The Red Army invasion of Georgia (15 February – 17 March 1921), also known as the Soviet–Georgian War or the Soviet invasion of Georgia, was a military campaign by the Russian Red Army aimed at overthrowing the Social-Democratic (Menshevik) government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG) and installing a Bolshevik regime in the country. The conflict was a result of expansionist policy by the Russians, who aimed to control as much as possible of the lands which had been part of the former Russian Empire until the turbulent events of the First World War, as well as the revolutionary efforts of mostly Russian-based Georgian Bolsheviks, who did not have sufficient support in their native country to seize power without external intervention.
The independence of Georgia had been recognized by Russia in the Treaty of Moscow, signed on 7 May 1920, and the subsequent invasion of the country was not universally agreed upon in Moscow. It was largely engineered by two influential Georgian-born Soviet/Russian officials, Joseph Stalin and Sergo Ordzhonikidze, who on 14 February 1921 got the consent of Russian leader Vladimir Lenin to advance into Georgia, on the pretext of supporting "peasants and workers rebellion" in the country. Russian forces took the Georgian capital Tbilisi (then known as Tiflis to most non-Georgian speakers) after heavy fighting and declared the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic on 25 February 1921. The rest of the country was overrun within three weeks, but it was not until September 1924 that Soviet rule was firmly established. Almost simultaneous occupation of a large portion of southwest Georgia by Turkey (February–March 1921) threatened to develop into a crisis between Moscow and Ankara, and led to significant territorial concessions by the Soviets to the Turkish National Government in the Treaty of Kars.
After the February Revolution that began in Russia in 1917, Georgia effectively became independent. In April 1918 it joined with Armenia and Azerbaijan to form the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, but left after one month and declared independence as the Democratic Republic of Georgia on May 26, followed the next day by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia engaged in small conflicts with its neighbouring states as it attempted to establish its borders, though was able to maintain independence and de facto international recognition throughout the Russian Civil War, including being recognized by Soviet Russia in the Treaty of Moscow.
Despite relatively wide public support and some successful reforms, the Social Democratic leadership of Georgia failed to create a stable economy or build a strong, disciplined army capable of opposing an invasion. Although there were a significant number of highly qualified officers who had served in the Imperial Russian military, the army as a whole was underfed and poorly equipped. A parallel military structure recruited from members of the Menshevik Party, the People's Guard of Georgia, was better motivated and disciplined, but being a lightly-armed, highly politicized organization dominated by party functionaries, had little usefulness as a combat force.
Since early 1920, local Bolsheviks were actively fomenting political unrest in Georgia, capitalizing on agrarian disturbances in rural areas and also on inter-ethnic tensions within the country. The operational centre of the Soviet military-political forces in the Caucasus was the Kavburo (or Caucasian Office) attached to the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party. Set up in February 1920, this body was chaired by the Georgian Bolshevik Grigol Ordzhonikidze, with Sergey Kirov as his vice-chairman. The Sovietization of the Caucasus appeared to Bolshevik leaders to be a task which would be easier to achieve while the Allied powers were preoccupied with the Turkish War of Independence; furthermore, the Ankara-based Turkish national government of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had expressed its full commitment to close co-operation with Moscow, promising to compel "Georgia … and Azerbaijan … to enter into union with Soviet Russia … and … to undertake military operations against the expansionist Armenia." The Soviet leadership successfully exploited this situation and sent in its army to occupy Baku, the capital of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
Following the establishment of Soviet rule in Baku in April 1920, Ordzhonikidze, probably acting on his own initiative, advanced on Georgia in support of a planned Bolshevik coup in Tbilisi. When the coup failed, the Georgian government was able to concentrate all its forces on successfully blocking the Soviet advance over the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. Facing a difficult war with Poland, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin ordered a start to negotiations with Georgia. In the Treaty of Moscow signed on 7 May 1920, Soviet Russia recognized Georgia's independence and concluded a non-aggression pact. The treaty established the existing borders between the two nations de jure and also obliged Georgia to surrender all third-party elements considered hostile by Moscow. In a secret supplement, Georgia promised to legalize the local Bolshevik party.
