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Georgia goes on quarrelling with Russia2010-07-23 19:03
Recently, President Saakashvili sympathized with the Russian citizens called "occupants" because of the Russian policy carried out in the Caucasus. Following his example, Georgian parliament started saying that the occupation of Georgia began a long time ago and it is necessary to legalize the Soviet Occupation Day and the Day of remembrance of victims of totalitarian regime. GeorgiaTimes asked two experts, Candidate of Science (History), Associate Professor at MGIMO (U) of Russian Foreign Ministry Igor Mikhailov and one of the leaders of the Georgian oppositional Conservative party Kakha Kukava whether these dates bear any significance for Georgian people.
The idea of quarrelling with Russia after reminding it of Soviet offenses is too commonplace. Here, an identity sign may be put between USSR and Russia. This time, Georgia picked up the slack from the friendly Moldova where a month earlier, Acting President Mikhay Gimpu signed a decree declaring July 28 the Soviet Occupation Day. The draft decision was contested in Constitutional court and thus failed.
Georgian president seemed to be left apart from the ongoing events and the small contribution in the course of world development was made by a man with a name of Gogol's inconspicuous character, Chairman of Parliament Committee for International Relations Akakiy Minashvili. He put on the agenda the issue of official celebration of two days: the occupation day and the day of remembrance of victims of totalitarian regime.
It was proposed to mark the Occupation Day on February 25. Are there any grounds to mark this day as the day of Soviet occupation?
Kakha Kukava: the date of February 25 is truly meaningful and the people know it well. However, there was not only Soviet occupation: we also had Roman, Byzantine, Mongol and Arabian occupation that caused many victims but we do not have museums or commemoration days of Roman occupation.
Igor Mikhailov: indeed, on 25 February 1921 the Red Army penetrated the Georgian republic with Noy Zhordania's Menshevist government. One may say that Georgians were in the process of joining European civilization, while Bolshevists turned them into slaves. Basically, all Soviet republics were enslaved by Bolshevists and here Georgia shared the fate of the Russian people.
The decree says that being USSR's successor, Russia did not take any steps to eliminate the consequences of Soviet occupation after the USSR collapse. Moreover, the occupation is obviously linked with the loss of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.