‘Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.’ Abraham Lincoln

Georgia celebrates Independence Day on May 26 since 1918. On this day 101 years ago, Georgia proclaimed its independence, which was extinguished by the military invasion of the Bolshevik Red Army on February 25, 1921. The country declared its independence to be restored on April 9, 1991, based on the May 26, 1918, declaration.

 In 1891, Georgia was all but completely annexed by the Russian Empire. The Russians ignored Georgian habits and traditions and sought to eradicate Georgian language and culture. Almost all frescos in all Georgian cathedrals were white-washed and both the status of the Patriarch and the autocephaly of the Georgian Church were abolished. 

In February of 1917 the Democratic Republic of Georgia, with a provisional government, was established. In March of the same year, the Georgian church regained its autocephaly and a new patriarch, Kirion, was elected. On 1920, Russia recognized Georgia’s independence, which was followed by the de facto acknowledgement of the country by Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan. In February of 1921, Tbilisi was occupied by the Red Army and the government of Georgia was forced to flee. From 1921 to 1991 the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia was one of the 15 constituent republics of the Soviet Union.  

Georgian Independence Day is being celebrated all around the country with a variety of events. It is a special day for whole of Georgia and naturally they are all in high spirits. Trough out the day, people will have an opportunity to visit various interesting events in Svaneti, Telavi and on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi. 

Repeal the Missouri Compromise – repeal all compromises – repeal the Declaration of Independence – repeal all past history, you still cannot repeal human nature. It will be the abundance of man’s heart that slavery extension is wrong; and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak. Abraham Lincoln

By Tsotne Mgeladze