ახალგაზრდა მკვლევართა ჟურნალი № 10 ოქტომბერი 2021
This article systematically analyses the foreign policy visions of the first President of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Specifically, it looks at the perceptions and representations of the external space - the world, Russia/Soviet Union, West/Europe, and Caucasus - and Georgia’s role vis-à-vis these focus areas in Gamsakhurdia’s rhetoric. Using the interpretive-explanatory method of inquiry, the article scrutinises 267 statements, letters, interviews, programs, and political speeches of Gamsakhurdia, covering the period from November 1990 to December 1993. Textual analysis takes place at two levels; the article identifies recurring themes and meanings pertaining to the four focus areas and traces how and why these themes and meanings change over time. The findings show two gaps in the scholarly literature; the article challenges the predominant position that Gamsakhurdia’s stance on Moscow was overly antagonistic, and that his rhetoric was heavily informed by religious readings of international politics. The article also shows that Gamsakhurdia’s portrayal of Georgia is of a besieged country – of a country that is trapped in the Soviet Union and that is trying to end its isolation by seeking alliances abroad – first in the West and then in Caucasus.
წინამდებარე სტატია სიღრმისეულად აანალიზებს საქართველოს პირველი პრეზიდენტის, ზვიად გამსახურდიას საგარეო პოლიტიკურ ხედვებს. უფრო კონკრეტულად, სტატია ადგენს მის რიტორიკაში გარე სამყაროს - მსოფლიოს, რუსეთის/საბჭოთა კავშირის, დასავლეთის/ევროპის და კავკასიის - მიმართ აღქმებსა და წარმოდგენებს, აგრეთვე, ამ სივრცეებთან მიმართებით საქართველოს როლის წარმოჩენას. კვლევის ფარგლებში, ინტერპრეტაციულ-განმარტებითი მეთოდის მეშვეობით, მოხდა 1990 წლის ნოემბრიდან 1993 დეკემბრამდე ზვიად გამსახურდიას 267 განცხადების, წერილის, ინტერვიუს, პროგრამისა და გამოსვლის ანალიზი. ტექსტების ანალიზი ორ ეტაპად განხორციელდა; ავტორმა ჯერ ის თემები და ამ თემებისადმი მინიჭებული მნიშვნელობები გამოყო, რომელიც ამ ოთხ სივრცეს ეხებოდა, შემდეგ კი ეცადა დაედგინა ამ თემებისა და მნიშვნელობების ცვლილება დროთა განმავლობაში. ანალიზის შედეგების თანახმად, საკვლევ საკითხზე არსებულ სამეცნიერო ლიტერატურაში ორი ხარვეზი აღმოჩნდა: სტატია უარყოფს გავრცელებულ მოსაზრებას, რომ გამსახურდიას წარმოდგენები მოსკოვის მიმართ ზედმეტად მტრული იყო, და იმას, რომ მისი რიტორიკა საერთაშორისო პოლიტიკის რელიგიური მოძღვრებებით ინტერპრეტაციით იყო ნაკარნახევი. სტატია ასევე აჩვენებს, რომ გამსახურდია საქართველოს წარმოაჩენდა როგორც ერთგვარ ალყაშემორტმულ ქვეყანას - ქვეყანას, რომელიც საბჭოთა კავშირშია მომწყდეული და რომელიც მისი საზღვრების გარღვევას გარე პარტნიორებთან - თავდაპირველად დასავლეთთან, შემდგომ კი კავკასიასთან - დაახლოებით ცდილობს.
Keywords: Georgia, Soviet Union, West, Russia, Caucasus, foreign policy visions, Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Hardly any politician in Georgia has generated so much ire and admiration as the first president of the country, Zviad Gamsakhurdia. A literary critic, a writer, and a dissident, he quickly rose to prominence in late 1980s, anchoring his “Roundtable-Free Georgia” coalition to a landslide victory in the Georgian Supreme Council elections in October 1990, and in May 1991, after a brief tenure as the head of the Supreme Council, he was elected the President of Georgia with 86,5% support. But his downfall came as quickly as his ascendance to power; accused of authoritarian practices and human rights abuses, Gamsakhurdia was soon deposed by a group of former political allies, cultural intelligentsia, and criminal warlords. He found refuge in neighbouring Chechnya, but came back to Georgia in September 1993, in what turned out to be his unsuccessful attempt to return to power. Gamsakhurdia died in unclear circumstances in December 1993 in hideout in a remote village in western Georgia. The authorities announced that he committed suicide, but the claim has been disputed to this day by his family and his political followers. Gamsakhurdia was buried in Grozny, but his remains were repatriated to Georgia in 2007.
Although short-lived, Gamsakhurdia’s term in office took place against the backdrop of significant political developments. Georgians went through the first multi-party elections, declared secession from the Soviet Union, adopted important laws, laid foundation for independent state institutions and faced ethno-political conflicts in two autonomous regions. Externally, this was accompanied by active steps to distance from Moscow’s politico-military influence and to establish direct communication with the external world, including through high-ranking visits to western capitals. As a result, in many ways, these were formative years for modern-day Georgia. Yet, three decades later, Gamsakhurdia’s political legacy remains largely understudied. This is especially true for his foreign policy visions; the existing scholarly literature has focused more on the domestic aspects of his time in office, than on his views and positions on the outside world and Georgia’s place in it.
The paper aims to address this very issue. It systematically analyses the foreign policy thinking of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, scrutinising the perceptions and representations of the external world and Georgia’s role in it in his political rhetoric. Importantly, the paper covers the period from November 1990 to December 1993, incorporating all phases of Gamsakhurdia’s tenure: as the head of the Supreme Council of Georgia, as the President of Georgia in office and as the President of Georgia in exile. The decision to include all three phases of Gamsakhurdia’s tenure enables the author to draw a comprehensive picture of his foreign policy positions, including through extrapolating how they changed over time and across the three phases.
