Government buildings in Georgia lowered national flags to half-staff on February 25 as the country observes the day when Soviet Russia’s Red Army took over Tbilisi on this day 99 years ago.
The Day of Soviet Occupation is officially marked in Georgia after the Parliament passed a resolution in 2010 instructing the government to organize various memorial events on every February 25 to commemorate, as the decision puts it, hundreds of thousands of victims of political repressions of Communist occupational regime.
President Salome Zurabishvili laid flowers at the memorial of commander of the Georgian forces General Giorgi Kvinitadze and the military servicemen killed during the defense of Tbilisi in February, 1921.
“February 25 is not a day of defeat, because it was followed by a victory… when in 1991 independence was restored,” President Zurabishvili addressed cadets at a ceremony at the National Defense Academy of Georgia in Gori, Shida Kartli region.
The Bolshevik Red Army took over the Georgian capital on February 25, 1921 after days of heavy battle around Tbilisi. Following the weeks of war and resistance, on March 18, 1921, democratically-elected Constituent Assembly of the Republic held its last session in Batumi, deciding the government to go into exile. The Georgian government did not sign the capitulation, nor recognized the legitimacy of the Soviets.
The country restored its independence on April 9, 1991.