As the former Soviet Union began to dissolve in 1991, Georgia was one of the first of the soviet republics to hold elections early in that year. By the end of the year President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who had won 87 percent of the vote eight months earlier, found himself barricaded in a bunker under the grand parliament building in the center of Tbilisi, the capital. Opposition gunmen had attacked and surrounded Gamsakhurdia and his 1,200-man guard as they took refuge. After two weeks of fighting, he fled to neighboring Armenia on Jan 6, 1992, leaving behind the armed rebels drinking champagne amid a scene of heartbreaking destruction. An estimated 100 people died and 400 people were wounded. Rustaveli Prospect, said to be one of the most beautiful tree-lined thoroughfares in the former Soviet Union lay in ruins at the end of the two weeks of fighting with tanks and artillery at close range in the city center. Not all of Gamsakhurdia's supporters turned against him however and when thousands of the most ardent demonstrated for him on January 5, 1992, opposition gunmen fired into the march, killing five people. It did not stop his supporters though from turning out in mass to carry the dead to be buried.