APPEAL OF THE PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA TO MR. M. S. GORBACHEV, PRESIDENT OF THE USSR, A. I. LUKYANOV, USSR CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL, R. N. NISHANOV, CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF NATIONALITIES OF THE USSR SUPREME COUNCIL, B. G. PUGO, USSR MINISTER OF INTERIOR AFFAIRS

As you know, on April 24 of this year, the Council of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Council adopted a resolution outlining practicable ways of political resolution and normalization of the situation in Shida Kartli region, and namely in Tskhinvali and its environs. The decision was made after a constructive discussion.

A standing inter-parliamentary commission was established with participation of members of the USSR Supreme Council, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia and the Supreme Council of the Russian SFSR. The commission deals with all issues related to the establishment of law and order in the region.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia believes that this decision provides an opportunity for a prompt resolution of the conflict on the territory of the former Autonomous Region of South Ossetia.

Meanwhile, the forces of the Ministry of Interior Affairs of the USSR stationed in the conflict zone contribute to escalation of tension in the conflict zone by their actions: they attack civilians in rural areas, kidnap them and take hostage. Many Georgians are known to be under arrest with no official charges brought against them. Today, on April 27, at 5.30 am, seven armored personnel carriers entered the village of Eredvi. Servicemen burst into houses of local residents smashing doors and windows. They searched the houses and then arrested ten local Georgians and took them to Tskhinvali. There is a 60-year-old woman among the arrested. All the ten hostages have been identified. The local residents are making barricades and block the road leading to their village.

Yesterday, on April 26, Ossetian bandits assaulted a family of Simon Partskhaladze in Bagebi Street in Tskhinvali outskirts. They shot dead his wife Mzia Patrskhaladze-Kobaladze and badly wounded him in the stomach.

This is not the first incident of this kind when bandits loot and massacre ethnic Georgians with the connivance of the Interior Ministry forces.

The Republic of Georgia regards as absolutely unacceptable the order of the USSR Ministry of Interior Affairs of April 23 on restoration of the interior affairs services of the former Autonomous Republic of South Ossetia as this is a gross violation of the Constitutions of the sovereign Georgia and the USSR.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia voices its firm protest against the actions of the Interior Ministry forces in Shida Kartli region as undermining the political resolution process and insists on the following:

1. To abolish immediately the order of the USSR Ministry of Interior Affairs of April 23.

2. To order that the command of the Interior Ministry forces in Shida Kartli should immediately stop unilateral violent activities against the Georgian population both in and outside the mentioned region.

3. To release all the persons arrested in the town of Tskhinvali and its environs, who in fact were illegally taken out of the jurisdiction of the Republic of Georgia, or to hand them over to the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Prosecutorís Office of Georgia.

4. To order that the command of the Interior Ministry forces in Shida Kartli should act in close cooperation with the inter-parliamentary commission.

On behalf of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia,

Z. Gamsakhurdia, President of the Republic of Georgia

Tbilisi, 27 April, 1991

(Bulletins of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia, 1991, # 4, pp. 92-93/Tranlation from Georgian)