Georgia marks Day of Restoration of Independence (VIDEO)
Georgia celebrated the Day of Restoration of Independence and the Day of Memory of the victims of the violent dispersal of the mass demonstration in 1989 in Tbilisi: people were dispersed by the troops of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR, who used tear gas, sapper shovels and heavy equipment.
On April 9, 1989, at least twenty people were tragically killed as Soviet troops attacked peaceful protesters in the centre of Tbilisi.
The date has been etched into the minds of locals and is remembered as the day of National Unity. It is recognised as a public holiday in Georgia.
The family of the fallen, community members and officials gathered outside the old Parliament Building on Rustaveli Ave in central Tbilisi at the April 9 memorial, where 29 years ago the tragedy occurred.
Some lit candles while others presented flowers in remembrance of those who died during the demonstration, Agenda.ge reported.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said this date was "especially important" for Georgia and it would always remain as a symbol of love for the motherland, the fight for freedom and the sacrifice for homeland.
Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili thanked those people who sacrificed themselves for freedom and said "we are free today thanks to them”.
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, who also paid tribute for the victims of the April 9, said that what happened on this date in 1989 was "the biggest tragedy of the country”.