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Georgia's independence in blood09.04.2012 | 18:38
Today Georgia celebrates the day of the restoration of state independence. Dispersal of the opposition rally, which occurred 23 years ago in Tbilisi, was the catalyst for the process of Georgia's withdrawal from the USSR. Our correspondent talked to politicians and famous people about the events of 1989-1991 and the role of the country's first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, in the modern history of Georgia.
Gia Kruashvili, leader of the "Free Georgia":
"In my life, this date - this is the day of national pride. Zviad taught me to love Georgia. He was everything for me, a little boy those days. April 9, our police stood together with the people. It was Georgia, gathered in a fist. And May 26, 2011, Georgian police trampled and killed people. That moment, it became clear that Georgia was ruled by negligent and insidious government".
Sandro Bregvadze, a lawyer:
"After April 9, 1989, the national liberation movement widely spread its wings. It has become possible to change the communist regime for the new democratic government, which declared independence on April 9, 1991.
The head of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic Ardzinba recognized Zviad as his president. He used to come to Zviad for business relationships.
Zviad's merits were improperly evaluated by his contemporaries. Only after his loss everyone understood, what a person and thinker they lost. That coup was the beginning of all the bad events in Georgia. All the rulers after Zviad were illegitimate and served to another country. And today we are not independent. I think so".
Kakha Kukava, leader of the "Free Georgia":
"For me personally, Zviad is the embodiment of Georgia's independence. He was a historian, poet, researcher, but the idea of an independent Georgia, which is still relevant today, was principal for him. According to some politicians, independence - this is accession into NATO, and that the White House should appoint us president. Zviad did not think so. The fact that his choice was right is now clear to all.
In 1989, people thought that the issue of independence of Georgia will be exhausted after withdrawal from the USSR. But a cascade of problems began just that time. Now we see that Soviet Georgia was much more humane, democratic country than it is today. When Zviad became president, this is where he faced mafia which was ruling the world. During his meeting with Nixon, he was offered to perform orders from Washington, in exchange on peaceful presidency, like Saakashvili's. He refused, whereupon he was removed".
Zaza Davitaia, a journalist and human rights activist:
"Those problems, we faced on April 9, 1989, are urgent to this day. Legal freedom, brought by Zviad Gamsakhurdia after his untiring efforts, was not enough. For us, Georgians, it does not matter, whether we are under the control of Russia or imperialist America. Today, after 23 years, Georgians must unite and fight for freedom raising their fists.
This day is regular testing. The current leadership is controlled by the forces that Zviad Gamsakhurdia resisted previously. Therefore, Saakashvili's government will be overthrown by those who support Zviad's ideas.
Elizbar Javelidze, a writer:
"Zviad was and remains an ideal. He dreamed of an independent Georgia when he was a boy; and he reached the goal at the cost of his life. External forces thought after the death of Zviad his ideas would also die. Since the day of the overthrow of the national-liberation government, Georgia has chosen the opposite way. It's hard to imagine a president like Saakashvili after Zviad".