Troops awarded with medal honouring National Hero Giorgi Antsukhelidze

A memorial for Giorgi Anstukhelidze in village of Kvemo Alvani. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office., 18 Aug 2017 - 15:39, Tbilisi,Georgia

A group of Georgian Armed Forces service members on Friday became the first recipients of a brand-new medal honouring the country’s National Hero Giorgi Antsukhelidze.

In eastern Georgian village of Kvemo Alvani, 13 soldiers of the Georgian Armed Forces were distinguished for their service with the Ministry of Defence of Georgia medal.

The troops were awarded for "individual bravery demonstrated during combat missions, or high professionalism and fruitful participation in managing or planning exercises”.

The new medal established by Defence Minister Izoria. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office.

The awards ceremony involved ministry and local government officials as well as armed forces commanders.

Instituted by Defence Minister Levan Izoria, the new award was established to honour Georgia’s national hero Junior Sergeant Giorgi Antsukhelidze.

Antsukhelidze was tortured and killed in captivity by South Ossetian combatants after he became prisoner of war during the 2008 Russian-Georgian conflict in Georgia’s breakaway Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region.

Minister Izoria photographed while awarding service members earlier today. Photo: Georgia’s Defence Ministry press office.

The 23-year old service member was posthumously honoured with the state National Hero Award.

Today’s ceremony was coincided with the birthday of Antsukhelidze, and marked with a memorial plaque opened by Izoria at an elementary school in Kakheti region’s Akhmeta Municipality, which the young soldier graduated from.