Testimonies: Georgian - Abkhazian War - Asarkial Human Rights Group
From the testimony of Khartchilava E.P., born in 1960, inhabitant of Tkuarchal, Kutaise St. 37
My mother Shurdulava K.A. lives in the village of Kindgi. She is 78. In September 1992 she was at home. Eight Georgian guardsmen surrounded her house one day and tried to get into it through the window. My mother-in-law opened the door and let them in. They searched the house, took everything they liked in it, killed a bull and took a goat for their chief. Then they started torturing the old woman: they beat her, hit her with a gun, fired near her and made her run to and fro. She was saved by a mirage: she crawled to the forest. The Abkhaz guerillas took her to Tkuarchal. The Georgian guardsmen burnt down her house and took away the cattle. They killed her nephew and threw him in the forest. The neighbors found the dead body only in 28 days and buried it.
My father-in-law was in Sukhum at the time. On his way home from Sukhum his neighbor and he were taken prisoners. They tortured them brutally. The guardsmen tried to violate her. When my father-in-law stood up for her they threatened to kill him. By happy chance they were saved by one of the guardsmen.
From the testimony of Kakalia-Dzhindzhilia L.E., born in 1951, inhabitant of the village of Merkula, Ochamchira Region, 2 children
I was at home when the war broke on August 18 about 300 guardsmen, six tanks and armored carriers entered our village. They fired at the plant, the houses and at people with tanks. They tortured people, plundered their houses, took money and gold from them. They came up to my house as well. They broke into the house and took a lot of things. They were interested in my husband and wanted to see him. I was so frightened that I said he was dead. They started beating me. On hearing my voice our neighbor Arziani Givi and his wife came to my rescue and I was saved. I was hiding at their place for a long time. When leaving the village the Georgian marauders looted every house, took away all the cars in the village and all the tea from the factory. After some time I took my child and left for Tkuarchal. The helicopter evacuating us from Tkuarchal was landed in Sukhum airport for inspections. The guardsmen demanded our documents (passports). Seeing my name we were ordered to leave the plane. Down on the land they were interested on our relationships with Viktor Kakalia (the colonel). They seated my son into a car and required information on how many Chechens there were in the village of Merkula and Tkuarchal, where the head-quarters was and the positions of Abkhaz forces. When he refused to give the information they started beating him, with guns. They tried to get the same information from me threatening to violate me. Five guardsmen were beating me in turn, they kicked out two of my teeth. An elderly person stood up for me. Then they turned to the pilot and started threatening to do away with him for having taken us on board. When the passengers tried to protest us a guardsman hit a Russian woman. I have not still overcome the fright I had. I've become awfully nervous, I began to lose my hair and memory. In a word my health has been rather ruined after all the physical abuse I suffered, and I need medical treatment.
From testimony of Malania V.M., born in 1958, inhabitant of Sukhum, Argun St. 17/36
After the war broke I moved to my sister Malania Larisa's flat in the old district. Through the windows I saw the Georgian guardsmen looting nearby houses and flats and taking cars from garages. I also saw them making Shamatava Givi, Dziadzolia Zaur carry sacks full of sand and dig up trenches. Then they beat them cruelly, when the two men lost consciousness the guardsmen left them downstairs at the doorway quite naked. My sister had to open the door to two guardsmen late at night. Finding out we were Abkhaz they ordered us to dress to be taken to the commandant's office. After we refused to follow them at such a late hour they said they had an order to shoot down all the Abkhaz people from that day on. We tried to look indifferent to what we heard and preferred to be killed in the flat. After that they demanded gold and money from us. When they got everything we had they ordered us to make the beds, and intended to violate us. My sister tore herself away and rushing to the balcony tried to jump over it. The guardsmen stopped her. One of them plugged in an iron. We got awfully frightened. They took us to the kitchen and locked us. Then they somehow went down to the sixth floor on a rope over the balcony plundered a flat there and in hour unlocked the kitchen door. On leaving us they said they'd come the next day. In the morning we managed to leave the flat and fly to Gudauta.
From the testimony of Ankvab A.M., born in 1927, inhabitant of Sukhum, Gastello St. 21, a university teacher
On September 15, 1992 I was standing in a queue for bread. An acquaintance of mine, Dzodzua Abesalom by name, came up to me. (He is an engineer) and using abusive language he cried out: "Abkhaz people are strangers on this land, building up to its statehood is out of the question. Why didn't you sign the appeal on cease-fire? The policy of Ardzinba and people like him is a vain dream. You're all building castles in the air". Now he is in Tbilisi. The same conversation took place between me and my neighbor Esebua Merab. An unexpected thing happened to him. One day the Georgian guardsmen came and took away his car. A few days later the car was returned but he was beaten cruelly - all his upper teeth were pulled away, the gold crowns and his gold ring were taken away as well. According to Tuzhba V., his wife Shura, their son Temur, the guardsmen came to them (Nineshvili str., 3) on February 3, 1993. They plundered their house and wanted to take away their car which had been taken to pieces. They ordered the owner of the car to assemble it so that they could take it at 3 a.m. the next day. By the time the car was ready to be used, an other group of marauders came and drove it away. The first group of marauders did not believe the owner's story and said they would burn down the house if he did not give them the car the next day. They took the son, Temur, to the cemetery and said they'd kill and bury him there. In two hours they brought the young man beaten, blood-stained, ready to drop. They beat the master of the house mercilessly and demanded money again.
Testimony of Bebia M., born in 1953, inhabitant of Sukhum, Esherskaya St. 36/45
Being ill I stayed in bed when the Georgian guardsmen broke into my flat. They examined my passport and finding out I was Abkhaz, ordered me to get dressed and follow them to the staff which was in School No. 7. There were three guardsmen there. They showered me with abusive language and threatened to beat with guns. I was so weak that I fainted. I was brought to my senses and sent home. I moved to my sister's flat and stayed with her till March. On March 21, 1993 I came back to the flat. Very soon they made us all vacate the hotel, plundered, all the flats and let some Georgians into my flat to live in it.
From the testimony of Amichba-Dzopua A.Sh., born in 1969, inhabitant of Sukhum, Leselidze St. 24
On February 13, 1993, 65 year old Amichba Sh., his 56 year old wife Amichba A, the 86 year old grandmother Kapba B. and their 79 year old neighbor Margania M. were killed in their own house in Ochamchira at night (address: Kogonia str)
From the testimony of Chachba B., born in 1961, inhabitant of Sukhum, Gogolia St. 43/8
When the war broke I was at my flat in Gulripshi. When the guardsmen first came to my flat they had a list of Abkhaz people. Under pretence of looking for Chechens they turned everything upside down in the flat and left. The next time they came and took away several things. The third time they looted the flat and took everything up to underwear. Then they beat me brutally: they hit me with guns, in the jaw, in the face, broke my clavicle, and kicked out two teeth. They were beating me for a long time. Then nine other Abkhaz people, Getta Mirod and his wife, Svetlana, Khashig M., and his 16 year old son, Lakoba K. and his wife Nelli among them and me were taken to the staff. As we found out later we all were presented to them as snipers, so we were all tortured. Two days later we were released. The guardsmen took away the key to my flat and now it is occupied by them. At the present I am getting medical treatment.
From the testimony of Kutelia M., born in 1922, inhabitant of Sukhum, Kechnaya St. 9
I do not remember the date exactly when the Georgian guardsmen came to my Megrelian neighbor's house. They tied his wife, undressed him and burnt him all over his naked body with an iron. When we came to visit him the next day we saw his face and other parts of his body dreadfully burnt. On the third day he died. The guardsmen tortured him demanding money.
From the testimony of Berulava U., born in 1947, inhabitant of the village Beskalh, Ochamchira Region
In August 1992 four Georgian guardsmen came to our neighbor Khibba Ch., a veteran of war (born in 1921). They spoke Georgian to them, but since he did not know the language he answered them in Russian. The guardsmen started humiliating him and threatened to shoot him down. When Chichiko asked the why they were doing that to him, they answered "Simply because you are Abkhaz". He said "I fought in the World War II". They said "Who asked you to fight? At that moment a bus full of people stopped at his gate at whose sight the guardsmen left hurriedly.
From the testimony of Taiba Z., born in 1928, inhabitant of Sukhum, Ordzonikidze St. .94/29)
I live in a block of flats on the 5th floor together with my nephew Adzhir-ogly Kashid, a boy of 8. Three guardsmen came and looted my flat in September. I begged them to leave the child's clothes, instead of that, one of the guardsmen hit me heavily on the face and I lost my consciousness. Three of my teeth were gone, my nose was bleeding and my nephew began crying shivering with fear. The guardsmen took absolutely all the things and left. I saw with my own eyes how in March the guardsmen came and took away our neighbor, Plevako Ana. They took her to the country house where her husband, a retired colonel, was staying. They made her call him at the gate. When he came out of the house the guardsmen fired at her back. Falling down she died at once. Her husband was also wounded, he also fell on the ground. Thinking that they'd shot them both down, the guardsmen went away.
