Tbilisi to put up monuments to officials, heroes, who refused to flee, were killed in occupied Abkhazia

Zhiuli Shartava (L) and Guram Gabiskiria were both killed by Abkhaz separatist groups back in 1993, during armed conflict in Abkhazia. 

Agenda.ge, 31 Oct 2019 - 11:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

Monuments of Zhiuli Shartava and Guram Gabeskiria, former officials who were killed by Abkhaz separatist groups  in 1993, will be placed in Tbilisi, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze has stated earlier today. 

Shartava, who served as the head of the Council of Ministers of  the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and Gabeskiria, then mayor of Sokumi [ the main city of Abkhazia] refused to flee the region after Tbilisi lost control on Abkhazia, despite obvious threats to their lives. 

 We all remember when Tbilisi lost control on Sokhumi and Shartava and Gabeskiria were the last who left the government palace. We all remember the minutes when they were forced to kneel down and curse Georgians and the answer of the two - Never! The people deserve high respect from us. Our future generations should know our heroes,” Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said. 

Gabeskiria’s body was identified and returned to his family only back in 2017. 

People forced to leave Abkhazia region. Photo:Mike Goldwater. 

Conflict in Abkhazia

  • The War in Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993 was fought between Georgian government forces for the most part, and Abkhaz separatist forces, Russian armed forces and North Caucasian militants. The separatists received support from thousands of North Caucasus and Cossack militants and from the Russian forces stationed in and near Abkhazia.
  • Between 13,000 to 20,000 ethnic Georgians and approximately 3,000 Abkhaz have been reported killed, more than 250,000 Georgians became internally displaced or refugees and about 2,000 are considered missing.
  • Among the missing about 1,500 are ethnic Georgians, up to 200 are ethnic Abkhazians and about 100 are ethnic Ossetians.