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Soviet Occupation Day – February 25, 2023

Soviet Occupation Day is observed in the country of Georgia on February 25 every year. It is a Memorial Day that commemorates the invasion of Georgia by the Red Army in 1921. The holiday was first established in 2010, with its first observance in 2011. The Georgian announcement of the holiday was in line with Moldova’s own Soviet Occupation Day, meant to remember the Soviet’s occupation on June 28, 1940. Moldova’s Soviet Occupation Day, however, was repealed by its judiciary in 2010. Latvia, another country that was occupied by the Soviet Union, has its own day of remembrance on June 17 every year.

History of Soviet Occupation Day

Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region. It is a representative democracy and dates its origins back to classical antiquity. Parts of Georgia became part of the Russian Empire in 1783 and continued to function as a part of the empire under its dissolution following the 1917 Russian Revolution. Soon after, Georgia came to constitute a part of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic (T.D.F.R.) on April 22, 1918. Georgia declared independence a little over a month later on May 26, though. The country did not get to enjoy sovereignty for long.

The Soviet Invasion of Georgia was a military campaign that saw the Soviet Red Army invade and occupy the Democratic Republic of Georgia (D.R.G.) on February 25, 1921, and install a Bolshevik regime in the country. The invasion came from a newly established expansionist policy by Soviet Russia which aimed to expand Russian control to the territories that were part of the former Russian Empire.

Interestingly, the invasion was not entirely agreed upon in Moscow — in fact, Russia had even recognized Georgia’s independence the year prior. This invasion was orchestrated by two Georgian-born Soviet officials, Joseph Stalin and Sergo Ordzhonikidze under the pretext of supporting working-class rebellions in the country. Georgia regained independence months before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 — the Georgian Supreme Council declared independence on April 9. Soviet Occupation Day was first established in 2010, with its first celebration in 2011.

Soviet Occupation Day timeline

1789
Part of the Russian Empire

Parts of Georgia become part of the Russian Empire.

1917
Russian Revolution

Georgia gains independence after the Russian Revolution.

1921
The Soviet Invasion

The Soviet Red Army invades Georgia.

1991
Georgian Independence

Georgia declares independence from the Soviet Union.

Soviet Occupation Day FAQs

Is Georgia a free country?

Georgia is currently an independent country.

What language is spoken in Georgia?

Georgian is the official language of Georgia.

Was Latvia part of the Soviet Union?

Yes, it was.

How to Observe Soviet Occupation Day

  1. Read about Georgian history

    Georgia has a rich cultural and political history. Spend the day reading up on it or watching videos about it.

  2. Learn about the Soviet Union

    The Soviet Union was a former superpower, and its actions had a huge impact on history. Understand how it came to be and why it did what it did.

  3. Understand current Georgian politics

    Soviet occupation has had a lasting impact on Georgian politics. It might be interesting to learn more about it, such as how Russia continues to aggravate Georgia to this day.

5 Interesting Facts About Georgia

  1. The country’s name

    Local Georgians refer to the country as ‘Saqartvelo.’

  2. Wine

    Georgians are said to have been the first people to produce wine.

  3. Georgian

    The Georgian language is only spoken in Georgia.

  4. Folk music

    Georgia is world-renowned for its folk tradition of polyphonic singing.

  5. Ancient European cities

    Georgia is home to Mtskheta and Kutaisi, some of Europe’s oldest cities.

Why Soviet Occupation Day is Important

  1. It is an important event in Georgian history

    Soviet Occupation Day marks an important moment in Georgian history. The day serves as an important reminder of the years of occupation Georgians lived under.

  2. It’s a part of a larger landmark in history

    The Cold War, in which the Soviet Union played a central role, still continues to shape world politics today. The annexation of Georgia was a significant point in Soviet history.

  3. It’s an opportunity to learn about Georgian history

    Georgia’s culture is colorful, and its political history is rich. Soviet Occupation Day is a perfect opportunity to start reading up on it.

Soviet Occupation Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 25Saturday
2024February 25Sunday
2025February 25Tuesday
2026February 25Wednesday
2027February 25Thursday

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