Monthly Archives: May 2009

09TBILISI984, GEORGIA: FM VASHADZE UNDERLINES REDLINES ON UN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI984.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI984 2009-05-29 14:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6012
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0984 1491436
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291436Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1634
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0230
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4848
RUEHUNV/UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 4037

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 000984 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2019 
TAGS: PREL UNSC UNOMIG RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: FM VASHADZE UNDERLINES REDLINES ON UN 
MANDATE 
 
REF: A. GEHRENBECK-EUR/CARC/DL 5-26-09 EMAIL 
     B. TBILISI 942 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C/NF) On May 29, Georgian Foreign Minister Vashadze 
called in the Ambassador to ensure the United States 
understood Georgia's redlines regarding a new UN mandate. 
Referring to his May 22 letter to the Secretary, Vashadze 
emphasized Georgia's absolute commitment to the following 
minimum requirements: 1) the August 12, 2008 ceasefire 
agreement must be the basis for a new mandate; 2) the mandate 
must include an international police component; and 3) the 
mandate must provide for fully demilitarized zones in Gali, 
Ochamchire, and the Kodori Valley.  Vashadze also insisted 
the name of the mission must contain a reference to Georgia. 
A mandate that did not meet these conditions -- especially a 
basis in the ceasefire agreement and a continued reference to 
Georgia in the name -- would be "absolutely unacceptable." 
Explaining that Georgia must have security, but must also 
avoid any step by the international community away from its 
territorial integrity, Vashadze said that Georgia is ready to 
refuse home country consent if the mandate does not include 
these key elements. 
 
2. (C/NF) Vashadze noted that a mandate without these 
elements would present enormous problems for Georgia, both 
internally and externally.  In addition to the aftermath of 
war, an economic crisis, massive unemployment, and a huge 
loss of trade, Georgia would have moved that much farther 
away from the international community's recognition of and 
support for its territorial integrity.  Explaining that 
Georgia looks to the United States as the cornerstone of its 
international suppor, Vashadze said that Georgia is not 
willing to give Russia the slightest hint that it is willing 
to compromise on these fundamental points. 
 
3. (C/NF) In the case of the OSCE, Vashadze explained that 
Georgia, as a full-fledged member with equal status as all 
other members, was more able to be flexible and take 
positions that avoided any blame for the defeat of the 
mission.  In New York, however, Georgia does not have a seat 
at the main table, and so has less flexibility.  He said that 
if Georgia has to take on the role of blocking an 
unacceptable mission, then it will.  If a draft mandate that 
is acceptable to Georgia goes forward, he noted two possible 
scenarios: either it passes, or Russia vetoes it.  If a draft 
mandate goes forward that is unacceptable to Georgia, 
however, Vashadze said that his country is prepared to block 
it.  He noted that it will be important for Russia to 
understand that a no to an unacceptable mission does not 
imply an acceptance of further Russian provocations, but 
nevertheless, Georgia cannot compromise on the points above. 
 
4. (C/NF) Vashadze expressed concern that the British and 
French seem to have moved away from some of these positions. 
He also expressed his disapproval of the circulation of 
non-papers on a possible mandate that have not been shown to 
the Georgians, noting in particular a recent German draft. 
Once again, he said he looked to the United States for 
support in the process. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI982, GEORGIA: CONTROVERSY OVER MAY 31 ELECTIONS IN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI982.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI982 2009-05-29 14:10 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5989
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0982/01 1491410
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291410Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1631
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 8239

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000982 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV KBDS RU GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: CONTROVERSY OVER MAY 31 ELECTIONS IN 
SOUTH OSSETIA 
 
REF: MOSCOW 1403 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 B AND D 
 
1. (C) Summary and comment.  On the eve of May 31 
parliamentary elections in South Ossetia, controversy has 
erupted over the electoral system and establishment of 
political parties by the "de facto" administration.  While 
Russian officials and South Ossetian "de facto" 
administration officials claim that the upcoming elections 
will be "free and fair," South Ossetian opposition figures 
and Georgia's Head of the Administration of South Ossetia, 
Dmitri Sanakoev, protest that the system is corrupt.  Based 
on conversations with Sanakoev and according to Russian, 
South Ossetian, and Georgian press, it is doubtful that the 
elections will have any semblance of being free and fair. 
Furthermore, Sanakoev said that he believes the 
administrative boundary will be permanently closed around the 
time of the election, forcing ethnic Georgians to choose a 
side.  End summary and comment. 
 
ELECTION LOGISTICS 
 
2. (SBU) The fifth parliamentary elections in South Ossetia 
are planned for May 31.  This will be the first election to 
take place in South Ossetia since the August conflict and 
subsequent declaration of independence, and a party-list 
proportional representation system will be used.  In order to 
be represented, a party will need a to meet a seven percent 
threshold.  The four registered parties vying for the 34 
seats are Eduard Kokoity's Unity Party, chaired by Zurab 
Revazovich Kokoev; Communist Party of South Ossetia, chaired 
by Stanislav Yakovlevish Kochiev; People's Party of South 
Ossetia, chaired by Kazimir Kazbekovich Pliev; and the 
Fatherland Socialist Party, chaired by Vyacheslav Fedorovich 
Gobozov. According to Russian and South Ossetian press 
reporting, 88 polling stations will be opened in South 
Ossetia, six in North Ossetia, and one in Moscow. 
"Ambassador" of South Ossetia to Russia, Dmitri Medoyev, said 
that about 45,000 people are registered to vote and invited 
foreign journalists to attend and report on the elections. 
"FREE AND FAIR" OR FRAUDULENT? 
 
3. (C) Opposition leaders have criticized the way that the 
election system is being run, specifically how parties and 
candidates register to take part in the election.  Sanakoev 
alleged to poloffs that none of the parties have funding and 
all parties are actually fake.  According to Sanakoev, they 
were created just before the election and will cease to exist 
just after the election.  An example of the fraud embedded in 
this election is that South Ossetia's "Election Commission" 
refused to register the original People's Party ballot, 
headed by Roland Kelekhsayev.  Kelekhsayev and his party 
convened a congress on April 9, during which 10 candidates 
were selected.  Instead of registering this ballot, the 
Commission registered a second party of the same name 
established just days earlier, headed by Kazimir Pliyev, a 
supposed supporter of Kokoity.  Kelekhsayev appealed to 
Russian President Medvedev to intervene, however Medvedev did 
not respond.  Furthermore, the Commission registered only 
nine of the ten candidates on Fatherland's ballot list, 
specifically excluding the chairman, Vyacheslav Gobozov. 
Party members claim this was done because no Kokoity 
supporters were on their ballot. 
 
4. (C)  The website of the South Ossetian "Ministry of the 
Press and Mass Media," shows the current popularity rating of 
the Communist Party at 28 percent, followed by Fatherland 
with 18 percent, Unity, the current "president's" party, with 
Qwith 18 percent, Unity, the current "president's" party, with 
only 17 percent, and People's Party at 13 percent.  According 
to opposition leaders, these figures show that if there would 
be a free and fair election, and if Kelekhsayev's party were 
allowed to participate, Kokoity's Unity Party would likely 
win no more than half the seats.  There appears to be little 
doubt, however, that Unity will in fact win a parliamentary 
majority.  In addition, opposition figures have accused local 
authorities of inflating both the number of registered voters 
by almost three times, to over 45,0000, as well as the number 
of polling stations, in order to falsify results in an easier 
fashion.  Sanakoev corroborated this information, stating 
that before the August conflict there were about 33,000 
eligible voters in South Ossetia, now, he added, there are 
only half that number.  According to Sanakoev, 22,000 ethnic 
South Ossetians from the Kakheti region, who never lived in 
South Ossetia and left Georgia for North Ossetia, were put on 
the voting list and polls will be opened in North Ossetia in 
order to inflate numbers. 
 
