Georgia. The war between neighboring Russia and Chechnya
continued, and Russia reiterated previous accusations
against Georgia for harboring Chechen rebels. As a pressure,
in January, Moscow temporarily halted vital gas supplies to
During the summer, Georgia's President Eduard
Shevardnadze publicly acknowledged for the first time that
there were guerrilla warriors among the Chechen refugees who
had been sheltered in Georgia. However, he rejected Russia's
request to send military across the border into Georgia.
During the year, Georgia accused Russian military
aircraft of repeatedly violating Georgian airspace and at
the end of the year also to bomb inside Georgia's border,
something Moscow denied.
Countryaah, two Russian military bases in Georgia were supposed to be
evacuated during the year, but Georgia criticized Moscow for
delaying the evacuation of one base, which was located in
the Abkhazia breaker region. Georgia accused the Russian
military of supporting the separatists there in their quest
to completely break away from Georgia. The two remaining
Russian bases requested Georgia evacuated within three
years, but Moscow said it needed significantly longer time
During the fall, fighting in Abkhazia was fought between
the forces of the breakaway regime and the Georgian
guerrillas, who are fighting for the region's re-connection
to Georgia. The Georgians were accused of taking the help of
Chechen guerrillas, while Georgia's Abkhaz was backed by
Russian military aircraft that violated Georgian airspace.
In October, a helicopter was shot down with European UN
observers aboard the combat zone and nine people were
killed. Chechen and Georgian guerrilla groups were suspected
of being behind the act.
A popular TV journalist was murdered in the summer, and
the motive was believed to be his investigations into the
corruption in society. In October, security agents attacked
the murdered former workplace, the TV station Rustavi-2,
which often criticized President Shevardnadze. The grant was
for formal control of accounting, but the Speaker of the
Georgian Parliament accused Shevardnadze of trying to stifle
freedom of speech. The council against Rustavi-2 was
followed by student-led protests demanding the departure of
responsible ministers. The protests grew in strength and the
calls were also raised at Shevardnadze's departure, but it
stopped as all ministers resigned.
During the government reform, a new special post was
created as head of government. The popular dissatisfaction
in Georgia was also fueled by the difficult economic
situation, which among other things. expressed itself in
repeated power outages when winter was approaching. Georgia
is one of the poorest areas of the former Soviet Union.
South Ossetia Weak economy
South Ossetia survives thanks to financial contributions
from Russia. The smuggling of gasoline, drugs, stolen cars
and other goods from Russia to Georgia is also an important
source of income.
Just inside the south-Ossetian border with the real
Georgia, a large marketplace for contraband goods has
emerged. Georgian authorities cannot, or do not want to, in
principle, guard the border to stop the smuggling, as it
would in practice mean a recognition of the existence of the
Russian soldiers' spending is also an important element
of the South Ossetian economy. In 2009, the Russian state
promised to invest 10 billion rubles (SEK 1.8 billion) in
rebuilding South Ossetia.
Prior to the 2008 war, there were around twenty small
factories in South Ossetia. A few of them are said to have
some form of production today.
One attempt to alleviate the financial burden has been to
greatly increase the cultivation of wheat in order to reduce
the need for imports from Russia.