On May 26, 2023, the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, announced the initiative to award the title of National Hero of Georgia to the members of the "Military Center of Georgia" who were shot in 1923.
The title and order of the National Hero of Georgia were established on June 24, 2004, and have been awarded to 24 people. At the president's initiative, 15 more people from the military center will be added to this number.
IDFI believes that this initiative is a timely and important way to properly respect the self-sacrificing heroes of the country and to honor the memory of the members of the "Military Center of Georgia" who were shot by Bolshevik Russia.
However, it should be noted that there is a need to address broader challenges in understanding the Soviet past. The glorification of the Soviet state and the revival of the cult of Stalin are tools employed by Putin's Russia in a manufactured hybrid struggle. These methods are also used in disinformation and propaganda campaigns in Georgia.
It should be highlighted that Georgia faces various problems concerning the memory of repressed individuals, including:
- The provision of a 7 GEL household subsidy for persons recognized as victims of political repression.
- Lack of interest in the first mass grave discovered in Batumi.
- Absence of a memory policy in public spaces, school textbooks, etc.
These are the issues that IDFI consistently addresses and conducts advocacy campaigns for, although the Georgian authorities have not taken effective measures in this regard.
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