From the testimony of Dzhikirba K., born in 1939, inhabitant of Sukhum, Kirova St. 17
The Georgian guardsmen came to our flat several times. First there came about 30 of them all armed and took my husband Dzhikirba Ladiko and my nephew Inapsha I. to the staff. Having brutally beaten them there they released them both. The second time they came they demanded the key to my Mengrelian neighbors flat (Ratia Suram). They plundered it. late in January they came the third time. Saying: "The Abkhaz are killing the Georgians in Gagra and you are sitting here and having coffee with your neighbors" they started beating me and showering me with insulting language. I lost my consciousness. By the time I came to myself, the guardsmen had looted in the flat and gone. They came to my house early in February to turn me out of the flat and occupy it. On February 11, I came to Gudauta.
From the testimony to Logovilava N., born in 1940, inhabitant of the village Adzinbzia, Ochamchira Region
Abkhaz fighters came to us from time to time. My husband gave them some food, fruits and did what he could for them. Our neighbors Dopna Sandro and his daughter Dopna Juliet reported to the Georgian guardsmen on my husband and the guerillas. On October 21, 1992 they came and shot down my 53 year old husband Lagvilava Anatoly. Not long before that the Georgian guardsmen set an ambush for the Abkhaz fighters on their way to the position and shot them down. These were Chasba S., Gvindzhia M., Dopua D., and Mishelia V. Only one of them managed to crawl to the forest and get to a group of partisans, though his leg was broken. The guardsmen stole our cattle, 40 baskets of maize and plundered the house. They burnt down the houses of our neighbors Bzkania, Chauba and Adleiba... I was an eye-witness of an air-bombardment of the village Adziabzha. They fired at the village with howitzer and used Grad installations. After my husband was killed, I took my two grandchildren and my daughter-in-law and got to Tkuarchal. We were evacuated to Gudauta by air.
From the testimony of Galina V., mission "Omega"
On March 2, 1993 there was an agreement on prisoner exchange: the Georgian side was to give out Abkhaz prisoners and the Abkhaz side was to give 6 dead bodies of Georgian soldiers in return. Just before the exchange the Georgian shot down all of them: Adleiba Tamaz, Zarandia, Zhukov S., Kurskaya I., Adleiba R., Akaba I., and Taranba O. One of them was not identified. All the bodies were disfigured. Kurskaya U., a med assistant was wounded when they took her prisoner. They cut out her breasts, her sexual organs and cut her throat.
From the testimony of Zarandia A., born in 1950, inhabitant of Ochamchira
On August 28, 1992, my brother-in-law Tarba Beslam and his neighbor, a Megrelian by nationality went to Mokva, Ochamchira region. That day the Georgian soldiers were stopped by Georgian guardsmen. Finding out that Beslam was Abkhaz by nationality they brutally killed him: they wounded him in the leg, knocked his eyes out, fired in the stomach and ear twice. The Mengrelian was fired in the leg just for accompanying an Abkhaz.
From the testimony of Pachalia T., born in 1945, inhabitant of Sukhum, Ordzhonikidze St. 102/45
On October 5, 1992, three guardsmen broke into my house and plundered it. Before leaving they beat me cruelly. They hit me on the head and all over the body with guns. I began bleeding in the nose and fainted.
From the testimony of Inapha V., born in 1940, inhabitant of Sukhum, Eehba St. 173/58
The guardsmen came to my flat several times. Every time they came, our neighbors saved us from being killed. The first time they came there was no electricity in the house and I could not find my passport. Saying they would kill me if I was identified as an Abkhaz they left. The other group of guardsmen came to loot the flat and took all my documents as well. There came the third group and the fourth and so on. When leaving, the last group warned my wife: "If you don't explain to us where you got the certificate signed by Khaindrava you'll never see your husband". They meant the document I had instead of my passport which I had been deprived of before. They beat us both cruelly, cut us all over the body and left. Being afraid, we could not consult the doctors. On April 17, 1993 we got to Gechriph as a result of exchange.
From the testimony of Taiba-Akirtadze S., born in 1960, inhabitant of the village of Mokva, Och. Region
On August 22, 1992 an inhabitant of the village Mokva (born in 1960) was stopped by the guardsmen and demanded his car. When Beslan refused, they fired at him point-blank: Beslan was married and he had two children. On August 28 at about 2 p.m. Georgian guardsmen surrounded the village. Hearing that, Arshba Z. began looking for his children. When the soldiers saw him they shot him down. The dead body remained on the ground for some time. Every guardsmen passing by shot it just for fun.
From the testimony of Bargandzhia Z., born in 1953, inhabitant of Sukhum, Argun St. 20
After the intrusion of the troops of State Council of Georgia into territory of Abkhazia on August 14, 1992 leaving my wife and two children I left Sukhum for Gudauta. In a few days it became impossible to get in touch with my family. Taking advantage of his knowledge of both languages - Georgian and Mengrelian, my father Bargandzhia Shota, and inhabitant of the village of Tanish, Ochamchira region, managed to get to Sukhum through all the Georgian posts. On August 26, 1992 he was stopped by the guardsmen near the railway station in Sukhum. They beat him dreadfully and let him go. My wife treated his wounds. The next day on his way back home my father was taken prisoner. They tortured a 68 year old man for four days. Later on, early in September, he was found in Ochamchira mortuary. The circumstances under which he was killed are still unknown. On September 17, 1992 Georgian guardsmen came to our house. While they were looting my wife managed to take the children and hide. She didn't even have enough time to take the children's clothes.
From the testimony of Zhiba S., born in 1959, living temporarily at the address: Gudauta, Gobechia St. 8
I took part in hostilities in the village Tsagurovka of Sukhum region. I was taken prisoner where they tortured me. They left a scar on my cheek to remind me of those atrocities. I was kept in Sukhum prison for a long time. They often took me out into the yard, dramatized an execution, ordered me to spend to stand at the wall and fired all around me and beat me brutally. They fed me only once in 24 hours - they gave some soup and a piece of bread. I will recognize them when meeting. Once a chief warder came with a gun and ordered me to go out. He told me he was taking me out for execution. But instead he brought me to a room where a woman journalist from the TV company was waiting. When asked about my nationality, I said I was Abkhaz. She argued with irritation and said she was Abkhaz and I was "apsua" (like they have been calling us, Abkhaz people, for the last few years). She wanted me to say Ardzinba had forced me to take up arms but I said it was my own land, Abkhazian land and I defended it on my own free land. The woman hit me on the back with a truncheon, then a militiaman joined her. I lost my consciousness. After an injection, I came to my senses. They went on questioning me. They wanted to find out where exactly our staff was located in Eshera. The journalist got angry and irritated and used abusive language. I was released as a result of prisoner exchange on October 29, 1992.
From the testimony of Bigvava A., born in 1931, inhabitant of Sukhum, Zarechnaya St. 2
When the guardsmen came my husband was at home. They said: "We know your son is fighting against us. If you don't give us money we'll kill you". When they found out we had no money to give, they started beating him brutally, they cut off his ear. My husband could hardly walk after that. The second time they came, they took him away. On their way they caught another Abkhaz. I don't know his name. While the soldiers were shooting him down, my husband managed to escape having crawled to the lake. Several days later they helped him to arrive in Gudauta. Now he is in Kharkov and is being treated.
From the testimony of Tido U., born in 1918, inhabitant of Sukhum, Akirtava St. 21, Apt. 31
On November 17, 1992, two guardsmen banged on the door with butts of guns. They cried: "Open the door to the military police officers. We'll count up till three and fire". Using abusive language, they asked us why we were in good terms with the Abkhaz people. They searched the flat, broke the window glass of a cupboard and turned everything upside down. They drew up a statement that they had found no gun in the flat and made us sign. We refused as the document was written in Georgian. "May be you are making us sign our sentence to death?" we asked. The policeman burst out laughing and said, "Do you, poor thing, suppose I would waste paper on your sentence to death?" After they left us they started banging at our Armenian neighbor Ann's door.
