gamsakhurdia.
Mkhedrioni flag
Georgian parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue
Zviadist fighters taking cover behind the Parliament building
Opposition soldiers
Vladimir Lobov, head of the Soviet army from 1989 to 1991.
Hotel Tbilisi became, in December 1991, the HQ of the armed opposition.
The Kashveti Church becomes a target during the coup.
3 January protesters fleeing after an attack by the Military Council. Two were killed instantly and dozens wounded.
View of Rustaveli Avenue, center of the war.
The interior of Parliament was taken by force by opposition soldiers several times.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Gamsakhurdia and his guard in his bunker
View of Rustaveli Avenue after the conflict
Jokhar Dudayev, President of Ichkeria, welcomes Gamsakhurdia in Grozny.
Eduard Shevardnadze became the head of the Georgian state as soon as March 1992.
George H.W. Bush (left) and Boris Yeltsin (right).

Following Gamsakhurdia's fall, a Military Council, led by Kitovani and Ioseliani, took power in Tbilisi and assured the return of Eduard Shevardnadze, the last Soviet Foreign Affairs Minister, to hand over power to him.

Tbilisi

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Capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River with a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

Capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Kura River with a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

Anchiskhati Basilica is the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi
Detail from the Nautical chart by Angelino Dulcert, depicting Georgian Black Sea coast and Tiflis, 1339
Tbilisi according to French traveler Jean Chardin, 1671
A 1717 illustration of Teflis by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
The coat of arms of Tiflis under Russian rule
Tiflis by Mikhail Lermontov, 1837
The Red Army entered Tbilisi on 25 February 1921
City Council building overlooking Freedom Square
A police station on Agmashenebeli Avenue
Tbilisi, especially Old Town, has a complex terrain, with hills and cliffs
The National Botanical Garden of Georgia in Tbilisi is concealed from view as it resides among the hills of the Sololaki Range
Tbilisi Sea is the largest body of water in Tbilisi.
Preparations for the 2015 UEFA Super Cup at the Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi
Rustaveli Theatre seen on the Rustaveli Avenue
Open-air cafés in Old Tbilisi
Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre
Tbilisi Art Gallery
Abanotubani
High-rise residential and office buildings in Vake.
Tbilisi International Airport
Public School Number 1 of Tbilisi, also known as the First Classical Gymnasium
Tbilisi State University, Building I
Remnants of city walls, recently found in central Tbilisi
Tbilisi Platz in Saarbrücken, Germany.
"Dry Bridge", constructed by Italian architect Antonio Scudieri
View on Golovin Avenue as seen from the site of present-day Freedom Square
Building of the Tbilisi City Hall
Grand Hotel "Kavkaz" in central Tbilisi, c 1900
Building of the Art Museum of Georgia, built at the end of the 1830s, photo ca. 1900
Tatar bazaar and with the Metekhi Orthodox church seen on the cliff
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, demolished by the Soviets to make way for the present Parliament building
Sameba cathedral and the president’s palace, Tbilisi, Georgia
Freedom square (Tavisupleba) with St. George column at night, Tbilisi, September 2018
Freedom square in central Tbilisi with statue of St. George fighting the dragon

Even during the Shevardnadze Era (1993–2003), crime and corruption became rampant at most levels of society.

Saakashvili in May 2012

Mikheil Saakashvili

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Georgian and Ukrainian politician and jurist.

Georgian and Ukrainian politician and jurist.

Saakashvili in May 2012
Saakashvili's inauguration as president of Georgia
Presidents Saakashvili and George W. Bush in Tbilisi on 10 May 2005
Anti-Saakashvili poster in Tbilisi, 2006
Mikheil Saakashvili with George W. Bush
Mikheil Saakashvili with President of Poland Lech Kaczyński in 2007
Saakashvili at the 2007 European People's Party Summit in Lisbon.
Graffiti in Tbilisi
Saakashvili in 2008
Meeting with Vladimir Putin, 22 February 2008
Mikheil Saakashvili (2013)
Saakashvili-led protesters demand Petro Poroshenko's impeachment, Kyiv, 3 December 2017
Mikheil Saakashvili (2019)
Sandra Roelofs, Michelle Obama, Mikheil Saakashvili and Barack Obama in 2009

Involved in Georgian politics since 1995, Saakashvili became president in January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in the November 2003 bloodless "Rose Revolution" led by Saakashvili and his political allies, Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania.

