By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, May 27Georgia celebrates its 25th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union. Georgia has fought for many years to gain freedom from Russia, though Moscow still remains a threat to Georgia’s security and stability.
It was on May 26 1918 when Georgia first gained independence from the Russian Empire; however, it lasted only until 1921, as that year a resurgent Russia – this time flying Communist rather than imperial banners – once again took control of Georgia.
Only on April 9 1991, 2 years after the brutal dispersal of a peaceful rally in Tbilisi by Russian troops, Georgia regained its independence.
However, there remains a small group of Georgians who regret the collapse of the Soviet Union. The only way they justify their view is that they did not have to worry about income and food.
Consequently, if they lived in better economic conditions they would perhaps not recall such an oppressive time with such heartfelt nostalgia.
Georgia was a part of a big empire wherein different states were dependent on one another and it became hard for almost all of them to maintain welfare and peace after they were free from the Soviet Union.
Georgia experienced hardship and hunger, civil war and darkness during the 1990s; state structures suffered from chronic corruption and the injustice and dominance of criminal bosses.
Georgia has made significant strides in its efforts to fully modernize, but much still needs to be done.
Georgia has done much to come close to Europe; it has signed the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area deals with the European Union, and gained a Substantial Package from NATO and opened a Joint Training and Evaluation Centre with the alliance near Tbilisi. Georgian reforms are internationally recognized and praised, but still, Russia remains an obstacle to secure a better future.
Russia failed to advance its views of the geopolitical landscape and maintains the same imperialistic intentions; Russia’s leadership is also alarmed by Georgia’s efforts to join the EU and NATO.
Moscow still occupies 20% of Georgia's territory, changes borders at will, violates international laws and regulations, violates fundamental human rights and kidnaps and kills Georgians.
It is a symbolic and very tragic coincidence that on the Day of Independence, in the village of Khurcha took place, the funeral ceremony of 31-year-old Giga Otkhozoria who was shot dead by Russia’s border-guards several days ago on territory controlled by Georgia.
Georgia needs a government that will do its utmost for the country's development. Georgia should continue its progress undaunted; most of our people should care about the country first and his/her own interests afterwards. This way, Georgia will definitely celebrate a complete victory one day and regain its lost territories.