Georgia Marks 102 Years Since Soviet Russia Took Over Tbilisi

Government buildings in Georgia lowered their national five-cross flags to half-mast on 25 February as the country marks the anniversary of the Soviet occupation and fall of Tbilisi 102 years ago.

Units of the 11th Red Army of Soviet Russia invaded Georgia on the night of February 11-12, 1921, leading to the fall of the capital on February 25 and the eventual occupation of the whole of Georgia.

The occupation and annexation came despite Moscow’s recognition of Georgian independence and sovereignty some nine months earlier in May 1920.

Georgia regained its independence on April 9, 1991.

The Day of Soviet Occupation is officially commemorated in Georgia after the Parliament passed a resolution in 2010 instructing the government to organize various commemorative events on every February 25 to commemorate victims of political repressions of communist occupational regime.

Remarks by Georgian leaders

On the occasion of the Soviet Occupation Day, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, accompanied by Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili and Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze visited Kojori and laid a wreath at the cadets’ memorial.

Earlier, Prime Minister Garibashvili reacted to the Occupation Day in a Facebook post, without mentioning the occupation or Russia. “February 25, 1921 is one of the most tragic events in our history, which claimed the lives of many of our compatriots: young cadets, members of the armed forces, volunteers, and peaceful civilians, and changed the course of the country’s development for many decades,” the PM said.

“And today it is precisely this historical truth, and the example of heroes who sacrificed their lives for the homeland, that leads us to new victories, to the unification and strengthening of the country,” he added.

“102 years ago, in these places, and elsewhere in Georgia, fierce struggles for independence and freedom of Georgia were underway,” –said Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, noting that “unfortunately, at that time, the international community turned a blind eye to Russia’s attempts to conquer other nations. Years have passed, Georgia has gained independence, but this occupation still continues.”

“It is the duty of our generation that the government and the society act to end the occupation, unite Georgia and ensure our independence and freedom,” Papuashvili said.

The presidential administration responded to the Occupation Day with a brief statement on the lowering the national flag. Later, Davit Tevzadze, the president’s chief adviser on strategic planning, laid a wreath at the memorial to the cadets who died in the battle of Kojor-Tabakhmela.

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


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