The following is an edited Guardian report:
Zurab Zhvania, a friend, Raul Usupov, the deputy governor of the Kvemo-Kartli region was found dead in an apartment in Tbilisi.I wish it was as easy to get rid of our PM!
"Preliminary information indicates there was a leakage of household gas from an Iranian-made heater installed in the apartment," and high levels of carbon monoxide were found in the flat. Zhvania played an important role in the "rose revolution" in November 2003 that ousted the former Soviet stalwart Eduard Shevardnadze as president and led to the pro-American presidency of Mikhail Saakashvili.
The premier was considered by some as a moderate within the administration, spearheading a crackdown on crime and corruption, and negotiating settlements with two of the republic's breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A former parliamentary speaker, he is survived by a wife and three children.
A criminal investigation and autopsy were under way as a matter of routine, but that biochemical analysis had already indicated carbon monoxide poisoning.
The prosecutor general, Zurab Adeishvili, said the American FBI would also test Mr
Zhvania's blood. More than 40 such accidents have been reported in the former
Soviet republic in the past two years.
One Georgian MP said Russia was behind the poisoning.
But it does seem that in its attempt to stitch togther a new federation of ex-soviet states the Russians are pulling out every stop with regard to dastardly and sneaky tricks. Just look at Ukrainia for a recent example. It's also true to say that our press is failing to make the connections here. No doubt the USA has its evil tentacles winding through these regions too; a reason why the Russian government need to resort to such tactics, reminiscent of the worst excesses of the Cold War.
I weigh 17 stone 4 pound now – that’ a drop of two pounds. S wants to make a bet about who can lose the most weight by June. It’ll be her of course, I’m intending to sustain about 2 pounds a week loss every week, no more.
Bought a copy of “Right Ho! Jeeves” by PG Wodhouse so I can go to the Urban 75 book group meeting on the 17th.
Also reading ‘Stasiland’ by Anne Funder – borrowed from S. It includes true life accounts by people who lived in East Germany, mainly in relation to their experiences with the secret police.
I was highly amused by something that Brian Eno said on Radio 4 today, talking to Alan Moore; he said when he talked to David Bowie they usually took on the Pete and Dud characters. “We could be Heroes, Dud”, “just for a day”.