The article starts by outlining the research methodology. The next chapter reviews the academic literature on the issue. The subsequent chapters present the research results, organised in line with Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy thinking vis-à-vis the world, Russia/Soviet Union, West/Europe, and Caucasus. The final section sums up the findings and concludes the article.
The aim of the research paper is to systematically analyse the foreign policy thinking of Zviad Gamsakhurdia – the perceptions and representations of the external world and Georgia’s role in it. To do so, the author scrutinises Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy rhetoric - open letters, statements, interviews, media appearances and political speeches pertaining to the outside world, to various geographic regions, and to individual countries, as well as Georgia’s positioning vis-à-vis these areas/actors. The materials were collected from two primary sources – the Mamardashvili Digital Library under the National Library of Georgia, which contains a collection of speeches of Georgian state leaders (https://bit.ly/3QhVg6G), as well as the book series of the National Library of Georgia on laws, executive orders, addresses and media appearances of Georgian presidents, which includes five volumes on Gamsakhurdia.
At total of 267 materials were collected through the initial review of the pool of texts archived in the two sources. The materials cover the period from November 1990 to December 1993, combining all phases of Gamsakhurdia’s tenure. The sampled texts include 149 open letters, 37 interviews, 28 official statements, 22 speeches, 16 press conferences, and 15 other documents.
In scrutinising the collected materials, the article used qualitative methods of inquiry. First, the sampled texts were analysed for content; specifically, the author identified and set aside parts of the texts pertaining to Georgia’s foreign relations, followed by an exercise of organising the raw data into respective focus areas - the world, Russia/Soviet Union, West/Europe, and Caucasus. In the next stage, the textual analysis was carried out using the interpretive-explanatory method. The process took place at two levels; the author identified recurring themes and meanings pertaining to these focus areas and traced how and why these themes and meanings changed over time and across the three phases. The findings were then transcribed into a combination of facts, judgments, and extrapolations, backed by corresponding quotes. To complement the research process, the author also provides a comprehensive overview of the scholarly literature on the issue and in the conclusions chapter, contrasts the findings of other authors with that of his own.
Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy in the academic focus
Gamsakhurdia’s policy decisions, as well as his leadership style, has generated a great amount of interest in academia, especially in the first two decades of Georgia’s independence. Most of these works, however, have focused on the domestic aspects of his policies, particularly those about ethnic minorities, conflict regions and political opponents. Gamsakhurdia’s depictions in these works have been extremely negative. From describing him or his policies as “despotic” (Smeets, 1999), “irresponsible” (Rondeli, 2001), and “messianic” (Meyer, 2001), to “increasingly paranoid” (Nasmyth, 2006), “paternalistic” (Jones, 2013), and “chauvinistic” (Berglund, 2016), authors writing on Georgian politics have accorded him with an image of a short-sighted, revolutionary leader, who put feelings and emotions above the needs of practical politics. Writings on Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy have been greatly influenced by these assessments, which has at times led to inaccurate accounts about his visions and worldviews on the outside world. Still, some important takeaways can be drawn from the works dealing with wider aspects of Georgian national identity and foreign policy.
One of the first authors to take on the issue was Ghia Nodia. In an article on the Georgian perceptions of the West, published in 1998, Nodia states that Gamsakhurdia was not “a particularly consistent person” in ideas or behaviour, but the sources of his political ideas “may definitely be described as ‘western’” (1998). He also notes that Gamsakhurdia expected more support from the West for the Georgian cause, but his hopes were dashed as he failed to convey his message to western governments, eventually shifting his focus to Caucasus. That Gamsakhurdia was initially optimistic about the West but abandoned his hopes in later months and embraced more native, Pan-Caucasian ideas is widely accepted by other scholars (Jones, 2003; Brisku, 2013; Coene, 2013; Gamkrelidze 2019). Some of the authors, however, contend that Gamsakhurdia failed to formalise these ideas beyond mere statements (Aprasidze, 2022; Jones, 2003). Gamsakhurdia’s takes on Russia and the Soviet Union is also widely scrutinised in the academic literature. In an article on the role of cultural paradigms in the Georgian foreign policy, published in 2003, Jones describes Gamsakhurdia’s visions as Manichean, “of either subservience to Russia or freedom and independence with the West.” That Gamsakhurdia’s rhetoric towards Moscow was fiercely antagonistic was also advanced by other authors in subsequent years (Cornell, 2005; Coene, 2013 Atilgan & Feyerabend, 2015; Oskanian, 2016; Gamkrelidze, 2019). Some authors also refer to the role of religion in Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy visions. Rieks Smeets, for instance, claims that Gamsakhurdia envisioned a “special task” for Georgia in saving Christianity (1999), while Jones argues that his rhetoric was influenced by religious worldviews (2013). Drawing on his popular conference paper from May 1990 - ‘Georgia’s Spiritual Mission’ - Jones also says, Gamsakhurdia envisioned Georgia having “a select place in the development of Christianity.” The idea that religious beliefs influenced Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy worldviews is also advanced by Emzar Jgerenaia and Giorgi Sabanadze. The authors note that Gamsakhurdia and his allies challenged the Soviet Union with theosophical concepts, simultaneously envisioning Georgia’s Christian heritage as a bond linking it with “Christian Europe” (2018). Minesashvili agrees that the state narrative under Gamsakhurdia aligned with that of the Orthodox Church (2022).
It follows from the above that there is a consensus in the academic literature on three points: 1) that Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy visions turned from being explicitly pro-western in the first phase of his governance to a more nativist, regional vision in later months of his presidency; 2) that Gamsakhurdia’s stance on Russia was fiercely antagonistic; and 3) that his worldviews were influenced by religious readings of global politics. The paper will return to these points in the concluding chapter.
Democracy, human rights, and prayers: Georgia’s mission in the world
Gamsakhurdia’s tenure - in office and in exile - took place against the backdrop of dramatic global and regional transformations. When he assumed power as the chair of the Supreme Council of Georgia in November 1990, the country was still a de jure part of the Soviet Union, which itself was experiencing the final years of Perestroika. Georgia soon declared independence but faced opposition from the Soviet authorities. At home, Gamsakhurdia was challenged by a host of problems, including dramatic economic downfall, separatist regional movements in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, growing political opposition in Tbilisi, and low-level ethnic tensions in other parts of the country. As a result, he soon found himself entangled in never-ending conflicts, culminating into a brief civil war in December 1991-January 1992, and leading to his downfall and eventual exile.
Gamsakhurdia’s visions are greatly informed by these developments. His portrayal of Georgia is essentially of a besieged area, a country that is trapped in the Soviet Union and that is trying to achieve independence - to break the chains imposed by the “imperial power.” “Georgia is a captive in the prison of peoples of the Soviet Empire, it is isolated from the rest of the world,” he said on December 7, 1990 (1990c). Similarly, when describing the reasons for his failure to suppress the coup d’état, Gamsakhurdia said his presidency “was essentially a term in office in the dragon’s stomach” (1992j). “I practically ended up being in the claws of the Transcaucasian Military District, the KGB and the [Soviet] Interior Affairs department,” he notes on August 7, 1992 (1992j). The narrative of a besieged country also resonates to Georgia’s historical memories. Gamsakhurdia depicts the country as a victim of oppression by various empires, including the Ottomans, the Persians, and the Tsarist Russia. “Georgia’s historical enemies, the neighbouring empires tried to enslave and degrade us through dividing us into pieces,” Gamsakhurdia wrote in his address to the residents of Adjara, a western Georgian region bordering Turkey (1990a). “Throughout its long-suffered history, many barbarian empires fought against Georgia, but we survived, and this will happen today as well,” he notes on April 8, 1992 (1992c). Hence, for Gamsakhurdia, achieving independence is not only synonymous to establishing a rightful place in the family of sovereign and democratic nations, but also a way to rectify these historical injustices.
In Tbilisi, Gamsakhurdia actively contemplates on the place of Georgia in the wider world. While there are multiple representations of the country and its role vis-à-vis the external space, internationalism/globalism is the dominant category in Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy visions. Specifically, Georgia is presented as a country that is open to international cooperation - an actor that respects and upholds international law (1990b), and that is eager to join international organisations (1991pb). Gamsakhurdia also wants more involvement of intergovernmental agencies in the conflict resolution processes in Georgia and in the region. In a letter addressing the United Nations and other international actors on what he describes to be Moscow’s “open war” with Georgia over Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Gamsakhurdia asks the UN and the European Parliament to send a fact-finding mission to assess the situation on the ground (1991g). An analogous request is voiced in connection with Moscow’s “attempts” to destabilise the situation in Chechnya and Georgia (1991u). Similarly, in exile, he repeatedly requests assistance from international actors in restoring his power.
Gamsakhurdia envisions multiple roles for Georgia. He takes particular pride in organising the first ever democratic elections in the Soviet Union and repeatedly points at on the virtues and successes of democracy in Georgia. Asked about the role of the country in the Soviet Empire, Gamsakhurdia says Georgia will be a leading country “in democracy, human rights and prayers” (1991y). “We need to be an island of democracy in a totalitarian world, we need to show to the entire world what a nation’s united struggle and efforts can achieve,” he told a journalist on May 27, 1991 (1991y). That Georgia is seen as a leading democratic and anti-Soviet force by Gamsakhurdia is also underlined in his interview on February 21, 1991 (1991d), where he claims that in the past, “almost all” Russian dissident literature was printed in and disseminated from Georgia (1991d). A couple of months later, Gamsakhurdia also goes on to claim that neither the Baltic states, nor Eastern European countries would have achieved independence “if not for the events of April 9, 1989” (1991wb), referring to the Soviet crackdown of a pro-independence rally in Tbilisi that killed 21 protesters.
Another geopolitical role of Georgia, according to Gamsakhurdia, is to serve as a mediator of conflicts in Caucasus. Gamsakhurdia frames the role most evidently in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas. He extends the offer of dialogue to the warring sides several times, stressing that Georgians have historically played the role of a mediator between the two nations (1991cb). To prove his neutrality, he also retracts his earlier statement that Karabakh belonged to Armenia (1991k). Some other roles are also elaborated for Georgia, including that of a defender of the Black Sea environment (1991ib), of moral values (1990d), of the rights of ethnic Georgians living abroad (1991mb; 1991i; 1991hb), and of Georgian cultural heritage abroad (1991fb).
Interestingly, although Gamsakhurdia views Christianity as an inherent part of the Georgian national self and actively interprets domestic politics using religious concepts, he shows a rather ambiguous positioning on its role in the foreign policy conduct. On the one hand, he recognises that Georgia, along with Armenia, is “a small island of Christianity” in Caucasus (1991p) and invokes the country’s Christian heritage when placing it on the geopolitical map of Europe, but on the other hand, he downplays the role of religion in the context of regional integration. “In modern times, the difference between Islam and Christianity no longer has the same meaning for the political domain as in the times of Crusades… those who are trying to break our [Caucasian] unity using religious factors, … do not understand the role of religion for one’s life and in politics,” Gamsakhurdia states on June 12, 1992 (1992l). “Since we consider Turkey as a European country, as signatory to the Helsinki accord, we view it as a trustworthy partner,” he told a Turkish journalist on April 18, 1991 (1991bb).
Russia and the Soviet Union: two faces of the Empire
Throughout Gamsakhurdia’s term in office, Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union, so most of his non-domestic policy activity was either directly or indirectly related to the Moscow-Tbilisi relations. When he came to power, these relations were already quite sore; Gamsakhurdia faced the menacing presence of large Soviet military units in the country, the fast-emerging Kremlin-backed separatist movements in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, and increasingly unfavourable personal attitudes in the Kremlin. The situation worsened with Tbilisi’s unilateral declaration of independence on April 9, 1991, as well as Gamsakhurdia’s refusal to hold the referendum on reforming the Soviet Union, and his explicit backing of the North Caucasian movements. Gamsakhurdia’s rhetoric is heavily influenced by these developments.
On the Soviet Union, he is extremely uncompromising. Gamsakhurdia says Georgia was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union in 1921 (1991r), subjecting it to 70 years of suffering and oppression. According to him, it was the Communists who pitted the Caucasian nations against each other (1991n), who exploited the country’s natural riches (1991gb; 1991sb), and who put the country “on the verge of socio-political, economic and cultural collapse” (1991w). Although Gamsakhurdia asserts that his coming to power put an end to the “totalitarian, imperial, communist” rule in the country (1991w), “the centre,” he argues, spares no efforts to destabilise the country using economic measures (1991e; 1991rb), information warfare (March 16, 1991), and regional conflicts (June 1, 1991). He also blames the Soviet authorities of stirring internal conflicts with the aim of coercing Tbilisi to make policy concessions. “The Kremlin has told us openly that unless we take part in the Union referendum, we will have problems in Samachablo and Abkhazia,” he notes on February 9, 1991 (February 13, 1991). “Those criticising [us] for the processes happening in Abkhazia are saying nothing about the fact that all these conflicts are instigated by Moscow… so that we sign the Union Treaty,” he echoed the point on March 5, 1991 (1991j), in reference to Georgia’s refusal to join the proposed inter-republic agreement foreseeing the reform of the Soviet Union. Closer to the end of his term in office in Tbilisi, Gamsakhurdia also started talking about the Soviet Union’s direct participation in the armed rebellion against him (1991ub).
Interestingly, Gamsakhurdia’s portrayal of Russia shows a great contrast from that of the Soviet Union, especially in the initial months of his tenure. Drawing a line between the “democratic forces” of Russia and the “dark reactionary forces” of the Soviet Union, he argues on the need of finding common ground with the former (1991o). “The imperial centre challenges the democratic movement of Russia and [opposes] its struggle for freedom, but fortunately the balance of power is such that the movement will win in Russia. The sovereignty of Russia, its future strength of statehood will guarantee that the Soviet empire will collapse and sovereign, independent nations will be formed,” he notes on March 25, 1991 (1991o). Gamsakhurdia is particularly sympathetic of the President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin. “We have great hopes about Yeltsin… he is a fighter,” he notes on February 22, 1991 (1991d). “Mr. Yeltsin’s popularity is on the rise, and we welcome him, since, in our eyes, he represents not the imperial image of Russia, but of the democratic one,” he adds on March 30, 1991 (1991q). In a much similar vein, in a letter sent on August 22, 1991, following the abortive coup d’état in Moscow, Gamsakhurdia said he and his Parliament, despite pressure from the Soviet military, still maintained their support for Yeltsin and “made no single step away from their position” (1991ob).
In later texts, however, Gamsakhurdia grows increasingly unhappy about the Russian authorities’ position on the South Ossetian problem, calling it “somewhat unclear” on October 30, 1991 (1991rb), and accusing them of wanting to annex the region on December 21, 1991 (1991wb). Gamsakhurdia also openly denounces Yeltsin’s decision to declare a martial law in the Chechen-Ingush Republic in November 1991. “I have always known you as a champion of peoples’ freedom and defender of democracy… but such a sudden turnaround of events causes a disappointment,” he notes in his address to the Russian President on November 9, 1991 (1991tb). In exile, Gamsakhurdia intensifies the level of criticism against Russia, calling it “a modernised Empire,” and accusing its authorities of toppling him for gaining control of “a geopolitically important” area (1992a). “The opposition was acting under the orders of their Moscow-based patrons and the bloody coup was organised in Georgia because we refused to have a pro-Russian policy,” he notes on June 14, 1992 (1992i).
The West as a moral power
Although western presence in Georgia was largely absent until the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the West still actively featured in the political discourse of the Georgian national-liberation movement of late 1980s. From political manifestos to public speeches, from newspaper editorials to advertising slogans, Georgian political elites defined and redefined the country’s self and position in relation to the West and western nations. Representations of the West varied, ranging from an epitome of democratic progress and economic welfare to a potential ally and a benevolent patron. These images, however, lacked consistency and nuance; absent of any meaningful contacts with the ‘physical’ West – western embassies, companies, organisations, and individuals – Georgian political leaders developed their views drawing on a combination of limited personal interactions, historical accounts, and idealistic readings of regional and global developments. So, when Gamsakhurdia came to power in November 1990, the country’s political elites had already developed multiple (and sometimes, contradictory) representations of the West.
In a much similar manner, Gamsakhurdia’s portrayals of the West show great variation. In office, Gamsakhurdia is outspokenly pro-European and pro-western, and the representations of the two spaces are explicitly affirmative. In his words, it was the West and western nations that pushed the Soviet authorities to adopt democratic reforms (1991t; 1991mb), that fought the enemies of humankind in places like Kuwait (1991b) and that upheld the values of individual rights and liberties across the world (1991m). The West is also a role model for him; he wants Georgia to function like western European political systems (1991e; 1991qb), he wants western observers to assess the political and human rights processes in the country (1991v; 1991mb), and he wants his work to resemble to that of Ronald Reagan and Charles De Gaulle (1991y). Gamsakhurdia also notes that he is closely following the “progressive” integration processes in Europe, seeing the European Community as a potential politico-military (1990e; 1991cb) and economic alliance for Georgia (1991w). “Membership to the European Community is our biggest objective. We seek close relations with the European Community and European countries,” he notes on July 16, 1991 (1991jb).
