By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Monday, February 26
During the last seven years, on every February 25, state flags are flying at half mast, a moment of silence is observed and various activities are held to honor the victims of Soviet occupation. Public and private organizations refrain from holding massive entertainment events. This is defined by the Georgian Parliament resolution about the Soviet Occupation of Georgia, adopted on 21 July 2010.
The resolution about the Soviet Occupation of Georgia is based on the following basic aspects:
- In January 1921, Soviet Russia violated The Moscow Agreement of May 7, 1920, according to which, it had unconditionally recognized Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and had committed to non-interference in its internal affairs. Soviet troops invaded the Democratic Republic of Georgia;
– On February 25 of the same year, the Russian Red Army occupied Tbilisi and subsequently annexed the Democratic Republic of Georgia;
– The communist occupational regime, established as a result of the annexation, took lives of hundreds of thousands of Georgian citizens and seized their properties;
– In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of the independence of Georgia, the successor of the Soviet empire – the Russian Federation –refuses to recognize the fact of the occupation until today;
The plan of occupying Georgia consisted of several parts. The Red Army invaded Georgia from the territories of Armenia and Azerbaijan. At the same time, the attack was planned from the Mamisoni Pass and Roki Tunnel. Finally, after several days of clashes near Tbilisi, on February 25, the Red Army entered the capital. Breaching of the Moscow Agreement of May 7, 1920, and various other occasions since then, proved that violation of its own international resolutions is ordinary for Russian Federation.
Changes in the Geopolitical situation at the beginning of the XX century helped Russia fulfill its imperial ambitions. Before the occupation of Georgia, in 1920, the Soviet Army occupied Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Turkish Kemalist government, that needed Russia’s help, supported the Soviet policy in the Caucasus. As a result, after 3 years of regaining independence in 1918, Georgia was re-occupied again in 1921.
Despite 70 years of Soviet occupation and political repression, Georgia managed to maintain its identity and restore independence in 1991.
In its statement about the Soviet Occupation Day, the US embassy underscored the resilience of Georgian spirit: “Despite the ensuing 70-year Soviet Occupation, the resilient Georgian spirit was never broken. The U.S. is proud to partner with Georgia to continue supporting a nation that is sovereign and free,“ reads the statement of the US embassy.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili spoke about Georgia’s aspiration to be established as a democratic state:
“Soviet regime sacrificed our country's democratic development and the lives of thousands of our compatriots. Despite this, the idea of liberty and independence has never been forgotten in our country and fighting for these values has never stopped. Today Georgia is an independent, democratic country, but part of it is still occupied. We will never tolerate this and will use all the possible tools to peacefully unite our country,” said Kvirikashvili.