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE? 
 
5. (C) According to Sanakoev, most South Ossetians are 
 
TBILISI 00000982  002 OF 002 
 
 
throwing their fate in with the Russians, and that is what 
they will consider when deciding how to vote on election day. 
 Although most South Ossetians do not support Kokoity as a &
#x000A;leader, they will vote for his party as it is most closely 
aligned with Russia.  Sanakoev predicts that few ethnic 
Georgians will vote, as only a small number are still living 
in South Ossetia, and there are no polling stations being set 
up on undisputed Georgian territory.  According to Sanakoev, 
ethnic Georgians with ties to South Ossetia will, however, 
face a tough decision on election day - they will be forced 
to choose between the northern and southern side of the 
administrative boundary.  Sanakoev said he believes the 
administrative boundary will be closed around election day 
and ethnic Georgians will no longer be permitted to cross 
back and forth.  This would have an immediate detrimental 
impact on both the South Ossetian and Georgian population in 
terms of resource availability, return of IDPs, and 
confidence-building. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI980, GEORGIA: UK FCO DIRECTOR ON ABKHAZIA TRIP, NEED

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI980.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI980 2009-05-29 12:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5854
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0980/01 1491239
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291239Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1628
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0228
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4846
RUEHUNV/UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 4035

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000980 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2019 
TAGS: PREL UNSC UNOMIG RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: UK FCO DIRECTOR ON ABKHAZIA TRIP, NEED 
FOR U.S. LEADERSHIP 
 
REF: A. PARIS 664 
     B. BRUSSELS 356 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  During a visit to Tbilisi, Michael 
Davenport, Director of the Russia, South Caucasus and Central 
Asia Directorate at the British FCO, urged the United States 
to set a clear example for the international community on how 
to move forward on Georgia, in particular with regard to 
Russia.  He noted the importance of the upcoming negotiations 
on a new UN mandate for Georgia, but he focused his comments 
on the key role the upcoming Obama-Medvedev Summit will play 
in setting the tone on Georgia policy for the foreseeable 
future.  Although recognizing the importance of the broad 
range of issues likely to be discussed in Moscow, Davenport 
stressed that Georgia was of fundamental significance and 
must not be treated as simply one of many topics to be 
covered.  He said that other international partners, in 
particular in Europe, would be looking to the U.S. for 
leadership.  Davenport and British Ambassador Denis Keefe had 
just returned from Abkhazia, where de facto "president" 
Bagapsh downplayed internal criticism of Russia's growing 
influence and expressed general support for a new UN mission. 
 The Abkhaz willingness to admit Keefe may reflect a bit more 
flexibility in seeing Tbilisi-based diplomats.  End summary. 
 
2. (C) On May 22, Ambassador Keefe hosted a dinner in honor 
of Davenport.  Guests included EU Special Representative (and 
Swedish diplomat) Peter Semneby, French Ambassador Eric 
Fournier, Japanese Ambassador Masoyachi Kamohara, and Head of 
the EU Monitoring Mission (and German diplomat) Hansjoerg 
Haber; acting P/E Chief attended for the U.S.  Davenport and 
Keefe had just returned from a trip to Abkhazia, where they 
met with de facto "president" Bagapsh and de facto "foreign 
minister" Shamba.  Of note was the Abkhaz de facto 
authorities' willingness to allow the visit of Keefe, 
considering their publicly declared policy of not admitting 
Tbilisi-accredited diplomats.  Keefe noted, however, that the 
press corps was noticeably absent after their meetings; the 
official statements released by the de factos focused on 
Davenport, with Keefe's presence noted only in passing. 
Bagapsh downplayed recent criticism by the Abkhaz opposition 
of agreements giving control of border control, the airport 
and railways to Russia, calling it opportunistic (in the 
runup to year-end elections) and hypocritical (considering 
the opposition's stated support for good Russian-Abkhaz 
relations). 
 
3. (C) The Abkhaz also expressed to the travelers their 
general support for a renewed UN mission to Abkhazia, 
although they had some reservations about the May 18 
Secretary General's report on the situation.  Everyone at the 
table agreed that the report had drawbacks, but that the key 
point was to get the UN Security Council resolution and 
mission mandate right.  Everyone also agreed on the 
importance of working together in New York to achieve that 
goal. 
 
4. (C) The conversation turned to Georgia policy more 
generally, and Davenport pointedly asked EmbOff about current 
U.S. policy.  He suggested that a strong American voice on 
the subject had been lacking of late, and that American 
leadership was critical -- both in the ongoing UN 
Qleadership was critical -- both in the ongoing UN 
negotiations, and in the runup to the Obama-Medvedev Summit. 
He noted that, with the ending of the Eurovision contest, the 
Summit was the talk of Moscow, with everybody hoping for a 
grand success, and that the meeting therefore offered a 
unique opportunity to send a clear message on Georgia both to 
Russia itself and to Europe.  At the same time, Davenport 
expressed the concern that, with the long list of important 
issues that deserved consideration at the Summit, there might 
be a temptation to avoid a tough confrontation on Georgia. 
 
5. (C) EmbOff responded that the United States remained 
firmly committed to Georgia, with President Obama, Vice 
President Biden, and Secretary Clinton all making strong 
statements of support in recent months.  He noted in 
particular the inclusion of a paragraph on Georgia in the 
Obama-Medvedev joint statement from the London Summit; the 
President had made a point to emphasize Georgia's importance 
to the United States even during his brief initial meeting 
with President Medvedev.  Davenport replied that the European 
approach has been somewhat different -- not just to include 
Georgia as one of many issues to be discussed with Russia, 
 
TBILISI 00000980  002 OF 002 
 
 
but to insist that the quality of overall relationship with 
Russia depends on Russia's actions in Georgia. 
 
6. (C) Later,
 Davenport pulled EmbOff aside and apologized 
for putting him on the spot -- but insisted that it was 
critically important for the United States to take a 
leadership role on Georgia.  He acknowledged that there are 
other priorities, but maintained that Georgia possessed a 
fundamental significance in the overall European security 
environment.  He repeated his appeal that the United States 
use the Summit to convey to Russia the centrality of our 
concern and support for Georgia. 
 
