On the 5th anniversary of the Georgian-Russian War of August 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (MFA) released a statement saying that the Russian armed forces still continue the occupation of 20% of Georgia's territory “in flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of international law."
Politicians pay tribute to the heroes of the August War
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, August 8
According to the MFA, “this has been encouraged by Russia's persistent efforts to obtain the recognition of Georgia's occupied regions under its effective control and heavy military presence, including through the active application of political, military and economic levers.”
The MFA also said that the Georgian government’s “goal is to resolve the existing conflict with Russia in a peaceful manner through negotiations based on the principles of international law.”
The anniversary of the war, which caused the death of hundreds of soldiers and dozens of policemen, and which has left over 20, 000 citizens’ homeless, is annually celebrated in Georgia.
One of the remembrance events was held on the communal grave of Mukhatgverdi, where Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, said that discussion about who started the war in 2008 are absolute nonsense, because as he said, the war did not start in 2008, but it was a part of the war, which had started long ago by Russia.
Presidential candidate of the United National Movement (UNM), Davit Baqradze, who also paid tribute to the fallen soldiers, said it is not only “a huge day of pain, but also a day of pride.”
“Because 5 years ago, the Georgian army proved that they are worthy opponents and it is their merit that the Georgian flag is still hanging over Georgia,” Bakradze stated.
Later the UNM held a rally of torches over the Castle of Gori. Defence Minister, Irakli Alasania and his wife hosted the children of soldiers who died in the war, gave them sweets and invited to them to attend the attractions at Mtatsminda Park.
Alasania said they not only remember the fallen soldiers, but also follow their official duties before their families. According to Alasania, the Georgian government will take care of the children in the future too. The government plans to send kids to different health resort zones and in the future, finance their education. On August 8, the Ministry of Defence plans further events dedicated to the August War at Mukhatgerdi cemetery as well as large-scale trainings at different polygons.
Minister of the Internal Affairs (MIA), Irakli Gharibashvili, gave memorable gifts to the children of policemen who died in the war, including bicycles, iPods, iPhones and other accessories. On transferring new cars to the patrol officers in Kakheti on August 6, the Minister hoped that soon the Georgian police would be able to work in a united Georgia.