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Samegrelo (Mengrelia)
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Zhiuli Shartava (1944-1993) was a Georgian politician who was killed by Abkhaz rebels during the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia in 1993. He was born on 7 March 1944. An engineer by education, he was elected in the Parliament of Georgia in 1992. He chaired the legal Council of Ministers and the Council of Self-Defence of Abkhazian Autonomous Republic during the Georgian-Abkhazian War in 1993. When the city of Sukhumi fell to the Russian-supported secessionist on September 27, 1993, Shartava refused to flee together with other Georgian authorities (Guram Gabiskiria, Raul Eshba, Mamia Alasania, Sumbat Saakian, Misha Kokaia and others) and was captured by the Abkhaz militants and killed after extensive torture. He was officially honored as the National Hero of Georgia posthumously in 2004.

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Georgian history has witnessed many downfalls and horrific days when it seemed the future of Georgia and its nation would simply be erased from the world civilization. This pessimistic notions were brought out due to Georgia's ill fate. Many empires admired Georgia but hated the idea of her freedom. They would simply divide her, destroy her and cleansed her population or deported them to other countries. However, She gave birth to great people, who would save and deliver her from these despotic empires. These persons were born in the most desperate apocalyptic times. Such men and women were called heroes and savers of Georgia. With great heroes such as David Aghmashenebeli, Giorgi Saakadze, Ilia Chavchavadze ect, History has written yet another name into the list of heroes -a name of ZHIULI SHARTAVA.

Zhiuli witnessed a war which is still hard to forget. It all began in spring of 1992. Separatism and Terrorism swept throughout Abkhazia ( Autonomous Republic of Georgia ). Abkhazia received its autonomy from the Bolshevik Russia, by which they aimed to destroy Georgian unity ( as you know many tried before ). This period gave rise to the Abkhaz terrorist bands, who's destiny didn't lay in Abkhazias independence but more in Russias new domination over independent Georgia and of whole Caucasus. Zhiuli was appointed as Chairman of Supreme Council of Abkhazia (ancient name: Abkhazeti or Egrisi ). When civil war erupted in Abkhazia and Georgian troops were pulled in to protect Georgias territorial integrity and 80% of the regions Georgian population. Rise of Abkhaz nationalism was inspired by Russian Duma members and high rank officials in Moscow. Zhiuli entrenched himself in Sokhumi ( capital of the region ) and stayed there until the end. The civil war turned out to be devastating for Georgia. Russian military machine has shown its full capability in all fronts of the Western Georgia. Civilian loses were in great numbers. Russia, her North-Caucasian allies and with small Armenian battalions, committed genocide and ethnic- cleansing of more then 20, 000 civilians ( all Georgians ) and more then 300,000 were expelled from their land and homes. In the late September 1993, Sokhumi fell into the hands of criminal groups of the conjoined highly financed terrorist forces . Because of Russian imperialism and west's ignorance , Georgia had to pay a high price. Ziuli was one of it. On the day of Sokhumis tragic fall and after the evacuation of Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze, Zhiuli stayed in his office building refusing to leave his homeland. Russian and Abkhaz commandos surrounded him, tormented him and finally killed him with agonizing death. Abkhaz criminals were given order from Kremlin to execute Zhuili and his men as soon as possible. Before killing him and his men, they fed him soil: " You wanted your land? Here ! You can have it now ..." Zhiulis stomach and his organs were filled with Georgian soil. Zhiulis tragic death, heroism and his devoted love toward our long suffered country, will never leave our memories and admiration toward him. He was a men who respected anyone around him. He advocated the brotherhood between Georgians and Abkhaz and dreamed of peace and better future for all people living in Abkhazia and rest of Georgia. Everyone who knew him, loved him for he was a men who stood beside everyone. He loved Sokhumi and seeing its fall and destruction he chose to die defending it as did many Georgian before him, defending Mtskheta, Surami and Tbilisi. Zhiulis mother bracing Mr. Shavardnadzes hands: "If my sons death was important and necessary for Georgia, I will cry no more."

Ardzimbas bloody regime has no future or mercy. Georgia will never forget or forgive anyone who mercilessly murdered our mothers, our fathers, our sisters, our brothers and most of all who took our country from us. There will and there are already new Zhiulis, who will return to their homes and to their land.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU ZHIULI. WE WILL MARCH BACK TO ABKHAZIA, WITH YOUR SPIRIT AND DEDICATION. REST IN PEACE, HERO OF GEORGIA.

 
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