Today Georgia marks the 29th anniversary of the referendum that led to the country gaining independence from the Soviet Union.
President Salome Zurabishvili wrote on her official Facebook page that despite the coronavirus pandemic, “we do not have the right to forget” the date, which has led to the restoration of “independent statehood”.
Let the Georgian people remember the power of unity, which will help us overcome the hardship”, she stated.
Salome Zurabishvili also paid tribute to the first president of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who would have turned 81 today.
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, with his son Giorgi Gamsakhurdia attended opening of the first session of the Supreme Council, 1990. Photo from the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia/Owner: Central Library of Zugdidi
During Gamsakhurdia's presidency on March 31, 1991 the vast majority of Georgian people across the country, including now occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), legally confirmed their support for the restoration of independence from Russia that was first declared on May 26, 1918.
However, this was short-lived independence as the country was re-invaded by Russia’s Bolshevik Army and absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1921. Seventy years later, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia once again became independent on May 26, 1991.