Georgia’s Ambassador to US Publishes Article in The Washington Post

David Bakradze, Georgia’s Ambassador to the United States, published an article in the Washington Post about the April 9, 1989 tragedy in Georgia, when Soviet regime dispersed a peaceful demonstration, killing 21 young protesters.

“I was a teenager attending Public School No. 1, on the central avenue in my hometown of Tbilisi. The school stood just a short distance from the spot from where, on that fateful spring day, Soviet troops assaulted my countrymen in an attempt to crush our thirst for freedom. Thousands of people — some of them on hunger strikes — gathered spontaneously to demand independence from Russian rule. Moscow dispatched Soviet troops under the command of Russian general Igor Rodionov to stop it,” the article reads.

Bakradze says Russian soldiers bludgeoned unarmed citizens with military trenching tools. They gave no quarter, attacking even some of those who were fleeing. They fired tear gas and CS gas — a chemical weapon — at the crowds of peaceful protesters, paralyzing some, killing others.

“In the end, 21 Georgians lay dead, including 17 women and three that were no more than 16 years old, battered with trenching tools and suffocated by gas from the Soviet army,” he stressed.

The article reads that over the next few days, Soviet media claimed that these young men and women were guilty of stirring ethnic unrest and endangering public safety and that they were trying to overthrow the government. 

“But we knew the truth…They sought to regain our nation’s independence from Moscow and to govern themselves in a democracy. Their only weapons were their voices; their only offense was gathering peacefully, which precipitated the unprovoked attack,” the ambassador says.

Bakradze added that April 9, 1989, marked a new beginning for Georgia. “It provoked a dramatic civilizational choice, which cannot be negated — even by Russia’s continuing occupation of 20 percent of Georgia’s territory,” he wrote.

You can read the full article here.

By Thea Morrison


11 April 2019 10:38