The messenger logo

25 years pass from Fall of Sokhumi

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 28
Twenty-five years have passed from the day when the central Georgian government lost control of its western Abkhazia region, the region now occupied by Russia.

Georgian top officials arrived at the memorial of fallen heroes in central Tbilisi yesterday to show their respect to the souls of the people who were killed in the armed conflict in 90ies.

Military confrontation in Abkhazia began on August 14, 1992. Military activities lasted for 13 months and 13 days and ended with the fall of Sokhumi on September 27, 1993.

The US embassy to Georgia released a statement, in which they commemorated the tragic day for the Georgian nation and people.

“Today, we remember and honor all those who perished in Sokhumi massacre on this day in 1993. Today marks 25 years after the fall of Sokhumi. As a result of this war, tens of thousands lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were displaced internally.

On September 27, we honor those who died and extend our deepest sympathies to their families,” the US embassy statement reads.

Between 13,000 to 20,000 ethnic Georgians and about 3,000 Abkhaz have been reported killed, more than 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced and about 2,000 are considered missing.

Armed conflict in Abkhazia began in August 1992 when Georgia's Armed Forces, intending to defend the Sochi-Enguri section of the railway, were confronted by Abkhaz armed forces.

The Abkhaz militant group involved Russian soldiers and was created under the order of the head of the Supreme Council of Abkhazia, Vladislav Ardzinba, near Okhurei Village in Ochamchire district.

In response, the State Council of Georgia decided to send the National Gvardia [another soldier unit controlled by Tbilisi] to Abkhazia to challenge the militant group.

This caused tension and hostilities in the region.

In July 1993 both sides agreed to the ‘Sochi Agreement on Ceasefire and Separation of Forces’ however about two months later the Abkhaz violated the ceasefire deal and launched their attack on Sokhumi.

The Abkhaz-Russian forces started their attack on the building of the Council of Ministers of Abkhazia in the morning of September 27, 1993. They captured and killed Chairman Zhiuli Shartava, Sokhumi Mayor Guram Gabeskiria and 27 employees of the Council of Ministers.

On the same day, Sokhumi collapsed and the war ended.