29 Years Since Tragedy - Georgia Remembers April 9 Heroes

Today, Georgia celebrates the 29th anniversary of the April 9 tragedy, when the Soviet Union's armed forces dispersed a peaceful demonstration in the center of Tbilisi in 1989. The country also marks the 27th anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union.

Every April 9th, the citizens of Georgia gather at the memorial located in front of the Old Parliament building in Tbilisi, to pay tribute to the victims.

21 people were killed on April 9, 1989 in a peaceful demonstration demanding the country’s independence from the Soviet regime. Sixteen died at the scene while five died later from injuries, among hundreds injured, poisoned and taken to hospitals. 

On April 9, 1991, the legislative body of the country and the first President, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, adopted the Declaration of Independence and announced Georgia’s sovereignty from the Soviet Union.

Today, Georgian leaders, officials and ordinary citizens brought flowers to the April 9 memorial and remembered the fallen heroes.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stressed that the April 9 tragedy showed the consolidation of Georgians and demonstrated their unity.

“With such consolidation and the integration of the whole country, we must strengthen our country's independence; we must build a stronger Georgia, and remain loyal to the ideals for which the April 9 heroes sacrificed themselves,” the PM stated while laying flowers at the Memorial of Heroes.

Georgian President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, also paid tribute to April 9 heroes, saying their merit in protecting Georgia will never be forgotten.

“We should thank these people that we are free now,” Margvelashvili added.

By Thea Morrison

09 April 2018 11:17