Speeches & Statements
The President of Georgia met the Cadet Corps in the Museum of occupation
I would like to greet our guests; here are family members of cadets, descendants of heroes who fought for Georgia's independence.
I would like to greet Nicole Jordania, the granddaughter of the first chairman of Georgian government.
I would like to greet Georgian cadets, modern Georgian cadets, the students of Kutaisi cadet's school, also officers that are here with us at the occupation museum - in the museum that I would like not to exist if there was no occupation. This museum is necessary never to forget and never to adapt to what was going on in the past and what goes on today in Georgia.
- This day is vital with its scales and importance. On one hand it represents a great tragedy for all of us, a day when our country lost what the generations of our ancestors have been sacrificing themselves for during the centuries - on February 25 we were deprived of our sovereignty, of our right to live independently and have our own statehood.
- But at the same time this day is a great lesson that we should never forget. A lesson that teaches us how easy it is to loose statehood, how ruthless is empire that tries to deprive us our right "to belong to ourselves". It is a lesson that teaches us that we should not weaken and how should we take care of each attribute that provides our independence.
- Soviet empire didn't want us to remember this lesson and this is why they did everything in order to erase the true importance of February 25th from our memories totally. Those, who refused to forget about it were simply shoot or exiled, for those who remained alive they have simply torn undesirable pages of our history and created pages of fiction history.
- Brutal irony of the empire came to the point that they have declared February 25th as a holiday. You will not remember this, but 25-30 years ago Georgian population used to celebrate a day of Georgia's Sovitization as a greatest achievement that liberated our country from the gloomy past. Poems and songs were written, monuments were raised and movies were directed specially for this day. Children used to come out on the streets and used to arrange festivities, used to fly Soviet flags. They were congratulating us with February 23th, later as a male's day.
- But no one used to tell us that this red flag first of all was painted by the blood of our national heroes, who fought for independence, no one reminded us that this flag first time was raised on the dead bodies of your ancestors - young cadets.
- No one told us that February 25th was the day of Soviet occupation. A day when Georgian statehood was killed.
- Significant part of Georgian territory is still under the occupation, the same empire that organized February 25th of 1921 still continues dreaming of emancipation of Georgia's sovereignty. At the same offices, where that tragic day was being planned and managed, again is thought over, how to repeat the new 25 of February. I remember during our first meeting Putin stated proudly that he was sitting in Stalin's office, in Kremlin.
- There is only one difference now - this empire was newly born then and now it is dying and is in the stage of disappearance. Then it was starting moving towards domination of world and Georgia was one of the little constraints on this way that it had to overcome - now it has lost its influence, its positions gets weaker each day and Georgia is the last mean for them to maintain their positions and status of empire.
- This is why we should be hundred times more careful and mobilized. This is why we have to think now what does February 25th represent for us and learn lessons from the results of occupation.
- These lessons are necessary for not letting anyone ever deprive us from our free choice to have sovereign, democratic and Europe oriented state.
- Georgia's European aspirations, return to European interior, are conditioned by historical reasons. Whenever Georgia was given a chance to exist independently there never existed a doubt about this aspiration. At the same time Georgia becomes important regional subject, a country that settles new standards and lightens the way for the other countries within the region.
- Our first republic existed in totally different historic epoch long time ago. It is risky to make parallels in the history, but the major thing has never changed - Georgia wanted to become a successful, democratic and European state now and earlier, always. Now and earlier people sitting in Kremlin were doing everything in order to stop this process - the process of expression of people's free will.
- Georgia's choice towards Europe and way to freedom was undoubtedly clear now and earlier. The firm will of Georgian multi-ethnic population was very clear now and earlier: a) Georgia must return to Europe and b) Georgia must be a democratic state.
- Let's take a look on the signatures on Georgia's Independence Declaration of ethnically none-Georgian states - Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Poland and others. Their number is impressive. Ethnical minorities living in Georgia were supporting and are supporting Georgia's European and democratic way.
- 1921 occupation was followed by arrangement of a real massacre in Georgia. We must not forget a titanic sacrifice that Georgian people gave as a result of occupation. It is clear that many things are forgotten together with time, but how can we forget that 80,000 people were shoot on Georgian territory from 1921 to 1953 and 200 thousand persons were exiled. We all know very well that in 1930 exile of a person equaled to verdict of death.
