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On 14 August Abkhazia will mark the Day of Remembrance of the Defenders of the Fatherland

SUKHUM -- On 14 August the Day of Remembrance of Defenders of the Fatherland will be marked in Abkhazia.

Twenty years ago, on 14 August 1992, the troops of Georgia’s State Council occupied Abkhazia. The Patriotic War of the people of Abkhazia began, and it lasted 413 days. Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaya told journalists today about the measures planned for the Day of Remembrance of Defenders of the Fatherland.

The ceremony of laying wreaths and flowers at the Memorial to the Defenders of Abkhazia in the Park of Glory in Sukhum will take place at 9:30 a.m. The prime minister appealed to everyone to come to the Memorial on that day and honor with a minute’s silence the memory of the dead fighters who rallied to defend the homeland exactly 20 years ago.

At 21.00 at the colonnade on Makhadjirs’ Quay a large-scale project will be unveiled -- the film “Songs born in war” (script by Emma Khodjaa, artistic direction by Timur Dzidzaria, director and cameraman Timur Kuchuberia) which was made with financial support from the mobile phone company Aquafon and Abaza-TV. “An entire program has been prepared which in my view is quite interesting,” the prime minister said. Abkhaz TV will broadcast the event live so that those who are not able to travel to Sukhum will be able to watch it. The evening will end with a torchlight procession from Makhajirs’ Quay to the Monument to Glory.

This year the Republic of Abkhazia Day of the Volunteer on 15 August will be widely marked for the first time. That date will be included in the list of notable dates that are commemorated in Abkhazia. It does not yet have official status, but it was decided to mark it this year because of the 20th anniversary.

When parliament deputies return after the summer break, they will consider proposed amendments to the Republic of Abkhazia law on memorable anniversaries. “Exactly 20 years ago, on 15 August 1992, the first volunteers who fought shoulder to shoulder with our people and successfully defended the freedom and independence of Abkhazia arrived in Abkhazia,” Leonid Lakerbaya noted. “Instituting a day of memory – the Republic of Abkhazia Day of the Volunteer – is a tribute to the memory of those who came to our defence.”

At 1900 on 15 August a meeting and concert arranged by Madina Argun and pegged to the Day of the Volunteer will take place at the R. Gumba Abkhaz State Philharmonia. At 20:30, youth organizations will offer a program for residents and guests of the capital on the seafront. And a memorial plaque is planned for the building in Gudauta that housed the headquarters of the Confederation of Peoples of the Caucasus during the 1992-1993 patriotic war. “We’re unlikely to meet the deadline this year, but the plaque will be installed in memory of those who worked in this building during the war. It is essential to do this. The plaque has been commissioned and noted specialists are working on it,” Lakerbaya said.

Abkhaz TV will show several films about the volunteers and a roundtable will be held (it will be moderated by Irina Agrba, an active participant of the Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus.)

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