PM Criticizes Former Government on the 15th Anniversary of the August War

On August 8, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili issued a statement commemorating the 15th anniversary of the beginning of the Russian-Georgian war in August 2008, saying that the Russian military aggression “resulted in massive human losses, forced displacement of civilians and temporary occupation of our territories, which remains a major challenge to the sovereignty and further development of our country”.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to “the bright memory of our heroic soldiers and civilians who died in the war.” He underscored the government’s steadfast commitment to the peaceful restoration of territorial integrity and the unification of the country stating he “firmly believes” that a peaceful, united, strong, and developed Georgia is the best prospect for Georgians, Ossetians, and Abkhazians.

Speaking to the media at the Mukhatgverdi Brothers’ Cemetery, the Prime Minister did not miss the opportunity to criticize Georgia’s third President and his government. In particular, he said: “I want to point out today, we have said this many times, this war could have been avoided and the former commander-in-chief showed great irresponsibility.” He said the former President’s [Mikheil Saakashvili’s] behavior was “disgraceful”, contrasting it with the remarkable heroism and self-sacrifice of the nation’s military: “You remember, chewing his tie, running because of the sound of the plane, how he fell, how he lay on the ground.” According to him, this disgrace were witnessed not only by Georgia, but also by the international community.

It is noteworthy that Garibashvili’s rhetoric regarding the third President (in particular related to a tie and falling on the ground at the sound of the airplane) is identical to that used by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Kremlin officials and so-called propagandists from the immediate aftermath of the war to the present day.

The Prime Minister also spoke of the events of August 9, mentioning the records of the Security Council meeting from that time. He alleged that the former government showed a lack of concern for its fallen heroes, the continued bombing of cities, the loss of territory and occupation.

“This is the main question that we, the society, have – why we lost the Kodori Valley without a fight, without any resistance, why we lost more than 150 settlements, why this war could not be properly prevented in time, why the risk assessment could not be made. According to Garibashvili “a small child could easily calculate this, the possible steps that would follow these provocations that happened before the war.”

According to the PM, this series of questions once again underscores that the former government was “anti-national, prioritizing its own agenda, betraying the interests of the nation, its people, and even the heroes who sacrificed for the cause”. In particular, the Garibashvili said: “Do you remember that the bodies of our heroic soldiers were abandoned in the already occupied territories? Without the involvement of the Patriarch, it would not have been possible to transfer the bodies of our heroes. This heavy legacy was left to us by the former government”.

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


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