Gia Tsertsvadze, from the war in the Donbass, and before that participated in two wars with Russia in Georgia and Abkhazia, was detained at Kyiv Zhuliany airport on January 15.
So he learned that wanted by Interpol on charges of murder, allegedly committed in 2003 in Russia. He spent in Kiev Lukyanovka jail 10 days, from 17 to 26 January. But he Tsertsvadze and his family in one voice said the charges are trumped up. The man didn’t know voiced in the circumstances of the case neither the people nor the events, told NV Tsertsvadze lawyer Ksenia Prokonova.
The defense Tsertsvadze trying to prove his innocence and dismiss the case, and then plans to apply for refugee status in Ukraine. Prokonova said that her client is not the only person in this legal status, and therefore the successful outcome of this case could set a precedent and hope for the other volunteers, who are also not protected legally.
NV met Tsertsvadze in Kiev, a week after his release from prison. He said why come to Ukraine and went to fight for her, what is common between all three wars in which he had visited, and explained why Russia can not agree on anything.
The wars in Abkhazia and Georgia
I was born in Kiev, but Kiev can’t remember, was small. My worldview began with Georgia. We lived a normal peaceful life, until in 1992 the war began in Abkhazia. My family and I lived in Sukhumi. So I got on the war.
Fought in the armed forces of Georgia. During the war in Abkhazia was Deputy commander, then commander. After we lost Abkhazia, continued to serve in the armed forces in the special forces. First, there was a state security of Georgia, then it was integrated into the Ministry of internal Affairs, and I served in special forces of the Ministry of internal Affairs. The defense Ministry also had to serve to pass a program of assistance to Georgia under the name of “train and equip” — was a American program that Georgia could join NATO standards.
In the fighting on the territory of Georgia, apart from 1992 and 1993, I participated in the events of 1998 and 2000 years. Then, in 2004, there were Ossetian company. In principle, for people the war stops, then starts, there are stages and the active phase. But, as such, the war in Georgia is still not finished. In General, this is not a war in 2008 he began in 1991. Since then, she still continuously goes on. To this day people are dying, kidnapped. Still there is this process ends. The only thing that happened after the events of August 2008 is that Russia has made an official statement, the recognition of the so-called quasi-States of South Ossetia and Republic of Abkhazia. At the moment in Georgia is a “creeping annexation” every day for 100-200 meters, sometimes kilometers moves barbed wire, the so-called border, which no country in the world except Russia, Nicaragua or Venezuela does not recognize. They move, they have a claim, they even swung that Mtskheta (town a few kilometers North of Tbilisi — NV), is that South Ossetia, Borjomi (a town in southwest Georgia — approx. ed.) is the South Ossetia, because there are many ethnic Ossetians living.
My last position [in Georgia] Deputy chief commander of the special forces. While participating in the battles of 2008, I was a unit commander and fought on the side of the Georgian military forces. In 2012, [the structure], came people who have more Pro-Kremlin orientation, and all the officials who were in the service, was dismissed. Motivation — allegedly because we were under the previous government. They transferred it in a private plane. It turned out that we were not the people, specifically to someone, the same Mikhail Saakashvili, Mr [former Prime Minister of Georgia Ivano] Merabishvili. This is absurd. I served with the first days of Georgia’s independence, we Ministers are changed, presidents changed, Shevardnadze, Saakashvili. But we are military people, there is no specific person, we serve the state, to defend their homeland and its interests.
On this basis, then, was a very large-scale cleaning. Still there are special services that reveal even friendships, that is, if someone is with someone friendly in the services, special forces, and relationships don’t end only service. But our families are friends, we have a very close relationship. And there are people who still serve, and their little fire due to the fact that we have a friendship. In a telephone conversation can be fired for a simple “Hello” on the street, not to mention more closely, such as come to visit on a birthday or of a child to baptize. This situation is now in Georgia.
About Ukraine and participation in the ATO
In Ukraine, I arrived in August of 2014. Wanted before, when the Maidan began, but I had a financial problem. I decided to sell the car. And how sold — bought tickets and came here to live.
Why did you come? For a number of reasons. First, the enemy we share. The second motivation is the fact that I was born here, I consider Ukraine as their homeland. And most importantly — we will never forget that Ukraine has made in his time. As the ordinary Ukrainian guys come to Georgia, fought there. In Tbilisi on Heroes ‘ Square there is a memorial to those who died, hanging there separate lists of the names of Ukrainian children. I have many friends among them. Is now there. One of them received [Georgian] citizenship. Unfortunately, he lost a leg in Abkhazia, and my state to him also disregard concerns. He hangs in the air: two children, no job, no nothing, lives for some miserable allowance, simply exists. Last year came here [to Ukraine], trying to get into the Armed forces, but since he has no feet, he ran, and then went back. As a citizen of Georgia, he may not be here long, and therefore returned back.