- As a result political, economic and military classes practically disappeared from Georgian society. People who represented the base of a successful state.
- But today it is a different time. Today we are building our state from the very beginning. We are trying to restore and create of what we were deprived and stolen. We are trying to build a state that fights not only for survival, but that creates new, reaches success and becomes exemplary for the others. Unlimited potential of Georgian people is a guarantee for this.
- Today is no longer 1921; Georgian state is rather stronger. Today Georgia has more friends than ever and what's most important - by our people's unity Georgia has survived and maintained chances for the development.
- Major achievements of our last several years are not paved roads and new buildings, nor are the fact of how many percent of economic growth we have and how many millions of foreign investments come to Georgia. All of this is very important, but the main thing is that we have started strategic thinking as Georgian nation and society.
- During last several years a political class was formed in Georgia that has strategic thinking. The basis of their actions, thinking and ideology represents the idea of existence of democratic Georgian state, its development and protection. Political class that thinks that Georgia is not a province of some empire, for whom political center is Tbilisi and soon Kutaisi will be added to it as well; who understands how modern, democratic, public policy works. This was exactly a difference between Baltic Countries and Georgia by the end of 80ies. They managed to form political class within the period of 20 years before 1939 and met new independence well prepared. They managed to maneuver in a right way, we because of the lack of political guidelines almost exploded on every bomb that was put on a target. All of us were snared in a trap that had been set much earlier.
- Attitude towards state symbols have changed during last several years, totally different respect appeared towards national flag and national emblem, people, among them very small children know national anthem by hard. It was not like this when we were at the dawn of our independence. Georgia was such an imperfect state that state symbols, state thinking, even patriotism in some respect was a subject of certain sarcasm and irony.
- State institutions really started to function during last several years in Georgia. State started to fulfill its functions, bilateral obligations and responsibilities were settled between the state and society. So to say, certain social contract was generated between the state and its citizens, what represents a major basis of the statehood and it had not existed 7-8 years ago.
- It is first time during many years that we have high-qualified Georgian military officers and fully formed army. We now have military education school of Georgian sovereign state and mechanist of raising military qualification. You are aware that Soviet Union destroyed the generations of our qualified officers as one of the subject of occupation of empire, which at the same time was famous by its love towards freedom of national pride and later forbade bringing up our Georgian officers.
- So to say we have restored all those mental or physical attributes that was first destroyed by Russian empire and later by Soviet empire in order not to allow Georgia to be formed as an independent state ever. They managed to do it all so successfully that by the end of 80ies, when subject of Soviet Union's dispersion appeared on agenda, everyone in Moscow were sure that Georgia had no chance to be formed as an independent state, because it had no necessary attributes. Even more, many people in Georgia believed in the same. And first decade of our independence was a real prove of it.
- Today we are in a different reality, today Georgia is a complete state, its citizens have state thinking, we have political class that was formed by sovereign Georgian state, our state institutions function, we have state symbolic, which is honored by our people, our citizens acknowledge their responsibility towards the state and the state fulfills its major obligations towards its citizens. This exactly is our biggest achievement; this is what makes impossible our history to return and a new February 25th to appear. Independence is an absolute value, when you possess it, it is possible to achieve anything. Today world crises hits us. We are still very unsecured socially and economically, but for example Singapore was in much worse situation than us when it started to develop. Though it maintained independence and didn't allow others to fumble in and choose right policy. It became one of the wealthiest state of the world. We will do the same with our modernization program and construction. Mainly the young generation will have to do it.
- And the most important thing is that we have you - the future generation that presents the backbone of our country's security in future.
- There is no development possible in our conditions without having a strong army, formation of which is a quite long process. By the time of the dawn of our independence Georgia had no high ranking experienced officers, because military carrier was not considered to be prestigious and because Soviet army was considered to be debauched. This is why cadets and their teachers will always remain as exemplary models for you and for any person that is interested in military carrier.
- And for your future generations you will become exemplary models, not by sharing cadets' destiny, but by forming, defending, strengthening and uniting our free Georgia.