Georgian citizens marked the 27th anniversary of the April 9 tragedy, when Soviet forces dispersed a peaceful demonstration of young people in the center of Tbilisi on April 9, 1989.
Georgia commemorated April 9
By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, April 11
Every April 9, Georgians gather at the memorial located in front of the old Parliament building in Tbilisi to pay tribute to the victims. 20 people were killed during April 9 peaceful demonstration, when they were demanding the country’s independence from the Soviet regime.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, cabinet members and other officials brought flowers at the April 9 memorial on Rustaveli Avenue. The ministers talked about the historical importance of 9 April and underlined that the day was a precondition for the independence of Georgia.
According to the PM, April 9 will always remain as the story of young heroes, who fought for the independence of Georgia.
“This is one of the most tragic days in the history of Georgia, when a lot of young Georgians tried to stop the Soviet machine with their bare hands. This was an act of self-sacrifice,” Kvirikashvili stated.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili attended the exhibition dedicated to 9 April in the Old Parliament of Georgia. He also laid a wreath at the memorial of April 9 heroes.
“We are celebrating April 9 as a victory of the Georgian soul against the Russian totalitarian Soviet machine, and today we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our independence,” said the President.
Moreover, April 9 is the day of double importance in the recent history of Georgia. On April 9 1991, the Georgian legislative body passed a declaration of independence based on the results of the March 31 1991 referendum, when the majority of Georgians voted to withdraw from the Soviet Union.
The demonstration in 1989 began on April 4th, when a group of students went on hunger strike. They were joined by several hundred people later. On April 9, 1989, at 4 a. m. special task units of the Soviet army, commanded by General Rodionov, attacked the protesters. The Soviet troops also used toxic poisons against the peaceful demonstrators. Sixteen demonstrators were killed on the scene, four died later from injuries, while hundreds of others were injured or poisoned and hospitalized.