(Museum of Soviet Occupation in Tbilisi - Click Here for Virtual Tour)
On February 25, 100 years will pass since the Democratic Republic of Georgia lost its independence and was occupied by the Soviet Russia. On 25 February 1921, the Soviet Russian Red Army forces carried out large-scale military operation against Georgia, which resulted the occupation of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia, as well as the death of thousands of peaceful citizens and soldiers. Moreover, Soviet Russians executed Georgian intellectuals, writers, priests and the most active pro-independence part of society.
After the Soviet Red Army took over the capital Tbilisi, the government of the Democratic Republic took a decision to emigrate to France and in several West European countries. The Government in exile (Ière République en exil) continued to function as the National Government of Georgia for dozens of years.
Today we pay tribute to the memory of thousands of ordinary citizens and soldiers who died heroically in the battle against Soviet military forces 100 years ago. On 25 February 2021, the Georgian National flag at the premises of the Embassy is flying half-mast to commemorate Soviet occupation of Georgia 1921.
The First Democratic Republic of Georgia merely existed for three incomplete years (1918-1921), yet, left an important trace on the history of our country. It had a significant impact on the development of the Georgian statehood in a long run. This was organically linked to the 1921 Constitution, which focused on democratic values and principles as well as establishment and strengthening of democratic institutions in Georgia. The 1921 Constitution symbolized aspirations of the Democratic Republic of Georgia towards the formation of a unified, democratic and independent state.
This was a democratic state that: held elections with the participation of both men and women, earlier than many developed countries; implemented a constitution; established state institutions; passed antidiscrimination laws for ethnic and religious minorities; exercised women’s rights; established a multi-party government system; advanced political thought and established the debate culture.
On 26 May 1918, the National Council of Georgia adopted the Act of Independence of Georgia, which laid out the basic principles of state organization and country policy: state sovereignty; democratic republic as a political form of independent Georgia; neutrality; goodwill with all states, especially neighbors; civil and political freedom; free development for national minorities. Prior to the adoption of the Constitution, it became the primary source of legal status at the time.
On 21 February 1921, the Constituent Assembly of Georgia adopted the first modern Constitution of Georgia. At that time, the Georgian Armed Forces were fighting the Russian army on the outskirts of Tbilisi. The drafting of the document took three years, while it only remained in force only for four days, before the Soviet Occupation on 25 February 1921.
Unfortunately, even today, Georgia continues its straggle for its independence and the stable and secure development of the country. Since the 1990s, Russia actively performs its aggression against Georgia including Georgia’s choice of democracy and its independent domestic and foreign policy. As a result, in August 2008 Russia performed large-scale military aggression and the subsequent illegal occupation of 20% of Georgia’s indivisible regions - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. Since the start of the Russia’s invasion and occupation of Georgia, international community has witnessed unprecedented ethnic cleansing of Georgians and continues violation of human rights.
Georgia will further continue utilize all diplomatic and legal instruments at its disposal and raise the issue at the highest level in all relevant international formats in order to stop annexation and occupation of country. Efforts of our state institutions, civil society and international support will give us impetus to continue our international efforts towards the further strengthening of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, de-occupation of the Georgian territories, reconciliation of the war-torn communities and reunification of the country. Georgia’s European choice is irreversible. Joining EU and NATO will lead to a higher standard of democracy, security, peace, and prosperity in Georgia and in the whole region.
The Embassy of Georgia to the Republic of Moldova
25 February 2021
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