COMMENT 
 
7. (C) We have gotten used to thinking of the Europeans as 
the soft ones when it comes to the Russia-Georgia 
confrontation.  It therefore came as a surprise to have a 
Briton accuse the United States, in front of French, German 
and Swedish diplomats, of being behind the curve.  Recent 
statements from other Europeans here in Tbilisi do indicate, 
however, they have begun to focus on the problem of how to 
convince Russia to act more constructively, with France, for 
example, looking to use visa and trade policy to support 
Georgia (see also refs A, B). 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI979, GEORGIA: PATRIARCHATE BACKTRACKS – VIOLENCE ERUPTS

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI979.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI979 2009-05-29 12:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5844
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0979/01 1491224
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291224Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1626
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000979 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/29/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PATRIARCHATE BACKTRACKS - VIOLENCE ERUPTS 
 
REF: TBILISI 972 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  A group of about 500 protesters picketed 
the Mayor's office on May 28 from about noon until 3pm.  The 
rally with about 1000-2000 protesters reconvened for a 
concert in front of Parliament later that evening.  Violence 
erupted around 9pm local time when protesters allegedly 
attacked a plain clothes policeman.  Other plain clothes 
police appeared on the scene and were also attacked.  In sum, 
14 people were injured, 8 of whom were policemen.  Two 
policemen were seriously wounded, underwent surgery, and 
remain hospitalized.  Six policemen sustained minor injuries 
and were released.  No information was available on the 6 
protesters who were injured.  Earlier, the Patriarchate 
backtracked from the Patriarch's comments of May 26 which 
were widely perceived as a show of support for President 
Saakashvili.  The Patriarch's secretary read a statement 
saying that the Patriarch's May 26 statement should not be 
viewed as only supportive of the GoG.  The statement called 
upon the GoG to diffuse the situation by calling for early 
elections, dialogue, or other means.  Non-parliamentary 
opposition leaders pounced upon the statement while the GoG 
said its position on early elections remained unchanged. 
MoIA sources had earlier indicated to Poloff on May 26, that 
some sort of walkback was not out of the questions due to 
hard-line anti-Saakashvili members in the Patriarchate who 
would be displeased with the original statement.  Meanwhile, 
contacts between Irakli Alasania and the GoG continue while 
David Usupashvili reported that he was currently at an 
impasse in discussions.  Non-parliamentary leaders have not 
announced further plans.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  The statement issued from the Patriarchate 
certainly confused the overall situation and is unlikely to 
help bring stability and calm among the parties.  The sum 
total of both remarks is likely negligible as supporters on 
both sides will read into the somewhat vague and 
contradictory statements whatever they choose.  We view it as 
more likely than not the statement, which was not read by the 
Patriarch, was a result of internal political battles within 
the Patriarchate rather than a show of support for the 
non-parliamentary opposition.  Nevertheless, the 
"clarification" will undoubtedly bolster the 
non-parliamentary opposition at least temporarily. 
Ominously, evidence is growing (acknowledged by some leaders 
themselves) that the non-parliamentary leaders only nominally 
control their crowds.  Having raised expectations that 
Saakashvili would resign within a week of protests; after 7 
weeks on the streets, a frustrated, hard-core group of 
protesters and leaders appear to favor much more radical 
actions and possibly even violence to achieve their goals. 
End Comment. 
 
Protests Small but Turn Violent 
 
3.  (C)  A small group of about 400-500 protesters led by 
Nino Burjanadze (Democratic Movement - United Georgia), 
Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia's Way), David Gamkrelidze 
(Alliance - New Rights), and Eka Beselia (United Georgia) 
picketed the Mayor's office.  The group stayed in front of 
the Mayor's office for about 3 hours with leaders denouncing 
the "totalitarian regime", and protesters throwing eggs at 
the building.  About 7pm a group of 1000-2000 protesters 
convened in front of Parliament for a rally/concert.  MoIA 
reported that a number of scuffles broke out among 
protesters.  At some point, a plain-clothes policeman who was 
filming the rally was attacked, dragged into a side-street 
Qfilming the rally was attacked, dragged into a side-street 
beaten and stabbed.  Other policemen came to his aid and when 
the incident was over 14 people were apparently wounded.  Six 
policemen were released with minor injuries and two were 
seriously wounded and remain hospitalized.  No information is 
known on the status of the six injured protesters (some 
non-parliamentary opposition members claim ten were injured). 
 (Embassy Note:  Information as to the event itself is 
unclear as is what exactly sparked the confrontation.  End 
Note.)  The non-parliamentary opposition claimed repression 
with Zourabichvili announcing that the "government went 
savage."  Thus far, no non-parliamentary opposition has 
publicly addressed the behavior of their supporters.  The 
MoIA has detained two individuals as a result of the incident. 
 
The Patriarch Giveth - Then Taketh Away 
 
4.  (C)  After the Patriarch gave a statement widely viewed 
as pro-GoG during his May 26 sermon, the Patriarchate issued 
a clarification on May 28.  The written statement that was 
read by a church official said in part that the May 26 
statement "was made with the purpose of diffusing a difficult 
situation."  It continued that "(i)t does not mean that the 
problem is over.  The situation remains serious and 
explosive.  We think that the authorities should take 
 
TBILISI 00000979  002 OF 002 
 
 
effective steps to deuse tension either through early 
elections, negotiations, or other means."  The 
n
on-parliamentary opposition viewed the statement as a great 
victory saying it meant the Patriarch supported new 
presidential elections.  The GoG which had remained mum on 
the Patriarch's May 26 statement simply reiterated its 
commitment to dialogue while ruling out pre-term presidential 
or parliamentary elections.  MoIA contacts had indicated to 
Poloff as early as May 26 that they were surprised by such a 
strong statement by the Patriarch, and that anti-Saakashvili, 
anti-Western hard-liners in the Patriarchate were already 
working to issue some sort of counter-statement.  The same 
contacts said in their view the recent statement represented 
an internal church struggle coupled with a desire to be seen 
as neutral rather than support for the non-parliamentary 
opposition.  (Embassy Note:  Georgian Embassy employees seem 
to believe the Patriarch's initial statement during his 
service carries more weight among the public than the written 
statement issued on May 28.  End Comment.) 
 
Usupashvili Warns of Radicalism - Explains Paralysis 
 
5.  (C)  Republican Party leader David Usupashvili met with 
the DCM to discuss the current state of affairs in the 
non-parliamentary opposition.  He described the decision 
making mechanism as exhausting with Burjanadze leading the 
call for more radical actions.  Usupashvili told the DCM he 
feared what Burjanadze's ultimate intentions were. 
Usupashvili said his role (with some others) was to try to 
moderate the radicals to avoid violence or even create the 
potential for violence.  Usupashvili described the meetings 
as a constant fight among the groups with a version of the 
status quo generally prevailing.  He admitted that as time 
passed and more moderate actions did not achieve results, the 
radicals were gaining the upper hand.  Usupashvili told the 
DCM that they were losing control of an increasingly radical 
crowd.  He said the decision was made to block railroad 
tracks because the crowd was ready for violence on May 26. 
Usupashvili said he called Speaker Bakradze to explain the 
situation and urged Bakradze to allow them to simply "blow 
off some steam" and not respond.  Usupashvili said the 
non-parliamentary opposition never discussed any overall 
strategic plans, simply the day's tactics.  He indicated that 
a major reason the National Forum left the group was because 
its leaders were tired over arguing with Burjanadze, Beselia, 
Zourabichvili and other radicals over tactics.  Usupashvili 
said that the National Forum's departure and Alasania 
distancing himself from the group had strengthened the hard 
liners. 
 
6.  (C)  Usupashvili seemed unclear himself as to what to do 
next.  He said Alasania was speaking with Bakradze but was 
not privy as to exactly what was occurring with his so called 
political ally.  Usupashvili indicated that Alasania was 
naive to think that Saakashvili would not try to destroy him 
if he left the non-parliamentary group.  He added that if 
Alasania ran for Tbilisi mayor, the non-parliamentary 
opposition would run multiple candidates to try to ensure he 
never got the position.  Usupashvili agreed that his natural 
position was not among the radicals but rather with Alasania 
in moderate opposition.  Despite this acknowledgment, he said 
he had little choice other than to ride the situation out. 
Usupashvili said increasing radicalism among the group meant 
a crossroads could come quickly.  As far as GoG dialogue, 
Usupashvili last discussed specifics with Bakradze before May 
QUsupashvili last discussed specifics with Bakradze before May 
26.  Usupashvili said parliamentary elections within the year 
was the minimum demand in which he could break and begin 
negotiations.  Bakradze indicated that the GoG would not 
discuss the issue within the next 6 months and was only 
offering dialogue with a possibility of early parliamentary 
elections in the future.  Usupashvili said Gachechiladze and 
others were boxed into a similar holding pattern.  He 
explained that the protesters would not be satisfied with 
anything less than new parliamentary elections and would 
likely be disappointed at that.  (Embassy Comment: 
Usupashvili is probably correct; however, he did not care to 
discuss his and the other non-parliamentary opposition's own 
role in raising said expectations to unrealistic heights. 
End Comment.)  Apart from the decision making process which 
tends to maintain the status quo, Usupashvili said many 
simply wanted to keep the protests going for fear of MoIA 
reprisals if they stopped.  Usupashvili appeared tired, 
dispirited, and philosophic, tending to portray himself as an 
unfortunate victim of circumstance.  He indicated that he was 
still ready to pursue dialogue but that talks between him and 
Bakradze were at an impasse. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI972, GEORGIA: PROTESTS SMALL – QUIET

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI972.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI972 2009-05-28 11:30 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO4879
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0972 1481130
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 281130Z MAY 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1623
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 000972 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTESTS SMALL - QUIET 
 
REF: TBILISI 968 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary and Comment:  On May 27, a day after large 
scale demonstrations, only a small group of protesters 
numbering roughly 1000-1500 gathered in front of Parliament. 
The crowd listened to largely subdued speeches by 
non-parliamentary leaders who have decided to continue 
protests in spite of the Patriarch's recent announcement that 
he did not support Saakashvili's resignation.  The smaller 
group led by Nino Burjanadze (Democratic Movement - United 
Georgia), Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia's Way), and Eka 
Beselia (United Georgia) addressed the crowd announcing that 
they would lead a march to the Mayor's office on May 28 to 
protest what they claim was his influence on the Patriarch to 
make remarks which they viewed as pro-Saakashvili and the 
antithesis of what the Patriarch actually believed.  Notably 
absent were Irakli Alasania (Alliance) and the National Forum 
who earlier in the day announced that they would no longer 
pursue the strategy of constant protests.  By mid-day May 28, 
only about 500 protesters were participating in the march on 
the mayor's office.  The opposition appears to be working out 
its next moves.  End Summary. 
 
Small Crowd Gathers - Defectors Asked to Reconsider 
 
2.  (SBU)  The speeches given by Burjanadze, Beselia, 
Zourabichvili, and Koba Davitashvili called on the crowd to 
struggle together jointly.  Beselia said that "now was not 
the time for engaging in the struggle versus the authorities 
separately."  Davitashvili said that the defectors from the 
group should reconsider but would be replaced by others if 
they did not come around.  Burjanadze indirectly slammed the 
defectors who would pursue dialogue saying that "not a single 
government can be changed through beautiful statements and 
especially when it comes to Saakashvili, whose regime cannot 
be changed through statements and delicate methods."  The 
remaining group of leaders indicated that protests would 
continue, and roads, highways, and railways would be blocked, 
but gave no specifics.  David Gamkrelidze (Alliance - New 
Rights) said he also supported blocking roads and railways 
and continued protests which put him at odds with nominal 
Alliance leader Alasania. 
 
Patriarch's Words Still Sting 
 
3.  (C)  Burjanadze, Beselia, Levan Gachechiladze, and Giorgi 
Gachechiladze (Singer Utsnobi) met the Patriarch on May 27 to 
attempt to convince him to change or modify his statement. 
No comment was given by anybody at the meeting and the 
Patriarchate has issued no further comments.  Subsequently, 
Burjanadze, Zourabichvili, and others made comments 
dismissing the Patriarch's statement saying that he should 
not be burdened with politics, or that the non-parliamentary 
opposition would not take orders from anybody including the 
Patriarch.  The current conspiracy circulating around Tbilisi 
among non-parliamentary faithful is that Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi 
Ugalava showed up at the mass to threaten the Patriarch to 
support Saakashvili.  A number of protesters in the May 27 
crowd repeated the rumor to Poloff and seemed to take this 
version of events as true as a matter of faith. 
 
Thursday's Plans in the Air 
 
4.  (C)  Although certain groups are forming among the 
formerly united non-parliamentary opposition (to be reported 
septel), confusion and uncertainty still reign.  A number of 
leaders including Alasania and the National Forum have not 
completely broken with the non-parliamentary opposition, but 
have publicly stated they would no longer participate in the 
rallies.  The split makes decision making easier for the 
Qrallies.  The split makes decision making easier for the 
hard-liners, but their ability to draw significant crowds 
remains in doubt and limits their ability to stage massive 
roadblocks and pickets.  The remaining group led by 
Burjanadze, Beselia, and Zourabichvili indicated that it 
would march from Sport Palace to the Tbilisi Mayor's ffice 
at 12pm on Thursday, but rainy cold weather thus far has 
limited turnout to about 500 protesters. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI968, GEORGIA: OPPOSITION PROMISED SURPRISES – PATRIARCH

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI968.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI968 2009-05-27 12:36 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3830
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0968/01 1471236
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271236Z MAY 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1620
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 000968 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/27/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: OPPOSITION PROMISED SURPRISES - PATRIARCH 
DELIVERS 
 
REF: TBILISI 957 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  On Georgian Independence Day, May 26, the 
non-parliamentary opposition drew its largest crowd since 
beginning protests on April 9.  Between 45,000-50,000 rallied 
at Dynamo Stadium, where various non-parliamentary opposition 
leaders spoke to a largely subdued audience.  Only singer 
Utsnobi (Giorgi Gachechiladze) and Labor Party Leader Shalva 
Natelashvili received loud cheers.  Utsnobi, who appears to 
have become the defacto leader of the protests, urged the 
crowd to march to Trinity Cathedral and remain there until 
Georgian Patriarch Ilia II told them what to do next.  The 
non-parliamentary opposition followed suit and attempted to 
co-opt the highly respected Patriarch to their cause by 
laying down an ultimatum to publicly support them.  With 
15,000 gathered at the Cathedral, the Patriarch indicated 
that he did not support the non-parliamentary opposition's 
agenda or tactics, and pointedly rejected the notion that 
Saakashvili should step down.  Later in front of Parliament, 
numerous opposition leaders responded by dismissing the 
Patriarch's comments as unimportant, and criticizing 
Georgia's most revered figure for being a captive of the 
government.  The parliamentary rally devolved into chaos 
highlighted by a number of verbal and even physical scuffles 
breaking out on stage between different opposition camps. 
After some deliberation, non-parliamentary leaders led 
approximately 1000 protesters to blocked train tracks at the 
main Tbilisi station for about 3 hours delaying one train. 
Disagreement seems to be growing among non-parliamentary 
opposition leaders, and plans remain unclear.  Radical 
leaders, including Nino Burjanadze, Eka Beselia, and Salome 
Zourobashvili, have vowed to block major highways, rail 
junctions, and the airport.  Others have remained largely 
silent, and some continue to engage in dialogue.  The 
Ambassador continues to facilitate these discussions and has 
committed his good offices to those participating in 
dialogue.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  In attacking the Patriarch, the 
non-parliamentary opposition has attacked a respected and 
influential Georgian institution, revered by all levels of 
society.  This is a move that will likely further denigrate 
the opposition in the eyes of the population, and appears to 
be a major political miscalculation.  The numerous, heated 
arguments between different opposition leaders and their 
camps at Parliament and the train station show that 
differences on tactics and future plans is beginning to grow. 
 In one fell swoop, the Patriarch seems to have removed the 
only issue that united the disparate non-parliamentary 
opposition - Saakashvili's resignation.  The recriminations 
have already begun, leaving an apparent and increasingly 
public rift between those who want to continue escalation led 
by Nino Burjanadze (Democratic Movement - United Georgia), 
Eka Beselia (United Georgia), and Salome Zourabichvili 
(Georgia's Way), and those, including Irakli Alasania and 
possibly the Gachechiladze brothers, who now seem to see 
dialogue as the only way out.  End Comment. 
 