Abkhazia

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Partially recognised state in the South Caucasus, recognised by most countries as part of Georgia, which views the region as an autonomous republic.

Partially recognised state in the South Caucasus, recognised by most countries as part of Georgia, which views the region as an autonomous republic.

The Kingdom of Abkhazia was united through dynastic succession with the newly formed Kingdom of Georgia in 1008 when Bagrat II of Abkhazia became Bagrat III of Georgia.
The borders of the Sukhumi District of the Kutaisi Governorate in 1899 when Abkhazia was part of the Russian Empire.
Abkhaz and Georgian generals in the Imperial Russian Army, 19th century
Map of the Soviet Caucasus (1957–91) showing the Abkhaz ASSR within the Georgian SSR.
Georgian Civil War and the War in Abkhazia in August–October 1993
Exhibition at the 2005 commemoration of the ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia, held on its 12th anniversary in Tbilisi.
Abkhazians carrying the republic's flags in a parade.
Seaside in Pitsunda, Abkhazia in 2006
Map of Georgia highlighting Abkhazia (green) and South Ossetia (purple).
The Russian embassy in Sukhumi
Dmitry Medvedev (centre, with dark tie) visited the Russian military base in Gudauta in 2010
The leaders of Abkhazia, Russia and South Ossetia, shortly after the 2008 war. Left to right: South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity; Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh.
Border checkpoint on the Psou River
The breakaway republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh within the Caucasus region
Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab with Transnistrian President Yevgeny Shevchuk in September 2013
"View of Mount Agepsta and Turyi gory (Tur Mountains) from the top of Kamennyi Stolb, Aibga Ridge.", 2014.
View from Pitsunda cape
Logo of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.
1) Gagra
2) Gudauta
3) Sukhumi
4) Gulripshi
5) Ochamchira
6) Tkvarcheli
7) Gali
Beach in Gagra in May 2014
New Athos monastery in Abkhazia
Russian Drama Theatre. Sukhumi, Abkhazia.
Daur Akhvlediani Stadium, Gagra

Former Soviet foreign minister and architect of the disintegration of the USSR Eduard Shevardnadze became the country's head of state, inheriting a government dominated by hard-line Georgian nationalists.

South Ossetia

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Landlocked and partially recognised state in the South Caucasus.

Landlocked and partially recognised state in the South Caucasus.

Fragment of 1856 map by J. H. Colton depicting Caucasus region. Modern South Ossetia is located below the green "Ossia", which approximately corresponds to modern North Ossetia
Historical Russian map of the Caucasus region at the beginning of the 19th century
Ossetian migration over time
Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918–1921) in 1921
Creation of South Ossetian AO on historical Georgian regions in 1922
Map of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast in 1922
Map of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1957–1991
Georgian Civil War in October–December 1993
South Ossetia before the war
Tskhinvali in August 2008
Map of Georgia highlighting South Ossetia (purple) and Abkhazia (green)
Topographic map of South Ossetia (Polish transcription)
Russian Presidential Decree No. 1261 recognising South Ossetian independence.
Ethnic map of the Caucasus from 1995 Ossetians live in North and South Ossetia.
Palm Sunday procession in Tskhinvali
The Dzuarikau–Tskhinvali pipeline, delivering natural gas from Russia to South Ossetia, went online in 2009.

Afterwards, the Georgian military council, an interim government, was formed by a triumvirate of Jaba Ioseliani, Tengiz Kitovani and Tengiz Sigua, and, in March 1992, they invited Eduard Shevardnadze, a former Soviet minister, to come to Georgia to assume control of the Georgian State Council.