WWI-Type Gas Used on Protesters in Soviet Georgia, Health Aide Says

From Reuters

Soviet troops broke up a demonstration in Soviet Georgia earlier this month with a poison gas last used by Germany with devastating effect in World War I, a senior Georgian scientist has said.

Mikhail Vashakidze, the chief toxicologist at the Georgian Health Ministry, said its use against demonstrators in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi was a “stab in the back” for the Kremlin at a time when it is pressing for destruction of chemical weapons around the world.

Georgian officials have said that at least two of the 20 people killed in the clash died from the effects of poison gas while others were killed by shovels and clubs.


In an interview with the Georgian Communist Party daily Zarya Vostoka, Vashakidze identified the dangerous chemical substance in the gas as chloroacetophenone.

“This substance was used by German troops twice in the course of the First World War against the troops of the Entente (Russia, France and Britain),” he said in the Thursday edition of the newspaper, which reached Moscow on Sunday.

Kremlin authorities say the soldiers fired ordinary tear gas, which may contain chloroacetophenone.