Protest Large - For Some A Diversion 
 
3.  (C)  Embassy observers estimated the crowd of 
predominately male over the age of 45 at between 
45,000-50,000 at its peak.  Labor leader Shalva 
Natelashvili's victory lap around the stadium received wide 
applause, while other non-parliamentary leaders entered to a 
smattering of applause and proceeded directly to a holding 
Qsmattering of applause and proceeded directly to a holding 
room after giving interviews.  (Embassy note:  Natelashvili 
has not participated in the daily protests since April 9 and 
probably deserves much of the credit for bringing in 
additional supporters to the stadium rally.  End note.) 
Utsnobi arrived an hour late with roughly 100-200 protesters 
from his week long trip through Western Georgia to a raucous 
welcome.  Utsnobi was carried into the stadium on the 
shoulders of supporters, often wiping his eyes in a "show" of 
emotion.  Utsnobi's "emotions" ran over when he hopped the 
barrier to run onto a Georgian flag in the infield first 
kissing it, then sprawling all over it to the crowd's 
delight.  (Embassy Comment:  This over the top political 
theater led a group of Alasania supporters to walk out of the 
stadium in disgust, according to one participant.  End 
Comment.)  Various non-parliamentary leaders gave speeches to 
modest response when Utsnobi returned to the stage to tell 
the crowd to march to Trinity Cathedral where they would stay 
until the Patriarch "told them which road to follow". 
(Embassy Comment:  Utsnobi met with the Patriarch on May 25 
but Post has no information as to what was discussed.  The 
non-parliamentary opposition sent a delegation to the 
Patriarchate on May 26, but our sources indicated that they 
received nothing more than a perfunctory response.  End 
Comment). 
 
TBILISI 00000968  002 OF 003 
 
 
 
March to Trinity Cathedral - Patriarch's Statement 
 
4.  (C)  The uphill march to Trinity Cathedral reduced the 
crowd to roughly 15,000 protesters.  From the leadership, 
only Levan Gachechiladze was seen marching with the 
protesters while all others took their cars.  A number of 
non-parliamentary leaders attended the already-scheduled mass 
celebration as did Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugalava, who was 
greeted by the crowd with jeers.  The Patriarch, somewhat 
unexpectedly, said that "(p)art of our population is 
demanding the President's resignation.  I want to say that 
this issue is so complicated and generally, it has to some 
extent become a rule in our country, where the first and 
second president were forced to resign.  You know what these 
resignations have brought to us.  Maybe, it would be more 
correct - it is simply my personal opinion - if we listen to 
each other, we should be capable to listen to everyone."  He 
then underlined that every person has a right to their own 
opinion and condemned "categorical thinking" in which a 
"persn can not listen to others and think that the truth 
lies only in him and his ideas should be implemented."  The 
Patriarch said that Georgians regard those with a different 
opinion as strangers but should not forget "we are all 
brothers."  Despite it's clear relevance for the population, 
neither Maestro TV or Kavkasia, both well-known opposition 
channels, initially reported on the Patriarch's statements, 
although later both aired his comments in full. 
 
5.  (C)  Outside the cathedral word spread of the Patriarch's 
address and it's significance.  A few protesters on 
loudspeakers claimed the reports were untrue and a result of 
GoG provocateurs.  Others came out to address the crowd 
saying the Patriarch's comments were true, but that he was 
arranging a dialogue between Ugalava and non-parliamentary 
opposition leaders as to somehow mitigate the effects of the 
Patriarch's comments.  Confusion was the dominant reaction, 
as heated arguments broke out between protesters around the 
cathedral until word was passed to proceed immediately to 
Parliament where opposition leaders would speak about the 
Patriarch's comments and announce further plans. 
 
Chaos Ensues at Parliament 
 
6.  (C)  An extremely somber, Levan Gachechiladze told the 
7,000-8,000 gathered at Parliament that protests would 
continue, but that consultations on further actions were 
necessary.  Gachechiladze told the crowd to some jeering that 
he was not the person who would lead them to storm 
Parliament.  At some point, an unidentified speaker took the 
microphone which was immediately cut off and a heated 
argument ensued between Gachechiladze and Salome 
Zourabichvili.  The argument resulted in a minor scuffle 
between their respective supporters.  Burjanadze told the 
crowd she would not step backwards, and dismissed the 
Patriarch's comments as "(p)robably nobody expected that the 
Georgian Patriarch would have told us to go and overthrow 
Saakashvili."  Burjanadze called for harsh measures to bring 
about Saakashvili's resignation.  Beselia stated that the 
Patriarch "would not have made or would not have been allowed 
to make the statement we (non-parliamentary opposition) 
wanted."  Beselia focused on what the Patriarch did not say, 
noting that the Patriarch "did not tell us that we should not 
struggle" to force Saakashvili's resignation.  Utsnobi said 
that "(w)hile blood runs through my veins I will not allow 
Saakashvili to reign in our country."  Utsnobi explained to 
the crowd that "(t)oday the Georgian Patriarch was taken 
Qthe crowd that "(t)oday the Georgian Patriarch was taken 
hostage because he was not allowed to say what he was going 
to say in is speech.  They (the authorities) frightened him 
and did not let him say what he was going to say.  But 
anyway, we will struggle to the end." 
 
7.  (C)  Various statements, often contradictory in nature, 
followed with Burjanadze finally telling the crowd that the 
leaders would announce a new plan in ten minutes.  The 
non-parliamentary leaders then huddled and argued before 
finally announcing that half of the crowd should remain in 
front of Parliament while half should go the to train station 
to block trains.  A group of about 1000 protesters led by 
David Gamkrelidze (Alliance - New Rights), Burjanadze, 
Zourabichvili, Kakha Kukava (Conservatives), and Beselia 
arrived at the train station at about 11pm.  The group 
according to MoIA sources decided to block the train station 
because they feared the crowd was turning on them and wanted 
to let them "blow off some steam."  Arguments between leaders 
continued at the train station with some leaders telling 
protesters to leave the track to let the passenger train 
through, and some protesters refusing to leave the track. 
After 10 minutes of argument, a small number of protesters 
were physically removed from the tracks by other protesters. 
The train then lurched forward only to be stopped by a number 
of protesters who jumped back on the track.  The train shut 
 
TBILISI 00000968  003 OF 003 
 
 
down and did not attempt to proceed until the protesters left 
some three hours later.  The police allowed the protesters to 
move freely to the train station and to block the tracks; 
embassy observers saw very few police at the station. 
 
Immediate Fallout 
 
8.  (C)  Echoing the Patriarch's comments, President 
Saakashvili struck a conciliatory tone and called for 
dialogue.  Saakashvili apologized that at least 50,000 
citizens were dismissed from state employment as a result of 
his reforms, but stressed that the reforms were necessary. 
He acknowledged that poverty and employment were ongoing 
problems, and said those in poverty have a right not to be 
satisfied.  He added that even though he disagreed with many 
political leaders and their behavior, he stressed that while 
they may not agree with each other on political views, they 
all love Georgia. 
 
9.  (C)  Following the divergence of several opposition camps 
on May 26, it appears two camps are starting to emerge, those 
whose political future depends on a more radical course and 
further provocations, and those who are engaging in or 
considering dialogue.  The radical group of Beselia, 
Burjanadze, and Zourabichvili met at Burjanadze's office 
early May 27.  Zourabichvili said the three would announce 
its further plans at 6pm the same day.  Gamkrelidze, who 
appears to be moving toward the more radical group said that 
the "railway blockage was a warning to the authorities" and 
that more blockages depended on "the authorities' reaction to 
our demand that negotiations on Saakashvili's resignation be 
started."  Alasania, a nominal Gamkrelidze ally, said he 
continues to support protests but that he would not take part 
in blocking highways or railways.  Other non-parliamentary 
leaders largely did not comment on the day's events. 
 
10.  (SBU)  Apparently seeking to make amends, opposition 
leaders Beselia, Burjanadze and the brothers Gachechiladzes 
met with the Patria
rch May 27, but did not make any comments 
to the press following the meeting.  Salome Zourabichvili 
reportedly did not know about the meeting.  By mid-afternoon 
May 27, opposition leaders were meeting at the New Rights 
office, apparently still unable to come up with a plan. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI961, GEORGIA: INJURED MUTINY ORGANIZERS STABLE,

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI961.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI961 2009-05-22 15:39 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1209
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0961 1421539
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221539Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1618
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 000961 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RU GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA:  INJURED MUTINY ORGANIZERS STABLE, 
FAMILIES CLAIM HARASSMENT 
 
REF: TBILISI 951 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B,D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  The two mutiny suspects detained following 
a firefight yesterday, Levan Amiridze and Koba Otanadze, 
remain in stable condition in a government-controlled 
hospital, according to the press.  According to the 
Ombudsman,s Office, Otanadze,s brother Nugzar Otanadze was 
arrested two weeks ago, immediately following the mutiny 
attempt, and held for questioning.  The press reported May 22 
that eight other Otanadze family members, including a baby, 
were detained and questioned by the police prior to the 
capture of the three organizers.  The Ombudsman,s Office 
could not directly confirm the detention of these family 
members, but did add that another Otanadze brother, his wife 
and 19 year old son were detained on May 20 and released on 
May 21.  The Ambassador raised this case with Minister of 
Internal Affairs Merabishvili May 22 and expressed concern 
about these detentions.  The Minister confirmed that some of 
Otanadze,s family members had been detained on suspicion of 
aiding and abetting the fugitives, but noted that all have 
now been released and said that a press statement to this 
efect would be issued soon.  End Summary. 
2.  (C) Deputy Ombudsman Giorgi Chkheidze told us that he 
visited Nugzar Otanadze during his two week detention. 
According to Chkheidze, Nugzar appeared to have been beaten, 
but he had been officially detained for resisting arrest. 
Chkheidze said that according to Nuzgar, Special Forces 
police come to his house a 3 am and demanded he open his 
door.  When he refused, reportedly saying he would come with 
his attorney to the police station the next day, the police 
forcibly entered the house and took him into custody. 
3.  (C) Chkheidze said that he had seen press reports that 
eight additional members of Otanadze,s family had been 
detained, including an eight month old baby, but could not 
confirm the reports.  He did add that a different Otanadze 
brother, Jimsher and his wife and son were detained on May 20 
and then released on May 21.  Chkheidze said that he had 
spoken with several officials from the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs, none of whom had additional information on this 
case, especially why and when the family members were 
arrested, and where they were held. 
4.  (C) The Ambassador raised this case with Minister of 
Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili on May 22 and expressed 
concern about the detentions.  Merabishvili said that the 
family members had been detained on charges of aiding and 
abetting the fugitives.  When the Ambassador asked 
specifically about the baby, Merabishvili said that the 
baby's mother had insisted on taking her 13-month old baby 
with her to the police station.  He confirmed that all the 
Otanadze family members have been released and noted that a 
press statement would be issued to this effect. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI957, GEORGIA PROTESTS: QUIET TALKS ONGOING – WESTERN

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI957.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI957 2009-05-22 11:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0868
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0957/01 1421119
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 221119Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1613
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000957 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/22/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA PROTESTS: QUIET TALKS ONGOING - WESTERN 
SWING NOT LIVING UP TO BILLING 
 
REF: TBILISI 0945 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  A small group of protesters locked the 
major roads on both sides of the river that flows through 
downtown Tbilisi for roughly 40 minutes May 21 prompting an 
angry response from motorists that was widely covered in the 
press.  Non-parliamentary opposition rallies in Zugdidi and 
Kutaisi attracted minimal support, prompting Levan 
Gachechiladze to accuse citizens of Zugdidi of lacking 
courage.  Using our good offices, the Ambassador arranged for 
a private meeting at his residence between Speaker Bakradze 
and David Usupashvili (Alliance - Republicans), a meeting 
which only a few in the GoG and even fewer in the 
non-parliamentary opposition are aware.  During their 
meeting, Usupashvili and Bakradze found common ground on a 
number of issues including the risks associated with any 
escalation of the protests. (strictly protect).  Also on May 
21, the Ambassador announced the latest installment of USG 
assistance as part of the $1 billion pledge, stressing the 
large percentage of this funding that will be used to support 
democratic reforms, political party development and free 
media.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  So far, the rallies in western Georgia 
have been underwhelming, and it does not appear that the 
non-parliamentary opposition will be able to bring many new 
supporters from the regions to the planned May 26 rally in 
Tbilisi.  It also appears that a heretofore extremely patient 
public is starting to tire of the non-parliamentary 
oppositions' tactics.  Despite what appear to be obvious 
signs that protests have run their course, the 
non-parliamentary opposition still seems unable to break out 
of its paralysis of thought, returning instead to 
counter-productive measures like blocking roads.  Increasing 
signs of frustration are evident among certain 
non-parliamentary leaders who are now openly encouraging and 
engaging in confrontation.  The non-parliamentary leaders who 
are open to dialogue seem unable to make a decision, while 
those pursuing a more radical course act quickly and 
decisively, essentially holding those with more moderate 
opinions hostage.  We are concerned that this dynamic could 
lead to more provocative and confrontational tactics.  End 
Comment. 
 
