For over a year commitments in Britain prevented my return to Tbilisi. During this time I received news of the changes from Georgian emigrés arriving in London, with growing apprehension. They reported, with typical cheerfulness, “well at least life in Tbilisi can’t get any worse.” Then of course it did. When the war in Ossetia dwindled to a stalemate, the battle for Rustaveli Avenue erupted. When that ended, the new Abkhazian debacle began — as if the ending of one only generated the next, or some diabolical force merely redirected tragedy, region to region. Meanwhile the story of modern Georgia became a fairy tale in reverse as the economy collapsed. In 1992 gross domestic product fell in real terms by 40.3 per cent; in 1993 by 39 per cent; in 1994 by 35 per cent (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development figures).
KeywordsYoung Shoot Fairy Tale Seventh Century Carat Gold Army Base
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