Recently, British professor George Hewitt - known lobbyist of the Abkhazian separatism - complained on British publishers in Sukhumi. "The son-in-law of Abkhazians" admitted that he could not find anyone in the United Kingdom, who was willing to publish his book on conflicts in Georgia - because of its one-sided approach i.e. political bias. Professor Hewitt is quite well-known to Georgians. After all it was in Tbilisi where his career has begun. It was capital of Georgia were he met his Abkhazian wife and surprised both his and her family and friends. We discussed recent adventures of George Hewitt with the president of the Club of Experts, former deputy head of State Department intelligence of Georgia and former security minister of Abkhazia, General Levan Kiknadze.
- Mister Kiknadze, what do you think about George Hewitt’s visit to Sukhumi and his meeting with Abkhazian leader Alexander Ankvab? The professor promises soon to publish his book - but at the same time, he talks about refusal of British publishers to work with him ...
- It's nice to know that in the UK attitude to the publishing business is still serious, and they will not publish knowingly biased "scientific work", essence of which is politics, not science. After all, Mr. Hewitt himself told Abkhazians that a reason he had received refusals is one-sidedness of the work - only from the standpoint of Sukhumi and Tskhinvali. Given his past "masterpieces" we are well aware what the professor could have writen. Russia has been pushing this propaganda for twenty years now so the world will not lose much if George Hewitt’s creation does not see the light.
Something else is interesting. Our London-based Caucasian linguistics and ethnic relations scholar as he now calls himself, was once a Kartvelolog (scholar of Kartvelian studies i.e. Georgian linguistics) - and was proud of it. Then he himself removed Kartvelology scholar from his titles. “Scientific” activities of Mr. Hewitt were rated by fellow linguists, and he was elected to the British Academy. I do not know what scientific achievements led to such honour. Perhaps British scientists have been misled by pseudo-research of George Hewitt - who seems to have decided to move to conflict studies and often writes about conflicts in Georgia. And the way he writes about it is extremely biased and one-sided. At that, he allows himself to claim that if someone does not like content of his articles they should not read it but entertain themselves with other materials.
Indeed, it is better to spend time on something entertaining rather than fray one’s nerves over Hewitt’s nonsense. But then this "work" is designed for people unfamiliar with the subject and, over time, it has lost all relevance. Even Abkhazian separatists, who once were so proud of their British son-in-law, got pretty bored. Otherwise, how to explain the fact that George Hewitt who specially arrived to Abkhazia to ask for money for publication of his manuscript received a diplomatic refusal from Ankvab. Hewitt arrived to Sukhumi and instead of presenting a copy of his book to the Abkhazian leader he demanded a very large sum for publication of a collection of nonsense written by him over the years. What could Ankvab have done? He could not break rules of Caucasian hospitality and bid farewell to the professor presenting him with souvenirs. Though such guest deserved to be taken by the collar and sent packing.
- Tell us about Hewitt in more details. What is the reason of anti-Georgian activities of the British professor?
- To avert accusations that I, as an old security officer, always see "agents" everywhere I will try to tell Hewitt’s story in Georgia without going beyond logical reasoning. Let’s assume that, at the time he found out about Georgia from somewhere, developed an interest, and decided to study Kartvelology independently. For some reason, he wanted to study history, culture and language of a small nation almost unknown to the world at the time, which was lost somewhere inside the huge Soviet empire. One can even assume that a year later he was really fascinated by post-graduate student of the Tbilisi State University Zaira Khiba whose family was known in Ochamchire for their hate for Georgians. One cannot ignore the fact that afterwards - to the surprise and suspicions of friends - the couple had a green light always and everywhere - despite the fact that at that time marriage to a foreigner without special authorization was tantamount to end of a career.
Let’s assume also that the 27-year-old "youth" - blinded by love for his Abkhazian wife and enraptured by hospitality of newly-acquired Abkhazian relatives – was easily influenced by the separatists. His promotion was helped by fathers of anti-Georgian, misanthropic ideology who at the time had firmly taken roots in the Abkhazian Institute of Language and Literature.
After the tragedy in Tbilisi in April 9, 1989, and on the 13th anniversary of his marriage, George Hewitt published "Open Letter to Georgians" - anti-Georgian contents of which, in fact, contribute to further exacerbation of the situation. Many lines of this letter were written under dictation and the latter fact was confirmed by conclusions of other British scholars of the Kartvelian studies. As the western press wrote then Hewitt’s article was against the interests of the UK and there was someone behind Hewitt! Apparently, someone had paid him a lot of money. Although actions of the young scientist raised suspicions that the West benefited from any variants to destabilize the Soviet republics - in particular, Georgia - if they contributed to the collapse of the USSR.