When your friends trouble in the house, no need to worry, we have to go and help. I am ashamed of my government, which did not react at first, when Ukraine started it all. It was only later they began to pretend to help, and the help solely humanitarian, like, wounded to treat, children on the resort and in the winter season, when it would be possible for the summer. Purely for show.
I believe that Georgia and Ukraine should have a Union, what if those who encroach on their territorial integrity, they will stand up for each other. The enemy we have in common, religion is too. Historically Ukrainians and Georgians were the closest, even for the Soviet Union. And believe me, there are so many people who still want to come, which can in arms to defend their homeland. Because if Ukraine don’t win now, then Georgia will disappear completely.
I am from Sukhumi, and I believe that the return of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will go through Ukraine. Here, the potential of the big country. Russia slightly miscalculated their strength and capabilities. She was used to small country on the attack, but there is a big country, big power, big human reserve.
In the Donbas, I was on the task force, from 2014 to 2015. We occasionally went on some errands, on vacation, too, went, as usual, to have a little freshen up. Was in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, in Happiness in the Luhansk region. Was in Jacovce, a village there, it Novoaydarsky district of Lugansk region. Basically, the direction of Lugansk were engaged in the preparation of the personnel: fire, tactical training, instructors were also, because I have a teaching experience of staff is planning for training training preparation military calculations, all that military activity is.
The wars with Russia
If we talk about all these wars — Georgia, Abkhazia, Ukraine, Russia, the tactics are the same, it does not change with age. To negotiate with them is useless: when they any peace agreement be, for example, the ceasefire is still some meanness will do, find a loophole. If you think the same of Abkhazia, was the Sochi agreement on cease-fire between Georgia, Abkhazia and Russia. Russia was the intermediary back then Yeltsin was — and brought up the fact that the Georgian side brought the whole vehicles, artillery, armed men, who had to be at the forefront, was at the barracks is placed, and on September 19 went on the offensive. In the vanguard was the Russian troops. The Abkhazians, and whoever else, always came second and third echelon. Their main objective was a punitive operation, they finished off the remaining soldiers and civilians, looting and pillaging. The same thing happened in South Ossetia.
By the way, in 2008, they [Russia] has requested a humanitarian corridor on the withdrawal of women and children. When the Georgian side agreed, they took advantage and they entered additional forces. And again, the same thing happened in South Ossetia.
Now we have a Treaty, was signed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy that all must return to the position before the status of the clashes of 2008, i.e. as at August 5, 2008, and these things are not respected. They also captured Akhalgori district (the Leninogorsk district, which belonged to the Georgian region of Mtskheta-Phianite and seized by Russian troops in 2008 — approx. ed), although there is generally fighting at first was not. Border every day coming. In Georgia there is a highway that connects East and West Georgia. There are 500 metres away it is a Russian tank with the barrel aimed at the transport, moving people. 500 meters is very small. The pipeline is also in their territory.
There is another danger. Everyone knows that Armenia enters the Customs Union, is the only bulwark, the only country where on the basis of all of these agreements are Russian troops, there are Russian bases. That is, the troops of the Transcaucasian military district, which were stationed in Georgia with the equipment and weapons went to Armenia. And there is already a statement to politicians that they want to make a common border to Armenia and Russia. And a common border — it means first to take away some territories from Georgia and Azerbaijan and on the border in order to transit. There is talk of restoration of the railway. In 2008, before the August events, Russian troops without the permission of the Georgian side has restored the railroad to the administrative border of Abkhazia with Georgia. Then was transfer large amounts of equipment.
If to say briefly — “they are not there”. They used to always say that. Although there were a lot of documents, for example, seized from slain even before the Russian troops have officially announced their participation on that side. But there were the facts, evidence, aircraft, artillery — now how could a simple peasant to buy a tank or system of volley fire, to take the aircraft? Somewhere they took off physically. But in South Ossetia there is no airfield. All the UPS happened to Russia or Armenia.
In Gudauta (Abkhazia considers it its territory — approx. ed) is a former military airfield, it is now restored. There is still clear there were. And in Ossetia, even the helicopter was nowhere to sit. From all of this?
It was the same story. It’s deja vu. Here [in Ukraine] also shouted that “they are not there”, and there were little green men without insignia [in the Crimea], then it turns out they still were there. In the Donbass the same. Now the miners, which I don’t speak Ukrainian, they speak Russian, barely, themselves from somewhere in Asia, and run around with guns, tanks and ride. It’s not the local population. The local population is simply not necessary, they have their own problems — how to earn his bread and support his family.
