Georgia Remembers Heroes and Victims of August War 2008

August 8 is the most poignant day in the history of modern Georgia, as this date marks 9 years since the Georgia-Russia war in 2008.

The five-day war claimed the lives of 228 civilians, 170 military officers and 14 police officers in Georgia, leaving 1747 people wounded. 5 soldiers are still missing. 

Around 150 thousand people were forced to leave their homes in Occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and nearly 30,000 of these people still remain as IDPs.

National flags were simultaneously lowered in the parliament buildings of Tbilisi and Kutaisi this morning, in respect to the 9th anniversary of the war. 

The Prime Minister of Georgia, together with the members of the Government, paid tribute to the memory of the deceased in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war at the Mukhatgverdi Brothers Cemetery. 

The Cabinet of Ministers, as well as the Head of the Veterans' State Service were together with the Prime Minister. They laid a wreath at the memorial of the fallen heroes.

"August 8 is the toughest day in Georgia's recent history. I want to bow before the heroes who lost their lives for their homeland. A candle for their memory will always be lit in the heart of the whole Georgia," Kvirikashvili said.

The PM noted that peace has no alternative and the government is doing everything possibe to ensur peace is kept. 

“We are working to unite and strengthen our country. We are building a united, economically strong, democratic and truly European Georgia to make it a home for Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians,” Kvirikashvili stressed.

He also underlined that reconciliation of the divided people is necessary.

“This war was everybody’s tragedy, so we should look at each other and we should reconcile, as reconciliation has no alternative,” the PM stated.

The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili also paid tribute to the fallen heroes at the Mukhatgverdi Brothers Cemetery. 

He stressed that 9 years ago, Russian troops crossed the border of a sovereign, independent Georgia and occupied its regions.

"We, Georgian citizens, as well as the entire international community, do not recognize any borders, trenches, barbed wire fences or armed people, who restrict the free movement of Georgian citizens on our land,” the President stated.

Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia on 26 August in the same year.

Despite signing a ceasefire agreement on 12 August, 2008, which obliged Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgian territories, the Russian Federation still violates the agreement terms and occupies 20% of Georgian territories.

By Thea Morrison

08 August 2017 12:06