Are the separatists going to open a monument to Paskevich in Akhalkalaki - a "pro-Russian Hayastan" on the territory of Georgia?

15.10.23 23:10

The geopolitical prospects of the so-called "Great Armenia" have changed dramatically in recent months and weeks. First, the Republic of Armenia itself, under the rule of Nikol Pashinyan, has become sharply anti-Russian, and the withdrawal of the Russian military base from there is only a matter of time. Secondly, the liquidation of the most "pro-Russian" separatist "Artsakh" enclave on the territory of Azerbaijan and the mass expulsion of Hayes from there have in fact thwarted the plans of the Kremlin and the pro-Russian Armenian lobby to repeat the combination with the coming to power in Armenia of "Artsakh heroes" oriented towards Moscow. As it happened with Robert Kocharyan in his time. The candidate for the role of head of pro-Russian Armenia and saviour of Artsakh, Ruben Vardanyan, is now in an Azerbaijani prison.


But there remain two zones of mass Khai settlement outside the Russian Federation, where the local Khaiyas are still oriented towards Moscow. And they are on the territory of Georgia. The first is occupied Abkhazia, where the Khai are already the majority, far outnumbering the Abkhazians.  The second is the separatist Khai settlers of Samtskhe-Javakheti, or "Javakhka" in the terminology of local Khai separatists.


Today, the "Javakheti" separatists, along with the Khayyas in occupied separatist Abkhazia, are trying in every possible way to emphasise that they remain "Russia's last hope in the Caucasus". To this end, they are proposing provocative things as alleged "reminders of Russian glory", which can be seen as a spit in the direction of Georgia and the Georgian people. Among such provocative proposals is a proposal to erect a monument in Samtskhe-Javakheti to the Russian general Ivan Paskevich, a coloniser and organiser of ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population of this region.


Information about this was published by the separatist organisation "Javakheti Diaspora of Russia" in its telegram channel:


"To those who saved Javakhk" - eternal gratitude of posterity


General Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich took Akhalkalak (#Ջավախք, Akhalkalak fortress) on 14 June 1828, and in August of the same year the fortress of Akhaltsikhe (Akhaltsikhe) was taken. This year was 195 years, and in 2028 will be 200 years of this event.


We propose to coordinate with the local state authorities, to collect all the necessary design, costing and other documentation, and in the future, in 2024, to erect a monument to General I.F. Paskevich on the territory of the Akhalkalaki fortress.. #საქართველოჩემისამშობლოა 


We propose to name it - Akhalkalaki Day (Ախալքալաք քաղաքի տոնը) and to celebrate it every year on this day (the nearest Sunday after 14 June).


We think that the citizens of Georgia and the local population of the region should not be against it, because there is a creeping Turkish-Azerbaijani annexation in Georgia and the Georgians understand it very well, and such a monument to the general, especially near the Turkish border, would always remind the Turks that these lands were never given to anyone for free and will never be given to anyone.


First of all, we (the people of Javakhk) should decide among ourselves and come to a common opinion, i.e. we should decide whether it is necessary or not. If a common decision is made that yes, it is necessary, then a working group will have to be set up to deal with organisational, legal and other necessary matters. ....


Of course, there are more important issues in Javakhk today, but in our opinion, this proposal is aimed at expressing our gratitude to all those who died for our region and preserving the historical memory, as well as adding another new national holiday and thus having an additional opportunity to invite our fellow countrymen (natives of the region) living outside Georgia to visit Javakhk, to help the local population, to invest, etc. We do not insist on the implementation of our idea, we only propose it for consideration.


Dear compatriots of Javakhk! Look at it, consider it, think about it, the main thing is that you, the people of Javakhk, should decide about it...".


It should be remembered that it was General Paskevich who expelled all Georgian Muslims from Samtskhe Jvegeti, including Akhalkalaki. People who, like the Adjarians, despite their Muslim religion, retained their Georgian identity and carefully preserved ancient Georgian churches and other sacred sites. It was Paskevich who resettled Khays from Turkey to Georgia, an area where historically there had never been a Khays population. These Khays settled in abandoned Georgian villages and partly destroyed and partly appropriated Georgian churches. 


It was Paskevich who created zones of mass Khai settlement in the South Caucasus, not only in Samtskhe-Javakheti, but also in the Iravan Khanate and Karabakh. The indigenous population was subsequently displaced or expelled everywhere.


And now the "Javakhk" separatists are proposing to erect on Georgian soil a monument to this coloniser and organiser of the "cleansing of Georgia of Georgians". For what purpose? To continue this policy, which, let us remember, was already carried out in Abkhazia by Khayi of the Bagrayaan battalion with the help of the Russian Federation.


The danger of separatist activity in Samtskhe-Javakheti and aggression from occupied Abkhazia has not disappeared, on the contrary, it has increased. A naval base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet is already being built in Abkhazian Ochamchira. The Black Sea Fleet will soon move from occupied Ukrainian Sevastopol and Russian Novorossiysk to Ochamchira.


For its "maintenance", Khay migrants, who left Azerbaijani Karabakh as the most "reliable and pro-Russian", are already being transferred. According to the Armenian authorities, 2.5 thousand of the "100 thousand Artsakhis" who left Karabakh at the end of September 2023 have already left Armenia. There is no doubt that a significant number of them, mainly separatist fighters, have moved to occupied Abkhazia.



Alexander Zakhariadze

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