Georgia commemorates 12th anniversary of 2008 war
Georgia is commemorating the 12th anniversary of the Russo-Georgian 2008 War. The official account of the Georgian side states that on August 7, 2008, Russian troops invaded the country and an arm conflict followed.
Twelve years ago, the war cost Georgia the lives of more than 200 civilians, 169 servicemen and 19 employees of the ministry of internal affairs.
Up to 30,000 Georgian citizens became refugees.
Georgian flags are at half-mast today at all governmental buildings across the country.
Georgian and foreign politicians and diplomats are once again protesting Russian aggression and occupation
Georgian prime minister: “We will never repeat the mistakes of the past”
Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia made a special statement on the 12th anniversary of the August 2008 war. Gakharia said that Georgia is going to resolve the issue of occupation peacefully, and mentioned the “mistakes of the past”. However, he did not specify what mistakes he was referring to.
“We will never tolerate occupation. We are on a peaceful path towards resolving this problem, and our international partners support us in this process.
We will never repeat the mistakes of the past, because we know very well that there is no alternative to peace, and that peace, cooperation and economic progress are prerequisites for the unification of our country”, wrote Gakharia.
US Embassy in Georgia: Russian-led forces are trying to expand occupied territories meter by meter
The US Embassy in Georgia also issued a statement on this occasion.
“Twelve years have passed since Russia invaded the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. August 7 is a somber reminder of the thousands who have suffered and continue to suffer in the wake of Russia’s invasion. Today, we remember residents forced out of their homes and forced to live as internally displaced persons. We remember innocent civilians who died because the de facto authorities closed the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABL) and denied them access to emergency medical care. We remember families torn apart and robbed of their livelihoods by illegal ‘borderization’ activities”, read the embassy’s statement
The statement also says that Russia continues to violate the 2008 ceasefire agreement: Russian “border guards” detain civilians and commit acts of violence along the administrative boundary lines, while “Russian-led security forces continue to encroach deeper into Georgian territory, trying to expand the occupied territories meter by meter”.
The US Embassy calls on Russia to withdraw its recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement.
“Russia’s responsibilities under the 2008 ceasefire agreement are clear: Russia must withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions and allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We also call again on Russia to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is essential for hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees to be able to return safely and with dignity to their homes”, reads the statement.
EU: Russia continues to station troops in Abkhazia, South Ossetia in violation of international law
The EU delegation to Georgia also released a statement:
“Unfortunately, tensions have remained high over recent months and the Russian military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia continues in violation of international law and commitments undertaken under the 12 August 2008 agreement”.
The EU delegation notes that the fundamental rights of the population affected by the conflict continue to be violated, including by restricting freedom of movement: so-called “borderization”, temporary closure of checkpoints or illegal detentions.
The statement says that the European Union reaffirms its strong support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within the internationally recognized borders.
Linas Linkevičius: Russia continues to occupy 20% of Georgian territories
“Twelve years have passed since Russia’s deliberate act of aggression against Georgia. Unfortunately, the lesson was not learned, and aggression against Ukraine followed. The creeping annexation and occupation of 20% of the country’s territory continues on today. We reaffirm our unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia”, wrote Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.