The Georgian national flag is flying at half-mast today at government buildings across the country in remembrance of the hundreds of thousands of young soldiers and citizens who died in the battle against Red Army forces that took the capital of Tbilisi 96 years ago today.
Flags have been lowered at the Government Administration Building, Tbilisi and Kutaisi Parliament buildings, the President’s residence in Avlabari and Georgia’s diplomatic missions abroad to mark the day when Georgia lost its independence on February 25, 1921
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Defence Minister Levan Izoria and other Georgina officials visited Tabakhmela today – a settlement on the outskirts of Tbilisi where Georgian cadets held a major fight against the Soviet Army.
"Today we are standing where our forefathers were protecting our homeland from the Soviet occupation and where our children, too, will be standing because this country will always be independent”, Margvelashvili said.
He added that the President’s Reserve Fund has allocated money to restore a portion of a trench which Georgian cadets used in Tabakhmela and turn it into a tourism site.
"This will help future generations become more interested in Georgia’s military history”, the President said.
The Georgian cadets won the battle at Tabakhmela village but ultimately the Red Army found another way to Tbilisi and eventually overthrew the government.
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.
Watch short documentary "Soviet Russian Invasion in Democratic Republic of Georgia "by Rezo Chigogidze.
Crossing Georgia’s border with Armenia and Azerbaijan on February 16, 1921, the invading armies moved on Tbilisi through skirmishes with the Georgian armed forces.
Following clashes around the city, the 11th Soviet Army occupied the capital without resistance on February 25.
The Day of Soviet Occupation was first officially marked in Georgia in 2010.
The parliament unanimously passed a resolution instructing the government to organise various memorial events each year on February 25 to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of victims of political repressions of the communist occupational regime.