(Georgian Press Digest. 27.11.01. “Civil Georgia”) – A soldier was killed in the 22nd brigade of Akhaltsikhe on Sunday. Two young men of Armenian nationality suffocated him with a rope and stole two cows. Relying on the fact the Resonance writes about the awful living conditions in the Georgian army.
Military prosecutor of Akhaltsikhe region says this is not the first case of murder in the brigade. According to correspondent of Radio Liberty Koba Liklikadze, 21 solders died because of suicide, incorrect usage of weapon and other cases in 1999-2000 in Georgia. He says the reason why young people avoid military service or flee from the divisions in the starvation there.
Head of the Human Rights Defense Committee Elene Tevdoradze visited the 22nd military division several months ago. “Soldiers are afraid to talk about their problems”, she told the Resonance. She claims that social and economic conditions are unbearable in Georgian army making it impossible for soldiers to become worriers.
The paper emphasizes on the fact that the Defense Ministry and the Military Prosecutors Office are not much aware of the incident occurred on Sunday.
The paper talks about the finances essential for keeping the army functioning and which the state budget in unable to provide. According to the existing normative, the state is supposed to provide 3500-3700 GEL for each soldier but the amount provided this year is 1500-1700 GEL only. Soldiers are hardly ever trained since the money goes on feeding only.
Spokesman of the Defense Ministry Mirian Kiknadze told the Resonance that Georgian soldiers do not starve nowadays. The paper protests the statement and publishes arguments opposing it. n case social and economic conditions are not improved Georgia will not have an army at all, it says.