Soviet Union: Paranoia Run Amuck

Georgia's president sees conspiracies everywhere, but he is largely to blame for the restiveness

To hear Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia tell it, conspiracies seethe around him. At the national level, Mikhail Gorbachev is scheming to "create a civil war" in the southern republic with the help of "40,000 KGB agents," while fellow Georgian Eduard Shevardnadze, the former Soviet Foreign Minister, is a "provocateur." At the state level, Tengiz Sigua, the Georgian prime minister until six weeks ago, is "a liar and a criminal" who, Gamsakhurdia says, "is making a coup against me." At the grass-roots level, the thousands who now take to the streets daily demanding Gamsakhurdia's resignation are all "plotters" and "criminals." Even Washington...

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