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MINISTRY OF DEFENCE OF GEORGIA PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT FEBRUARY 2010 ISSUE #32

The US Frigate’s
arrival in Georgia
Deputy Ministers of De- US, place a key focus on the tumi port within the frames of
fence Nikoloz Vashakidze and improvement and strengthen- “Global Marine Partnership”
Nodar Kharshiladze together ing of national security forces”, Program as well as with the aim
with the Chief of Joint Staff of declared Mr. Vashakidze. of strengthening secure move-
MoD, Major-General Devi The US Navy Frigate ar- ment on sea with Black Sea Ba-
Chankotadze have been on rived in the Batumi port on the sin Countries. The visit of the

Richard Holbrooke board of the U.S. guided mis-


sile destroyer, John L. Hall re-
cently visiting Georgia.
According to Nikoloz
Vashakidze, the US Frigate’s
1st of March. The American
ship was received by the Geor-
gian government officials. John
L. Hall with its crew has al-
ready started joint military
American Vessel in Georgia is
part of the strategy of the US
Armed Forces` European Com-
mand and Europe-deployed
American Navy Fleet, as well

pays visit to Georgia


U.S. Special Representative prosperity, will contribute to re- and the whole world for the de-
port call in Georgia is a vivid
demonstration of fruitful coop-
eration ongoing between the
US and Georgia in the security
sphere. “This visit is of great
trainings with the Georgian
coastguard personnel. The goal
of the joint trainings is perfec-
tion of rescue and survival
skills among the Georgian mil-
as the part of the US 6th fleet
strategy, the one providing for
enhancement of regional stabil-
ity and overall marine partner-
ship.
for Afghanistan and Pakistan solving a lot of internal affairs cision you have made - to send importance for us as we, with itaries along with ship ransack- The U.S. guided missile de-
Richard Holbrooke arrived in which are of great concern to one additional battalion to Af- this kind of intensive and pro- ing and boarding capabilities. stroyer will leave Georgia on
Georgia Feb. 21 to discuss the us… our soldiers are real profes- ghanistan. Georgian troops ductive collaboration with the The US Frigate visited Ba- the 3rd of May.
country’s contribution to opera- sionals knowing what is at stake. would play a vital role in the
tions in Afghanistan. As the president noted this effort to defeat terrorism
He arrived to the Black Sea mission is not simply some gen- around the world. I am pretty
town of Batumi, where he was eral mission, this mission is familiar with Georgian charac-
welcomed by President Saakash- about Georgian patriotic deed as ter and I honor it very much. I
vili. He visited Krtsanisi Nation- well. am impressed with what I saw.
al Training Center Feb. 22 and “We pin great hopes on them. The Georgian colonels ex-
observed a training of the Geor- Their families and we worry plained me the plot of your
gian troops for the ISAF opera- about their safety and security. training. I am proud that I saw
tion in Afghanistan. But we at the same time under- the U.S. marines here; they
Holbrooke, U.S. Ambassador stand very well that we are en- were part of this training. I will
to Georgia John Bass, President gaged in this battle together with tell about all to the president of
Mikheil Saakashvili, Defense allies in order to accomplish our United States, to the Secretary
Minister Bacho Akhalaia and common cause without any re- of State, to the big friend of
Chief of the Joint Staff of GAF treat,” Saakashvili said. “Geor- Georgia Joe Biden and my oth-
Maj.Gen. Devi Chankota- gia participated in the operations er colleagues in Washington,”
dze attended the demonstrative of this kind previously and as Mr. Holbrook said.
training operation specially con- Holbrooke told me and as Gen. During his speech with jour-
ducted for the visitors. Petraeus also told me they were nalists Defense Minister Bacho
Saakashvili said that the impressed by professionalism of Akhalaia said that the battalion
Georgian battalion’s mission in the Georgian soldiers.” will head for Afghanistan pre-
Afghanistan will be very com- Holbrook agreed with sumably by April 2010.
plicated, but Georgia must stand Saakashvili that Georgian sol- “As you know, this battalion
together with its allies. The pres- diers’ participation into the Af- has undergone special trainings
ident declared that this is one of ghan mission serves the common with the U.S. marines. The final
the most complicated missions, mission of the whole civilization. phase of the training was con-
as on the one hand the mission’s He said that the United States ducted in Germany. All of this
success will largely define the appreciated Georgia’s contribu- gives us the ground to argue that
security and stability worldwide tion to the Afghan operation Battalion is quite well trained
and especially for Afghanistan without any national caveats, causing satisfaction from both
and the coalition countries but on which he said was “not easy” for Georgian and American sides.
the other, successful perfor- a small country. There are some other details af-
mance of our allies and friends, “Mr. President, dear friends, ter specifying of which the Geor-
those who actively support the I want to express gratitude on gian militaries will leave for Af-
Georgia’s integrity and future the behalf of American people ghanistan,” he said. INSIDE
Afghanistan, the Defence minister
central battle for attending NATO
the transatlantic meeting in Istanbul
community
The year of
Qualification
decisions
course
Feb.25, day of Military skiing
Georgia’s course over in
occupation Bakuriani
2 MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF GEORGIA TODAY FEBRUARY 2010 ISSUE #32

