Georgia History before 2000

Georgia History before 2000

Under Soviet rule – Transcaucasian Federation and Georgian SSR

When uprisings broke out in the south of the country, the 11th Red Army marched into Georgia on February 11, 1921 “in support of the rebelling proletarians”, which was the last of the three Transcaucasian states to be Sovietized. On February 25, 1921, Tbilisi was taken; on March 18, the government went into exile in France. The phase of Georgia’s first independence had ended militarily, but resistance to Sovietization continued. In October 1922 the Central Committee of the Georgian Communist Party resigned in protest against the anti-national policies of G. K. Ordzhonikidses. In August 1924 a popular uprising broke out, the suppression of which resulted in several thousand deaths. Stalin forced the three Transcaucasian Soviet Republics to merge again (“Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic”, December 1922 to December 1936). During this time, the country went through a transformation from an agrarian to an industrial society in the course of forced collectivization and industrialization. This process was accompanied by terrorist measures carried out under L. Beria (since 1931 first secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, since 1932 of the Transcaucasian party apparatus) for the extensive elimination, for the most part also of the physical extermination of the country’s intellectual elite and the old Bolsheviks in the course of the “Stalinist purges” (1936/37). In 1944 they became the Turkic meshes collectively deported from the Georgian-Turkish border area (Samtskhe in South Georgia) to Central Asia under brutal circumstances. See history of Georgia after 2000 on softwareleverage.

After Stalin’s death, Vasily Pavlovich Mschawanadze (* 1902, † 1988) headed the Georgian party apparatus in 1953–72; under him corruption and the black economy flourished, while problems of national minorities and economic development were neglected. When E. Shevardnadze came to power (1972–85), a purge of the party and state apparatus was initiated; A controlled opening of the country supported the formation of a politically and nationally motivated dissident movement in connection with the CSCE process, which again took up the slogan “Fatherland, Language, Faith” in order to oppose attempts at Russification (abolition of the state language Georgian in 1978). The since 1985 of M. S. Gorbachev and Shevardnadze The reform course of the USSR, supported by the Soviet Foreign Minister, encouraged the national movement to question the forced Sovietization of 1921 and thus the membership of Georgia in the Union. The demand for Georgia to leave the USSR, first made in April 1979, was renewed ten years later by various civil rights groups, including a “Popular Front” based on the Baltic model. Another reason for protests was the alleged foreign infiltration of the country by Russians, among others. Ethnicities. The bloody suppression of a peaceful demonstration in Tbilisi on the night of April 8th to 9th, 1989, with 22 fatalities and 200 injured, not only united the various political forces, but also brought about the ultimate break with Moscow’s central power. At the same time, since the late 1980s there have been repeated violent, sometimes armed, clashes between Georgians and the Abkhazians struggling for independence (since 1977, increasingly since 1989) and South Ossetians (since May 1989). The majority of both ethnic groups preferred membership of the Russian Federation to dependence on an increasingly nationalist Georgian national government.

Renewed independence in 1991 – from Gamsakhurdia to Shevardnadze

In the first free elections on October 28th and 11th. 11. In 1990, the »Round Table – Free Georgia« party alliance became the strongest parliamentary force in Georgia and its leader, S. Gamsachurdia, became parliamentary president. After Georgia declared its independence as the “Georgian Republic” on April 9, 1991, the population elected Gamsakhurdia as president on May 27, 1991 ; his dictatorial course and the cult he practiced for himself met with strong resistance, which escalated into civil war. On January 2, 1992, the insurgents declared Gamsakhurdia to be deposed. Shevardnadze resigned on March 10, 1992as chairman to the head of a newly formed Council of State. The population confirmed him in office in the elections on October 11, 1992, from which the “Peace Bloc” emerged as the strongest group (followed by the “October 11 Bloc”).

Georgia under the spell of regional conflicts

At the end of June 1992, the Georgian leadership and South Ossetian politicians agreed a ceasefire to settle the bloody conflict in South Ossetia , which was seeking unification with North Ossetia, a part of the Russian Federation. however, the situation remained tense even after a mixed peacekeeping force was deployed. During a military action against supporters of Gamsakhurdia , units of the Georgian National Guard marched in Abkhazia in August 1992 one that unilaterally declared its independence in July 1992. To put an end to the fighting, in which the Abkhaz militants received support from volunteer units of the “Confederation of Caucasian Mountain Peoples” (especially from Chechens), an armistice was concluded in September 1992 with the mediation of Russia; Soon thereafter, however, there were again heavy fighting, in which the Abkhaz militia succeeded in displacing the Georgian troops from Abkhazia by the end of September 1993 (Reconquest of Sukhumi on September 27, 1993, escape of around 250,000 Georgians and Mingrelians from the Region). The military trial Gamsakhurdia to regain a foothold in Georgia (August to November 1993), failed; in December 1993 Gamsachurdia was killed.

Under the pressure of internal conflicts, Georgia joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1993 (treaty ratification on March 1, 1994) and concluded a treaty on friendship, cooperation and good neighborliness with Russia on February 3, 1994. On May 14, 1994, representatives of Georgia and Abkhazia reached an agreement in Moscow on a ceasefire agreement (surveillance by a Russian peacekeeping force and UN military observers). The main problems of conflict settlement, the repatriation of refugees and the legal position of Abkhazia, which at the end of 1994 and again in 1999 in its own constitution as a “sovereign state”, remained unresolved; in return, Russia managed to expand its influence in the region. On March 22, 1995, an agreement was signed on the stationing of Russian troops in four bases (Batumi in Adjara, Wasiani near Tbilisi, Gudauta in Abkhazia, Akhalkalaki in the Armenian majority area of ​​Javakheti); In November 1999, a Russian-Georgian agreement was reached on the closure of the Gudauta and Wasiani bases.

Reshuffles of military leadership positions went hand in hand with the disarming of the national militias that were responsible for the fall of Gamsakhurdias and played a leading role in the Abkhazia events. In October 1999 the last Russian soldiers deployed to guard the Georgian external borders withdrew; Despite Russian allegations that Islamic fighters and arms transports would pass through the Georgian-Chechen border, Georgia refused to station Russian troops on the Georgian side. As of April 2002, the USA also sent American military advisers to Georgia as part of its anti-terror strategy. When in August 2002 a Russian air raid was directed against alleged Chechen retreat bases in the Georgian Pankissital, tensions arose again between Russia and Georgia.

Domestic and foreign policy developments 1995–2000

In August 1995 the Georgian parliament passed a new constitution (anchoring a strong presidential power); in elections on November 5, 1995, Shevardnadze was confirmed in the office of President. From the parliamentary elections on October 31, 1999 (like those of November 1995), the Citizens’ Union led by Shevardnadze emerged as the strongest political force. Shevardnadze was also able to prevail in the presidential elections on April 9, 2000 and was confirmed in office with around 80% of the votes in the first ballot.

In March 1994 Georgia joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program; Under President Shevardnadze  , it also announced its efforts to join NATO (official application in November 2002), taking into account the relationship with Russia. In April 1996 Georgia signed a cooperation and partnership agreement with the EU (in force since July 1999). In April 1999 it became a member of the Council of Europe (combined with the request, among other things, to create a legal framework for the resettlement of the Meshet). Georgia was admitted to the WTO in June 2000.

Georgia History before 2000