Tbilisi photo exhibition marks anniversary of 1921 Soviet invasion

  • The 11th Soviet Army photographed after taking Tbilisi without resistance in February 1921.
Agenda.ge, 24 Feb 2017 - 18:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

A special photographic exhibition will mark the 96th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Georgia’s First Democratic Republic and its aftermath in Tbilisi tomorrow.

The display will feature photographs, letters and lists of thousands of victims of the Soviet political repressions that followed the military occupation of the country since February 25, 1921.

Held outside the former parliament building on Rustaveli Ave, the exhibition will be organised by the Tbilisi-based Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) and the Society Memorial.

Organisers said lists containing names of over 4000 individuals arrested or shot by the Soviet state security office Cheka from 1921-1924 would be exhibited at the event.

Other historical material relating to the repressions immediately after the invasion will include letters sent by citizens exiled to remote prisons and labour camps by the Soviet authorities.

Scientific magazines, dictionaries and other publications created by the victims of the political persecutions during their imprisonment or forced labour in distant locations across the Soviet Union will also be part of the display.

The Soviet invasion of Georgia put an end to the three-year long Democratic Republic established in 1918 as the country gained independence from the Russian Empire.

Crossing Georgia’s border with Armenia and Azerbaijan on February 16, 1921, the invading armies moved to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi through skirmishes with Georgian armed forces.

Following clashes around the city, the 11th Soviet Army occupied the capital without resistance on February 25.

The occupation of the country was followed by a series of political purges, most notably in the 1920s and late 1930s. Members of the intelligentsia, political activists and other citizens were exiled to remote camps and prisons throughout the Soviet Union.

Earlier this week Georgia also marked the anniversary of the first constitution of the Democratic Republic.

The landmark document was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of Georgia just four days before the Soviet armies invaded the country to signify the beginning of the 70-year occupation that ended with the collapse of the USSR in 1991.