SUKHUM -- A solemn meeting held today (29 September) in the Great Assembly Hall of the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia in Sukhum dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of Abkhazia.
Attending the anniversary-celebrations in Abkhazia were the following official delegations: the Republic of South Ossetia, led by President Leonid Tibilov; Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, led by President Evgeny Shevchuk; the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, led by Vice-Chairman of the Parliament, Artur Tovmasjan; Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, led by the Head of the Republic, Arsen Kanokov; the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. led by the First Deputy Chairman of the Parliament, Stanislav Kesaev; the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia, led by the Chairman of the National Assembly (Parliament), Alexandr Ivanov; the Republic of Ingushetia, headed by the Chairman of the National Assembly, Magomet Tatriev; the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, headed by Major General, Deputy Commander of the 49th Army, Sergej Sevrjukov; the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation; guests from the twin-cities in the Russian Federation; representatives of the Abkhazian diaspora from Turkey; visitors from Japan, Italy; volunteers.
The national flag of the Republic of Abkhazia made its entry into the hall to the sound of martial music. The national anthem of the country was also played.
Speaker of Parliament, Valerij Bganba, who conducted the solemn assembly, congratulated all on the Day of independence of Abkhazia, the 20-year anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of Abkhazia.
The keynote-address at the ceremonial meeting was delivered by the Minister of Defence of Abkhazia, Merab Kishmaria.
Russian Ambassador to Abkhazia, Semën Grigoriev, read the message of congratulation to the people of Abkhazia from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On the occasion of the Victory congratulations to the people of Abkhazia were offered by Plenipotentiary Representative, Evgenij Shevchuk, President of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, and Head of Kabardino-Balkaria, Arsen Kanokov.
The Hall rose, went Tamara Avidzba-Ezugbaja, who lost four sons in the war, walked to the podium. The oldest of her sons was 23, the youngest just 16.
"20 years have passed since the day when the flag of victory was hoisted over our country. We were victorious in this terrible battle; we could not but win in that war, for we had no alternative. The victory was not easily achieved: thousands of our people, mostly young people, died for the freedom of Abkhazia. We, the mothers of Abkhazia, express deep gratitude to the mothers of the volunteers. We bow our heads low to you! From the very first days of the war your sons stood next to our sons and showed the world that there is not and will not be any country that could bring to its knees the people of our country," said Tamara Avidzba-Ezugbaja. She stressed that the names of the volunteers will for ever be inscribed in golden letters in the heroic annals of Abkhazia.
"In every assault we were losing sons, fathers, sisters. We were not given the bodies of our children, but even so we heroically held fast. All together we were waiting for the day of victory. We had no doubt that we would come through the tragedy, and we have found the strength to continue to live, work and enjoy the success of our country," said T. Avidzba-Ezugbaja.
She expressed thanks to the leadership of Russia, which recognised the independence of Abkhazia and is doing a lot for the prosperity of the country. She also thanked the government of Abkhazia, which does a lot for the mothers, the families of the victims, and those disabled in the war.
Tamara Avidzba-Ezugbaja wished all good health and well-being. The Hall stood as this heroic woman of indomitable spirit returned to her seat.
The veterans of the war were represented by Hero of Abkhazia, Otar Lomia. Cadet of the Sukhum Leading Pan-Military School, Narsou Lagvilava, offered congratulations to the veterans of war and to the whole people.
President of the Confederation of the Peoples of the Caucasus, Musa Shanibov, spoke to all with memories of the war and the contribution to the victory made by the Confederation.
President of the Movement "Mothers of Abkhazia for Peace and Social Justice", Guli Kichba, whose son went missing in the war, addressed the gathering with moving words from the heart.
The meeting was attended by President of the Istanbul Committee of Solidarity with Abkhazia, Ardashin Bganba; Director of the Dmitri Gulia Abkhazian Institute of Humanitarian Studies, Vasilij Avidzba; Deputy-Speaker of the Parliament of Nagorno-Karabakh, Artur Tovmasyan; and Hero of Abkhazia, Nani Akaba.
On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia, the guests who had come for the anniversary-celebration were welcomed by President Alexandr Ankvab. Alexandr Ankvab offered his congratulations on the Victory and expressed his wish for new victories in civilian life.
To the sounds of a military march, with carefully measured steps, young soldiers, the heirs of the glory of past generations of valiant soldiers, bore the national flag of Abkhazia from the hall.