Siege of Sukhumi

Captaining a last-ditch defense, Shevardnadze puts his life on the line to keep his nation whole

Moaning from pain and shock, Elgudzha Bagaturia staggered into the brick house where fellow Georgian soldiers were taking cover from small arms fire. A stream of blood gushed from a hole in his neck, courtesy of a grenade hurled by Abkhazian insurgents trying to take the city of Sukhumi, the capital of their autonomous region within Georgia. Suddenly, an exploding shell shook the house from the left. Then another concussion, this time from the right. The enemy artillery was zeroing in on its target. "Outside everyone!" shouted Misha, the black-bearded commander. "They have found us."

So they had. Ten minutes after...

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