Afghanistan, the central battle for


the transatlantic community
NATO has the most challenging
mission in its history. Success or fail-
ure in Afghanistan will have a signifi-
cant influence on the transatlantic
community and its neighbors. In this
complicated and strained environment,
the Georgian state has its own and
common interests. Georgia realized
that by providing international peace
and security it is trying to protect vital
interests and values.
“Georgian troops are deployed and
more will be sent to Afghanistan to
serve for common cause, which Geor-
gia shares with its western allies,”
President Saakashvili said.
Georgian Institute of Public Affairs expert Tornike Sharashenidze talked
to Defense Today about Afghanistan and its importance for Georgia.

Q: Afghanistan and its region are is an opportunity to remind our partners


now the central battle for the trans- about us and send them a distinct mes-
atlantic community. When Georgia sage that we aren’t only consumers but
decided to contribute to the interna- a contributor to a security. In addition,
tional security, it proved that shares the Afghanistan mission will provide our
the same security concerns and the military with the opportunity to obtain
same values as other NATO members. practical experience and to demonstrate
Can you define the importance of our nation’s readiness to cooperate with
ISAF for Georgia? NATO and with other partner countries.
A: Firstly, the ISAF mission has a Q: Many international security ex-
political importance for Georgia. This perts and analysts think that Geor-

gia’s NATO membership goes most important strategic partner for ghanistan. How can you evaluate
through Afghanistan. Can it really the United States and NATO. Will these frequent visits of top U.S. offi-
help Georgia pursue its goal to be- there be any positive consequences for cials?
come a member? the Georgian state security? A: First of all, I should mention that
A: We should understand that ISAF A: In my opinion we have a big per- Holbrooke is responsible for this region
is one of the breaking points for Georgia spective in the future. Georgia will have and the secondly and most importantly,
in order to hold the West’s attention. Af- a huge potential if President Saakash- he is one of the most enthusiastic sup-
ghanistan gives us a chance to prove that vili can put in motion the Caucasian Cor- porters of Georgia. Besides, Holbrooke
Georgia is a warrant partner for NATO, ridor. In this case, our country will de- has big experience and ability to spur
which participates in its own to provide velop into a really serious partner for action in Washington. We have a well-
global security. Georgia must accumulate NATO. The West will accept that the known example from the 1990s, when
positive examples for the time when the transit route goes through Georgia and his actions became the basis for NATO’s
political situation in the country is ready it will be almost impossible for hostile future eastern enlargement. Now we
for NATO membership. In this case we’ll countries to seize this function. can’t exclude that he works on a new
have more opportunity to become equal Q: U.S. Special Representative for corridor to Afghanistan through Geor-
members of the alliance. Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard gia and with him it’s more realistic to
Q: After full engagement in Afghan- Holbrooke arrived in Georgia to dis- implement this project.
istan, Georgia practically turn into the cuss the country’s contribution in Af- Irakli Gurgenidze

