SUKHUM / AQW'A — As it stands, over three hundred and fifty women are enlisted as living veterans of the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia, 1992-1993. The Public Chamber of Abkhazia conveyed their congratulations to the women veterans in anticipation of the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Victory in the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia, 1992-1993.
In her opening remarks, Deputy Secretary of the Public Chamber, Izolda Khagba, shared that close to this significant national holiday, a decision was made to assemble the women who had actively participated in combat, to express gratitude once again for their invaluable contributions to the homeland and to elevate their spirits.
Guli Kichba, the Chairperson of the Public Chamber, underscored the pivotal role women played during the war. These were mothers who bore fearless warriors, served as nurses, and fought, weapons in hand, alongside men. "Before us sit women veterans who hastened our Victory, owing to whom we today possess our sovereign state; to you, we bow in deep respect. The Public Chamber has resolved today to express our gratitude and celebrate this day in your honour," she observed.
Abessalom Kvarchia, the Head of the Administration of the President of Abkhazia, delivered a congratulatory address from the Head of State.
"In the Patriotic War of the People of Abkhazia in 1992-1993, women played an incredibly pivotal role. They demonstrated that courage and strength of spirit are not confined by gender, and that war is not exclusively a man’s domain. Bravely battling for the freedom and independence of Apsny, women, exemplifying courage and resilience, fought shoulder to shoulder with men, and laboured in support roles, offering aid to the front," the message particularly emphasised.
Subsequently, Kvarchia recalled an episode from the onset of the war when Georgian troops entered Abkhazian territory, reached the capital, and began firing from helicopters at people trying to escape from Sukhum. It was then that he first met war veteran Esmeralda Arshba, who declared, "We will fight." "These were not just words; I understood that our people would not surrender and would continue to fight," he shared in remembrance.
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Member of the Public Chamber Sokrat Dzhindzholia, in turn, noted that women in the war inspired men. "Vladislav Ardzinba called everyone to defend the homeland but did not call on women. He said that this should not be done, that these are the people who continue our life. But you voluntarily came to help your brothers, your husbands, sons. Women of various ages participated in the war and reached the frontlines through different means," he observed.
Dzhindzholia also emphasised that 13 women who participated in the war were honoured with the high title of Hero of Abkhazia, 53 were awarded the Order of Leon, and 140 women received the Medal "For Courage."
During the meeting, women veterans congratulated the entire people of Abkhazia on the 30th Anniversary of Victory, wishing peace and prosperity to their homeland. Veteran Tsiala Gadlia handed over an "Orthodox Prayer Book" to the Vladislav Ardzinba Museum of Military Glory, on the endpaper of which she wrote a poem before the advance in the village of Adzyubzha in 1993.
The festive atmosphere at the event was enriched by performances from Lyudmila Gumba, Zaur Zuhba, the vocal-instrumental ensemble "Gunda," and the dance ensemble "Nartaa." The audience gladly sang along to their favourite songs and applauded the performers. Throughout the celebration, archival footage from the frontlines of the Patriotic War was displayed on screen.