Video: Abkhazia celebrates Victory Day, 25 years since the end of the Georgian-Abkhaz War
The 30th of September signalled the end of the 1992-1993 war and is considered to be the main national holiday in Abkhazia by both its residents and authorities alike. It is referred to as Independence day, and, as of July 2018, Victory Day.
The 2018 event was celebrated for three days and included a military parade.
The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, sent a celebratory telegram to the president of Abkhazia, Raul Khajimba:
“I would like to confirm that Russia will continue to provide comprehensive support to the government and the people of Abkhazia in solving the challenges that they face,” reads a part of the telegram.
The main concert featured Hibla Gerzmava, a singer of Abkhaz and Russian acclaim. She performed a new song titled My Abkhazia, specially written for the anniversary by composer Maxim Fadeev, with lyrics by Irina Sekacheva.
Gerzmava stated earlier that she came specially to congratulate the people of Abkhazia.
The armed conflict in Abkhazia began on 14 August 1992 and ended on 27 September 1993 with the defeat of the Georgian armed forces against those of the Abkhaz and North-Caucasians.
According to some estimations more than 13,000 lives were lost. At least 4,000 died on the Abkhaz side, with the names of the dead inscribed on a memorial in Sukhumi. Most Abkhaz families still have portraits of loved ones lost in the war prominently displayed in their homes.
Nearly 300,000 predominantly ethnic Georgians fled their homes.
Russia recognized Abkhazia as an independent state following the 2008 August war. The government of Georgia declared the region as occupied territory in response.