Training courses began for middle


Qualification course knowledge regarding international secu-
and high-ranking officers of the Joint rity environment, which will contain
Staff of GAF in the office of Georgian post soviet sphere, creation of Georgian
Foundation for Strategic and Interna- foreign policy and its challenges. Be-
tional Studies (GFSIS). sides, participants will receive detailed
An opening ceremony was attended knowledge about conception of Geor-
by Deputy Defense Minister Nodar gia’s national security. In this case, lec-
Kharshiladze. During the ceremony he tures will touch subject like a security
reiterated that professional development aspects, traditional and nontraditional
of Defense Ministry personnel is one of threats.
the top priorities set by the Ministry‘s Military officers will gain useful in-
Leadership. formation related to international secu-
“The given program being realized rity system and its institutions like the
in coordination with GFSIS have been United Nations, the Organization for
generally designed to improve senior Security and Co-operation in Europe,
officers` professional capabilities, and the European Union, the Western Euro-
in particular, to raise an awareness over pean Union and the North-Atlantic Trea-
the military strategic issues”, the depu- ty Organization.
ty minister said. One of the most important subjects
The senior officers‘ training program of the courses will be civil-military and
is going on within the frames of Memo- media relations. Officers of Joint Staff
randum signed between the Defense will be reminded again that the key stone
Ministry and GFSIS on the Feb. 18. of the country’s security is based on
According to the Foundation’s President transparency and democratic civil con-
Alexandre Rondeli it was the Defense trol of defence sector. The training
Ministry that introduced the initiative of course for middle and high-ranking of-
launching the training courses for the will help the officers improve, along required to be not only the high-level Meanwhile the course in the GFSIS ficers of the Joint Staff of GAF will last
Georgian senior military personnel. He with professional abilities, personal professionals but also the best citizens office, Georgian militaries will be af- for two months.
added that this kind of training program characteristics as well, as they are duly of their country. forded the real opportunity to obtain the Irakli Gurgenidze
FEBRUARY 2010 ISSUE #32 MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF GEORGIA TODAY
3

