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Georgian PM, President Pay tribute to August war heroes

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 9
After 11 years from August war 2008, Georgian officials arrived at Mukhatgverdi Brothers’ Cemetery to pay tribute to the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives while protecting their country.

Georgian Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze stressed at the memorial of fallen heroes that the occupation of the Georgian territories started much earlier than August 2008.

“The occupation began much earlier, and it was the beginning of the 90s. 2008 was a continuation of this [process],” he said.

He said the occupation of Georgia is a pain that should unite the whole country, despite the differences in political viewpoint.

“It is a common national pain and a challenge, and I am confident that Georgia will, by all means, overcome the occupation. This day marks a great pain, the unhealed wound of the country. I pay tribute to the memory of our heroes. This day also marks a symbol of national consolidation, colossal work, and achievement of goals that are anticipated. Support of our friendly nations is a guarantee for peace and development to result in overcoming the Russian occupation and in making Georgia a united, strong and very successful country,’ Bakhtadze said.

The PM laid a wreath at the Memorial of Heroes Fallen in 2008 August War together with the President Salome Zurabishvili and members of the Government of Georgia.

The President noted that after 11 years of the war, the tragedy remains in Georgia. According to her, it’s impossible to have stability in the country until there are frozen occupied territories.

“Today, my main duty is to think about what we can do to prevent this [war] and to protect the country from suffering a very severe destiny, which means war, casualties, and lost territories,” she said.

Zurabishvili noted she has to think with our partners and use all the available means to overcome the occupation, to unite the country.

Parliament’s Speaker Archil Talakvadze stressed it must be ensured that the war will never be repeated in the future, and the peace and security of the country will be guaranteed.

“We paid tribute to the graves of our heroes and to give consolation to their families. Each story, the fate of each soldier associated with the August war, is an example to us and our children of what does love and devotion for homeland mean,” he said.

Talakvadze expressed confidence that Georgia will be able to build its better future through a peaceful way and “will win this war.”

Levan Izoria, Georgia’s Defense Minister, says the names of the fallen soldiers in August gives Georgia the power in our daily political struggle against the occupation.

“It gives us the strength to restore our country’s territorial integrity through a peaceful way, for our inspirations to create common well-being in the united country together with our brothers,” the minister noted.

David Zalkaliani, Foreign Minister of Georgia, says it is unfortunate that after 11 years from the war, Russia continues Georgia’s Occupation.

“In addition to this, the actual annexation is underway, and in the light of this, we are united and consolidated as never with the international community,” he said.

According to the Minister, many supportive statements have been made by partner countries and the international community, and numerous resolutions have been adopted in favor of Georgia.

August War 2008 lasted for five days, and it left Georgia’s South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions occupied by Russia.

The war brought Georgia human loss 412, including 170 soldiers, 14 police officers, and 228 civilians. Three journalists were also killed, six were wounded.

Also, 1,747 people were wounded in the Georgian side – including 973 soldiers, 227 police officers, and 547 civilians. 130, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – out of which 26,000 are still denied the right to return.