US Embassy praises Georgian people’s spirit of freedom on Soviet Occupation Day

Georgia marks 103rd anniversary of Soviet invasion

On February 25, 2024, Georgia commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the Soviet invasion that ended its brief period of independence in 1921. The Georgian government and people paid tribute to the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives for the country’s sovereignty and freedom. The Georgian flags were flown at half-mast across the country and abroad to honor the victims of the Soviet occupation.

The Soviet invasion of Georgia began on February 11, 1921, when the Red Army crossed the border from Azerbaijan. After fierce battles, the Bolshevik forces captured Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on February 25, and overthrew the democratically elected government of the First Republic of Georgia. The Soviet regime abolished the Georgian statehood and incorporated the country into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, along with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Soviet occupation lasted for 70 years, until Georgia regained its independence in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. During this period, Georgia suffered from political repression, economic exploitation, cultural assimilation, and mass deportations. According to various estimates, hundreds of thousands of Georgians were killed, imprisoned, or exiled by the Soviet regime.

US Embassy praises Georgian people’s spirit of freedom on Soviet Occupation Day

US Embassy expresses admiration and support for Georgia

The US Embassy in Georgia issued a statement on Sunday, expressing its admiration and support for the Georgian people’s love of freedom and independence. “The United States admires the love of freedom and independence of the Georgian people,” the Embassy said on its social media platforms. “On Georgia’s path to Europe, the US is by your side.”

The US and Georgia have established a strategic partnership since 2009, based on shared values and interests. The US supports Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic integration. The US also provides assistance to Georgia in various fields, such as security, democracy, economic development, and public health.

The US Embassy’s statement was welcomed by the Georgian officials and public, who thanked the US for its friendship and solidarity. The Georgian Foreign Ministry tweeted: “Thank you, dear friend and strategic partner, for standing with Georgia today and always!” The Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, also expressed his gratitude to the US, saying: “We highly appreciate your unwavering support for Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

Georgia reaffirms its commitment to European and Euro-Atlantic integration

On the occasion of the Soviet Occupation Day, the Georgian government and people reaffirmed their commitment to the European and Euro-Atlantic integration, which they see as the guarantee of their security and prosperity. Georgia is an aspiring member of the European Union and NATO, and has made significant progress in implementing the reforms and standards required for the membership.

The Georgian President, Salome Zourabichvili, delivered a speech at the Georgian National Museum, where she highlighted the historical and contemporary ties between Georgia and Europe. She said that Georgia’s European choice was not only a geopolitical one, but also a civilizational one, rooted in the common values and culture. She also stressed that Georgia’s European integration was not directed against anyone, but rather aimed at enhancing the stability and cooperation in the region.

The Georgian Parliament adopted a resolution on February 24, declaring that Georgia’s integration into the EU and NATO was the main priority and irreversible goal of the country’s foreign policy. The resolution also called on the international community to increase its pressure on Russia, which occupies 20 percent of Georgia’s territory and violates the human rights of the people living in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Georgian public also demonstrated its support for the European and Euro-Atlantic integration, by participating in various events and activities organized by the civil society and media. For example, the Georgian Public Broadcaster launched a campaign called “I am European”, featuring prominent Georgian and European figures who shared their views and stories about the European identity and values.

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