Despite the peace treaty, an eventual overthrow of the Menshevik-dominated government of Georgia was both intended and planned. With its well-established diplomatic ties to several European nations, and its control of strategic transit routes from the Black Sea to the Caspian, Georgia was viewed by the Soviet leadership as "an advance post of the Entente". Stalin called his homeland "the kept woman of the Western Powers". Georgian independence was seen as a propaganda victory for exiled Russian Mensheviks in Europe; the Bolsheviks couldn't long tolerate a viable Menshevik state on their own doorstep.
The cessation of Red Army operations against Poland, the defeat of the White Russian leader Wrangel, and the fall of the First Republic of Armenia provided a favorable situation to suppress the last independent nation in the Caucasus to resist Soviet control. By that time, the British expeditionary corps had completely evacuated the Caucasus, and the West was reluctant to intervene in support of Georgia.
Soviet military intervention was not universally agreed upon in Moscow, and there was considerable disagreement among the Bolshevik leaders on how to deal with their southern neighbor. The People's Commissar of Nationalities Affairs, Joseph Stalin, who by the end of the Civil War had gained a remarkable amount of bureaucratic power, took a particularly hard line with his native Georgia. He strongly supported a military overthrow of the Georgian government and continuously urged Lenin to give his consent for an advance into Georgia. The People's Commissar of War, Leon Trotsky, strongly disagreed with what he described as a "premature intervention", explaining that the population should be able to carry out the revolution. Pursuant to his national policy on the right of nations to self-determination, Lenin had initially rejected use of force, calling for extreme caution in order to ensure that Russian support would help but not dominate the Georgian revolution; however, as victory in the Civil War drew ever closer, Moscow’s actions became less restrained. For many Bolsheviks, self-determination was increasingly seen as "a diplomatic game which has to be played in certain cases".
According to Moscow, relations with Georgia deteriorated over alleged violations of the peace treaty, the re-arrest by Georgia of Georgian Bolsheviks, obstruction of the passage of convoys to Armenia, and a suspicion that Georgia was aiding armed rebels in the North Caucasus.
The tactics used by the Soviets to gain control of Georgia were similar to those applied in Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1920, i.e., to send in the Red Army while encouraging local Bolsheviks to stage unrest; however, this policy was difficult to implement in Georgia, where the Bolsheviks did not enjoy popular support and remained an isolated political force.
On the night of 11-12 February 1921, at Ordzhonikidze's instigation, Bolsheviks attacked local Georgian military posts in the predominantly ethnic Armenian district of Lori and the nearby village of Shulaveri, near the Armenian and Azerbaijani borders. Georgia had taken over the Lori "neutral zone" in a disputed Armeno–Georgian borderland on the pretext of defending the district and approaches to Tiflis in October 1920, in the course of the Turkish–Armenian War. The Armenian government protested, but was not able to resist.
Shortly after the Bolshevik revolt, the Armenian-based Red Army units quickly came to the aid of the insurrection, though without Moscow's formal approval. When the Georgian government protested to the Soviet envoy in Tbilisi, Aron Sheinman, over the incidents, he denied any involvement and declared that the disturbances must be a spontaneous revolt by the Armenian communists. Meanwhile, the Bolsheviks had already set up a Georgian Revolutionary Committee (Georgian Revkom) in Shulaveri, a body that would soon acquire the functions of a rival government. Chaired by the Georgian Bolshevik Filipp Makharadze, the Revkom formally applied to Moscow for help.
Disturbances also erupted in the town of Dusheti and among Ossetians in northeast Georgia who resented the Georgian government's refusal to grant them autonomy. Georgian forces managed to contain the disorders in some areas, but the preparations for a Soviet intervention were already being set in train. When the Georgian army moved to Lori to crush the revolt, Lenin finally gave in to the repeated requests of Stalin and Ordzhonikidze to allow the Red Army to invade Georgia, on the pretext of aiding an uprising. The ultimate decision was made at the 14 February meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party:
The decision to support the invasion was not unanimous. It was opposed by Karl Radek and was held secret from Trotsky who was in the Ural area at that time. The latter was so upset by the news of the Central Committee decision and Ordzhonikidze’s role in engineering it that on his return to Moscow he demanded, though fruitlessly, that a special party commission be set up to investigate the affair. Later Trotsky would reconcile himself to the accomplished fact and even defend the invasion in a special pamphlet.