Defence minister attending NATO meeting in Istanbul


Allied defense ministers gathered in led operation. By the spring of this year,
Istanbul Feb. 4-5, 2010 and discussed a Georgia will become the largest per cap-
number of issues on NATO’s agenda, ita contributor of the ISAF mission.
including the evolving NATO-led oper- Currently, a reinforced company is be-
ation in Afghanistan, NATO’s engage- ing deployed under French command in
ment in Kosovo and defence transfor- Regional Command HQ in Kabul and
mation. Minister of Defense of Georgia within the Turkish detachment 2 Liai-
Bacho Akhalaia arrived in Turkey on son Officers are conducting liaison be-
Feb. 4 to take part in the informal meet- tween Regional Command Capital HQ
ing. and the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
The working session was opened by Besides, we continue to deploy one mil-
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh itary doctor in Afghanistan as part of the
Rassmusen. Lithuanian Provisional Reconstruction
“44 nations in the ISAF coalition are team. In April, Georgia will deploy the
gathered here today. We are here to dis- battalion size unit in Afghanistan to con-
cuss our operations in Afghanistan. Af- duct full spectrum operations in support
ter a difficult year 2009 we will see new of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Battal-
momentum in 2010. And it is already ion has just completed the mission re-
starting. 36 ISAF contributing nations hearsal exercise being deployed to Ger-
have now made offers to send more many and will be continuing pre-deploy-
troops – a very strong testament to the ment trainings back to Georgia. Their
commitment and solidarity of the coun- combat readiness assessment had been
tries represented here today. Tens of carried out in Hohenfels which turned
thousands of additional forces are now out to be very positive to take over the
deploying to Afghanistan. The Afghan mission.”
Security Forces are growing in number In his speech Akhalaia underscored
and capability. The NATO Training Mis- the importance of participation in peace-
sion in Afghanistan is now up and run- keeping mission for international secu- C NATO
ning. And transition to Afghan lead will rity.
begin this year. There is no doubt 2010 “We have all together been applying Mehmet Vecdi Gönül. In the course of At the press conference held after the and ISAF partner support to the mission
will be a challenging year. There will our utmost efforts to provide a secure the meeting the sides addressed the bi- ministerial meeting, the NATO Secre- in Afghanistan. General McChrystal
be more fighting; militants and terror- environment and ensure stability in Af- lateral cooperation prospects in techni- tary General thanked the Georgian side highlighted that as resources continue
ists will seek to kill ISAF soldiers and ghanistan and the entire region. The sig- cal and education spheres of the two and stated that realization of the proposal to flow into Afghanistan to enable the
innocent Afghans. But this is also the nificant progress has been achieved countries. needs further consideration. implementation of NATO’s refreshed
year that we should begin to see Afghan- since creation of the ISAF. Nevertheless, “We continue bilateral cooperation “We consider positively all offers to strategy, the conditions are now set to
istan’s future take shape: where it starts at this turning point, democratic coun- with Turkey for many years already. The facilitate our mission in Afghanistan. We make substantive progress in 2010.
to stand on its own feet and provide for tries should further strengthen their ef- subject of our conversation covered the also appreciate very much the signifi- The secretary general welcomed
its own security, and where terrorism forts alongside with Afghan government deepening of collaboration in these cant troop contributions from Georgia commitments by 36 ISAF nations to pro-
will find no safe haven from which to in order to create relevant, sufficient fields,” the minister said in an interview and similarly we appreciate other con- vide additional commitments of nearly
threaten us all. NATO and our Partners environment facilitating improvements with media representatives. tributions that can support in Afghani- 40,000 additional troops and trainers to
will play our full part in making that in governance and sustainable develop- When asked about the possible pur- stan. So we will look closer into this the mission. At the same time, he re-
future a reality,” the secretary general ment of Afghanistan,” Akhalaia said. chase of weapons by Georgia, minister offer,” NATO Secretary General Anders minded all the participants of the short-
said in his opening remarks. “Our joint efforts and enhanced partici- answered that the conversation did not Fogh Rasmussen said. falls in trainers and mentors for the Af-
Topics discussed at the meeting in- pation will ensure success of the mis- refer to this particular subject. He add- Rasmussen reaffirmed that ISAF will ghan security forces, requesting that all
cluded the need to fully fulfill the train- sion for the sake of Afghan nation and ed that the meetings of this format do continue to focus on improving securi- nations look once again to see what more
ing and mentoring requirements for the for the sake of peace, stability and se- not cover such issues. ty, on building Afghan capacity, and on they might provide for this important
NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan curity in a global sense.” “What I can say is that we carry on setting conditions to enable Afghans to mission.
(NTM-A). During the meeting, the ISAF In addition to the troops’ contribu- very close and intensive business rela- assume key responsibilities. The secretary general highlighted
nations had the opportunity to review tion, Georgia stays devoted to the com- tionship with Turkey which was one of Supreme Allied Commander Europe that the measures being taken
progress made during the London con- mitment to provide transit route via air, the first countries providing Georgia (SACEUR), Admiral Stavridis, and in Afghanistan will speed up transition
ference on Afghanistan on Jan. 28. road and rail infrastructure to NATO, with both - moral and financial assis- ISAF Commander, General McChrys- to ownership by the Afghan authorities
Akhalaia informed attendees about opening its territory and any facility on tance following the 2008 August war. tal, briefed the Ministers on the situa- for their own affairs. It is expected that
Georgia’s participation in ISAF Mission. the ground. At present our relationship already has tion in Afghanistan and on the way substantive progress will be made in
“We have accumulated significant On the sidelines of the NATO De- reached higher levels, giving us confi- ahead throughout 2010. 2010, but that this will be based on con-
part of human and financial resources fense Ministerial Georgian Minister of dence to make it more fruitful and suf- Ministers also discussed the ditions on the ground rather than calen-
to ensure full involvement in the NATO- Defense held meeting with his colleague ficient,” Akhalaia said. current issues underpinning NATO dar-driven.