From the testimony of Chkonia S., born in 1935, inhabitant of Sukhum, Mataradze St. 46
On November 03, 1992, 30 Georgian guardsmen surrounded our house. They took me and my brother prisoners and beat us cruelly. They fired at our house, broke the window, tore away the doors and took the bike from my child's grave in the yard...They put me and my brother into a car and drove to Tonish. All the way there and in the village Tsagera they went on torturing us. They broke my two ribs and hurt my head so badly that it bloodied. Soon my hat became full of blood. They had to take me to the hospital. There I was forced to give false evidence to the doctors about the wound on my head. After they put in the stitches we were taken to the police station. I survived thanks to an Abkhazian policemen, Bobua by name, who brought me food every other day. I stayed there for 18 days. On the day of the arrest I had 30 thousand roubles and 5 gold rings which they took away. I was released as a result of prisoner exchange.
From the testimony of Dzindzholia N., born in 1959, inhabitant of Tkuarchal, Lakoba St. 18/27
In the middle of September 1992 ten Georgian guardsmen came to my brother's place in Ochamchira and took him away. Three hours later they came again and demanded money and gold from my mother who is 70. They took all the money and jewelry and promising to return her son back left her. As we found out later on they were keeping him in the luggage compartment of their car while they were searching the house. They did not bring him home as they had promised. He was forced to run to and fro, tortured him in every possible way. He was tied to a car and dragged along the streets for every Abkhaz person to see what was awaiting for him in case...A Russia woman found my brother Raul at the sea-shore unconscious. They brought him to a hospital in Ochamchira where he was given first aid. Then a doctor, Dzinzholia by name hid him. Some time later Raul passed a note to my mother. She succeeded in removing him to my uncle's place - Zhilina Shamuglia. Frequent visitors aroused the neighbors' suspicion and my uncle's wife had to take him away from Ochamchira from where she managed to send him to Moscow. Now he is in the hospital and must be operated on.
From the testimony of Kvarchia I., born in 1957, inhabitant of Sukhum, Gamistinskaya St. 45
After the war broke I moved to my neighbor Pachulia Daredzan's place. On August 24, 1992 four guardsmen came to her Abkhaz neighbor Kvitsinia by name. They turned everything upside down in the house. After that they visited us. They made us all - Daredzian, her four children (aged from 11 to 16), her mother and me stand in the corner and required information on our husbands from us. Having scattered everything on the floor, they took the money, gold and jewelry and left us.
From the testimony of Utchava A., born in 1944, inhabitant of the village of Kutol, Ochamchira Region
After I buried my son Roman who had been brutally tortured and killed, my younger son and I joined the guerillas. The Georgian guardsmen destroyed the house and the orchard with tanks. In October 1992 the so-called Georgian formation "Mkhedrioni" entered the village Kindgi. They came to Tuzkka Zhora's place who was seriously ill and stayed in bed. There were his wife, his daughter-in-law Tuzhba (25 years old), his grandchildren aged 3 and 4 years. The guardsmen lined them up in front of the sick man's bed and tormented them cutting them all over with knives. In the end they killed him and all the rest with knives, poured petrol inside and outside the house and burnt it. The Abkhaz partisans, who came to help managed to take the five dead bodies out of the house before it was burnt down to the ground. In October 1992 the guardsmen caught my nephew Igor Koitsinia and three more young men in the village of Atara-Abkhazskaya. They ordered Igor to get into the tank. When he refused they put a barbed wire around his neck, tied him to the tank and dragged him along the road for about a kilometer. They stopped this atrocity after the wire had cut his throat. Igor was 20. Utchava Inri, my elder brother, lived in Ochamchira. He had a house of his own and three cars. By their order he gave them two of his cars. When they demanded the third car, he refused to give in, they fired at his leg and broke it to pieces. Then he was put in the street and run over at the broken leg by a car being asked: "Do you want to live?" Thinking he was dead the guardsman left him. Now he is in a hospital in Moscow.
From the testimony of Tsikutania M., born in 1956, inhabitant of Sukhum, Esenia St. 34
I was at home when the war broke. I heard shots from everywhere, the planes bombing the town. After the negotiation between the two sides, the Abkhaz fighters moved off as far as Gumistra river. The third day we heard a column of endless tanks moving along Bzibzkaya highway and Eshba street towards Gumistra river. Tanks and armed people were placed at the big crossings of the town. The citizens hurried to the pier from where the Red Cross could evacuate them by boat or by ship. It was rather dangerous as the guardsmen fired at. When the tanks moved along Bzibskaya highway the soldiers on them fired at houses. People in horror hid in houses and cellars. This is the way they occupied the town. The building of the Abkhaz Television company became another source of disinformation of the population of Georgian-held territory of Abkhazia. My neighbor and I made up our minds to go to Ochamchira region on the seventh day. It was impossible to get there by bus because of the examination of passports. It was decided we would walk. So, early in the morning after the curfew we started. Going through the town we saw looted shops, some of them burnt down, "Belaya Rosa" for instance, met marauders with sacks of stolen clothes on the back. Here and there we saw snipers on the roofs. I met my neighbors who told me my house had been plundered and burnt down. All my notes for radio broadcasting, videos and manuscripts I had been working at during 13 years of my work in TV company were gone. I also learned that my neighbor Shamba Slava who made an effort not to let the marauders in had been shot down.
From the testimony of Z. Kh. Nachkebia, born in 1939, inhabitant of Sukhum, Bzibskooye shosse 232/37
On November 2, 1992, at about 12 p.m. three Georgian soldiers broke into my daughter's house. My daughter, Jopua Madina lives in Macharka, Gulripsh region. The guardsmen demanded money and gold...The neighbors, who heard the noise, tried to help my daughter. The guardsmen hit one of them on the head with the gun and then they left. The same day, at 6 p.m. they came again. This time there were 5 of them. One of the guardsmen was drunk. They ordered everybody not to move and made my son-in-law (Ruslan Jopua, 28 years old) stand at the wall. One of the guardsmen pressed his gun to his jaw and said that he had come to kill. My two year old grand-daughter was in her bed. The guardsmen came up to her and put his knife to her neck. The child said to herself: "Don't cry, Lada, this man is good, he won't kill you" Ruslan's mother was pleading: "Please, don't kill my son. I won't live if he dies". The soldiers responded: "You may hang yourself, we'll kill your son in any case. The woman ran out of the house. Later she was found dead in the basement. She hanged herself.
From the testimony of Mzia K. Gindia-Daraselia, born in 1964, from the village of Pakuash, Ochamchira region
On October 11, 1992 the Georgian guardsmen entered our village. Lyudmila Gvinijia-Delba was crossing the street when the guardsmen stopped her. I saw a group of women marching in front of the tanks. I also saw children sitting on top of the first tank. The soldiers made Lyudmila join the women. They were using civilians as a shield. They released the people after they had reached the outskirts of the village.
From the testimony of Z.V. Turava, born in 1926, from the village of Tskhinskar, Ochamchira region
In our village they first killed Apta Ashba (55 years old). He was on his way home, when the Georgian guardsmen stopped him and took him to Tsagera. They killed him and threw his body in the vicinity. In the night time the villagers secretly took the body to Tskhintskar. Ashba's head was deeply cut with an axe, there were bullet-holes in his face. Georgi Sharko (38 years old) was also taken in the street. They first cut off his fingers, broke his arms and then cut off his head.
From the testimony of V.K. Dopua, born in 1938, from the village of Adzyubzha, Ochamchira region
On October 6th, local marauders together with the Georgian guardsmen came to our village. They captured every person they found in houses, among them: Amiran Dopua, his wife - Tatjana Nevinchannaya, their children Fatima Dopua (18 years old), Saida (16), Luiza (10), Garri (13), Shukri (15), Arkadi (4). The guardsmen seated the children on top of the tank while the grown ups were ordered to march in front of it. They moved in the direction of Dranda. Then they tied Julietta Jopua to the tank and dragged her along the street. The civilians were used as a human shield against guerillas. The same happened in the village of Kutol, where the Georgians captured 6 members of the family of N. Gvinjia, including 3 children aged from 5 to 10. The soldiers kept them in front of the bridge over the Tamish River, that had been blown up by guerillas earlier.
From the testimony of Zh. A. Ardzinba from the village of Tamsh, Ochamchira region
The Georgian guardsmen accused my neighbor Leonid Ivanenko of having hid his-in-law's car. They took him to the storehouse where agricultural chemicals were kept, showed him the body of a man and said, "We'll do the same to you". It was impossible to identify the body of Bzania J., who was recognized only by his clothes. When the guardsmen did not hear from Leodnid what they were demanding, they dragged his 18 year old daughter Alla into one of the houses in the outskirts of the village. There were 18 of them there. They were keeping her for 3 days. At the end the girl went mad. The Georgians did the same to Alla's mother, Tamara Ivanenko.