At dawn on 16 February the main body of 11th Red Army troops under Anatoliy Gekker crossed into Georgia and started the Tiflis Operation aimed at capturing the capital. Georgian border forces under General Stephen Akhmeteli were overwhelmed on the Khrami river. Retreating westward, the Georgian commander General Tsulukidze blew up railway bridges and demolished roads in an effort to delay the enemy’s advance. Simultaneously, Red Army units marched into Georgia from the north through the Daryal and Mamisoni passes, and along the Black Sea coast towards Sukhumi. While these events were proceeding, the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs issued a series of statements disclaiming involvement by the Red Army and professing willingness to mediate any disputes which had arisen within Georgia.
By 17 February, Soviet infantry and cavalry divisions supported by aircraft were less than 15 kilometers northeast of Tbilisi. The Georgian army put up a stubborn fight in defense of the approaches to the capital, which they held for a week in the face of overwhelming Red Army superiority. From 18 to 20 February, the strategic heights of Kojori and Tabakhmela passed from hand to hand in heavy fighting. Georgian forces under General Giorgi Mazniashvili managed to push the Soviets back inflicting heavy losses; they quickly regrouped and tightened the circle around Tbilisi. By 23 February, the railway bridges had been restored, and Soviet tanks and armoured trains joined in a renewed assault on the capital. While the armoured trains laid down suppressing fire, tanks and infantry penetrated the Georgian positions on the Kojori heights. On 24 February, the Georgian commander-in-chief, Giorgi Kvinitadze, bowed to the inevitable and ordered a withdrawal to save his army from complete encirclement and the city from destruction. The Georgian government and the Constituent Assembly evacuated to Kutaisi in western Georgia, which dealt the Georgian army a significant morale blow.
On 25 February, the triumphant Red Army entered Tbilisi. Bolshevik soldiers engaged in widespread looting. The Revkom headed by Mamia Orakhelashvili and Shalva Eliava ventured into the capital and proclaimed the overthrow of the Menshevik government, the dissolution of the Georgian National Army and People’s Guard, and the formation of a Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. On the same day, in Moscow, Lenin received the congratulations of his commissars – "The red banner blows over Tbilisi. Long live Soviet Georgia!"
Georgian commanders planned to concentrate their forces at the town of Mtskheta, northwest of Tbilisi, and continue fighting on new lines of defense; the fall of the capital, however, had heavily demoralized the Georgian troops, and Mtskheta was abandoned. The army was gradually disintegrating as it continued its retreat westward, offering sometimes fierce but largely unorganized resistance to the advancing Red Army troops. Sporadic fighting continued for several months as the Soviets secured the major cities and towns of eastern Georgia.
The Mensheviks entertained hopes of aid from a French naval squadron cruising in the Black Sea off the Georgian coast. On 28 February, the French opened fire on the 31st Rifle Division of the 9th Red Army under V. Chernishev, but did not land troops. The Georgians managed to regain control of the coastal town of Gagra, but their success was temporary. Soviet forces joined by Abkhaz peasant militias, the Kyaraz, succeeded in taking Gagra on 1 March, New Athos on 3 March, and Sukhumi on 4 March; they then advanced eastward to occupy Zugdidi on 9 March and Poti on 14 March.
The Georgians’ attempt to hold out near Kutaisi was spoiled by the surprise advance of a Red Army detachment from North Caucasia, which traversed the virtually impenetrable Mamisoni Pass through deep snow drifts, and advanced down the Rioni Valley. After a bloody clash at Surami on 5 March 1921, the 11th Red Army also crossed the Likhi Range into the western part of the country. On 10 March Soviet forces entered Kutaisi, which had been abandoned, the Georgian leadership, army and People’s Guard having evacuated to the key Black Sea port city of Batumi in southwest Georgia. Some Georgian forces withdrew into the mountains and continued to fight.
On 23 February, ten days after the Red Army began its march on Tbilisi, Kâzım Karabekir, the commander of the Eastern Front of the Turkish Army of the Grand National Assembly, issued an ultimatum demanding the evacuation of Ardahan and Artvin by Georgia. The Mensheviks, under fire from both sides, had to accede, and the Turkish force advanced into Georgia, occupying the frontier areas. No armed engagements took place between the Turkish and Georgian forces. This brought the Turkish army within a short distance of still Georgian-held Batumi, creating the circumstances for a possible armed clash as the Red Army’s 18th Cavalry Division under Dmitry Zhloba approached the city. Hoping to use these circumstances to their advantage, the Mensheviks reached a verbal agreement with Karabekir on 7 March, permitting the Turkish army to enter the city while leaving the government of Georgia in control of its civil administration. On 8 March Turkish troops under Colonel Kizim-Bey took up defensive positions surrounding the city, leading to a crisis with Soviet Russia. Georgy Chicherin, Soviet People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, submitted a protest note to Ali Fuat Cebesoy, the Turkish representative in Moscow. In response, Ali Fuat handed two notes to the Soviet government. The Turkish notes claimed that the Turkish armies were only providing security to local Muslim elements put under threat by Soviet military operations in the region.
