Georgia. According to
Countryaah, President Eduard Shevardnadze was subjected to
an attack in February in the capital Tbilisi. He escaped
unharmed, but two bodyguards were killed when grenades and
automatic fires were fired at the president's car cortege.
Suspicions were directed at the incumbent President Zviad
Gamsachurdia's supporters but also against Russian forces
who wanted to prevent a new oil pipeline from the Caspian
Sea from being pulled through Georgia.
Shortly after the attack, four UN observers, including a
Swedish officer, were kidnapped by armed militia loyal to
Gamsachurdia. The hostage was released without meeting the
kidnappers' demands: the withdrawal of Russian troops from
Georgia and the release of political prisoners.
The conflict around the outbreak republic of Abkhazia
caught fire in May. For a few days, Abkhaz forces and the
Georgian army fought the most difficult fighting since the
1993 war. Extensive negotiations followed, and in October
the parties agreed on confidence building measures,
including the military commanders decided to establish
communications. A minor military revolt broke out in western
Georgia in October, where Gamsachurdia has its strongest
support. The uprising was fought after a few days, but was
given, among other things. as a result, Shevardnadze
dismissed his Minister of Security. He was accused of
knowing in advance about the revolt without intervening.
Shevardnadze claimed that the uprising was controlled by
forces that wanted to prevent the Caspian Sea oil pipeline
from being pulled through Georgia to Turkey.
The country's finance minister resigned in November after
harsh criticism that long-term payments of pensions and
public servants' wages were delayed. At the same time, the
country's largest electricity company announced that it
could only afford electricity supply three days a week to
Tbilisi and other cities. Unpaid electricity bills were
stated as a cause.