Everything happens one by one. The scenario is the same. The only thing that the scale here is bigger and the number of armed men, too. Accordingly, Ukraine is much more. They can not be trusted anywhere and in anything. They can be any paper to fabricate, install any video your way — they know it. 70 years was engaged in the [Russian] security services. They have rich experience, good Luggage, they’re professionals, it did not take away. Unfortunately, I was very surprised that the international community only appeals to sanctions.
Adolf Hitler, too, at one time started small, and kept thinking, “if Only my house didn’t come with weapons,” and waited. And he took and all went. The same thing is repeated here. If Ukraine falls, Europe’s going down. If Ukraine wins, then wins and Georgia. We want to create a precedent is Ukraine, there is Nagorno-Karabakh, with Azerbaijan in the Armenia problem, there is a Moldova with Transnistria. If a precedent appears that we have adequately returned the territories and not on the Kremlin’s terms, then a chain reaction will go, and everything will fall into place. We have this deep faith.
I have three sons. They really want to follow in my footsteps. If not me, then at least let them see it. Our family is a sore subject. We — refugees from Abkhazia. Our house was in Sukhumi. All of our ancestors, parents buried there. But we haven’t been to their graves. In our house, where I lived, there live representatives of other nationalities. They have even re-sell the property. And if you can’t sell it, brick by brick export to the territory of the Russian Federation, as for construction materials. I do not exclude that a piece of my brick — on some Olympic facilities in Sochi.
On his arrest
I think it was supposed to be a show trial, that all was discourage to take the side of other countries against Russia. This is my opinion.
There are materials which relate to 2008 — they were in a documentary about South Ossetia, there appears my name. Criminal case opened. More on Abkhazia had questions. Since South Ossetia and Abkhazia does not recognize the international community, they have access to Interpol. The only solution probably was to invent a criminal reason, so I got on the territory of Russia. And then I was transferred to law enforcement authorities in South Ossetia or Abkhazia. Moreover, at his residence I registered in Sukhumi. The officer, after all, was in the division commanded.
I was accused of murder, shootouts. It is a common practice. If you can’t take for other reasons, you need to try to fabricate criminal history. Witnesses can be found, you can draw anything.
I’m not alone in this situation. Once the case was when two women from Sochi, was arrested and condemned only for the fact that they gave the families a text message about movement of military equipment to Georgia. Before the man was. There’s a lot of people. It’s all based on ethnicity — nationality, they are not Russian, just lived there. But they were condemned for treason, and during this period, is high. Not to mention my case. For the local population may think that I’m the enemy, entered the territory of Russia, because they are all brainwashed. Do not be surprised if the Kennedy assassination I go or poisoning of Boris Yeltsin.
On foreign policy
What is all this? First, we need to distract the Russian population from their problems. The Georgian question is irrelevant: unfortunately, the government in Georgia is now trying its best to please Russia, if only they didn’t. When the world imposes sanctions against Russia, they on the contrary, are active in trade, waiting for a visa-free regime with Russia. Recently, Georgia has received a visa-free regime with the EU, and several deputies of the Georgian Parliament came out and said that now Russia should also cancel the visa regime with Georgia, on the evil to the Georgians did not spread to Europe, and went at a gallop in Russia. If people of such magnitude, as members of Parliament who are members of the Committee for state security and defense, make such statements, what can you say? Georgia has already sidelined. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone out there the Russian flag in the closet is, in which case it is possible to sharply pull out.
Ukraine — the number one issue right now. There are active operations, but Ukraine does not give up, though, and takes a tremendous resource. In Syria, too active hostilities, and there they [Russia] is limited, and human and material resources. All the weapons and equipment they have is outdated. They can be beat. They can be beaten. Just need the political will, we need this much to want. Plus you have guys who agree to fight on the side of Ukraine. Although we have already considered for this mercenaries. I think I also of the criminal case “sew” something for the mercenary. More will emerge that, Yes, the same South Ossetia.
This is all nonsense crazy. Were talking about me like I was going to use biological weapons to poison the wells of drinking water in Tskhinvali (the capital of the breakaway Republic of South Ossetia — approx. ed.). But they have not calculated one. I have family in Gori (town in Eastern Georgia, approx. ed.) lived. Drinking system is one. The river goes through Gori, and then in Kura (the largest river of the Caucasus, approx. ed.), flows, and Kura is in Tbilisi. I the whole of Georgia was poison. And the wind direction is also calculated, and the flow of water.
