Honorable Mikheil Sergeevich!

            Let me inform you that the authorities of Georgia have done everything in their power to achieve the peaceful solution of Tskhinvali conflict (former South Ossetian AO).  However, the armistice and ceasefire agreement reached on 24 January seams is not acceptable to someone.  That night the officer of the interior troops A.G. Peleshuk and praporshik (junior officer, interpreter’s note) E.E. Starodubtsev (from the military unit 32/19), dressed in the boeviks’ uniform attacked the checkpoint of the Georgian Ministry of Interior and fired it with the machine guns.  Three officers – N. Rostomashvili, L. Shonia and G.Gelashvili got the wounds, one of them is in a critical situation.  The day before four soldiers of the Internal Troops had the similar attempt, but failed.

            At the same time the Ossetian separatist and terrorist still receive the guns and ammunitions from the units of the Soviet Army dislocated on the territory of Tskhinvali.  For instance, the sappers’ unit #47913 of the Ministry of Defense is deployed there.  According the data at our disposal the military servicemen of that unit are of the Ossetian origin: Vice-colonel M.B. Kochiev - deputy commander of the political unit; the servicemen of the Regiment # 61902 of the air troops of the MOD P. Khochiev, O. Pukhaev, S. Bichekoev, G. Jioev, A. Alborov, O. Gigolaev, R. Valiev, E. Datikoev, R. Jioev, A. Bestaev and B. Jioev have a deal with extremists operating on the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast.  The servicemen supply the latter with the armament and ammunition, application of which entailed the casualties among the officers of the Georgian MOI, who just performed their duties.

            The separatist leaders M. Kulumbegov and A. Chochiev often find shelter at the said military base.  Such ties between the Army and the Ossetian terrorists made the war against their gangs endless.  People are starving in the city.  The number of Georgian refugees from Tskhinvali reached the thousands; every day people are killed.  My appeal on this issue to the Commander of the KzakVO (Military Headquarters of the Trans-Caucasus) was not responded.

            Given the above said, I urge you to launch the prosecution against the aforementioned officers and entrust the Ministry of Defense of the USSR with re-deploying of the said base to another place, which will be agreed with the Government of the republic.

            I also ask you to exercise severe punitive measures against those, who are guilty in those bloody incidents, provoked by the Internal Troops.

            If in the nearest future You will not take any steps to punishing the perpetrators and disarming separatists and terrorists in Tskhinvali, we may assume that the Lithuanian and Latvian scenarios are being prepared and the Soviet Army and the Internal Troops are fighting against Georgian population and the units of the Georgian Ministry of Interior in a covert manner, guided by the Center.

            In such case we will have to publish all of the above facts and appeal to the UNO and all International instances to prevent our people from the imminent disaster.

            Respectfully Z. Gamsakhurdia

            25 January 1991

(Newspaper “Vestnik Gruzii”/Georgian Messengers/, # 6, 7 February 1991)