No Time for Diplomacy

As hard-line nationalists and separatist ethnic groups tear his homeland apart, Shevardnadze finds that his reputation as a man of peace is on the firing line

MANY TBILISI RESIDENTS ESCAPE to dachas in the hills above the Georgian capital during summer weekends, but not Eduard Shevardnadze. For the former Soviet Foreign Minister and current chairman of the republic's provisional State Council, affairs of state continue nonstop. Seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. until well after midnight, Shevardnadze is on the job, working the battery of telephones on his desk beneath a silver icon of the madonna and child. On Monday fighting broke out again in the secessionist region of Abkhazia. On Tuesday Russian forces killed several Georgian guardsmen in the Abkhazian capital. Wednesday, hard-line nationalists attempted...

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