Protests in West Georgia - Blocking Roads in Tbilisi 
 
3.  (C)  In response to the MoIA's decision to impound cars 
following the May 19 blockage of the airport road, a group of 
about 200 protesters led by David Gamkrelidze (Alliance - New 
Rights) and Nino Burjanadze (United Movement - Democratic 
Georgia) closed the main river road in both directions for 
roughly 45 minutes.  (Comment:  The relevant Georgian law 
gives the MoIA the legal authority to impound vehicles that 
block roads.  However, the MoIA also had the discretion to 
simply issue tickets.  We believe the impounding of the cars 
while legal, was a clear sign to the non-parliamentary 
opposition that blocking major roads would not be tolerated. 
End Comment.)  The press was full of pictures of and stories 
about scuffles between irate motorists and protesters during 
the period of the blockage.  One man pleaded to be able to 
get past to pick up his small children from school and was 
decried as selfish by protesters.  Other residents around 
Rustaveli avenue are now speaking to the press complaining of 
protesters walking around drunk and relieving themselves on 
their property.  Rustaveli Avenue business owners are telling 
journalists that they are near bankruptcy.  Despite the 
Qjournalists that they are near bankruptcy.  Despite the 
increasing irritation, Gamkrelidze and Burjanadze vowed to 
take more confrontational steps. 
 
4.  (C)  The protests in western Georgia, led by the brothers 
Gachechiladze, have produced only minimal crowds.  Utsnobi's 
(Giorgi Gachechiladze) concerts are the more popular draw. 
Reportedly only about 100 hundred protesters showed up in 
Zugdidi for one rally, prompting Levan Gachechiladze to 
remark that the people of Zugdidi lacked courage.  Utsnobi's 
concert in Kutaisi was better attended, but attracted nowhere 
near the numbers the non-parliamentary opposition had hoped 
(nor is it clear whether the attendees cared about the cause 
or just wanted to see a free concert).  The non-parliamentary 
opposition has asked the Tbilisi mayor's office to extend the 
existing protest permit until June 26, and has indicated that 
it would widen the areas in which it would protest.  (Note: 
The Mayor's Office has already extended the non-parliamentary 
opposition's protest permit three times.  According to the 
press, the mayor's office did not comment on this latest 
notification.  End Note.) 
 
Bakradze - Usupashvili Meeting (Strictly Protect) 
 
5.  (C)  Using his good offices, the Ambassador arrange for 
 
TBILISI 00000957  002 OF 002 
 
 
Speaker Bakradze and opposition leader Usupashvili to meet 
privately at his residence May 21.  Both described the 
meeting to the Ambassador as positive.  Eac
h agreed that any 
escalation in protests carried great risks and also agreed to 
meet again after they spoke to their respective sides.  Both 
indicated that there were substantial areas of agreement for 
dialogue.  Usupashvili told the Ambassador that only seven 
non-parliamentary opposition leaders knew about the 
discussion and that this knowledge was limited to the top 
leadership in each of the respective parties.  Bakradze and 
Usupashvili asked the Ambassador to keep the meeting 
confidential, fearing that any leaks could derail attempts at 
dialogue and compromise.  The Ambassador offered his 
residence for further discussions if the parties desired. 
 
U.S. Embassy Announces Aid Package 
 
6.  (U)  The Ambassador announced the contents and transfer 
of USD 53.3 million as part of the USD 1 billion assistance 
pledge on May 21.  The Ambassador explained that USD 20 
million would be used for programs involving goodgovernance, 
civic participation, election reform, and media reform, 
indicating our hope that this would support ongoing dialogue 
between the Government and opposition.  The announcement 
received widespread positive press coverage, although there 
were no comments from the non-parliamentary opposition. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI956, GEORGIA: DASD WARLICK’S MEETING WITH DEPUTY

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI956.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI956 2009-05-22 10:24 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0761
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0956/01 1421024
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221024Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1611
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000956 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/08/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: DASD WARLICK'S MEETING WITH DEPUTY 
FOREIGN MINISTER BOKERIA 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary:  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Mary 
Warlick, accompanied by the Ambassador, met May 8 with Deputy 
Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria to discuss bilateral issues and 
review military assistance programs.  The meeting provided an 
opportunity for Bokeria to discuss the ongoing political 
situation in the country and the government's plans for 
resolving the ongoing conflict with the non-parliamentary 
opposition.  Bokeria questioned DASD Warlick about the 
possibility of an ISAF supply route through Georgia, and 
noted his view that Turkmenistan was a very viable partner in 
this plan.  Bokeria described Georgia's positive view of the 
European Partnership that was signed May 7 in Prague, the 
multinational missions currently in Georgia, and Russian 
accusations about Georgian interference in an overflight of 
supplies to Afghanistan.  Bokeria asked DASD Warlick  about 
NATO/Georgian relations and the situation surrounding the 
Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, and passed on his 
suggestions for negotiating with the Russians in upcoming 
talks.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Deputy Minister Bokeria began the meeting by 
expressing his gratitude for U.S. economic and military 
education assistance to Georgia, and noted that Georgia 
remained committed to support a Georgian troop deployment to 
Afghanistan.  He inquired about the status of an Afghan 
supply route through Georgia, and noted, after DASD expressed 
our interest in diversifying supplies to ISAF as much as 
possible, that Georgia believed Turkmenistan was a highly 
viable partner that should be taken seriously.  He stated 
that Turkmenistan has a "healthy rift" with Russia, and is 
more capable of handling Russian pressure than Kyrgyzstan. 
Commenting on the Eastern Partnership signing May 7, Bokeria 
said that the wording was "not the best," and was a bit too 
conservative for Georgia; however, it was a political 
declaration and it was an important demonstration of 
cooperation with the European Union.  He also noted that the 
Eastern Partnership was highly positive because it included 
President Lukashenko of Belarus in the process, and provided 
him another opportunity to balance his competing interests. 
In response to a question about Georgian/European relations, 
he stated that Georgia did not have any complaints about the 
Czechs in their handling of the EU presidency, and that the 
Georgians were already working to build relations with the 
Swedes as the next EU presidency.  Bokeria stated that the 
Swedish Foreign Minister was a "great friend" of Georgia, and 
a principled minister. 
 
3.  (C)  When asked about Georgia/NATO relations, Bokeria 
stressed that there had been no change in the Georgian 
position advocating membership in NATO, and that the 
NATO/Georgia Commission was a success.  He candidly noted 
that the government understood the need for more reforms, and 
that major obstacles remained before Georgia could 
legitimately claim a seat at the table in the Council. 
Deputy Minister Bokeria asked about the CFE treaty, inquiring 
about a Russian non-paper passed to the State Department.  In 
Bokeria's opinion, the Russian proposals were just another 
attempt to bolster its desires for spheres of influence in 
the world, and was a "non-starter."  He expressed regret that 
the EU was not treating it as such, but stated his 
appreciation for the US including Georgian comments and 
positions in its non-paper.  He stated that he was 
Qpositions in its non-paper.  He stated that he was 
comfortable with the US' need to negotiate on this issue with 
Russia; however, he strongly noted that it should be taken 
independently of other negotiations and cautioned that we not 
allow the Russians to use it as a bargaining chip for larger 
bilateral negotiations. 
 
