Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies

Posted: Updated:
President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia is shown during a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, not shown, at the Pentagon in 1997. (Source: DOD) President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia is shown during a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, not shown, at the Pentagon in 1997. (Source: DOD)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • AP Analysis: Putin digs in for long Ukraine fight

    AP Analysis: Putin digs in for long Ukraine fight

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:04:20 GMT
    Riding a wave of military gains by pro-Russia rebels, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it exceedingly clear that he wants a peace deal for Ukraine on his terms and will not be stopped by economic costs.More >>
    Riding a wave of military gains by pro-Russia rebels, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it exceedingly clear that he wants a peace deal for Ukraine on his terms and will not be stopped by economic costs.More >>
  • Tiny Estonia seeks strong support from Obama

    Tiny Estonia seeks strong support from Obama

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:03:01 GMT
    Spooked by Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Estonia is hoping for a strong signal of support from President Barack Obama when he arrives Wednesday in a country that two decades ago had Russian troops on its soil.More >>
    Spooked by Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Estonia is hoping for a strong signal of support from President Barack Obama when he arrives Wednesday in a country that two decades ago had Russian troops on its soil.More >>
  • After Gaza war, poll finds support for Hamas rises

    After Gaza war, poll finds support for Hamas rises

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:02:52 GMT
    A Palestinian opinion poll suggests Hamas' popularity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has risen dramatically following its war against Israel.More >>
    The popularity of the Hamas militant group among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday.More >>
(RNN) – Eduard Shevardnadze, the first president of Georgia, died Monday.

The 86-year-old died after a long illness, his assistant reported to the Associated Press.

He became the Soviet Union's minister of foreign affairs in 1985 under reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Shevardnadze was a reformer himself, according to the BBC. His tenure took place in a rapidly changing world, and he was able to oversee a transformation in Soviet foreign policy that led to withdrawal from Afghanistan and Central Europe and a reduction in nuclear weapons.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Shevardnadze became the first head of state of newly independent Georgia in 1992.

Shevardnadze was initially a popular leader, who helped guide his country through the chaos following the collapse of the USSR. However, the president was forced to resign after a November 2003 revolt over disputed election results, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow