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May 8 Vs. May 9

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, May 10
The Georgian leadership is methodically confronting soviet symbolism. The latest example of this is the attempt of substituting the 9th of May celebration of victory over fascism by the 8th of May. It is obvious that such steps are taken by the Georgian authorities because of the Russian invasion of Georgia two and half years ago. Georgians think that Russia is using its victory over fascism for promoting its own imperialistic plans. Georgians meanwhile are trying to unmask Moscow and assert Georgia's western orientation on the wider world.

Russian President Medvedev clearly is not canceling that celebration on May 9, not to respect those who died during the Second World War, but rather to demonstrate the might and strength of Russia. Thus, it has a huge impact on the nation. Medvedev also added that these occasions can show how powerful Russia is, what kind of military force it has and that it is capable of fulfilling any military tasks.

One of such tasks for the Russian armed forces was fulfilled during the invasion of Georgia in 2008 when Moscow openly occupied two regions of Georgia. What is most hypocritical is that the Kremlin always speaks about the mission of freeing the people of different regions. Strangely enough Russia always promotes itself like this, claiming that it freed Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979. Against this background it was ridiculous of them to congratulate the Georgian veterans for the victory over fascism. In his congratulatory letter the Russian President Medvedev talked about good neighborly and friendly tradition between Georgia and Russia. .

Medvedev also wished Georgia welfare and stability which of course obviously raises many questions. Officially, Tbilisi responded immediately on May 8, Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze stated that the Georgian people would not accept the Russian Presidentís congratulations. It is significant that Vashadze stated that the whole world celebrates victory over fascism on May 8, while Moscow chooses a different date. Vashadze also expressed his regret that the grandchildren of those people who defeated fascism actually applied fascist methods and forced 400 000 Georgians to abandon their houses.

The celebrations of the occasion however continued on May 9 in Georgia as well as the date is still an official holiday. Georgian officials brought flowers and a wreath to the grave of the Unknown Soldier and later hosted a reception for Second World War veterans, whose number is diminishing every year. As it is known Georgia sent more than 700 000 people to fight as soldiers in the Second World War which was almost a fifth of the Georgian population (4 million) at the time. More than half of the Georgians who fought in the war were killed. Back then Georgians fought shoulder to shoulder alongside others including Russians. Today Russians fight Georgians, this is a shame.