4.  (C)  Bokeria spoke frankly about the upcoming Geneva 
talks and the consistent threats of non-participation by 
South Ossetia and Abkhaz de facto negotiators.  He stated 
that the participation of officials from the separatist zones 
did not matter, and Georgia was interested in direct talks 
with Russia.  He expressed some worry about the Russians 
possibly boycotting the talks, but at this point they were 
continuing to plan for discussions about new security 
arrangements in the separatist zones.  Regarding UNOMIG, 
Bokeria again stated his concern with the wording of the 
title of the UN Secretary General's May 15 report, and that 
any step backwards from "Abkhazia, Georgia" would be a step 
towards accepting Russia's "new reality."  He noted that such 
a step back would be to fall for "open blackmail," send a 
"very dangerous signal," and would confirm Moscow's ability 
to dictate its positions to the international community.  He 
adamantly noted that the international community's desire to 
come to some consensus is not helpful, as it emboldens the 
Russians to continue pressing; instead, the western nations 
should continue to place pressure on Russia to abide by its 
 
TBILISI 00000956  002 OF 002 
 
 
statements and agreements signed in
 the past. 
 
5.  (C)  In response to Russian statements denouncing 
Georgian interference on an overflight ostensibly from Sweden 
of supplies to ISAF, Bokeria stated that the government 
always runs cursory checks of the companies involved to 
ensure no illicit activity takes place.  The investigation 
had raised Georgian suspicions about the flight, and thus 
Georgia did not grant overflight permission.  Separately, 
Bokeria believed that the Minister of Defense would be 
traveling to the US in early June and would be available to 
further discuss these issues. 
 
6.  (C)   The Ambassador raised the issue of ongoing street 
protests led by the non-parliamentary opposition and 
accusations of mistreatment by the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs (MOIA) of those arrested for beating a journalist. 
Bokeria promised that all cases would be reviewed, but 
stressed to the Ambassador that Deputy Public Defender Giorgi 
Chkheidze had no credibility on this issue since he had also 
attempted to personally get over the fence into the police 
compound (Note: Chkheidze denied this claim; however, he did 
say he was at the police station as an observer.  End Note. 
 
7.  (U)  DASD Warlick has cleared this cable. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI952, GEORGIA: SECURITY SITUATION AT THE MTSKHETA

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI952.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI952 2009-05-21 14:05 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0064
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0952/01 1411405
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 211405Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1608
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFITT/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/NSA US WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEANFA/NRC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0048

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000952 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DOE/NNSA PLEASE PASS TO CATHERINE KENNEDY 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/06/2019 
TAGS: KNNP MNUC KCRM PARM PINR GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: SECURITY SITUATION AT THE MTSKHETA 
RADIOACTIVE STORAGE FACILITY 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 B AND D 
 
1. (U) This is an action cable.  Please see paragraph 7. 
 
2. (C) Summary and Comment. The radioactive storage facility 
in Mtskheta, the permanent storage facility in Georgia for 
disused radioactive sources, is in need of a strengthened 
security guard presence, according to local experts and 
police.  The Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security 
Administration/Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) 
program has done a tremendous job in upgrading the physical 
infrastructure and security procedures of the facility, and 
will be further upgrading the alarm system this summer. 
However, one area in the overall system still in need of 
improvement is guard security procedures and manning.  While 
post does not consider the current situation an immediate 
threat, the facility is widely known to house radioactive 
material and is easy to access, located just off the main 
highway north of Tbilisi and not far from the embassy.  In 
order to provide more robust security at the site, the 
Government of Georgia could designate the facility a site of 
strategic national importance, which would in turn require 
the government to provide state protection for the facility. 
End Summary and Comment. 
 
CURRENT SECURITY SITUATION 
 
3. (C) The radioactive storage facility is on the property of 
the decommissioned nuclear reactor in Mtskheta, a few miles 
north of Tbilisi.  It is maintained by the E. Andronikashvili 
Institute of Physics (IOP), which is part of the Ministry of 
Education and Science.  The current security system 
components that GTRI has provided include deadbolt locks for 
doors; security lock boxes for key control; a two-person rule 
procedure in which each storage room door requires two 
independent keys and personnel to open it; siren/strobe light 
alarms; fixed and mobile duress buttons; motion sensors for 
each storage room and access entry; balanced magnetic 
switches on the doors; CCTV cameras, monitor and digital 
recording system; backup power via a diesel generator; 
exterior lighting; central alarm station room; and vibration 
sensors to detect penetration in the road side exterior wall. 
 GTRI also ensures that personnel at the facility have been 
trained and a response plan for the facility developed.  GTRI 
contracts for warranty and maintenance visits on a quarterly 
basis.  GTRI will be upgrading the alarm system this summer 
with the ability to conduct surveillance of the facility at 
off-site locations, thereby providing redundancy to the 
primary security system described above. 
 
4. (C) Currently, the IOP has a private contract with the 
Security Police Department (SPD) to provide security guards. 
The current contract between SPD and IOP allows for six 
guards from their Mtskheta Division to be on site 24/7. 
Their main responsibility is to perform perimeter checks of 
the entire territory, which is about three hectares, 
consistently throughout the day and night.  However, 
according to IOP personnel and as observed by poloff, the 
guards spend a majority of their time stationed at the main 
Qguards spend a majority of their time stationed at the main 
entrance to the property and do not even have direct line of 
sight to the storage facility, whose back wall is exposed to 
the road.  IOP personnel claim that the guards are 
inexperienced and turn over frequently.  IOP requested that 
the guards perform the perimeter checks, but were told that 
this would cost more money.  Neither the IOP nor the Ministry 
of Education, which controls IOP's budget, has the financial 
resources to meet the increasing demands of the SPD.  IOP 
employees told poloff that they often take it upon themselves 
to "guard" the facility due to the lack of acceptable 
security procedures exhibited by the guards.  On 20 May, at 
the Preventing Nuclear Smuggling Program Scenario-Based 
Workshop, an official with the Nuclear and Radiation Safety 
Service (NRSS) also discussed the issue of security at the 
facility, noting especially the lack of expertise displayed 
by the current security guards. 
 
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT 
 
5. (C) Mamuka Komakhia, the Deputy Chair of the Security 
Police Department, whose department provides the current 
security guards to the site, also raised concerns regarding 
 
TBILISI 00000952  002 OF 002 
 
 
the current situation.  Due to the line of sight constraints 
from the main entrance, he recommended that a control post be 
established at the entrance of the storage facility with a 
static gua
rd presence.  He also suggested a barrier be 
erected at the entrance as a deterrent.  However, without a 
financial increase in the contract, he would not be able to 
make these changes. 
 
6. (C) The IOP has repeatedly appealed to the Government of 
Georgia for at least eight years, through letters to the 
Prime Minister, that it declare the facility a site of 
strategic importance, which would afford it state protection 
by specially trained guards.  Besides acknowledging receipt 
of IOP's letters, the Prime Minister's office has not 
responded to IOP's requests.  According to post's 
understanding of the law entitled "Engineering and Geodetic 
Control and Safety of Units (or Locations) Deemed Strategic 
and of Special Importance," the storage facility does qualify 
for this protection.  Article 4 of the law states that 
facilities that are considered of strategic importance 
include buildings/facilities of those plants that use 
radioactive or toxic material as well as manufacturing, 
scientific-construction, military, customs and border control 
facilities that are necessary to provide for the country's 
security protection.  Further, article 9 states that State 
Supervision protection of such facilities is exercised by 
Ministry of Defense, Special Protection Service, State 
Security Service, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State 
Surveillance Service, Border Protection Service - within the 
area of their competence. 
 
7. (C)  The IOP has asked the Embassy to express USG support 
in order to designate the facility a GOG site of strategic 
importance. Post requests Department guidance in responding 
to this request. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks