Tengiz Kitovani loses Georgian citizenship

Tengiz Kitovani loses Georgian citizenship

By Georgy Kalatozishvili, Tbilisi. Exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza

 

General Tengiz Kitovani, an ex-commander of the National Guard, has been deprived of citizenship by Georgian President Margvelashvili. The information would have gone unnoticed if it were not for two circumstances. Firstly, his role in the modern history of the country is without exaggeration enormous. The fact that General Kitovani could have become the second Georgian “General Aidid”, at a time when the Caucasus state was on the edge of becoming another Somalia, predetermined interest in his persona.

Secondly, depriving Kitovani of citizenship gives reasons to continue the “portrait cycle” of the most interesting politicians. Vestnik Kavkaza has already described Nino Budjanadze, Levan Gachechiladze and Giorgi Khaindrava. Now is the turn of Tengiz Kitovani.

Kitovani assures that Margvelashvili signed the order in April or May 2014. But why was the ex-commander of the National Guard silent for so long? He probably did not want to admit that he had Russian citizenship.

According to the Georgian law, a citizen does not have the right to dual citizenship, otherwise they will be stripped of their Georgian passport. A foreigner is given Georgian citizenship only on the order of the president. It is the only way to have two citizenships legally.

Kitovani, outraged by the decision of President Margvelashvili, told the journalists that such a decision was unjust. “If it were not for me, there would have been no Margvelashvili, Saakashvili, Shevardnadze or anyone else,” said Tengiz Kitovani, often called “the founder of modern Georgian statehood.” In the 1970s, Tengo was an ordinary Tbilisi kid always looking for trouble, often getting into fights and hooliganism, though respected by his friends. He never became a criminal authority but was an influential individual among criminals.

Such characters were the ones to gain fame in the national liberation movement that started in 1988. A few years later, he was closer to first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who needed firm protection from many competitors and enemies among other leaders of the “movement.” In the national government of Gamsakhurdia, Kitovani became the commander of the National Guard. He soon got into a quarrel with the commander-in-chief, who figured that people like Kitovani were too independent and capricious.

An attempt to tame the daredevil who had invited his “thugs” to the National Guard by that time had resulted in the ousting of President Gamsakhurdia and the start of a civil war that turned into a war with Abkhazia. In August 1992 Tengiz Kitovani deployed 3000 guards in Abkhazia. Eduard Shevardnadze was the president at that time. The cunning "White Fox" later said that he had called Kitovani on August 14 to dissuade him from the operation in Abkhazia but failed to contact him. Unlike the irresponsible Tbilisi “thugs,” Shevardnadze realized the danger of starting a bloody war, though he chose to follow the course of events.

Abkhazia was lost, but Shevardnadze won the civil war and Tengiz Kitovani ended up in jail. He was arrested in 1995 when he tried to launch a new attack on Abkhazia (where Russian troops were stationed) with his natural recklessness and adventurism. After serving 5 years in prison for carrying weapons, Kitovani was pardoned by Shevardnadze and moved to Moscow, where he lived for 12 years. This gives reasons for fans of conspiracy theories to speculate that he was a Moscow agent. In reality, Kitovani has never been a friend of Russia and his Russian passport is simply the result of corrupt Russian functionaries.

In any case, he has not been involved in any affairs for all these years. Kitovani only spoke after becoming upset with President Margvelashvili. However, one of the “founders of the modern Georgian state” cannot do anything historic. The best he can is write memoires with unpleasant depictions of politicians that are part of the past, just like General Kitovani himself.

One of the “founders of the modern Georgian state” cannot make any historic actsBy Georgy Kalatozishvili, Tbilisi. Exclusively for Vestnik KavkazaGeneral Tengiz Kitovani, an ex-commander of the National Guard, has been deprived of citizenship by Georgian President Margvelashvili. The information would have gone unnoticed if it were not for two circumstances. Firstly, his role in the modern history of the country is without exaggeration enormous. The fact that General Kitovani could have become the second Georgian “General Aidid”, at a time when the Caucasus state was on the edge of becoming another Somalia, predetermined interest in his persona.Secondly, depriving Kitovani of citizenship gives reasons to continue the “portrait cycle” of the most interesting politicians. Vestnik Kavkaza has already described Nino Budjanadze, Levan Gachechiladze and Giorgi Khaindrava. Now is the turn of Tengiz Kitovani.Kitovani assures that Margvelashvili signed the order in April or May 2014. But why was the ex-commander of the National Guard silent for so long? He probably did not want to admit that he had Russian citizenship.According to the Georgian law, a citizen does not have the right to dual citizenship, otherwise they will be stripped of their Georgian passport. A foreigner is given Georgian citizenship only on the order of the president. It is the only way to have two citizenships legally.Kitovani, outraged by the decision of President Margvelashvili, told the journalists that such a decision was unjust. “If it were not for me, there would have been no Margvelashvili, Saakashvili, Shevardnadze or anyone else,” said Tengiz Kitovani, often called “the founder of modern Georgian statehood.” In the 1970s, Tengo was an ordinary Tbilisi kid always looking for trouble, often getting into fights and hooliganism, though respected by his friends. He never became a criminal authority but was an influential individual among criminals.Such characters were the ones to gain fame in the national liberation movement that started in 1988. A few years later, he was closer to first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who needed firm protection from many competitors and enemies among other leaders of the “movement.” In the national government of Gamsakhurdia, Kitovani became the commander of the National Guard. He soon got into a quarrel with the commander-in-chief, who figured that people like Kitovani were too independent and capricious.An attempt to tame the daredevil who had invited his “thugs” to the National Guard by that time had resulted in the ousting of President Gamsakhurdia and the start of a civil war that turned into a war with Abkhazia. In August 1992 Tengiz Kitovani deployed 3000 guards in Abkhazia. Eduard Shevardnadze was the president at that time. The cunning "White Fox" later said that he had called Kitovani on August 14 to dissuade him from the operation in Abkhazia but failed to contact him. Unlike the irresponsible Tbilisi “thugs,” Shevardnadze realized the danger of starting a bloody war, though he chose to follow the course of events.Abkhazia was lost, but Shevardnadze won the civil war and Tengiz Kitovani ended up in jail. He was arrested in 1995 when he tried to launch a new attack on Abkhazia (where Russian troops were stationed) with his natural recklessness and adventurism. After serving 5 years in prison for carrying weapons, Kitovani was pardoned by Shevardnadze and moved to Moscow, where he lived for 12 years. This gives reasons for fans of conspiracy theories to speculate that he was a Moscow agent. In reality, Kitovani has never been a friend of Russia and his Russian passport is simply the result of corrupt Russian functionaries.In any case, he has not been involved in any affairs for all these years. Kitovani only spoke after becoming upset with President Margvelashvili. However, one of the “founders of the modern Georgian state” cannot do anything historic. The best he can is write memoires with unpleasant depictions of politicians that are part of the past, just like General Kitovani him

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