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Former high-ranking ‘Mkhedrioni’ paramilitary shot in Tbilisi

by | February 7, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A woman who served in a banned paramilitary force in the 1990s and her son was shot in Tbilisi Wednesday morning. Dodo Gugeshashvili (59), a former high-ranking member of the Mkhedrioni paramilitary group, sustained a wound to her chest and was hospitalized. Her son, 32 year old Nodar Gusgeshashvili, was also shot in the attack and died on the spot. The shooting occurred at Gugeshashvili’s flat in Dighomi, an uptown neighborhood in the west of Tbilisi. No other details are available so far. Mkhedrioni, which literally means “cavalry” in English, was a paramilitary force established in late 1980s by former thief-in-law, Jaba Ioseliani. At its peak in 1992-93 the unit consisted of 7,000 fighters and associate members. It played a key role in ousting President Zviad Gamsakhurdia in 1992 and the subsequent civil war where it was notorious for war crimes and mass looting. Mkhedrioni fought both in the war in Abkhazia and the war in South Ossetia. Apart from fighting, it was also notorious for being involved in mafia-style business in Tbilisi and other parts of Georgia, as well as political assassinations.

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