27 of September - Sukhumi Massacre

Published in Society
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 11:30

The Sukhumi massacre took place on September 27, 1993, during and after the fall of Sukhumi into separatist hands in the course of the War in Abkhazia. It was perpetrated against Georgian civilians of Sukhumi, mainly by militia forces of Abkhaz separatists, their North Caucasian and Russian allies. It became part of a violent ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the separatists.
On September 27, 1993, separatist forces violated the ceasefire initiated by the United Nations and guaranteed by the Russian Federation, which barred both sides from performing military operations. As part of the ceasefire, Georgian forces had withdrawn their heavy artillery and tanks from Sukhumi. AbkhazConfederation of Mountain Peoples of the CaucasusCossack and Russian militants stormed Sukhumi early in the morning. Confronted by large numbers of combatants, the Georgian army units that remained in the city were unable to prevent the separatist advance into the city. By noon, separatist militants and their allies had taken over television buildings and bridges. Georgian forces retreated to the Government building of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic, where they intended to provide security for members of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic Government. By late afternoon, the city was overrun by separatists and their allies.
Placing their hopes on the ceasefire, a large number of civilians remained in the city. The separatists and their allies started to sweep through the streets of Sukhumi rounding up all civilians that they found. Men, women and children were executed in the streets, on the roads and inside their own apartments, houses and back yards. According to the witnesses, many people became objects of torture, and some were forced to watch as their own family members were killed—children in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children.
Women became targets of sadistic rape. Refugees recall people being burned to death, disembowelled and dismembered while still alive. The massacres occurred in the city park, in front of the governmental building, in schools and hospitals. Almost all members of the Abkhaz government (those who refused to leave the city), Zhiuli ShartavaGuram GabiskiriaMamia Alasania, and Raul Eshba were captured and executed.[7]





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