From the testimony of L.A. Kvitsinia, born in 1911and her daughter S.T. Kvitsinia, born in 1938, from the village of Atara, Ochamchira region
On March 24, 1992 the Georgian guardsmen invaded our village on tanks. We hid in the trenches and saw the Georgians burning down the houses of our relatives and neighbors, among them those belonging to Yura, Shaliko, David, Daur, Boria, Vitya, Levard, Rezo Kvitsinia, Lavrentyi Lataria. Other houses were burnt down later in December. On that at 9 a.m. the Georgian guardsmen started firing at our village. My daughter and I ran to the trenches and stood there knee-deep in water till 12 p.m. of the following day. We saw the Georgians enter our house. One of them shouted from the yard. 'Come here, there is a car here'
From the testimony of Marina Gvinjia from the village of Kindgi, Ochamchira region
On October 18, 1992, our family was staying at home: my father N.M. Gvinjia, brother Tamaz Gvinjia, my mother A. Gvinjia, sister-in-law I. Yu. Kakubava, grandmother L. Gvinjia, sister I.N. Gvinjia, children Gia, Denis, Murman, Alisa. Two children from our neighborhood (aged 5-4), our neighbor Z. Kiut, the wife of Valeryi Katsia were also in our house. The shooting started. We saw that our house was surrounded by some 30-35 Georgian soldiers. They ordered us to gather in the yard under a tree and started to search the house. They took our gold and other belongings and began shooting over our heads. Then they started beating my mother. His son Denis was pleading, 'Please, don't hit my daddy! (Now when the child sees guns he starts running fever). I heard one of the soldiers shout, 'Stop, surrender!' He was addressing my cousin Z. Gvimjia. After a short pause I heard again the same command. My cousin did not stop and they killed him. The Georgians ordered me to bring a string and tie the hands of my relatives. They ordered me to stand at the head of the chain and then lead us through the village. After a while they freed me, but my relatives had to go to the main road. When they reached the highway, the Georgians started to hit them and shoot at them. They killed Z. Kiut. My father's ribs were broken, his head and fingers were also injured. They cut his face and ears. Later my father was exchanged. When he was brought home he did not recognize anybody. Even now he does not remember things. The Georgians were beating my father during interrogations. They burnt his face with cigarette stubs and hit him on the head. The soldiers also beat my sister and seriously injured her head. Then they raped her. My father was a witness to all this.
From the testimony of Fyodor Tarba, born in 1945, from the Gulripsh village, 10 Botanicheskaya St. Apt. 10
The Georgian guardsmen arrested me twice. First they came to my house on 12 September 1992. Six armed guardsmen put me into a car and took me in the direction of Bagmarani. It was 11 p.m. They demanded 150 thousand roubles from me and threatened to kill me if I did not raise the sum. On December 24, 1992 they arrested me the second time. Armed people, obviously svans (one of the Georgian tribes) wanted to take my wife and one of the neighbors with me. I begged them to leave my wife at home. Finally, my neighbor and I were brought to the holiday house in Varcha, where Doduani's battalion was quartered. They locked us in a small room (1,5m./2m.) where there were 7 other people:
1. 1. Katsia Levarsa, a pensioner.
2. Katsia Satbey and his wife, pensioners
3. Gochua Andrey, 55 years old
4. Kvarchia Vadim, 18 years old
5. An Armenian, whose name I do not know. He is an economist from the village of Atara-Armyanskaya
6. A Russian by the name Nikolai, I do not know his family name. He was killed on January 20, 1992 and buried in the sand by the sea.
Among those who were interrogating us was someone nicknamed Ali-Baba. He was beating us, calling names, threatening to kill us in the name of "liberated Georgia". He did not allow us to switch on the light or to open the window...After 44 days I was exchanged for the prisoner of war.
From the testimony of Igor Lakerbaya, Abkhazian, born in 1933, from Ochamchira, Kogonia St. 2
The troops of the State Council of Georgia started to commit atrocities since the moment they were brought in to Abkhazia. They burnt down the houses, looted the stores and mugged the civilians, mainly of the Abkhazian background. At the beginning they burnt down the houses of R. Byuk-ogly, V. Kansuzyan, N. Adleiba, R. Tarba. They robbed Dima Agrba, Valerity Butba, Chiri Agrba, Appolon Agrba, Bochu Parkaya, Tyri Kvekveskiri, Boris Zhiba, Ivan Kakaliya, Shavlva Tvanba, Rostambey Kvadzba and many others. About 1000 houses were destroyed in the village of Merkula, Beslachuba, Tshenskar, Tamsh, Kindyg, Adzyubzha, Atara Abkhazskaya, the Armenian villages: Labra, Aracich, Atara Armyanskaya, Arasadzikh. Secondary schools in Adzhampazra, Arasadzikh and Gup were either destroyed or burnt down...I know that the Georgian guardsmen killed Grisha Marganiya, Zurab Turnanba, Sokrat Adleiba, Viktor Marokhia, a father and son by name of Gvaramiya, their neighbors, Turks by nationality, Gena Samushia and his wife, who was first raped and the soldiers cut off her leg. They burnt down their bodies in their houses. The guardsmen brutally murdered head of Tkuarchal police Ruslan Ashuba, who was tortured, cut with the knives and then thrown into a gutter. The Georgian guardsmen arrested Bondo Khondzia, Director of the Tamish sovkhoz, while he was at Ashuba's funeral. They tortured him for five days and then demanded a ransom amounting to 2 million roubles. They also robbed and beat up Director of the "Ertsakhu" restaurant Mushni Argun. They took his car and about 200,000 roubles.
From the testimony of Irina Skripnistaya, Russian, born in 1947, from Sukhum, Akirtava St. 21, Apt.31
The Georgian soldiers were searching my house. One of them was sitting on the table and playing with the gun. He said, "We have to exterminate the Armenians. They let us down in Gagra". When the guardsmen go robbing they first start shooting to intimidate the civilians and prevent them from going out. On the 14th of August when the troops were brought in and the tanks entered the town, the Georgian guardsmen were distributing guns to the Georgian inhabitants of Ladaria street. People were coming up to the lorries and taking as many guns as they wanted. Nobody was registering the distribution of weopons. In October they cut off the phone lines of Russian-speaking civilians. As it turned out, that was the order of the city's Commandant.
From the testimony of Lia Agumava, Abkhazian, born in 1944, from Sukhum, Lakoba St. 3, Apt. 19
On August 29, my son Murman Kvitsinia (born in 1964) was taken prisoner together with twelve other Abkhazian soldiers. All of them severely beaten before they were brought to prison. 40 Georgian guardsmen formed a live passage and hit with their guns the Abkhazians who were forced through that passage. Then they made the prisoners go down on their knees. They made them sit down and stand up by order. My son fainted. They dragged him into the cell. His dead was seriously injured...The Georgian guardsmen kept asking the prisoners, "In what republic do you live?' The answer was "In the Republic of Abkhazia'. The Chief of the prison G. Khorguani, who happened to be our neighbor saved my son from being shot. My son's back was severely cut with a razor. The guardsman who was torturing him Karkarashvili's brother.
From the testimony of Svetlana Chkoniya, Abkhazian, born in 1946, from Sukhum, Mataradze St. 46
My nephew Aslan Chkoniya was working in the field when the Georgian troops attacked his village (Atara-Abkhazskaya). Aslan rushed to help his wife and baby. The guardsmen had already robbed his house and were leaving. Aslan's wife begged them not to take her husband. The guardsmen threatened to smash the baby against the wall if she did not stop crying. Together with Aslan they captured Kotick Jiut, who was going home after the funeral of a 37 year old Valeriy Shurdulava. Shurdulava had been killed a month earlier. His parents could not find the body. They identified him only by his shoes. The body was eaten by pigs. The guardsmen took both A. Chkoniya and K. Jiut through the village. On the way they also captured Aslan's father, Rauf Chkoniya (55 year old). Rauf was able to escape. His son and K. Kiut were killed. According to Chkoniya Rauf, the guardsmen said that they would not kill them if they were not in the list of those who had been sentenced to death.
From the testimony of Kakalia Z.N., born in 1946, inhabitant of Ochamchira
On February 3, 1992, two Georgian guardsmen came to Chama Tarba and her daughter's house. Her 65 year old mother was taken to the next room and after that they started beating her. Kaya, a woman of 45. They hit her on the head and on her face with butts of the guns and hands. They were beating her till she started bleeding from the nose and there appeared black circles around the eyes. They both were ordered to leave the house the next. So they did.
On March 30, 1993 the Georgian guardsmen dug out the dead body of Volodia Bigvava. They said they needed the corpse for exchange.
