Special statement on the 27th of September

Today in Georgia we commemorate the Fall of Sukhumi – one of the darkest dates in Georgia’s modern history.

On this day 26 years ago Russian-backed militaries slaughtered and tortured Georgian civilian population in Sukhumi, killing women, children, and elderly, sending hundreds of thousands into oblivion and exile, and forcing natives of the region to leave the homes and graves of our ancestors.

On this day Georgians made a grave mistake – we trusted the Russian-backed Sochi accords, negotiated and guaranteed by Russian Federation. Georgian side fulfilled the accords – all heavy weapons were removed from Abkhazia, leaving the capital unprotected and allowing the massacre to happen.

The Government of Abkhazia fulfilled its duty and stayed in the besieged city till the very end – and all of them were mercilessly slaughtered in front of the House of Government.

My grandfather – Alexander Berulava – then the head of military press-centre of the government of Abkhazia and one of the founders of Georgian television in Abkhazia, sacrificed his life to give my generation a chance to build our own, independent country.

This day is not just a day of a tragedy or a massacre – it is a day of sacrifice. The sacrifice of Georgian Patriots, who lead us to our independence, who stopped aggression against Georgia at Enguri river and gave us a chance to build our own country.

And I believe, that we shall succeed – not only because we do not have the right to fail, but also because of this sacrifice. The sacrifice for our own future, that belongs to us only.

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