09TBILISI10, ABKHAZ GANG LEADER MURDERED;FIRE-FIGHT AT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI10 2009-01-05 14:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9790
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0010/01 0051421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 051421Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0652
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000010 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KBTS RU GG
SUBJECT: ABKHAZ GANG LEADER MURDERED;FIRE-FIGHT AT 
GANMUKHURI 
 
REF: A. HTTP://WWW.MFA.GOV.GE 04-01-2009 1530 
     B. 08 TBILISI 2458 
     C. HTTP://RUSTAVI2.GE/NEWS/INDEX/HTML 04-01-02 1205 
     D. 07 TBILISI 2682 
     E. 07 TBILISI 2742 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4(B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Begin Summary:  On January 3, Emzar Tchkadua, head 
of an Abkhaz separatist gang, was murdered.  Tchkadua himself 
killed one of his own relatives and fellow gang members, Daur 
Ladikovich Tchkadua, on December 30.  The Georgian Foreign 
Ministry (Ref A) and Georgian media reported that Russian 
forces opened fire on a Georgian police checkpoint situated 
in Ganmukhuri (Zugdidi District) on January 4 at 0800. The 
barrage, a combination of small arms fire and grenades, 
emanated from the direction of the village of Pichori (Gali 
district), but did not result in any casualties.  UNOMIG 
observers confirmed the fire came from the direction of 
Pichori, but do not assess that Russian forces were involved 
due to the seemingly sporadic and aimless firing.  UNOMIG 
observers note that firefights in the region are a regular 
event, but the use of RPGs, as some preliminary Georgian 
press reports indicated, would be unprecedented.  Georgian 
authorities maintain that this latest boundary shooting 
underscores the need for international monitoring.  Abkhaz de 
facto authorities denied the incident occurred, saying the 
alleged shooting was a pretext for Georgia to amass troops 
near the border.  Georgian officials have been warning that 
the Abkhaz and Russian have their eyes on the pieces of 
undisputed Georgian territory north of the Enguri River, 
which includes Ganmukhuri.    End Summary. 
 
"Fireworks" to Ring in the New Year 
----------------------------------- 
 
2.  (SBU) On December 30, UN Police met with Gali District de 
facto State Security Service to follow up on a reported 
murder which occurred in Nabakevi on December 29.  According 
to de facto Security Services, Emsar Tchkadua, an Abkhaz 
separatist-gang leader, shot and killed his fellow militiaman 
and relative, Daur Ladikovich Tchkadua.  At that time 
Tchkadua surrendered to de facto authorities.  Three days 
later, villagers in Satbutbayo told UNOMIG patrols that a 
shooting took place on January 3 and one Abkhaz militia was 
killed and two were wounded.  On the same day, Georgian 
television station Rustavi 2 (Ref C) identified Emzar 
Tchkadua as the victim who was killed in a shoot-out due to a 
disagreement over the  redistribution of Georgian villages. 
According to the same report, Russian crime bosses also took 
part in the shoot-out. 
 
3.  (U) Paata Shamugia, the representative of the Gali 
administration in the Georgian-backed Abkhaz government in 
exile, characterized these type of confrontations as frequent 
and the situation there grave. 
 
Shooting in Ganmukhuri--the Latest 
----------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C)  On January 4 at 0800, the Georgian Foreign Ministry 
(Ref A) and Georgian media reported that Russian forces 
opened fire on a Georgian police checkpoint situated in 
Ganmukhuri (Zugdidi District). According to both sources, the 
barrage, a combination of small arms fire and grenades, 
emanated from the village of Pichori (Gali district), but did 
not result in any casualties.  According to Georgian press in 
December, Russian units have reportedly been deployed in 
Pichori (north of Ganmukhuri) Sida (north of Khurcha), and 
Chuburkhinji (just east of Sida)--all villages close to the 
boundary. The press also reported that Russian forces have 
been deployed in the heights of Gali District that allow 
Qbeen deployed in the heights of Gali District that allow 
observation and potentially shelling into Zugdidi District, 
where Ganmukhuri is located (Ref B).  The Georgian Foreign 
Ministry maintains that these attacks are the latest in a 
series of criminal acts, which have already resulted in 10 
deaths, as well as numerous injuries to Georgian law 
enforcement and civilians.   Georgian authorities maintain 
that this incident underscores the need for international 
monitoring.  Ruslan Kishmaria, Abkhaz "Special 
Representative" in Gali, portrayed the event as "some kind of 
score settling between criminals or a clash between Georgian 
law enforcement units and Georgian criminal elements." 
 
5.  (C)  UNOMIG military monitors who went to the scene 
confirmed the fire came from the direction of the area around 
Pichori village, but do not assess that Russian forces were 
involved due to the aimless nature of the firings.  A EUMM 
representative told Poloff that they were unable to confirm 
the direction from where the firing emanated, and were 
 
TBILISI 00000010  002 OF 002 
 
 
skeptical of Georgian early media reports about RPG use. 
(Comment:  Press descriptions describing the event vary, some 
specify RPGs
, submachine guns, grenades and/or mortars were 
used.  End Comment.)  EUMM observers took photographs of 
craters at the scene which indicate grenade use.  Locals in 
the area, who described similar incidents as almost daily in 
occurrence,  told the UNOMIG patrols on the date in question, 
that Abkhaz were marking the second anniversary of the death 
of a local leader.  Additionally, Abkhaz militia usually fire 
in the air across the Cease-Fire-Line (CFL), "especially when 
intoxicated." The January 4 incident is the latest in a 
string of incidents which have occurred at Ganmukhuri, a 
flash point for both de facto, Russian and Georgian forces 
(Ref D, E). Given the build-up of Russian forces near the 
administration boundary, Georgians could be feeling a slow 
squeeze to wrest them from Ganmukhuri, Khurcha, and the 
triangle west of the Enguri Dam (Ref B). 
TEFFT

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