By law I had to delay a flight to Georgia and to start the paperwork on this issue. At least, not to release anywhere. But as long as you stay in Georgia, she does not extradite its citizens to anyone. Even if there is some offence in the territory of another country, and it’s provable, you still serving time at home. Some, probably, have not read the legislation of Georgia. If I was detained in Georgia, the noise would have been there. Because they expect that another country extradite me without talking. But not calculated. I was able to go to Turkey, the same thing would have happened in any country in the world. Because the Red circular of the Interpol it provides (the Red circular — search form in the upper right corner which depicts the emblem of Interpol on a red background, approx. ed.).
The interest of the Georgian side in my safety was not. Let us begin with the fact that we were then fired from work. There is such a thing: when you, official, fired, or you quit, you give a recognizance for a specified period because you are a carrier of state secrets. This also applies to defense and resources, and security of the country. If you get to Russia — it is an attempt to recruit. And fail to recruit, there are other resources, and if that fails, probably the mafia will retaliate. It’s all very twisted. In Hollywood, the film can be removed for this reason.
I have a problem: I can’t prove it on legal grounds that I fought in the Donbass. There are witnesses and photos. But just last year a law was passed on the adoption of foreign citizens on contract service in the armed forces. In the court begin to ask the status of combatants. In Ukraine, he is at about 30% from those who it really was. That is, even the Ukrainians are not always able to prove that they were there. Often then widows [those killed in the Donbass military] go and solve this issue. I learned: they sue, then the defense Ministry is doing something, they appoint a pension through the courts. This is absurd. When there are witnesses, war diary, headquarters, where everything is specified in an order.
Many accuse us, even in the same Georgia that we are in it for the money arrived. No, purely out of Patriotic motives. Each of us remembers those [Ukrainian] guys who fought for Georgia, and died. Those who have served in Abkhazia. When there was a tragic case — Sukhumi disappeared in the environment, women, children, the elderly took out a Ukrainian helicopter crews. We all remember the hand. I had no moral right to stay away from these events. Because we have such a thing as brothers in arms.
When I’m in Georgia on vacation went, first had interview with representatives of the Georgian counter-intelligence on political orientation, then there was a compelling conversation about that “why war with Russia, they still win.” When you officer the civil service begins to hint, say, the wrong side you chose, this is a big fat question of why they serve, who and what.
The government, which is now at the helm in Russia, can’t negotiate with his own people. And about other countries and say it is useless. Do you have any Russian citizen will ask, whose Crimea or Abkhazia — whose it is. They will be foaming at the mouth to prove it, waving his hands, and when it is not able to prove, I guess, and the stick will go, and weapons. With them it is impossible to talk.
Amazing to me that the nation that gave the world Pushkin, Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, comes to such things. It has always been, even after the Treaty of Georgievsk between Georgia and Russia signed. They eliminated a state. The Georgian Orthodox Church took the autocephaly. The Georgian Church was under the Moscow Patriarchate. They don’t want to understand that people who are able to think differently, speak another language, can have their opinion and their culture. And if they are bad live, no one should live better than them, those who are near, must be even worse. I have Lada, and my neighbor is a Mercedes, it shouldn’t be, he needs to ride a bike. Although normal people will always rejoice in the success of his neighbor. More than around rich people, the calmer I stay. If it is difficult for me, I will help. And here he won’t live, but can’t take it.
There is an old joke. Me one Kazakh businessman said. Two businessmen — Russian and Kazakh — brokered the deal. Good money earned. And Russian says: “Well, let’s share as brothers”. Kazakh says: “No brother, let’s split it”. And now that they have left: one elder brother, one younger. They don’t want to see everyone equal. Same here — tales that the Second world war Russia has won, Ukraine. They do not believe that all countries that were connected to the Republic, contributed — Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Armenia, but all of the Republic. They don’t want to accept what was and the second front and the Americans there were killed and the British, what was the French underground. They don’t want to accept that North Africa was that Japan and America were at war.
They are so confused your people have altered their history, they are themselves confused: I don’t know where to start. They forgot that Kiev is mother of Russian cities. What is this they were baptized in the river, hence the Orthodoxy went. Dmitry Dolgoruky, who founded Moscow, was the Prince of Kiev. That Prince Vladimir was Prince of Kiev. It read as if a child raised his hand to his mother. Well, if Georgia is not divided, but with Ukraine — from here it all went.
People are not divided into good and bad nationalities. Because good and bad are in every nation. This is how banditry: the gangster does not have nationality. In our case, separatism has a nationality. This is because they always build “Russian world”. Everything good in the world — is a Russian invention, all that is bad, it is not Russian. That’s all their world. But it is also impossible to live with.