Politicians React to Ukraine War Anniversary

Georgian politicians have reacted to the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine by expressing solidarity with the friendly country. Although invited to the events marking the war anniversary, the official Georgian delegation did not travel to Kyiv. President Salome Zurabishvili criticized the government, and the latter cited the “barriers” created by the Ukrainian government’s openly declared positions for its participation in certain formats. Some opposition politicians, including the leaders of the National Movement, Lelo and Droa arrived in Ukraine to express solidarity.

Below is a compilation of the remarks made by the ruling party and the opposition:

Ruling party reacts

Irakli Garibashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia: “One year has passed since Russia unleashed this destructive and absolutely unjustified war against Ukraine. You know that the Georgian people have stood by the Ukrainian people since the very beginning of this war. We have received thousands of Ukrainians in Georgia. We have supported our Ukrainian sisters and brothers as much as possible. We have co-sponsored the UN resolution. In addition, on my instructions, the Foreign Minister visited New York, where he participated in the events held within the framework of the UN General Assembly dedicated to the war in Ukraine. We reaffirmed our solidarity, expressed our position. We support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, we want this war to end as soon as possible. This is our main message. Let me say that we have joined more than 400 resolutions, statements in the last year. We have expressed our support for the Ukrainian people on all platforms.”

Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of Georgian Dream: “One year ago, Ukraine was struck by a great tragedy. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, including more than 450 children died in the war. 16 million Ukrainians became refugees. The war destroyed Ukraine’s economy and infrastructure. We said before the war that the international community had to do its best not to allow this war and to avoid this great tragedy. Unfortunately, Russia’s military aggression took place. Ukrainian servicemen and volunteers are fighting heroically to protect the independence and territorial integrity of their own country. I salute their heroism and self-sacrifice! I wish our friendly Ukrainian people independence and restoration of its territorial integrity! Слава Україні!”

Shalva Papuashvili, Parliament Speaker: “Today marks one year since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. A year of destruction, pain, thousands of dead civilians, ruined present and future for millions of people, the greatest aggression of our generation. At the same time, tomorrow is the 102nd anniversary of the annexation of the First Republic of Georgia by the Red Army. At that time, the world turned a blind eye to the violent suppression of the aspirations of Georgia and other nations. After 102 years, history is repeating itself. In the form of a war in Ukraine, the world is facing a challenge of the same scale, the same mistake should not be repeated, Ukraine of 2022 should not become Georgia of 1921. Since the beginning of the war, Georgia has stood unwaveringly and unconditionally by the side of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people… Yesterday, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that we co-authored, and in the spirit of this resolution, we demand from this rostrum that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Ukraine and respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. I wish Ukraine and the Ukrainian people victory in their heroic struggle for freedom. Slava Ukraini.”

Opposition reacts

The United National Movement: “A true symbol of freedom, dignity and courage, the capital and heart of Ukraine, the city of Kyiv, one year after the beginning of the Russian aggression, still stands as a true citadel of the civilized world! As a result of the heroic sacrifices of the Ukrainian people, the exemplary leadership of President Zelenskyy, and the unprecedented consolidation of the free world, the fall of Putin’s empire has become inevitable, after which freedom-loving nations will soon be given the opportunity to live and develop peacefully on their own lands. Georgian people support goodness, Ukraine and their own free future in this civilizational conflict. Georgian heroes are fighting and dying on Ukrainian land for the dignified future of Georgia. We believe that the struggle will definitely bring results, the evil will definitely be defeated! Glory to those who protect the freedom of the motherland at the cost of their lives! Glory to Ukraine! Слава Україні! Glory to the heroes! Героям слава!”

Giorgi Gakharia, leader of For Georgia party: “A year ago, Russia thought it would conquer Ukraine in three days. After one year, Ukraine is strong, invincible and even closer to Europe. Ukraine’s victory is Georgia’s victory. I am sure that together we will get closer to the European family faster. We stand by Ukraine!”

Mamuka Khazaradze, leader of Lelo for Georgia: “We are now in Irpin, where the war began a year ago… Ukraine will definitely win in this war. Let our solidarity prove that the Georgian nation, the Georgian people will always stand, where a friend needs it. Today, we stand by the Ukrainians. Ukraine will definitely win this year and we will celebrate freedom and independence together with this excellent nation. I wish Ukraine success.”

Zurab Japaridze, Girchi – More Freedom: “Now, at this moment, there is a war in Ukraine, we are watching live how the country is defeating our two centuries-old enemy. How can we not study this? How could the Georgian military not be there now and study how Ukraine is defeating Russia? Be it at the headquarters level, or at the strategic level, be it at the tactical level, or at the operational level, what kind of weapons they are using… we need all this to protect ourselves! We are losing that opportunity right now.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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