President Saakashvili called on the nation on August 7 for unity in the struggle for Georgia’s statehood against “the liar and totally dishonest force.”
He made a live televised address to the nation from Gori, a town which along with Tskhinvali suffered most from the last year’s war, standing on the background of a medieval fortress. Before his address a symphonic orchestra performed Georgia’s national anthem, followed by the EU anthem, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
“Georgia became involved in struggle for its existence. On August 7, 2008 Russia’s plan to destroy Georgia’s freedom, democracy and statehood was put into operation in the most merciless and ruthless way,” Saakashvili said.
“Ancestor of old KGB decided to finally put an end to so called ‘Georgian project’ – to our joint attempt to create modern, democratic, European, successful state in the Caucasus,” he said.
In his speech Saakashvili honored memories of fallen soldiers and civilians killed in the August war and listed names of dozens of servicemen and spoke much about their, as he put it, heroism and how they died while in fighting. He also listed names of several villagers, which he said, were executed “just because they were Georgians.”
“Is not it a crime against humanity?” he said. “I ask the world today: what was that other than an example of barbaric ethnic cleansing, which by words we all condemn, but very often we do not to face the truth and reality… Is the ethnic cleansing allowed in the 21st century Europe?”
He said that Georgia was on “a forefront of struggle” against “liar and totally dishonest force.”
“Georgia was the first to be hit by this force,” Saakashvili said. “Our strength is in our knowledge of what we are fighting for – we struggle for united, democratic Georgia.”
“Today, as we commemorate our fallen compatriots, I want to call on each citizen to get united for democratic and united Georgia.”
“Pluralism and opposition is very important for our development, but when existence of our statehood is under the question mark it comes the time for unity… In the face of occupants a single goal unites us – free Georgia,” he said
He said that the unity was the way, which would lead Georgia to victory.
“We want to defeat invaders, but not with war of course – with building democracy and with peace,” Saakashvili said. “I call entire free world to help us in protecting the peace and help us not to let invader to advance further [into Georgian territories], but contrary to make them retreat.”
He said that Georgia now had strong allies and it was “not alone” and even those countries, which were regarded as Russia’s “natural or compulsory allies” refused to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“With the efforts of our western friends our way towards the EU and NATO is more open than ever,” Saakashvili said.
“Our present is difficult, but our future is being written with our own hands… Let’s write our future ourselves and not let anyone do that instead of us… Let’s get united and we will definitely gain victory.”