Mother of fallen Georgian war hero dies

Georgian war hero Giorgi Antsukhelidze was killed during the Russia–Georgia war in August 2008., 18 Nov 2014 - 17:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian officials are expressing their condolences over the passing of the mother of fallen Georgian war hero Giorgi Antsukhelidze.

Lili Antsukhelidze, 55, was the mother of Georgian soldier Giorgi Antsukhelidze (1984-2008), who was killed during the Russia–Georgia war in August 2008.

The Georgian soldier became a household name when videos of him being tortured were leaked on the internet immediately after the conflict. The two videos, which were circulated online, showed Antsukhelidze being interrogated and tortured by South Ossetian and Russian militants.

The footage showed militants interrogating Antsukhelidze, forcing him to kneel and ordering him to kiss the earth. The captured soldier was then repeatedly beaten after he replied to each question: "I have no idea". One of the offenders was then heard shouting in Ossetian: "Look, what a tough guy!”.

Antsukhelidze was posthumously awarded the Order of National Hero by the Georgian Government in 2013.

The death of Antsukhelidze’s mother has drawn sympathy from Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who said only a woman who was extremely devoted to her homeland could raise a son who grew up to be a national hero.

Despite facing terrible torture, her son stood unbreakable in the face of death and for this reason, he would take a worthy place in the history of Georgia, the Georgian leader said.

"Giorgi Antsukhelidze gave a huge example of individual dignity and devotion to homeland to the next generation. His mother left us spiritual strength and the example of a brave mother. We will honour her memory,” Garibashvili said.

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili also added his condolences after learning of the woman’s death.

"With the Georgian people I honour the memory of the Georgian mother who, on the values of self-possession, love and commitment, raised a hero of our time to the country,” Margvelashvili said.

The 55-year-old, who died earlier today, will be buried in the Alvani village of the Akhmeta district. The Defense Ministry will cover all funeral expenses.