Gamsakhurdia repeatedly underscores the need for a more proactive policy towards the West, arguing that western support is an essential precondition for achieving independence. “Our only hope is the West – only democracy is able to defend us,” he said on April 9, 1991 (1991r). “We hope that western countries will support us; we hope they will recognize us, and this will be of real help,” he notes on June 28, 1991 (1991db). Two reasons are employed to make the case for more western engagement in Georgia. First, Gamsakhurdia argues that the West has a moral obligation to support a small nation in its struggle against a much larger, imperially minded neighbour. “I hope the West will not leave the country without moral and economic support, in its uneven struggle for independence,” he argues on April 11, 1991 (1991s). Second, Gamsakhurdia believes that the West is - by design - interested in supporting the newly emerged democracies. “I urge the western governments, primarily the United States of America to recognise de jure and de facto independence of these republics promptly and immediately… to protect the achievements of genuinely democratic reforms in these countries,” he states on August 20, 1991 (1991nb). Over time, however, Gamsakhurdia grows concerned about western reluctance to support his cause. “Western countries should treat our struggle for independence more seriously… they should have direct contacts with the republics,” he notes on July 3, 1991 (1991gb).
Gamsakhurdia gives various explanations to the West’s lack of interest in Georgia. At times, he argues that this is due to Moscow’s deep penetration in the West. “Our supporters [in the West] are terrorised, they are pressured, and they have no backing whatsoever. [On the other hand, the Russian] agents get extensive support. This is the result of weakening of the West,” he notes on February 5, 1991 (1991c). He also claims his message is delivered in a distorted manner to the West. “A disinformation campaign is being waged against Georgia in the West. Moscow, the Kremlin influences all of this. All this false information comes from Moscow - from western journalists accredited in Moscow,” he says on June 28, 1991 (1991db). On other occasions, geopolitical reasons are given. Here, the West emerges as a rational player, which wants to maintain ties with Moscow out of considerations of wider political issues, including the Gulf crisis and arms control negotiations (1991k). Gamsakhurdia also asserts that western caution is associated with fears of potential destabilisation in the Soviet Union. “We need to know that the West is unwillingly supportive of the independence movements, because it is afraid of fragmentation into smaller countries, which could trigger conflicts and destabilisation. This is what scares the West,” he notes on July 18, 1991 (1991lb).
Closer to the end of his time in office, Gamsakhurdia becomes extremely critical of the West. In an interview on December 21, 1991 (1991wb), a couple of days before Gamsakhurdia’s toppling from power, the President admits having “quite cold” relations with western leaders. “They are not interested in the Empire’s disintegration. This is well known. In me, they see a man who is in favour of disintegrating the Empire,” he underlined (1991wb). In later months, Gamsakhurdia increases the level of criticism against the West, accusing western leaders of collusion with Moscow and with the rebel leaders to overthrow his government (1992a; 1992b). “Georgia’s traitor party bureaucrats living in Moscow under the leadership of [Eduard] Shevardnadze managed to disorient the West in alliance with the imperial forces, starting an unprecedented disinformation campaign against me in Moscow and in the West,” he notes on February 26, 1992 (1992a). In later accounts, Gamsakhurdia starts interpreting his misfortunes with western leaders as a manifestation of their contempt for Georgian identity and its “Christian way of life” (1993a), as well as their opposition to “the national orientation” of his policies (1992m). “Western states in alliance with the Russian empire are turning a blind eye on [our] national tragedy, they are supporting anti-democratic, anti-people terrorist junta in suppressing our nationally minded movement, in usurping the state,” he notes on April 9, 1992 (1992d).
Finding the kin in the Caucasus
For Gamsakhurdia, Georgia is geographically rooted in its immediate neighbourhood. While there is a recognition that culturally the country is part of Europe and “the Christian civilisation” (1991w), Georgia is seen as geographic and cultural centre of Caucasus, which, according to Gamsakhurdia, is a historically formed ethno-cultural space – a region of its own. Geographically it encompasses both Southern and Northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountain range, and includes several autonomous entities located in North Caucasus within the (Soviet Union) Russian Federation, and three (former) Union republics, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Gamsakhurdia believes that Caucasus is a geopolitically important space, an area that has attracted the interests of regional and global powers for centuries. “This region is extremely important in geopolitical terms; [the one] who owns Caucasus, owns the Near East and Asia. This was very well understood by western countries, so the struggle for Caucasus with Russia goes back to centuries,” he said in an interview on December 6, 1992 (1992m).
For Gamsakhurdia, Georgia is destined to be the political centre of Caucasus. He believes the country’s role is to serve as the unifying force in the region and to champion the idea of freedom and independence of all Caucasian peoples, as well as to facilitate their contacts with the external world. “[Restoration of Georgia’s relations with immediate neighbours] will promote the participation of Caucasian states in global political, economic, and cultural processes and [will also] allow us to cooperate on a regional level,” Gamsakhurdia wrote in his election manifesto (1991w). “Our aim is to consolidate Caucasus, to free it from the claws of the Empire and to introduce it in the global family of free peoples,” he notes on March 23, 1991 (1991n).
Gamsakhurdia attaches special importance to North Caucasus, particularly the Ingush, Chechens, Circassians, Balkars and Karachays, whom he considers to be Georgia’s close allies. In his initial accounts, Gamsakhurdia acknowledges that Georgians and North Caucasians might be different by their linguistic backgrounds, ethnic origins, and religious beliefs, but he still sees them as tightly connected through the strings of history and common traditions. To prove his argument, Gamsakhurdia frequently refers to the practices of sworn brotherhood and fosterage between Georgian mountaineers and North Caucasian peoples, as well as the friendships and professional connections of Tsarist- and Soviet-era Georgian public figures with their North Caucasian counterparts. He also presents the 19th and 20th century deportations of North Caucasian peoples as events of shared pain and grief, with Georgians emerging as companionate supporters of the plight of their northern neighbours. Gamsakhurdia is particularly empathetic of the fate of the Vainakh people. For him, Chechens and Ingush are two freedom-loving peoples, who - like Georgians - have been targeted under the Tsarist and Soviet regimes, and who deserve to be independent from the Kremlin. Ossetians and Abkhaz - on the other hand - are presented as collaborators in Kremlin’s quest to supress the defiant Vainakhs and Georgians. “The Soviet authorities have divided the nations living in the USSR as reliable and non-reliable, rebellious [peoples]. For example, Georgians and Chechen-Ingush are the most discriminated in Caucasus, while Abkhaz and Ossetians are privileged, because they want to sign the Union Treaty,” he notes on August 9, 1991 (1991mb).
