Festive events on Victory and Independence Day were held throughout Abkhazia and in Sukhum on September 30.

Said Bargandzhia

Victory and Independence Day was celebrated in Abkhazia: commemorative events in honor of the 26th anniversary of the victory of the people of Abkhazia in the Georgian-Abkhaz war took place in all regions and towns of the Republic on Monday, September 30.

The main celebrations were held in the capital. In the morning of the holiday, representatives of the country's leadership and foreign government delegations from countries having friendly relations with Abkhazia laid flowers at two memorials - the monument to the First President of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba in the village of Nizhnyaya Eshera and the memorial in honor of the people of Abkhazia who died in Patriotic War in the Sukhum Glory Park.

Veteran of the Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia Soso Tuzhba has a high award - the medal “For Courage”.  Every year he comes to the grave of the First President of Abkhazia in the native village of Ardzinba to honor his memory.

“We looked up to him. He was at the head of the nation, and without disputes we carried out what he said. And it was thanks to his wise and correct thoughts that we won,” the veteran emphasized.

Remembering the First President at the same ceremony, a resident of Sukhum Arlan Zantaria noted the courage and unwavering will of the Abkhaz leader.


“We have an independent state, we have the opportunity to build [the future] and live on our native land, and in many ways this is precisely his (Vladislav Ardzinba's - ed.) merit,” Zantaria noted.

After the laying of flowers and wreaths, a solemn passage of troops took place at the Memorial of Glory, and then the President of Abkhazia Raul Khadzhimba spoke to the assembled people. He noted that every year that has passed since the Victory of the people of Abkhazia in the Patriotic War of 1992-1993 fills with deep meaning and content the struggle for the restoration of national statehood, the origins of which go back many centuries.

“I would like to express my best wishes to the citizens of our Republic, to all our friends, well-wishers in the near and far abroad. May the memory of those who laid their lives on the altar of the holy Victory never fade!  A low bow to the mothers and fathers of heroes who gloriously laid down their lives in the battles for the liberation of our Motherland!  Happy Victory Day, dear compatriots!” said Khadzhimba.

The holiday continued with the traditional action “Immortal Regiment” on the square near the State Russian Drama Theater named after Fazil Iskander.  This action was first held in 2016.  Now it takes place in autumn in different towns of Abkhazia, although not on the same day.  For example, this year in Gagra the action is planned for October 6, the day of Gagra’s liberation from the Georgian invaders, and in Novy Afon it has already been held the day before, on September 29. The number of participants in the commemorative procession in the Republic is increasing every year.

“Great action. These photos of young children ... as if all these faces come to life in memory.  You see and understand that many have already grown children.  The wounds are too fresh,” shared a resident of Sukhum, Mariam Bartsyts, who has been taking part in the action for the third time.

On the eve of Victory Day celebration, September 29, another procession, which became annual, “Heroes' Trail”, started on the Abkhaz-Russian border.  The action was first held in 2007.  It consists in the fact that its participants walk along the “path of soldiers”, stopping at the places where the battles took place. For example, passing Gagra, they recall the liberation of the town from the Georgian invaders. In Gudauta they speak about the importance of the rear.

This year 170 people took part in the procession.  They walked 120 kilometers in almost one day, completing their journey in the Glory Park in Sukhum.  One of the organizers of the action Nar Tania noted that all the participants walked from beginning to end.

“First of all, this is an excursion into the latest history for the young generation. Many participants in the procession were only 20 years old. We approached the monuments of the people of Abkhazia who died during Patriotic War, which are in every town, and in the villages located along the way, laid flowers. They walked and told [each other] stories about the war, which came to us from our fathers, mothers and older brothers. We really walked along a historical trail. I am convinced that such actions bring up love and patriotism in the younger generation,” said Tania.

At the State Museum of Military Glory named after Vladislav Ardzinba that day, a photo exhibition of the military cameraman Vitaly Ketsba “Echo of War” was held.  The author presented his works made during the Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia.  Thanks to Ketsba, Abkhazia received a unique archive of photo and video materials.The exposition includes more than 80 photographs.

“In the war it was difficult for everyone: those who fought, and those who worked as journalists. Many of my colleagues died. I was next to the fighters. I did not fight, I did not have weapons. My weapon was photo and video equipment. Whenever possible, I shot everything I saw,” the war correspondent said.

The festive day ended with a concert with the participation of Abkhaz pop stars and fireworks.

Victory and Independence Day of Abkhazia has been celebrated for 26 years since the day when Abkhaz troops liberated the country from Georgian invaders. The same day is considered the Independence Day of the Republic. Every year on September 30, numerous guests come to Abkhazia in order to share the joy of this day with the Abkhaz people. These are like-minded people from friendly countries - Pridnestrovie, Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, Italy, South Ossetia, compatriots from Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Turkey, Syria, Jordan.