On February 13, 1993 at night the occupants came to Shaliko Amichba's house, who lives in Ochamchira, Kogonia str. They started torturing him. There were four persons in the house at the moment: a 65 year old master of the house, his wife Alexandria, who is 56, his mother-in-law Vardisha - 85 years of age, and their neighbor Margania Maro - 75 years old. The husband of the latter had been killed by the troops of the Georgian State Council. All of them were shot down. Later Georgians moved into the empty house.
From the testimony of Zarandia A.M.,born in 1950
The corps of Tsurtsunia Sh.S (1931) was brought on December 11. The body was disfigured - he had been disemboweled with a knife and thrown over the bridge. After that the corpse of Anchabadze R.S. was found. His body was also disfigured.
From the testimony of Adleiba K.M., born in 1962, inhabitant of Sukhum, Argun St. 16, Apt. 301
I know from Amra Shakaya that on August 28, 1992 a bus with 10 Georgian guardsmen in it drove up to the block I live in. Our neighbors were standing at the house. They all were made to squat. Two guardsmen took Amra Shakaya to the 8th floor where her husband was. Then they both, the husband and the wife were taken downstairs and forced to get into the bus. All other neighbors were also made to do the same. They all were taken to the village Eshera where journalists and TV reporters were waiting for them at the bridge. There, in front of the camera, they were made to give false evidence on how the inhabitants of Sukhum lived peacefully, that the guardsmen did not trouble them or victimize. Those who refused to face the camera and speak were beaten heavily.
From the testimony of Tania A.V., born in 1935, inhabitant of Sukhum, Mayakivskaya St. 5, Apt. 22
On August 26, 1992 my wife took my child and left for Gudauta. I stayed at home. On August 20, 1992 at about 4 a.m. ( I was not at home at the moment) the Georgian guardsmen broke into the flat and plundered it. They came again about 10 days later. They pretended to be looking for guns and said that I was hiding landing troops in the flat. While searching they out aside on a counter-pane the most valuable things they found. They took four parcels of them. At 3 a.m. the guardsmen visited me once again. This time they wanted me to give them the names and addresses of the most well-off Abkhaz people. I refused to give them the names and they took me away. There were six of them all dressed in black. They brought me to a cafe near Tbilisi hotel. There was a group of about 30 soldiers. There, all drunk, their guns scattered on the ground. I was ordered to stand at the wall and raise my hands. Then they started to insult me using abusive language. This humiliation was going on for about an hour. By this time my neighbor Llasha Fenlukidze having found out that the guardsmen had taken me away came after me. He quarreled with the soldiers and took me back home. After that I made up my mind to leave the town with the help of Russian frontier units located in Mayak region, near school No. 12, but the Georgians caught me and kept me inside the school for six days. One of my acquaintances set me free and took me home. In October after they had burnt down the State Archives of Abkhazia, The Abkhazian Institute of History, Language, and Literature, the Deputy Director of the Abkhazian Drama Theatre passed me a word to try to save the remaining property of the theatre after it had been plundered. While I was inside of the theatre three guardsmen came and found out that I was one of the leading actors of the theatre. They started humiliating me having tied me to a car. They made me run after from the theatre along the sea-shore and back. It went on for 30 minutes. Then they demanded my passport. When I handed it to them they tore out the two pages, filled in Abkhaz and Russian, saying: "We all live in Georgia". I was taken to the police station where they kept me for 29 days. During all the time they tortured me and showered abuse on me. They all were from the so-called "svan" group. On December 2, 1992 I got to Gudauta as a result of prisoner exchange.
From the testimony of Bechvaya A. Sh., born in 1963
She is an eye-witness of atrocious murder. In December the Georgian guardsmen made a 60 year old Miro Ftsintskvadze dig a grave for himself. Then they strangled him, cut off his throat and buried him.
From the testimony of Dopua Sh. K., born in 1932
He is an eye-witness of the murder of the following by soldiers:
1. Dopua Dzambul - 19 years old
2. Gvindzia Murab - 22 years old
3. Mishelia Vladimir - 30 years old
4. Khashba Vladislav - 30 years old
5. Lagvilava Viktor - 25 years old
6. Lagvilava Atatoli - 40 years old
They were all inhabitants of the village of Adzinba and shot down in the middle of November, 1992.
From the testimony of Chakvetadze S., born in 1943
On January 23, 1993, the Georgian guardsmen broke into Turava's house. His wife Turava Zanna and his sister Turava I. were brutally beaten and shot down. His daughter, Turava D. was raped, fired at her temple and back and killed. Then they burnt down the house together with the corpses.
From the testimony of Kitia G.L., born in 1936, inhabitant of Sukhum, Eshba St. 175 Apt. 55
From the beginning of the aggression my wife, our 16 year old son and me remained on the territory occupied by the Georgian troops. Our house is located opposite the Republican Hospital in Sukhum. Seeing the situation I sent my son to Ezevsk together with the neighboring children. We saw all the terrifying things done by the soldiers of the State Council. They broke into the houses and flats of Abkhaz and Armenian people in groups, plundered them, taking away everything they saw and taunted them. In a word we had an impression that they had to loot and torture the civilians. On September 18, 1992 at about 11 a.m., five armed soldiers knocked at our door. I opened the door. They demanded guns and searched the flat to see if any Abkhaz fighter was hidden there. They couldn't find anyone except us. They searched the flat, chose whatever they liked in it and started torturing us. One of the guardsmen took a kitchen knife and inflicted wounds on my neck. Then they hit me in the stomach with guns, on the left shoulder and on the back. I fainted. When I came to my senses, I heard my wife's shouts. She was screaming to kill her but not rape. I also started begging them not to torture her, be men and kill me instead, they hit me on the chest. Once again, I lost my consciousness. When I came to my senses I found nobody in the room. I got up and started looking for my wife. Not finding her at home I decided they had taken her with them. I don't remember how much time passed after all that. Then my neighbor Kvachakhia Levan told me that my wife was in the hospital and there was some hope for her to live on. In the morning people from the Procurator's Office and from the police came to my flat, made pictures and a careful inspection of everything. After that they took me to the police station. There they questioned me and made me sign different documents. Then they took me to the hospital and examined me. They asked me to give my consent on the dissection of my wife's body, but I did not allow it. With the help of Mengrelian relations I managed to bring the body of my wife to Gudauta where I'm staying now together with my son.
From the testimony of Papaskir T.E., born in 1941, inhabitant of Tskhitskar
Beginning from August 17, 1992 we heard exchanges of five in the village. My daughter, my daughter-in-law with her five children and me left immediately for the village Chlow. My husband stayed to look after the house. On November 2, I was at home. The Georgian guardsmen entered the village in the tanks. All the valuable things were taken from the house, the rest was broken. My husband was in the street near the house. When they saw him they fired at him point-blank. Hearing the shots I took my son and rushed towards the forest. By the time we took the body of my husband home, the house had already been burnt. They shot 17 turkeys and took away 8 cows. We kept the body on the concrete in the yard and in the evening we buried it. On November 23, my son was wounded in the war.
From the testimony of Iasuria Z.A., born in 1956, inhabitant of Ochamchira, Baratash St. 31
The Georgian guardsmen came to us in August and demanded money and our car. I hid myself. The neighbors said that there was nobody in the house. Then they went to our neighbor Kvadzba by name. Our Mengrelian neighbors made us leave the house since my husband was fighting. For two months I stayed in the occupied town of Ochamchira with my three children. During the daytime I hid at my Abkhaz neighbors and spent nights with my relatives. There is a bread-baking plant near my house. They did not allow Abkhaz people to buy bread there. The Georgian guardsmen pushed them away from the plant with guns and sometimes they fired into the air. We would stay over the night in the yard to buy bread on the morning. On October 7, when it became too dangerous to stay in the town any longer I took my children and started towards Tkuarchal. Together with my 3 children and a bag with food I walked about 30 km along the road and got Tkuarchal which is under the control of Abkhaz guerillas. As my neighbor Kortava Sveta says, first the Georgian guardsmen lived in my house. Then they plundered it and blew it up when leaving in December 1992. I will be very grateful to the God if I do not go mad and survive.
From the testimony of Kvarchia E.V., born in 1970, inhabitant of Tkuarchal, K. Marx St. 22
In the middle of February my husband Dzindzolia M. was on board a Russian helicopter making a humanitarian flight from Tkuarchal to Sochi. (He was wounded in the left hand). They landed in Sukhum for a special inspection by the Georgian side. The guardsmen entered the helicopter and inspected the passengers. One of the guardsmen was from Tkuarchal and he immediately recognized Murman. His name was Dzabua and his nick-name was "Mukha". He said that Murman was one of the first in Tkuarchal to use a gun against Georgians. Telling the passengers they would only talk to him and bring him back, they took him away. Then they put him down on the ground, pressed his both legs (so that he could not move) and started beating him in the stomach. They hit him all over the body. There are still red spots on his toe-nails.