Gamsakhurdia depicts the history of North Caucasus as a perpetual struggle for freedom and resents that the “brave” and “freedom-loving” Caucasians have been deprived of their independence - first by the Tsarist Russia and then by the Soviet Union. Gamsakhurdia also insists – perhaps aware of the existence of strong counter-narratives - that Georgians have been equally affected by the Tsarist and Soviet authorities (1992l). Gamsakhurdia posits that the Kremlin spares no efforts to undermine the unity of the Caucasian peoples, including through instigating ethnic conflicts. “The Empire has always used the so-called ethnic conflicts to subjugate the proud and freedom-loving Caucasians,” he wrote in his address to the United Nations on April 27, 1991 (1991u). Gamsakhurdia also blames the Kremlin for disregarding the history and the agency of the peoples of Caucasus, arguing that they have a long tradition of upholding universal principles. “The centre ‘demonstrates’ to the entire world, through corrupt information outlets that without them ‘the wild and cannibalistic’ Caucasians will annihilate each other; while concealing the fact that Caucasian peoples have ancient cultural and humanistic traditions,” he said on March 23, 1991 (1991n).
To achieve more coordination between the national-liberation movements of Caucasus, Gamsakhurdia repeatedly offers them a space for dialogue. On March 23, 1991, for instance Gamsakhurdia proposed to host “a forum of the peoples of Caucasus” in Georgia (1991n). He echoed the offer on May 27, 1991, proposing to establish an assembly that would unite “everyone who had suffered from the Communist regime, Communist empire, for protecting their freedom and human rights” (1991y). Gamsakhurdia, however, stresses that the aim is not to establish a political union, and that the republics had to gain their own independence before thinking of forming the ‘Caucasian Home’ - an umbrella term for loosely-defined ideas on political integration in Caucasus. “We cannot speak about a common home, we have to have our own houses first,” he told the journalist on December 18, 1990 (1990e). “One needs to have a house of its own to start speaking of a common home; when the peoples of the region become genuinely independent and sovereign, that’s when we can start seriously contemplating on the [common] Caucasian Home,” he noted two months later (1991f). Although the idea of a Caucasian historical and cultural kinship is a dominant narrative across the first two stages of his tenure, it was only in exile that Gamsakhurdia started outlining the institutional contours of a possible regional union. In a statement on September 21, 1992, less than three weeks after the first consultative meeting of the “roundtable of the peoples of Caucasus” in Grozny, Gamsakhurdia said the possible future setup of the Caucasian Home should include three independent states as full members (Georgia, Chechnya, and Azerbaijan). “The rest should enter the union as peoples and not as states,” he noted (1992k).
In exile, Gamsakhurdia also advances the idea of the ‘Ibero-Caucasian civilisation’, a geographically wider, but ideologically more nativist interpretation of Caucasus. Although not too radically different from earlier representations of Caucasus, the idea of the Ibero-Caucasian space, inspired by the namesake tradition in linguistic studies, brings some notable changes. Specifically, it introduces the understanding of the region as a common ethno-cultural phenomenon. The core base of the Iberian-Caucasian space, according to Gamsakhurdia, are the peoples of the Ibero-Caucasian “stock” – Georgians, Chechens, Ingush, Circassians, Adige, Abkhaz, Avars and others, but the space also incorporates peoples of other ethno-linguistic origin (1992l). For instance, although Gamsakhurdia recognises that ethnic groups like Balkars and Karachays are of Turkic “stock,” they too are considered to be integral parts of the Ibero-Caucasian civilisation (1992l). Interestingly, Gamsakhurdia’s ‘Caucasus’ also includes Armenians and Azerbaijanis, whose languages are of non-Ibero-Caucasian origin as well. Here, he claims that Azerbaijanis are the descendants of Albanians, early medieval settlers of contemporary Azerbaijan, who “mixed with Turkic peoples,” while Armenians are the descendants of “the Iberian-Anatolian Hayasians who mixed with Indo-European Armenians” (1992l). Through that, Gamsakhurdia tries to paint the picture of the whole of Caucasus as an area tightly connected by common primordial ethnic origin and attempts to legitimise closer political integration of all Caucasian peoples.
Textual analysis of Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy rhetoric demonstrates that the first President of Georgia, drew a complex picture of the external world. Despite a relatively short span in office, he actively contemplated on international politics, as well as the place and role of Georgia, both in the region and the wider world. In the region, he framed the role of Georgia as a geopolitically important area, and a leading force uniting the nations of Caucasus in their struggle against Moscow’s imperialism, while in the world he presented the country as a trustworthy actor worth of appreciation and recognition for its democratic credentials and responsible behaviour. Yet, owing largely to the influence of day-to-day political developments, some of Gamsakhurdia’s positions show contradictory messaging and loose ideational foundations, creating a sense of an overall inconsistency surrounding his foreign policy rhetoric.
