Georgian Prime Minister dead

Zurab Zhvania, the Prime Minister of Georgia, has been found dead in a flat in Tbilisi apparently from gas poisoning. Initial reports suggest that it’s an accident (carbon monoxide poisoning from dodgy heating equipment would be my guess) rather than assassination, but I’ll update with more information as it becomes available.

10 thoughts on “Georgian Prime Minister dead

  1. Sorry,
    I am stunned that anyone would think this was an accident. Two mature intelligent politicans who can’t smell leaking gas and don’t know how to get out of a house or break a window. Come off it, the obvious speed at which they died leaves open assasination and erm……assasination.
    Collie

  2. I’m affraid, dear Collie, that a lot of clever adults die like this each year. In western Europe, it’s added a special gas that smell really hard to avoid that kind of deaths.

  3. Carbon monoxide is completely odorless. Natural gas is as well, but a scent is added to it – hence you can ‘smell’ gas from a leaking pipe or pilot that goes out.

    This was an tragic accident.

  4. Natural gas is mostly methane with traces of ethane and carbon dioxide – it’s not toxic. They add a trace of hydrogen sulphide, which has a strong smell (and is toxic – but not in such small quantities) so you can smell a leak. But this is not to avoid poisoning (you would need to fill the room in order to die from asphyxia) but to avoid a gas-air explosion.
    Coal gas, which used to be used in homes, consists mainly of methane, ethane and carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide is toxic: it bonds irreversibly to haemoglobin to form carboxyhaemoglobin, thus gradually reducing the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen.
    So I would assume that the problem was a poorly maintained stove. Incomplete combustion of natural gas produces carbon monoxide. I doubt that Ukraine still runs on coal gas.
    You would notice if you were asphyxiating through the room filling with natural gas – you would feel increasing difficulty in breathing, tightness of chest, chest pain etc. But CO poisoning simply makes you drowsy, and eventually you drift asleep.
    Of course, none of this is to rule out assassination.

  5. Not on point but news nonetheless:

    Yulia Tymoshenko was confirmed by the Rada today by a vote of 373-0 at 14:58. The CPU (Communist Party) abstained. All major parties, in rapid succession, stood and spoke in support. The CPU also called for street demonstration demanding the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Iraq.

    The Orange Revolution, from a political standpoint, is now complete. Policy formulation and implementation will be far, far more difficult. But, it is a great day here.

    Note to several oligarchs: start you jets’ engines.

  6. Ken, point taken, but some of the reports I’ve heard have mentioned that it’s fairly common for the Iranian heater that was in the apartment to be installed poorly. As inclined as I am to believe that something nefarious has happened, I have a hard time positing ill motives where incompetence is sufficient.

    In the latest news, Georgia has requested the assistance of the FBI.

  7. I think we now have the definitive insight into the real reasons for the Iraq war. Try these links:

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/fromthefield/218275/110736089491.htm
    http://afr.com/cgi-bin/newtextversions.pl?pagetype=printer&path=/articles/2005/02/01/1107020359157.html

    Of course, there are those who regard a missing $8.8 billion as mere chicken feed. And they have a credible position. After all:

    “The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn’t account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes. . . ”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/05/18/MN251738.DTL

    All of which only goes to show that miltary spending is a welfare system of a kind.

    Now that Alastair Campbell is back on Tony Blair’s payroll, perhaps he can produce a dossier or two explaining where the missing $8.8 billion has gone to.

  8. I hope we won`t hear any other news about poisonings in nearest future. Seems to be a nice way of getting rid of politicians.

    Our Ukrainian president should have better guards, otherwise he will not see democratic changes…

Comments are closed.