From the testimony of Dzindzolia D.B., born in 1973, inhabitant of Atara-Abkhazskaya, Ochamchira region
In February 1992 I was transferred from the town of Tuapse to Abkhazia to serve in the Army in Okhurei Garrison as a driver of an armored carrier-117. Together with another soldier Tsvinaria A., we stood guard duty over the post of auto inspection in Okhurei of Gali region. At about 9:30 we heard about 6-7 anti-aircraft machine gun shots mixed with gun shots from the Georgian territory. As our armored carrier-117 was behind the post in about 20 meters from it we decided to drive to the post having fired into the air three times. But by the time we approached the post, the Georgian troops with heavy artillery had already arrived there. The attempt to stop the fighting strength was useless. Since the forces were unequal and the post itself had already been surrounded by them. Thus, we were forced to give in without resistance. 23 Abkhaz guardsmen were taken prisoners together with the commander Bganba Zh. and were sent to the Department of Internal Affairs of Gali region. But on August 19, breaking the bars of the prison we managed to escape, but couldn't go far as we were arrested the same day at 5 p.m. by Achigvara militiamen together with the soldiers and local civilians. The arrested fighters were beaten with the guns, sticks, fists and rubber truncheon. They also punched us. The next day we were taken to Kutaisi by a helicopter. On the way there they exerted moral influence on us maintaining that the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Abkhazia, Vladislav Ardzinba had committed suicide and that the fate of the Abkhaz nation had been sealed. In Kutaisi prison the soldiers on duty constantly beat us with things at hand. They gave us only 100 gr. of bread a day and never took us out for a walk. I was twice made to give evidence on how I had escaped from prison and under what circumstances I had been taken prisoner in Gali region and in Kutaisi. The names of the people who beat and questioned us are unknown to me but I can easily recognize them when meeting. I was set free on October 8, 1992 as a result of prisoner exchange. On October 10, 1992 I was put into the hospital in Duripsh for a medical treatment. I still feel weak and exhausted.
From the testimony of Kachibaya Oleg Sh., born in 1968, inhabitant of Gup, Ochamchira region
Early in June 1992 I joined the Abkhaz internal forces and was serving in the Garrison in Okhurei. Our commander was captain Bganba. We were located in about 400-500 meters from the post of car inspection. On August 14 we were in the barracks. At about 9.30 we heard gunshots from the direction of the post where about 10 of our soldiers were on guard duty. Sangulia R., Ashuba M., Kove R. and me got into a car and started towards the post to see what was going on there. We found out that the troops of the Georgian State Council had invaded into the territory of Abkhazia. The moment we arrived at the post the guardsmen disarmed us and took us prisoners. 27 fighters all in all were taken prisoners on the very first day in Okhurei post (Abkhaz guardsmen and their commander Bgnba and four civilians). The Head of the Adminstration of Ochamchira region Igor Gurgulia was taken hostage together with us. We were all brought to the Department of Internal Affairs of Gali region. On August 18 at about 4 a.m. we all except Gurgulia managed to escape from the prison, but the same day at about 5 p.m. we were caught again by militiamen of Gali with the help of local civilians near the tea factory. The moment they caught us they started beating us mercilessly with butts, truncheons, sticks and with whatever they got at hand and punched us. Everybody without exception was against us, we felt hatred in their eyes. They assured us that the Georgian guardsmen would capture Abkhazia in a day and would abolish the Autonomous Republic. Personally I was subject to physical violence: they beat me with the guns in the temple, in the stomach and they seared cigarettes on the body. The most active among them was the militiamen from Gali Department of Internal Affairs who I can easily recognize when meeting. On August 19, they took us to Kutaisi by a helicopter. All the way there the guardsmen went on beating us brutally. They fed us only once in twenty-fours hours in Kutaisi prison. The shortage of air and food made the young men exhausted and weak. They never took us for a walk during the 38 days they kept us there. I was set free as a result of prisoner exchange on October 10, 1992. They put me in the hospital in Duripsh to get medical treatment.
From the testimony of Kockveskiri E.G., born in 1973, inhabitant of Tkuarchal, Archba St. 83
In July 1992 the situation in Abkhazia changed for the worse and the internal forces of the Republic were sent to guard the agricultural units and the road from the river Psow to the river Inguri. With this purpose a sub-unit of 30 men under the command of captain Bganba was sent to the village Okhurei (Ochamchira region). On August 14, 1992, i.e. on the day of the invasion of the troops of the State Council of Georgia into the territory of Abkhazia nine soldiers were on guard duty. Having occupied the center of the town of Gali the troops unexpectedly came up to Okhurei post with heavy military equipment. It was at about 9:30. Headed by motor transport column they were moving cargo vehicles with cannon machine-guns, mortar, numerous tanks and armored carriers. Not far from the post the guardsmen armed with guns and grenades had been located there in advance. The Georgian troops made precautionary shots from anti-aircraft guns and ordered all the soldiers on the post to lay down their arms. Since it was useless to show resistance to such heavy equipment and manpower we all - 9 guardsmen and 14 soldiers from the sub-unit who came from the barracks had to give in. We were brought to the Department of the Internal Affairs of Gali region. On August 19, 1992 at 4 a.m. we managed to escape. The same at about 5 p.m. we were caught by the militiamen of Gali region with the help of local civilians nearby a tea plantation in Achigvara. Being caught I was mercilessly beaten by the militiamen and civilians with butts, rubber, truncheon, sticks and whatever they had at hand. And they also punched me. Everyone without exception showed hatred to us and to all Abkhaz people. In Achigvara personally I was beaten with a butt of a pistol in the head, on the face, they seared cigarettes on my body, they used abusive language. Then they fired shots around me and tortured me by putting the guns at my cars and shooting. As a result of it I became almost deaf. No doubt I can recognize them when meeting. On August 18, 1992 we were taken to Kutaisi by helicopter. On the way there inside the helicopter the Georgian guardsmen kept beating us brutally. The same happened in Kutaisi prison. They fed us only once in 24 hours. Because of the shortage of food and air we all became exhausted. During the 38 days we were kept in prison they never took us out for a walk. As a result of prisoner exchange we were set free on October 08, 1992. On October 10, we were put in hospital in Duripsh, Gudauta region.
From the testimony of Klokova Irina Alexandrovna, born in 1960, Russian, inhabitant of Sukhum, Cachkhalia St. 12
My 12 year-old son has fallen ill for the third time since the beginning of the war. Even now his body is covered with blisters and rash, his lips look as if weather-beaten. Here, in Gechripsh, the doctors diagnosed: a nerve disease as a result of malnutrition, lack of sleep and being in the cold. This disease is a result of the war. My son used to get up at 4-5 o'clock in the morning and go to the bakery. It was the only way to buy some bread in Sukhum. He was beaten twice by the Georgian guardsmen. They shouted at him: "Get out of here!" There is no bread for you". And he saw them taking bread by sacks. We, Russians, were not treated like human beings.