The article corroborates the dominant position in the scholarly literature that Gamsakhurdia’s foreign policy visions turned from being explicitly pro-western in the first phase of his governance to a more nativist, regional vision in later months of his presidency. The finding comes with a caveat, however. Contrary to other works, the present article finds that Pan-Caucasian and pro-western orientations coexisted in the first phase as well, only to be dominated by the former closer to the end of his term in office in Tbilisi. Importantly, the findings also show two gaps in the scholarly literature. First, the article challenges the position that Gamsakhurdia’s rhetoric was heavily informed by religious readings of global politics. While there indeed is some recognition of Georgia’s Christian identity in relation to the Muslim ‘others’, the article fails to find religion as a defining factor in his foreign policy rhetoric. The article also challenges the scholarly consensus that Gamsakhurdia’s stance on Russia was overly antagonistic. In fact, it shows Gamsakhurdia making a clear distinction between the Soviet Union and Russia in the initial months of his term in office. On the Soviet Union, he is extremely critical, but the portrayal of Russia is remarkably positive. In later texts, however, Gamsakhurdia starts treating Russia as the successor of the Soviet Union, accusing its government and armed forces of aiding the rebels in his overthrow.
In sum, Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s portrayal of Georgia is essentially of a besieged nation – of a country that is trapped in the Soviet Union and that is trying to end its isolation by distancing from the imperial centre and seeking recognition and alliances abroad. As such, Gamsakhurdia’s visions are indicative of the state of affairs of the early years of Georgia’s independence and narrate a story of a country that is searching for a new place and a new purpose in times of dramatic political and economic transformations.
This research has been supported by a grant from the Research Council of Norway, project number 287815, "Competency through Cooperation: Advancing knowledge on Georgia's strategic path"
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Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1990b). November 16. Speech at the Supreme Council of Georgia on November 14, 1990 (გამოსვლა საქართველოს უზენაესი საბჭოს 14 ნოემბრის სხდომაზე). Akhali Saqartvelo.
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Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1990d). December 12. Speech at the Supreme Council of Georgia on December 11 (გამოსვლა საქართველოს უზენაესი საბჭოს 11 დეკემბრის სხდომაზე). Akhali Saqartvelo.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1990e). December 18. Responses to journalists (პასუხი ჟურნალისტთა შეკითხვებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991a). January 1. New year’s address on the television (საახალწლო მიმართვა ტელევიზიით). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991b). January 18. Statement for foreign mass media (განცხადება უცხოეთის მასობრივი ინფორმაციის საშუალებებისათვის). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991c). February 5. Press conference of the chair of the Supreme Council of Georgia (საქართველოს უზენაესი საბჭოს თავმჯდომარის ბატონ ზვიად გამსახურდიას პრესკონფერენცია). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991d). February 22. Interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda (ინტერვიუ გაზეთ „კომსომოლსკაია პრავდა“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991e). February 26. Press conference for Georgian and foreign journalists (პრესკონფერენცია ქართველი და უცხოელი ჟურნალისტებისთვის). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991f). February 27. Interview with Ogoniok (ინტერვიუ „ოგონიოკთან“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991g). March 2. Address to the United Nations, to the peoples and governments of the world (გაეროს, მსოფლიოს ქვეყნების ხალხებსა და მთავრობებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991h). March 7. Address to staff of Batumi University (ბათუმის უნივერისტეტის თანამშომლებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991i). March 11. Press conference in the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia (პრესკონფერენცია საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის უზენაეს საბჭოში). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991j). March 12. Address to the Abkhaz people (მიმართვა აფხაზი ხალხისადმი). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991k). March 13. Press conference for Georgian, Soviet, and foreign journalists on March 9 (9 მარტის პრესკონფერენცია ქართველი, საბჭოთა და უცხოელი ჟურნალისტებისათვის). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991l). March 16. Interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta (ინტერვიუ გაზეთ „ნეზავისიმაია გაზეტა“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991m). March 19. Meeting with James Baker (შეხვედრა ჯეიმს ბეიკერთან). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991n). March 23. Address to the peoples of Caucasus (მიმართვა კავკასიის ხალხებისადმი). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991o). March 26. Televised address of March 25 (გამოსვლა ტელევიზიით 1991 წლის 25 მარტს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991p). March 30. Address to the Armenian residents of Javakheti (მიმართვა ჯავახეთის სომეხ მოსახლეობას). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991q). March 31. Press conference for Georgian and foreign journalists (პრესკონფერენცია ქართველი და უცხოელი ჟურნალისტებისათვის). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991r). April 10. Speech of the head of the Supreme Council of Georgia (უზენაესი საბჭოს თავმჯდომარის ბატონ ზვიად გამსახურდიას გამოსვლა). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991s). April 11. Press conference (პრესკონფერენცია). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991t). April 18. Interview with a Japanese television station, Fuji (ინტერვიუ იაპონიის ტელეკომპანია „ფუჯისთან“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991u). April 30. Address to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Pérez de Cuéllar, peoples and parliaments of the world (მიმართვა გაერთიანებული ერების ორგანიზაციის გენერალურ მდივანს პერეს დე კუელიარს, მსოფლიოს ხალხებსა და პარლამენტებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991v). May 1. Televised address of April 28 (გამოსვლა საქართველოს ტელევიზიით 28 აპრილს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991w). May 22. Presidential election manifesto (პრეზიდენტობის კანდიდატის საარჩევნო პროგრამა). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991z). May 25. Presidential election manifesto: economic part (პრეზიდენტობის კანდიდატის საარჩევნო პროგრამა). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991y). May 30. Press conference for foreign and Georgian journalists on May 27 (პრესკონფერენცია საზღვარგარეთის და საქართველოს ჟურნალისტებისათვის 27 მაისს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991ab). June 1. Statement of the President of the Republic of Georgia (საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტის განცხადება). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991bb). June 7. Interview with a Turkish newspaper (ინტერვიუ გაზეთ „თურქიას” რედაქტორს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991cb). June 11. Speech at the Supreme Council of Georgia on June 7 (გამოსვლა საქართველოს უზენაესი საბჭოს 7 ივნისის სხდომაზე). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991db). June 28. Interview with the TV and radio broadcasting corporation of Saarland ინტერვიუ ზაარის მხარის ტელერადიოკორპორაციის კორესპონდენტთან). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991eb). July 3. Interview with Trud (ინტერვიუ გაზეთ „ტრუდს“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991fb). June 29. Address to the President of the French Republic, Mr. François Mitterrand (მიმართვა საფრანგეთის რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტს, ბატონ ფრანსუა მიტერანს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991gb). July 4. Interview with Argumenty i Fakty (ინტერვიუ გაზეთთან „არგუმენტი ი ფაქტი“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991gb). July 11. Press conference in Moscow on July 3 (პრესკონფერენცია საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის უზენაეს საბჭოში). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991ib). July 13. Address to an international meeting on the problems of Black Sea (მიმართვა შავი ზღის პრობლემებისადმი მიძღვნილი საერთაშორისო შეხვედრის მონაწილეებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991jb). July 16. Interview: we have decided to leave the Soviet Union (ინტერვიუ: „გადაწყვეტილი გვაქვს საბჭოთა კავშირიდან გასვლა). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991hb). July 16. Address to the President of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ayaz Mutallibov (მიმართვა აზერბაიჯანის რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტს ბატონ ა. მუთალიბოვს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991lb). July 18. Press conference of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutallibov, and the President of the Republic of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia (აზერბაიჯანის რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტის აიაზ მუთალიბოვისა და საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტის ზვიად გამსახურდიას პრესკონფერენცია). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991mb). August 9. Address to the 23rd conference of peace and democracy in Costa Rica (მიმართვა მშვიდობისა და დემოკრატიის მსოფლიო ლიგის კოსტა-რიკის 23-ე კონფერენციისადმი). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991nb). August 21. Address to the peoples and governments of western countries (მიმართვა დასავლეთის ქვეყნების ხალხებისა და მთავრობებისადმი). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991ob). August 22. Letter to the Russian President (წერილი რუსეთის პრეზიდენტს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991pb). September 3. Statement on the human rights protection in Georgia (განცხადება საქართველოში ადამიანის უფლებათა დაცვის შესახებ). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991qb). October 12. Speech at the Supreme Council of Georgia on October 8 (გამოსვლა საქართველოს უზენაესი საბჭოს 8 ოქტომბრის სხდომაზე). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991rb). October 30. Meeting with Georgian and foreign journalists (შეხვედრა ქართველ და უცხოელ ჟურნალისტებთან). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991sb). October 31. Address to the conference on maintenance and revival of native soil (მშობლიური მიწის მოვლისა და აღორძინების კონფერენციის მონაწილეებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991tb). November 12. Letter to the Russian President (წერილი რუსეთის პრეზიდენტს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991ub). November 23. Responses to TV audience members (პასუხები ტელემაყურებელთა შეკითხვებს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991vb). November 27. Address to the President of Azerbaijan, his excellence Ayaz Mutallibov (მიმართვა აზერბაიჯანის რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტს, მის აღმატებულებას ბატონ აიაზ მუტალიბოვს). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1991wb). December 21. Conversation with the journalist of the central television (საუბარი ცენტრალური ტელევიზიის ჟურნალისტთან). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992a). February 26. Address to the Georgian nation (მიმართვა ქართველი ერისადმი). Qartuli Azri.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992b). March 28. Address to the residents of Georgia (მიმართვა საქართველოს მოსახლეობისადმი). Qartuli Azri.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992c). April 8. Address to the students and youth (მიმართვა სტუდენტი ახალგაზრდობისადმი). Qartuli Azri.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992d). April 9. Address to the Georgian nation (მიმართვა ქართველი ერისადმი). Qartuli Azri.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992e). May 19. Address to the Circassian (Adige) peoples (მიმართვა ჩერქეზ (ადიღეელ) ხალხებს). Qartuli Azri.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992f). June 1. Open letter to the Georgian television (on orientations) (ღია წერილი საქართველოს ტელევიზიისადმი (ორიენტაციათა შესახებ)). Qartuli Azri.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992g). June 9. Address to the Georgian nation, to all residents of Georgia (მიმართვა ქართველი ერისადმი, სრულიად საქართველოს მოსახლეობისადმი). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992h). June 14. Address to the National Guard (მიმართვა გვარდიისადმი). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992i). June 14. Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Dzhokhar Dudayev are responding to the journalist of Sobesednik („სობესედნიკის“ კორესპონდენტს პასუხობენ ჯოჰარ დუდაევი და ზვიად გამსახურდია). Agdgoma.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992j). August 7. Zviad Gamsakhurdia is responding to the commentator of Literaturnaya Gazeta, Oleg Morozov (ზვიად გამსახურდია პასუხობს „ლიტერატურნაია გაზეტას“ მიმომხილველის ოლეგ მოროზის შეკითხვებზე). Agdgoma.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992k). September 26. Statement of the President of the Republic of Georgia (საქართველოს რესპუბლიკის პრეზიდენტის განცხადება). Agdgoma.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992l). November 15. Address to Iberian-Caucasian movement of Georgia (მიმართვა საქართველოს იბერიულ-კავკასიური მოძრაობისადმი). Agdgoma.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992m). December 6. Interview with Narodnaya Pravda (ინტერვიუ„ნაროდნაია პრავდასთან“). Agdgoma.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1992n). December 20. Conversation with Voice of America Georgian service (საუბარი „ამერიკის ხმის“ ქართულ რედაქციასთან). Agdgoma.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1993a). February 27. Interview with Samani (ინტერვიუ გაზეთთან „სამანი“). Saqartvelos Respublika.
Gamsakhurdia, Z. (1993b). May 12. Facts and Reality (ფაქტები და სინამდვილე). Agdgoma.