Seventy-three years after the end of World War II, the remains of a Georgian soldier who served in the Red Army and fought against German invaders have been returned to his hometown in eastern Georgia.
Serviceman David Chalakhekhashvili was killed in one of WWII’s bloodiest battles for the strategic city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in Russia’s south in 1942.
He was 22 years of age when he was killed in battle.
The whereabouts of Chalakhekhashvili’s remains remained unknown by his relatives until a regional search group discovered his resting place in July 2015.
Chalakhekhashvili’s grandson, who also shared the name David, told speqtri.ge that the family - residing in Ozaani village in the Dedoplistskaro Municipality in Georgia’s Kakheti region – had been contacted by Volgograd authorities through an Association of WWII Veterans.
The [Russian] authorities invited me to receive the remains. With help from the Dedoplistskaro Municipality Board I was able to travel to Volgograd on September 17 where the local Georgian diaspora held a ceremony of honour and handed the remains over to our family,” grandson D. Chalakhekhashvili told reporters.
After the Dedoplistskaro Municipality Assembly approved the decision to approve transfer arrangements, Chalakhekhashvili’s remains were finally laid to rest after a burial ceremony at the Ozaani Memorial of Heroes.
The war hero now rests in peace in his hometown.
Chalakhekhashvili’s family will also receive 3,000 GEL from the local Municipality budget as compensation.
Roughly 700,000 Georgians served in the Red Army during World War II, with 350,000 estimated casualties.