From the testimony of Karchaa Paola Tavievna, born in 1945, Russian, inhabitant of Sukhum, Tbilisi Ave. 665, Apt. 31
On August 14, 1992 at 14.00 my husband Ivan Georgievich Karchaa was taken hostage by the Georgian guardsmen to be exchanged for our son Renat Ivanovich Karchaa - deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Abkhazia. It happened on Tbilisi Ave. on his way home when he found out the town. He was taken hostage by the denunciation of Alexander Berulava. The Georgians suggested that my husband should appear on television to denounce the Abkhazian Parliament and, in particular, his son Renat Karchaa who more than once over TV and in Parliament came out against the former Minister of Internal Affairs of Abkhazia Lominadze, deputy Minister Lominashvili and Akhalya. My husband refused to do that and together with other hostages, he was transferred to the Dranda prison. In knew nothing about my husband and son. The neighbors told me that they had seen our broken car near the Red Bridge. Thinking that my husband had been killed I started looking for my son. I was stopped by the guardsmen at the post on Tbilisi Ave. They demanded my documents. As I had no documents about me they began hitting me on the stomach and kidneys. The women around began to shout and they pulled me aside. Georgian tanks entered the town. Our neighbor Pataraya made a list of Abkhazian families to be destroyed. It was dangerous for me stay at home. I went to the KGB. I lost my temper and shouted that I would commit suicide and it would be known in Moscow and other parts of the world. In an hour my husband was released. The chief of the KGB Loseliani warned us that he couldn't guarantee our safety that was why we had to hide our friends. We were looking for the opportunity to leave Sukhum. In two weeks we managed to leave Sukhum for Sochi on a barge. Our neighbor who left Sukhum later told me that my son's and my apartments were robbed and burnt down. (Signed)
From the testimony of Taknedjan-Pashyan Veronik Antonovna, born in 1964, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Labra, Ochamchira region
On January 24, 1993 three Georgian guardsmen burst into my parent's house. They demanded money. They didn't have anything. The guardsmen began to humiliate my 58 year old father and 56 year old mother. My paralyzed father was in his bed. The guardsmen hit my mother on her hands and broke them. Then they cut her belly and she died in a terrible pain. My father asked the guardsmen to shoot him and so they did. (Signed) Sochi, 16.05.93
From the testimony of Urumyan Kirkor Gabrielovna, born in 1961, Armenian
At the end of August, 1992 four Georgian guardsmen came to my house. They wanted to take away my car. I refused to give it to them. The guardsmen began hitting me first with the butts of their guns, then with the hands and feet. They hit me on the head, kidneys and feet. I couldn't move for 3 days after that. In 3-4 days other guardsmen came to my place. They demanded that I should join the Georgian guards. I refused and they brutally beat me. In December 1993 my friend Levon Danelyan and me were going home by bus. The bus was stopped by the Georgian guardsmen. They dragged us out of the bus and started beating us only because we were speaking the Armenian language. On March 8, 1993, I fled to Russia. (Signed) 17.05.93
From the testimony of Saakyan Natela Efremovna, born in 1941, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Labra, Ochamchira region
At the beginning of October, eight Georgian guardsmen game to my house. They immediately saw our car in the yard and made me bring the key from the car. "If you don't bring the key we will burn down your house", they said. They fired at the house, burnt down the shed and the things I had hidden there. In November the Georgian guardsmen came to my house again. They took my husband together with our neighbors to the Georgian headquarters. In 24 hours my husband returned home. He was all in bruises. They beat him on the head and back, broke several ribs. I had to treat him for a week. I also had to treat my neighbors as they were also beaten by the Georgian guardsmen who demanded money and gold from all of us. After that we had to hide in the house of our son-in-law Gevorkyan Edik Sergeevich. In a week our house was burnt down by the Georgian guardsmen. Three days later they burnt down the house of our son-in-law. Finally we had to run away to Russia. (Signed) Sochi, 19.05.93
From the testimony of Karnedzyan Satenik Irvantovna, born in 1952, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Merkheul, Sukhum region
The events I want to tell you happened on March 27, 1993. On that day, four Georgian guardsmen burst into our house. They demanded the key and a passport to the car. They saw my golden teeth and wanted to pull them out. But at that moment they heard shooting and left. Later they returned and said: "If you don't give us gold and money we'll take away your 11 year old son". They wanted to rape my 14 year old daughter, but she managed to escape. They fired after her. The same day the Georgian guardsmen brutally beat my godfather Torosyan Kazmik Arshakovich and his brother Torosyan Migran. Pushing them on by the guns the guardsmen led them 1 km through the village. The guardsmen made them count till 59 by turns. The one who counted 59 was supposed to be killed. It was the elder brother Migran Torosyan. The guardsmen shot him at once. Then they threw the emaciated Kazmik Torosyan into the car-trunk, covered him with the stolen tyre-covers and hens. Kazmik lost consciousness and the guardsmen thought that he was dead. They threw him into a kitchen-garden. Later he was taken to the hospital where he regained consciousness. Now he is hiding somewhere from the guardsmen who promised to find and kill him. On April 19 six Georgian guardsmen came to our street. All the Armenians from our street gathered at Zabik Vartanyan's house. The guardsmen divided into 2 groups. One group burst into Rafik Ovakilyan's house and shot him at once. He was 60. The other group rushed into the house where we all were sitting. They demanded money, gold and beat us all. They hit women with their boots on their bellies. I have bruises even now. They took one of the women - Dijuletta Torosyan - to a separate room, undressed her, beat her on the stomach, kidneys, broke her arms, hit on the fingers of the hands. She shouted, begged for help, but we could do nothing. Then they left saying that they would shoot down all the Armenians. (Signed) 17.05.93
From the testimony of Melkonyan Rafik Grigorievich, born in 1941, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Labra, Ochamchira region
On December 7, 1992, five Georgian guardsmen came to our house. They wanted us to give them some place to sleep. On the next day they robbed us, then fired at our house and the neighboring ones, broke the fences by tanks. The same night the Georgian guardsmen burst into the house of Ashot Teknedjan who was bedridden. His wife - Varesin Teknedjan took care of him. The guardsmen demanded gold, money and valuables. The Teknedjans had nothing to give them. The guardsmen killed them both, then pulled out their golden teeth. After that the guardsmen were amusing themselves by making the women undress and dance Armenian dances. The Georgian guardsmen pulled out golden teeth not only from the dead. (Signed) Sochi 15.05.93
From the testimony of Ovedyan Ashot Setragovich, born in 1929, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Labra, Ochamchira region
In November 1992 the Georgian guardsmen came to our village. At that moment we were at our neighbor's house. His name is Sumbat Keshishyan. The guardsmen burst into the house, demanded money and gold. We didn't have any. They searched the house. Then they took all of us to the Georgian headquarters. There were eight of us: Kesheshyan Arshaus Arutinovna, Grigoryan Andronik Arutinovich, Kesheshyan Sumbat Ambartsumovich, Danilyan Khachik Barumovich, Saakyan Levon Agaserovich, Keisyan Suren Avetisovich, Avijigyan Georgi Samvelovich and me. They brought us to a technical station and began to humiliate and torture us. They beat us on the heads, faces, feet, kidneys. They fired guns to frighten us, then they tied us to each other and kept us for several hours. When they released us I ran away to the forest where I lived till December 6. On December 7 I came to my brother-in-law's house. His name is Litsiklyan Armenak. The Georgian guardsmen came there too and surrounded the house. There were three women in the house: Kitsiklyan Siran Arutiunovna, Keshebyan Arshlius Arutiunovna, Kesheshyan-Bolonko Anaida Sergeevna. The guardsmen burst into the house shouting: "Give us gold otherwise we'll kill you all". I said that we had no gold. They drove all the women out of the house into the yard and began to beat them. They put me by the wall and began shooting around me. Then one of the guardsmen hit me heavily on the back of my head. I fell down and lost consciousness. When I came to my senses the guardsmen had already left. In the middle of December I together with y family and 34 Armenians fled to Russia. (Signed) 16.05.93 Sochi
From the testimony of Nersesyan Nerses Andronikovich, born in 1946, Armenian, inhabitant of Sukhum, Kazbegu St. 78
On August 25, 1992 I was at home alone. At about 6 p.m. my wife's brother - Akaba Georgievich came to me. In several minutes the Georgian guardsmen drove up to my house. One of them introduced himself as a chief of the security service (I don't remember his family name). He demanded that I should tell him where the Chechens were hiding. When I said that there had never been any Chechens in my house and there were none of them there at that moment, they began to search the house. As soon as they entered the house they started taking away everything of value: a TV-set, a vase, clothes. They demanded money, then made me bring the bags and put my new clothes into it: underwear, shirts, even the shaving things. They were very pleased when they saw our passports. "How nice, an Abkhazian and an Armenian! You should be arrested at once", they shouted. They took us into the street shooting around our feet and in the air. Then they drove us to the house of the composers where their headquarters were located. They began to interrogate us. They punched me on the face, hit Akaba Georgi on the head with the butt of the gun. One man in a uniform declared: "We've spoiled these Abkhazians too much since 1953 (the year of Stalin's death). They must be all destroyed". They also expressed indignation saying that the Armenians betrayed the Georgians and supported Abkhazians. The guardsmen said that if we didn't pay 6 mln. roubles, they would shoot us down. "We have a special ditch here where we throw off the corpses", said one of the guardsmen. We spent the whole night in the locked room. In the morning they interrogated us again and beat us. They wanted money. I said that I had already given all the money I had and I would never be able to collect 6 mln. roubles. I think they finally understood it and released us. As soon as I returned home another group of the guardsmen came. I told them that I had already gone through the "filter" (it is a special term widespread among the Georgian guardsmen). They started abusing the Armenians and Abkhazians. Then the guardsmen began asking my Georgian neighbors how I behaved. If I was against the Georgians and defended Abkhazians. My neighbors said that I wasn't interested in politics at all and I was on good terms with everybody. After that the guardsmen rummaged all around the house and took everything they saw. When they were leaving thy warned me that they would be back shortly. As I had neither documents nor money it was difficult for me to leave Sukhum, but in the long run I managed to escape. My Georgian neighbors advised me not to come back. (Signed) Sochi
From the testimony of Saakyan Andrei Oganesovich, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Labra, Ochamchira region
There were about 900 houses and about 5000 residents in our village. Our village doesn't exist any more. It has been totally destroyed by the Georgian artillery. All the residents were ousted from their houses because they were suspected of having contacts with Abkhazian guerillas. They robbed all of us: took away money, gold, video, TV-sets, etc. The Svans living in the neighboring Georgian villages used trucks to take away our belongings, including furniture. They broke the fences, pulled out with the roots mandarin trees and other plants. The village people have suffered great material loss. Who will compensate for it? Today we are refugees without means for living. (Signed) 25.04.93
From the testimony of Nadezhda Livshits, Russian, inhabitant of Sukhum
On January 22, 1993 I was leaving Sukhum by a Russian military boat No. 040. The boat was carrying the families of the Russian military men and Russian inhabitants of Sukhum. There was a Jew, Minna Abramov (60 years old) among us. Like everybody else, he paid 6,000 roubles to the Georgian guardsmen who blocked the moor. Half an hour before the boat was to leave, 6 guardsmen came to Minna's cabin and announced that he was arrested. Minna refused to leave the boat. The guardsmen started to hit him with their gun butts. Minna's head was mortally injured. When he fell on the floor, the guardsmen started searching his clothes. They took his belt and left. We tried to get a doctor but it was too late. The guardsmen came back to take away the body. Tens of people witnessed all this. (Signed) 24.04.93
From the testimony of Andrey Saryan, Armenian, inhabitant of Sukhum, 2 Nazadze St.
On 22 March, 1993, the Georgian policemen came to my neighbor Georgi Martikyan and took him to the Commandant's Office. His family could not get any information about him for days. Only thanks to Andrey's brother, who is Archbishop of one of the Armenian Churches and who had to appeal to Shevardnadze, Andrey's body was returned to the family. There were marks of torture on the body, one ear was cut off, the bones were broken. 25.04.93 (Signed)
From the testimony of Lyudmila Shilova, born in 1951, disabled, Russian, inhabitant of Tamsh
In February, 1993 the Georgian guardsmen shot my neighbor Ozhodzhi Bzhania. He was shot in the head. The guardsmen did not allow the family to bury Ozhodzi. The neighbors and the family had to steal the body. On 19 February the guardsmen took my step-father to their headquarters. We have not seen him since. 7 guardsmen raped my neighbor Alla Ivanenko. They brutally beat Alla's grandmother. The old woman died shortly after that. The neighbors buried her not far away from the house. After the funeral the guardsmen dug out the body to pull out the golden teeth. The neighbors had to re-bury her. 05.05.93 (Signed)
From the testimony of Anna Zantarina, born in 1928, Russian, inhabitant of Tamsh
The guardsmen subjected the family of Kaliko Chloaria to horrible tortures. They put Kaliko on his knees before the fire-place and tried to put his head into it. The Georgians brutally beat Astamur Chanba. They also hit his 75 year old wife's head against the wall. They burnt down my house and destroyed the orchard. My husband, a daughter and me were severely beaten. We fled to Tkuarchal. 05.05.93 (Signed)
From the testimony of Nadezhda Tumanova, born in 1951, Russian, inhabitant of Sukhum, 1 Karl Marx St.
At the end of October 20 Georgian guardsmen came to my house. My relative Disua Hashig and her son Dima were staying with me. The soldiers immediately arrested Dima and took him to the Commandant's office. Dusia and me followed them to the headquarters. One of the guardsmen came up to me and said: "Be a good girl and I'll help you!". He and his friends forced me into the car and drove to the city outskirts. They raped me and then brought me back to the headquarters. I saw Dima who was severely beaten. 8 policemen were torturing him. With great difficulty we managed to take him home. Later he was exchanged and sent to a hospital in Russia. He has been under treatment for 4 months. One day, when I was walking home along the Tarkhishvily street, I saw that one of the houses was surrounded by policemen who did not let anybody near it. I heard horrified shrieks coming from the house. Somebody told me that the Georgians had captured Abkhazian women and now were raping them. I felt sick and fainted. 06.05.93 (Signed)
From the testimony of Raisa Kvekveskiri, born in 1941, Russian, inhabitant of Ochamchira, 190 Sukhumskoye shosse
On 25 October the Georgian soldiers set several houses on fire. On 27 October they broke into my house. They took all my things but could not take the furniture, so they broke it. In Zurab Turnanba's house they beat a 25 year old Eldar Lomia and his parents (62 year old Tsutsu Lomia and 65 year old Tsakva Lomia) only because they said they were Abkhazians. In Zurab's papers they found his son's picture with an inscription on it: "The People's Forum of Abkhazia". The guardsmen took away Zurab. Some time later one of them came back with Zurab's ear in his hand and said: "This is what is going to happen to you". Later were learned that the Georgians took Zurab to the beach. They pulled out his eye and badly stabbed his body. Then they threw him into the sea. Zurab's daughter Irma and her neighbors found the body and brought it to the house. Zurab's brother Rudik lived not very far. He wanted to go to his brother's but the guardsmen, who were drinking at his table, stopped him. One of them was boasting, that it was him who had killed Zurab. (Signed)
From the testimony of Bella Davidova, Armenian, inhabitant of Sukhum, 124 Prospekt Mira, Apt.76
On 13 September, 1992 at about 2 p.m. my brother-in-law I. Ketsba, my acquittance E. Ermian and me witnessed a horrible scene in front of the Abkhazian Drama Theatre. The Georgian guardsmen, who were obviously drunk drove up to the building of the Theatre by tanks. They fired their guns at the building and then broke into the theatre. They dragged out Abkhazian national costumes, put them on and started imitating Abkhazian songs and dances. One of the passers-by lost control and shouted to stop it. In response the Georgian guardsmen shooting and threatened to kill her. The orgy went on for an hour. (Signed) 23.03.93 Gudauta
From the testimony of Zinaida Klokova, born in 1936, Russian, inhabitant of Sukhum, 12 Chachkalia St.
My son-in-law Vitaly Karatsupa was killed on 17 March. He served as a cook in the Abkhazian Army. For 7 months I lived in an occupied town. We did not get any money. It was extremely difficult for non-Georgians to buy food. One day when I was standing in a queue to but some bread, one of the Georgian guardsmen came out of the store and said: "It is Eltsin's business to feed you". At a milk store I saw the guardsmen kill a woman only because she asked him to pay for the food he was taking. My acquaintance Larisa (I don't remember her last name worked in a drug-store No. 4. The guardsmen killed her husband, raped her and her 16 year old daughter. My neighbor Lidia Demirchan was packing her things to leave the town. 6 guardsmen came to her place and demanded money and golden things from her. She tried to escape and was shot in the head. The guardsmen told us: "If you want to live in Georgia you must have Georgian citizenship and speak Georgian". It is very hard to be a Russian in Sukhum today. They give pensions only to the Georgians. Many Russians have died in the past 7 months. They were buried near their houses. It is next to impossible for the Russians to leave Sukhum because they have no money.
(Signed) 24.04.93 Gechripsh
From the testimony of Anaida Topolian, born in 1959, Armenian, inhabitant of Sukhum, 11 Mayakovsky pereulok
In October 1992 five Georgian guardsmen broke into our house. They wanted 5,000 roubles gold and weapons. They started beating my husband Valery Topolian. They threw him on the floor and pointed a gun at him. One of them said: "There is only one bullet in the gun. If you are lucky, you will be alive". They were torturing him for several hours. One of the neighbors called the police. When the policemen learned that our last name is 'Topolian' (Vice-Chairman of the Abkhazian Parliament is also Topolian, they wanted to kill him but changed their mind and took him to the headquarters. He was released a day later. In two days the guardsmen came again. 15 of them entered the house, about 20 surrounded the street. My husband and me were hiding in some other place. The guardsmen broke into the house of my neighbors, Rosa Avetisian and Zaitar Gambarian and demanded that they would show them where we were hiding. The woman said they did not know where we were. Their house was immediately set on fire. The same night my husband fled to Russia. (Signed) 17.05.93 Sochi
From the testimony of Goar Galustian, born in 1951, Armenian, inhabitant of the village of Labra
On 12 January, 1993, the Georgian guardsmen broke into Rafik Teknejan's house. They made him lie on the floor and took his wife to the second floor. There they tore away her clothes and started to demand money and gold from her. Then the guardsmen took Rafia and his brother Suren out into the yard and made them dig their own graves. Rafik's wife brought two golden rings. The guardsmen said that they could only save one life. She brought another two and the hostages were freed. Two days later the same guardsmen came to Levon Gevorkian and killed him in the bathroom. (Signed) 17.05.93 Sochi
Source: Independent Human Rights group ''Asarkial''