Abkhazian nuclear bomb?
23/06/2010 11:24
Levan Kiknadze

Article by Savely Kashnitsky "Abkhazian nuclear bomb" that was published in № 24 issue of Argumenti y Facti newspaper on 16 June, is a continuation of the information war that the Kremlin is conducting against Georgia, as the Club of Experts repeatedly wrote. It should be noted that expectations of those who ordered this article were, as in other similar cases, justified. Flashy headline caught our attention as, probably, of many others. To be honest given the headline of the article we expected it to be some kind of absurdity. But we really did not expect that such a respectable newspaper would have given its space to a journalist with such sick mentality - a man who would go to any lengths to please his masters in "shoulder straps". We understand that in the atmosphere of unprecedented pressure of Russian authorities on the press, as well as on the entire information space of Russia, it is difficult to find a happy medium where, as they say, the wolves are sated and the sheep intact. But to unconditionally fulfill all orders, no matter where they come from and knowing that this would definitely have negative impact on the image is just shameless.

If Argumenti y Facti newspaper wanted to know the truth and to avoid appearing ridiculous by publishing stories of the journalist-adventurer, its editorial staff could have seen the article on our website titled "Russia turns Abkhazia into burial place of radioactive waste" which concerns the Sukhumi Physical-Technical Institute, and researches conducted there at one time. We told that "during the war in Abkhazia territories of the institute were in real danger of being bombed or shelled, which could have caused leakage of radioactive substances that were present at the site and, respectively, an environmental catastrophe. In the spring of 1993, at the initiative of the state security service of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic, an inventory of these substances was carried out (all radioactive substances, including enriched uranium, cesium in large quantities, etc. were ascertained) and they were placed in a specially reinforced storage. As situation was deteriorating around Sukhumi, on demand of security services and by decision of the management of SFTI, remaining radioactive substances were concentrated in Sinop storage and control over it was transferred to the head of the control regime of SFTI Viktor Zaitsev. An act was also drawn up on this fact".

Needless to say, that there was no nuclear bomb and no secret underwater tunnel in SPTI.

I wonder why Mr. Kashnitsky, who was for some reason sent to Sukhumi exactly during holiday season and who wrote about rumours about a nuclear bomb and a secret tunnel, did not take interest and did not ask anybody: what happened to the radioactive waste from burial places of SPTI? And, as we've written, what happened was the following: "In an uncontrollable situation of the period after the war of 1992-1993 removal of radioactive substances from the burial grounds of the Institute was started. This was done by the head of the control regime of SFTI Zaitsev with the assistance of KGB officer G. Bazba and head of the warehouse of nuclear substances Tatiana Tarkil, as well as close relatives of Vladislav Ardzinba - Levan and Aka Ardzinba, head of the security service of V. Ardzinba - Valmer Butba, and one of the commanders of the Abkhazian Guard, currently a member of the Abkhazian Parliament Pavel Leshchuk. Radioactive substances that were placed in special containers were shipped, mainly from the ports of Sukhumi and Ochamchire, as well as through Sochi and Zugdidi. After the war the unit of Abkhazian state security intelligence that was operating in Tbilisi, obtained operational information concerning facts of theft of radioactive substances from burial places of SFTI, on the basis of which the Georgian side had repeatedly and officially appealed to the leadership of Russia to form a competent commission, which, together with Georgian specialists would have examined this issue. Four years later, at last, a delegation of the Ministry of Atomic Energy of Russia visited Sukhumi. Of course, Georgian experts were not admitted into working group.

The delegation had found neither uranium nor other radioactive substances in the burial place. The question as to when and for what purpose the substances had been removed was left unanswered. However, it was the first time in the world when disappearance of 655 grams of up to 90-96 % enriched uranium-235 was confirmed and that fact drew a wide international response. Experts working on issues of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, found it possible that these missing substances might be used for creation of the most dangerous nuclear weapons".

If Argumenti y Facti newspaper is really concerned about proliferation of radioactive waste and nuclear bomb, it would not have sent Kashnitsky to collect stories and rumours but would have charged his correspondent to establish the truth instead of tainting its own image.

In the end, we do not want to leave unanswered another absurdity that was interpreted in its own way by storyteller Kashnitsky. He writes that supposedly "independent Abkhazia possesses nuclear weapons; that was a reason, he says, why the war broke out between Georgia and the unrecognized state and why Georgians were so desirous to seize Sukhumi". We have already expressed our opinion about bombs and underwater tunnels. And to understand that Abkhazia has always been a part of Georgia and remains to this day ,as well as the fact that we, unlike Russia, has not fought an expansionist war one needs just basic knowledge of the contemporary history of Georgia. But storyteller Kashnitsky and its masters do not like that kind of truth. It is evident even from a passage about "capture of Sukhumi" where everything is upside down. Because it were Russian guns that shelled and Russian planes that bombed the city, which was defended by Georgians, most of whom were local residents. And only thanks to defenders of Sukhumi environmental disaster was avoided which could have happened as a result of bombing of SPTI and consequent leakage of radioactive substances.

P.S. If editorial staff of the Argument y Facti newspaper expresses desire for more detailed analysis of all of this, we can tell about what kind of secret researches were being conducted in secret laboratories of SPTI and what happened to them after the collapse of the Soviet Union since, we affirm, SFTI was really a closed (controlled-access) facility and was fully controlled by security services.


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