The strengthening of global coopera-


The year of decisions
energy security, arms control and future whom alliance will share common stra- have more chances to reach stability Alliance. To accomplish this, NATO
tion was the underlying theme of the 46th NATO strategy. tegic interests. Despite Medvedev’s new with Russia, but he adds that the impor- needs to become a globally networked
Munich Security Conference. More than One of the main important topics military strategy, where NATO is a threat tant in this case is to realize content of security institution.
300 high-ranking participants from the during the discussions was the Euro- for Moscow, some European diplomats this discussions. “In an age of globalized insecurity, our
political, scientific, economic and mili- Atlantic understanding of Russia. Rep- think that the Alliance should accept in “Some countries can consider anoth- territorial defence must begin beyond our
tary spheres came together to discuss the resentatives of different European coun- the future that Europe’s security and sta- er as an enemy or ally with whom it is borders,” he said in his statement. This
urgent challenges of the 21st century in tries believe that it would be a mistake bility in the 21st century is only possible useful to cooperate but the main things would not mean, though, that NATO had
the field of foreign and security policy. for NATO to cling to a cold-war percep- with Russia and not without it. is the product,” Kvashilava said. to pursue military activities on a global
The Annual event will address Af- tion of Russia as a potential aggressor Georgian expert Bakur Kvashilava It’s very interesting to see where scale. He thinks that the Alliance should
ghanistan, Middle East stability, global and not a strategic partner too, with thinks that without doubt Europe will Georgia stands in these unpredictable become the hub of a network of security
relations between West and Russia. partnerships and a center for consultation
Bakur Kvashilava thinks that Geor- on international security issues. He also
gia’s case is important if it forms a pre- added that he did not see this proposal as
cedent for Russia’s further actions. competing with the UN.
“We should pay attention to the “To achieve these goals, all major
events in Dnestr related to Iskander mis- players have to come together,” he said,
sile issue. Off course Kremlin didn’t adding that Afghanistan’s neighbors
declare any official statements about it needed to engage in this process as well.
but Moscow did it through the regime Bakur kvashilava thinks that it is
which totally depends on Russia. From some kind of counter proposal against
this development we can see some Medvedev’s idea to create New Euro-
trends between the west and Russia. So pean Architecture.
we have a conflict and an attempt to cre- “This proposal is distinctly defined
ate spheres of influence. With all ensu- message to Kremlin,” Kvashilava said.
ing consequences, if Russia continues In this strained global environment,
to say that the war with Georgia was just Georgia understands that it has its own
an exception, it has better chance to mission and tries to keep close to the
prove to the west that it’s impossible to alliance. Georgia already realized that
establish European security without ISAF is NATO’s number one priority
Moscow. But if it appears that Georgia and the most difficult mission in the his-
is just a beginning than Russia will be- tory of alliance and it’s not only rheto-
come a real strategic opponent” – the ric. The decision of official Tbilisi to
expert said. deploy troops in Afghanistan was a dis-
At the conference, NATO Secretary tinct example for other NATO neighbor
General Anders Fogh. Rasmussen urged countries.
for a redirection of the North Atlantic Irakli Gurgenidze
4 MONTHLY SUPPLEMENT OF GEORGIA TODAY FEBRUARY 2010 ISSUE #32

