In the Name of the Rose

SHAKH AIVAZOV/AP

THE WINNER IS: Saakashvili has promised that Ajaria will retain its autonomy

By late Wednesday night the news was spreading fast: another aging autocrat was on his way out in a former Soviet satellite. Late last year it was Eduard Shevardnadze, President of Georgia. This time, it was Aslan Abashidze, for the past 13 years the authoritarian boss of Ajaria; an autonomous republic in Georgia's southwest corner. "It's over," said Givi Targamadze, chairman of Georgia's Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security. "The only thing that remains to be seen is who will come from Moscow to take Mr. Abashidze to Russia." That same night, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Igor Ivanov,...

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