Commemorating the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism (also known as the Black Ribbon day) European Georgia – Movement for Liberty, the largest opposition group in Georgian Parliament once again calls upon the Georgian Government to remove statues of dictator Joseph Stalin erected since Georgian Dream came to power in 2012.
23rd of August was declared as an official date to commemorate victims of totalitarianism in Georgia 2010. Not only has the current Georgian Government not marked it, but new statues of Stalin have been erected throughout Georgia (in Akura, Chokhatauri, Zemo Alvani, Lentekhi, Martkopi, Ruispiri and most recently Mukhrani). Moreover, leading figures and leaders of the Georgian Dream have made openly Stalinist statements. Last, but not least, the project of transformation of the Museum of Stalin in Gori into the Museum of Stalinism was de facto stopped.
The alliance of the two most criminal regimes in history sealed on this day in 1939 with the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact impacted Georgia significantly. By 1939, as a result of the Soviet invasion of Georgia of February 1921 and in breach of the May 7, 1920 peace treaty between soviet Russia and Georgia, Georgia had been occupied already for 18 years. The Soviet regime had already carried out most of the executions, deportations and purges, as a result of which Georgia’s political, military, intellectual and religious elites were almost completely exterminated alongside tens of thousands of ordinary citizens. Signature of the pact and acceptance of the “spheres of influence” notion in Europe prolonged soviet occupation of Georgia with 50 more years.