Military skiing course over in Bakuriani


The difference between start and fin- ter in future,” he said.
ish was equal to 1,600 meters. Most at- The skiing course lasted for three
tendees did their best to improve the months and finished with a closing cer-
time set for performing a tactical march- emony organized in Bakuriani on Feb.
ing. 7. Trainings and Military Education
The Sachkhere Mountain Training Command headship congratulated the
School has already organized the 14th course attendees with the successful
course in military skiing but this was the completion of the course and awarded
first time when women militaries took them with relevant certificates. In the
part in it. For the present time 4 women course of the ceremony state anthem was
military servants have undergone the specially performed and a minute of si-
military course. One of the successful lence was held in memory of the Geor-
graduates, Sergeant Marekhi Abesadze gian soldiers fallen in the 2008 August
spoke about the nature of the course and Georgia-Russia war.
difficulties emerged during the training Major Malkhaz Merlani, Chief of the
process. Sachkere Mountain Training School
“First I found the course too diffi- positively evaluated execution of
cult both physically and psychological- the training program stating that ”the
ly, involving adoption of technical skills whole Course turned out to be rather
of skiing, maneuvering with skis across difficult covering not only the technical
a complex relief, as well as crossing ob- side of trainings but the practical lessons
stacle lines and setting up of snow shel- in obstacles course exercised in a moun-
ters along with other types of trainings. tainous environment. What I can say for
Mountain School instructors stood ready sure is that the number of armed forces
to help us, raising our motivation all the increased for now by 20 more service-
time. With their help we managed to men, who are fully capable to perform
mobilize all our forces, facilitating over- any kind of combat operation with the
all training process. I am very glad that help of skis regardless of hard climate
I was one of the attendees among two conditions of the highlands”.
others, successfully completing the
The Sachkhere Mountain Training tracks and crossing obstacle lines. were stationed near entries.
course. It is an impetus for me to do bet- Eka Gakhokidze
School has conducted the first winter Later, attendees practiced setting up After that course attendees were the
course in the Bakuriani ski resort. In to- Iglu snow shelters. Generally, various first to test self-made snow shelters.
tal, 20 military servicemen from vari- types of snow shelters exist. The soldiers ”Shelters made from snow is not an
ous subunits of the Georgian armed forc- first got familiar with German, Swiss easy job but it is one of the means for
es participated. and French. Erecting snow shelters is soldiers to protect themselves from
The training program began on Jan. actually connected with difficulties, freezing and enemies during military
18 and lasted for three months. At the which require various techniques. operations,” Corp. Rati Beridze said.
beginning, soldiers complained about First of all, the snow cover should Towards the end of the course,
the lack of snow but soon the situation be no less than two meters, as well as participants performed qualification
changed and participants got down to the avalanche-related risks and direction shootings on 100, 200 and 300 meters
full-time training. of wind should be identified. It is also from M4 type firearms. Each military
The course generally covers stand- necessary to hide shelter from enemies. serviceman performed shootings from
ing, sliding and moving with skis, as Participants preferred the French three different positions. The Military
well as searching and evacuating injured model. First they dug a ditch, made a Skiing Course ended with tactical
in an avalanche. At the initial stage of roof with snow and arranged beds for marching involving the crossing of
training, they adopted basic skills. sleep. It took participants four hours to mountains by means of skis. Participants
School instructors gave lessons in the finalize the Iglu. Skis, equipment and were required to cover 18 kilometer area
technical aspects of skiing as well; mov- weapons were placed in the separately in three hours equipped with 14 kg lug-
ing with skis both on paved and unpaved arranged harbor and soldiers on duty gage.