However, if we consider actions of George Hewitt regarding Georgia in the context of measures characteristic of the KGB, then however we try he cannot be seen as a private citizen even one gripped by an ardent desire to selflessly defend and sympathize with Abkhazians. All the more that this assumption is reinforced by familiarity with methods that were traditionally used by the Soviet KGB with foreigners - whatever the mission they arrived with in the Soviet Union.
For Soviet security services Hewitt and its foreign counterparts were a priori ideological saboteurs from the West. Given this, the KGB leadership put all human intelligence and operational activities under special control – activities carried out with regards to these people by local bodies of state security. Operational cases of foreigners mainly included information on the activities of each of them. Security services kept track of all their contacts with the scientific community, their public and private interests, strengths and weaknesses, compromising materials, etc. The collected data were analyzed in the First Main Intelligence Directorate (PGU) of the central KGB. And the latter used to make a decision, which defined the main directions for further operative work regarding these individuals.
- Are you saying that George Hewitt was recruited by the Soviet KGB and followed their instructions?
- I am saying that Hewitt’s actions with regards to Georgia very likely indicate to his connection with the security services of the Soviet Union and its successor - Russia. My experience, gained over decades of work in various high rank positions in the security services, allows me to say this.
- What may the manuscript that Hewitt brought with him to Abkhazia contain?
- Of course, Hewitt, who is full of fake history, once again will try to draw a picture of "desperation of Abkhazians in conditions of Georgia colonialism", describe their "selfless struggle for independence". Naturally, "worthy" place in this writings will be assigned to Vladislav Ardzinba in the work of achieving victory in "the Abkhazian patriotic war". Presumably the work will include his articles and remarks and it probably was dictated by “duty” before his Abkhazian relatives - or more likely – by demands of supposed "masters" to add something new to this "scientific study".
For example, something similar to what Hewitt wrote in Guardian on February 25, 2010: “the election of Vladimir Putin as Yeltsin's successor brought about a change... President Dmitry Medvedev then promptly corrected Russia's mistake in recognizing Georgia's Soviet frontiers". I am sure that earlier remarks of the professor that Britain and the West made a "fateful mistake" by supporting the territorial integrity of Georgia, its membership in the UN and other international organizations at the time will also be included in the book.
Incidentally, this "great scholar" even today urges Western countries to persuade Tbilisi "to face reality" and give up ancient regions of Georgia that were seized through the ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population (what a coincidence with the position of official Russia).
- Mister Kiknadze, before activities of Hewitt fomented separatism in other parts of Georgia - especially in Samegrelo. Who needs this?
- I think it’s pretty obvious. Fomentation of separatism and conflicts in Georgia are in interests of those who for two centuries have been pursuing the divide and rule policy in our country. During one of his visits to occupied Abkhazia George Hewitt gave an interview to the Gal newspaper that is published by the Abkhazian separatists in Abkhazian and Mingrelian languages. In this interview, he made a "sensational scientific discovery" and said that Mingrelian language is a independent language and deserves special status. One would think that nature of the Mingrelian language is something new to Georgia where study into the subject has begun long before the British professor.
But all this talk about the "special status" is another matter. Mr. Hewitt has clearly embarked on a new "historic mission". Probably, having done with Abkhazians, he now seeks to liberate "unfortunate Mingrelians" from the "Georgian oppression". Although throughout history Mingrelians have lived happily in a single Georgian family, have not lost their language, and may well demand answers from the British "scientist" for such unceremonious interference in their lives. I can assure you that none of us wants another "liberation" with the help of "democratic Russia” - the one that with the hands of Abkhazians arranged ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia and in the first place those very Mingrelians that made up majority of Georgian refugees, the one which for decades has been engaged in yet another genocide of peoples of the North Caucasus.
Of course, George Hewitt does not see all this - for the simple reason that "the son-in-law of Abkhazians" does not need this. After all, he cannot give up life ensured by the Russian KGB. It will be destroyed like a house of cards the second Hewitt dares to get out of their control. But if he were independent in his actions and decisions, if he was to really feel for Abkhazians - he would have fought the Russian occupation of Georgia, would have fought for genuine liberation of that deceived people.