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Georgian Military (Senaki) Revolt (1998)


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 See also the page on the Georgia-Russia War of 2008 and Wars and Conflicts of Georgia


Links to News Stories and Web Sites on this conflict

Georgian Military Revolt (1998)
Senaki Revolt


Government of Georgia (President Eduard Shevardnadze)


Military rebels

BEGAN: October 19, 1998

ENDED: October 20, 1998

Army Rebellion


PREDECESSOR: Several Civil Wars and Army rebellions since 1989 (While still a part of the Soviet Union). Georgia gained independence in 1991.
Georgian-South Ossetian Conflict (1989-1992)

Gamsadhurdia Rebellion (1992-1993)

Abkahzia-Georgia War (1992-1993)

Abkhaz-Georgian Border Conflict (May, 1998)



Georgia-Russia War of 2008
Ever since he gained the Presidency, Eduard Shevardnadze has faced armed revolt. The man he replaced, President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, attempted to reclaim power, and the current rebels appear to be led by Akaki Eliava, who helped lead a revolt of nationalist supporters of Georgia's ousted leader, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, in 1992-93. This short-lived revolt apparently is connected to the "Zviadist" dislike of Shevardnadze and the continuing political turmoil in Georgia. Since Gamsakhurdia's death in 1993, his followers ("Zviadists") have staged occasional protests to prove their movement is still a force to reckon with.

Other theories include the influence of Georgia's northern neighbor, Russia, who may wish to keep the Caucasus nation off balance. The timing of the revolt seems suspicious as it came just before an oil consortium was preparing to decide which route a regional oil pipeline would take. The rebels revolted in an area between the national capitol of Tbilisi and the seaport of Poti, which apparently would be the terminus of an oil pipeline.

On October 19, 1998, approximately 200 Georgian soldiers left their barracks, seized the western town of Senaki and began a march in the direction the second largest city, Kutaisi. Armed with tanks and armored personnel carriers, they encountered Government troops before reaching Kutaisi.

After a brief armed clash, in which at least one rebel died, the mutineers agreed to halt their march and return to barracks. Loyal troops sought Colonel Eliava, who escaped and was charged with treason. Eliava and several of his followers continued to resist the government from the refuge of the forests until he was shot by government forces in 2000.


Further evidence that President Shevardnadze's government still faces serious internal political and military problems.
Rebels: 1 dead, 1 wounded

Government forces: No known casualties.



Internet news stories:

Georgian Troops Clash With Advancing Rebels (October 19, 1998 )

Firing Heard As Georgian Rebels Approach City (October 19, 1998 )

Artillery Fire Heard Near Western Georgia City (October 19, 1998 )

Georgian Mutineers' Tanks Roll Towards City (October 19, 1998 )

Georgia Soldiers Mutiny, Seize Tanks (October 19, 1998 )

Politics of Oil Fuels Georgia Revolt  (BBC News, Oct. 19, 1998)

Georgian Mutiny Collapses (BBC News, Oct. 20, 1998)

News from Yahoo on this conflict

CIA Factbook on Georgia--A great source of statistical and background information.

Sakartvelo-- A website dealing with the history and news of Georgia.

Please cite this source when appropriate:

Lee, R. "Georgian Military (Senaki) Revolt of 1998"

Copyright 1998-2011 Roger A. Lee; Last Modified:02.12.11

"The History Guy" is a Registered Trademark.

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