Nine years have passed since the August War in 2008, as a result of which Georgia’s South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions were occupied by Russia.
Georgians pay tribute to fallen heroes
By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, August 9
The war also left around 170 servicemen, 14 policemen, and 228 Georgian civilians killed and 1,747 wounded.
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, along with Cabinet members, governmental officials and soldiers paid tribute to the fallen heroes of August 2008 war at the Mukhatgverdi Brothers Cemetery. According to the PM, August 8 is the toughest day in Georgia's modern history.
“I want to bow before the heroes who have lost their lives for their homeland. A candle for their memory will always be lit in the heart of the whole of Georgia," he said.
Kvirikashvili underlined that peace has no alternative and the government is doing everything to keep peace in the country.
“We are building a united, economically strong, democratic and truly European Georgia to make it a home for Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians. Of course, this war was everybody’s tragedy, so we should look at each other and we should reconcile,” he said.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili noted that nine years ago, Russian troops crossed the border of a sovereign, independent country and occupied Georgian regions.
“Russia is still trying to change these borders. Russia is trying to justify an historic injustice – the occupation of Georgia. In this attempt Russia is completely alone,” he said, adding that Georgian citizens, as well as the entire international community, do not recognize any borders, barbed wire fences, trenches or gunmen on the land of Georgia that create problems for Georgian citizens to move freely.
Levan Izoria, Georgia’s Defense Minister, stated that Georgia will never forget the names of the people who sacrificed themselves for their homeland.
“Our duty is to do everything for the welfare of our country, for the stable and peaceful development of Georgia, for the purpose our heroes sacrificed themselves,” he stated.
Georgian officials claim that despite the fact Georgian territories are still occupied, Georgia is still facing additional threats from Russia.
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that today, Russia still continues occupation of Georgia despite the August 12 ceasefire agreement, which obliges the Russian Federation to withdraw its forces from Georgian territories and reverse its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.