Georgian flag lowered in memory of victims of 1921 Soviet occupation

To mark the occasion, Georgian President laid a wreath at the memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives while fighting for Georgia’s independence. Photo by the President’s press office, 25 Feb 2018 - 12:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

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 97 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 visited Tabakhmela today – a settlement on the outskirts of Tbilisi where Georgian cadets held a major fight against the Soviet Army.

The Georgian cadets won the battle at Tabakhmela village but ultimately the Red Army found another way to Tbilisi and eventually overthrew the government.

Every year we come here to pay tribute to the soldiers who died for the independence of Georgia… A hundred year later we are standing on the land of a democratic and free Georgia and talking about their deeds”, President Margvelashvili said.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili believes February 25th is one of the most tragic days in the history of modern Georgia.

The idea of freedom and independence has never died in our people… Today Georgia is an independent, democratic country, but part of it is still occupied”, Kvirikashvili said, stressing Georgia will use all its peaceful levers to become united again.

Defence Ministry also lowered the national flags in memory of the fallen soldiers.

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 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.

Watch short documentary "Soviet Russian Invasion in Democratic Republic of Georgia" by Rezo Chigogidze.

The Day of Soviet Occupation was first officially marked in Georgia by the former government in 2010.

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.