Georgian Gov’t commemorates August 2008 war

Man holds the body of his killed brother, in Gori, 80 km from Tbilisi, August 9, 2008; Photo by G. Abdaladze/Reuters, 07 Aug 2014 - 18:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Russia-Georgia conflict is continuing to haunt many citizens but the Georgian Government is promising to do its best to ease the pain and suffering of future generations.

With these words, the country’s Foreign Minister remembered the fallen and together with abroad-based Georgian Ambassadors, she placed a wreath at the county’s national memorial to pay tribute to those who lost their lives while serving Georgia in the August war in 2008.

Tomorrow marked the sixth anniversary of the Russia-Georgia War where Georgia fought to preserve its territory. After five days of conflict, 228 Georgian civilians, 170 soldiers and 14 police officers had lost their lives.

"We face the consequences of this war even today,” Panjikidze said at today’s commemoration.

"We have a lot of internally displaced people (IDPs), a lot of problems alongside the occupational line and 20 percent of our territory is still occupied.”

Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili said the Government should avoid further escalation of the conflict in "all possible ways”.

While reviewing the six years since the war, Petriashvili said Georgia needed to look to the future and not dwell on the past.

"Georgia should make its way towards its biggest goal – restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity and integrating with the European Union and NATO as an independent, free country.”

At the commemoration Georgia’s Minister of Refugees talked about the war, which took place exactly six years ago on Georgian territory.

Minister Sozar Subari said more should have been done to help the victims of the war, and the former government misspent financial aid intended to help IDPs after the 2008 clash.

He noted IDP settlements built after the war did not meet any construction standards.

"It is very sad that during the previous government, huge financial aid directed toward Georgia after the war was not spent adequately in certain cases,” Subari said.

"A large part of the money was wasted on other things instead of using it for the IDPs.”

Subari said if the previous leadership had taken a more diplomatic approach and ignored Russia’s provocations, the conflict might not have escalated to the level it did, and the war might have been prevented.

"I am absolutely sure the Georgian territories that are currently occupied will become an integral part of Georgia again. Judging by the events that are developing today, this process can be sped up even more,” Minister Subari said.

The Russia-Georgia War displaced 192,000 people. Many were able to return to their homes after the war but as of May 2014, more than 20,200 people remain displaced. Today, they continued to live in small settlements built specifically for IDPs nearby Tbilisi.