Feb.25, day of Georgia’s occupation


On every Feb. 23-25 Georgian peo- occupy Shulaveri, the Red Bridge over Colonel Chkheidze received a report, tack Kojori highland at sunset. Under the positions and relocate in Mtsketa via
ple commemorate the Georgian cadets the river Khrami and started attack in thoroughly checked the units, ordered instructions of Colonel Chkheidze they Tbilisi. The situation on Feb. 25 was
who died in the struggle for the inde- the direction of Tbilisi. General Giorgi to fill out defects and started to Tabakh- started to take positions and arrange im- quite crucial: the last reserves were ex-
pendence of Georgia in 1921 and the Kvinitadze was appointed as a com- mela at about 10 o’clock. mediately. On Feb. 17, in the morning, the hausted; the Russian 11th army outnum-
occupation of Tbilisi by the Soviet Red mander-in-chief of the Georgian army. The real combat force for General An- Bolshevist army appeared. At this time the bered the Georgian counterpart several
Army at the Memorial in Kojori and He divided the front line into the sec- dronikashvili was only 150 cadets and 300 cadets had already prepared trenches and times over and they were able to lay
Tabakhmela. tors. The general gave the Tabakhmela- recruits. The cadets had no appropriate mashing guns. siege to the enemy. In this circumstance
Exactly 89 years have passed since Kojori sector to Gen. Andronikashvili. clothes to weather either. They were From this moment the fighting the commander-in-chief managed to
the Russian invasion of Georgia by the On Feb. 16, at sunrise the entire Ca- dressed in thin, waterproof artificial Ital- against the Red Army was going on non- make the correct decision and retreated
Soviet Red Army. In January 1921, the dets Institute was on toe and ready, as ian coats. The cadets were strengthened stop. According to the decision made by from Tbilisi in an effort to avoid casual-
leadership of the Soviet Russia decided they heard hooters voice. Everybody by the artillery and two companies. Gen- the Command, on the night of Feb. 25, ties. A week of heroic age and city pro-
to invade Georgia by force. According was arranged at the place of destination. eral Andronikashili was in charge to at- the cadets had to leave. Tabakhmela tection concluded. On Feb. 25 the Rus-
to the plan, the army had to enter the sian Bolshevist Army occupied Tbilisi.
territory of the democratic republic and Georgia movie director Gia Chu-
was going to take Georgia under con- babria filmed the documentary, “Tar-
trol of the soviet rule. The hottest points nished February Shadows,” which is
of the battle were in Tabakhmela and dedicated to the memory of Maro Ma-
Kojori settlements bordering Tbilisi. khashvili, the only woman among the
Freezing… Water in the trenches is cadets.
frozen... Hands of warriors are black and Three years ago the Soviet Occupa-
blue with chillness but they are still kid- tion Museum was opened in Tbilisi, in
ding… Everyone is here, at the battle regard to Georgia’s 1921 occupations by
field... This is the picture of the frosty Russia and its following period. The first
days of February, 1921, when the Elev- photo in the museum depicts one of the
enth Red Army invaded Tbilisi and an- cadets’ family fallen against the Red
nounced the soviet rule in the country... Army in 1921. Entering the big hall all
Russian Ambassador in Georgia Ser- photos portray the entire 20th century
gei Kirov and the Communist Party of Georgian history.
Chairman of the Caucasian Bureau Ser- The photos and subjects followed
go Orjonikidze, constantly requested one another chronologically, until the
from Moscow to officially carry out ap- last period when Georgia was released
propriate activities in order to take Geor- from the Soviet rule. The chronology
gia under the soviet rule. starts with the 1918 Independence Act
On Feb. 12, 1921, under the coordi- of Georgia, along with the photo of the
nation of the 11th Army Command, lo- first Georgian Prime Minister Noe Zhor-
cal communists conducted armed revolts dania, under which there is written his
in different towns and regions and oc- words: “Sometimes freedom comes it-
cupied more of them as well. The next self silently and calmly. Georgia doesn’t
day, the armed forces of Bolshevist Rus- often have such heart and soul. When it
sia crossed the Georgian border and comes easily, it goes around easily.”
without any resistance, they managed to Tea Kerdzevadze