Despite Moscow's military successes, the situation on the Caucasus front had become precarious. Armenians, aided by the Red Army involvement in Georgia, had revolted, retaking Yerevan on 18 February 1921. In the North Caucasus, Dagestani rebels continued to fight the Soviets. The Turkish occupation of Georgia's territories implied the near certainty of a Soviet–Turkish confrontation, and the Georgians repeatedly refused to capitulate. On 2 March Lenin, who feared an unfavorable outcome to the Georgian campaign, sent his "warm greetings to Soviet Georgia", clearly revealing his desire to bring hostilities to an end as quickly as possible. He emphasized the "tremendous importance of devising an acceptable compromise for a bloc" with the Mensheviks. On 8 March, the Georgian Revkom reluctantly proposed a coalition government, which the Mensheviks refused.
When the Turkish authorities proclaimed the annexation of Batumi on 16 March the Georgian government was forced to make a choice. Their hopes for French or British intervention had already vanished. France had never considered sending an expeditionary force, and the United Kingdom had ordered the Royal Navy not to intervene; furthermore, on 16 March the British and Soviet governments signed a trade agreement, in which Prime Minister Lloyd George effectively promised to refrain from anti-Soviet activities in all territories of the former Russian Empire. Simultaneously, a treaty of friendship was signed in Moscow between Soviet Russia and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, whereby Ardahan and Artvin were awarded to Turkey, which renounced its claims to Batumi.
The Turks, despite the terms of the treaty, were reluctant to evacuate Batumi and continued its occupation. Fearing permanent loss of the city to Turkey, Georgian leaders agreed to talks with the Revkom. In Kutaisi, Georgian Defense Minister Grigol Lordkipanidze and the Soviet plenipotentiary Avel Enukidze arranged an armistice on 17 March, and then, on 18 March, an agreement which allowed the Red Army to advance in force to Batumi.
Amid the ongoing Turkish-Soviet consultations in Moscow, the armistice with the Mensheviks allowed the Bolsheviks to act indirectly from behind the scenes, through several thousand soldiers of the Georgian National Army mobilized at the outskirts of Batumi and inclined to fight for the city. On 18 March, the remaining Georgian army under General Mazniashvili attacked Batumi and was engaged in heavy street fighting with the Turkish army. While the battle raged, the Menshevik government boarded an Italian vessel and sailed into exile escorted by French warships. The battle ended on 19 March with the port and most of the city in Georgian hands. On the same day, Mazniashvili surrendered the city to the Revkom and Zhloba’s cavalry entered Batumi to reinforce Bolshevik authority there.
The sanguinary events in Batumi halted the Russian-Turkish negotiations, and it was not until 26 September when the talks between Turkey and the Soviets, nominally including also the representatives of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian SSRs, finally reopened in Kars. The Treaty of Kars, signed on 13 October contained the provisions agreed upon in March and some other new territorial settlements just reached. In exchange for Artvin, Ardahan, and Kars, Turkey abandoned its claims to Batumi, whose largely Muslim Georgian population was to be granted autonomy within the Georgian SSR.
Despite the Georgian government’s emigration and the demobilization of the National Army, pockets of guerrilla resistance still remained in the mountains and some rural areas. The invasion of Georgia brought about serious controversies among the Bolsheviks themselves. The newly established Communist government initially offered unexpectedly mild terms to their former opponents who still remained in the country. Lenin also favored a policy of conciliation in Georgia, where a pro-Bolshevik revolt did not enjoy the popular backing claimed for it, and the population was solidly anti-Bolshevik. In 1922, a strong public resentment over the forcible Sovietization indirectly reflected in the opposition of Soviet Georgian authorities to Moscow's centralizing policies promoted by Dzerzhinsky, Stalin and Ordzhonikidze. The problem, known in modern history writing as the "Georgian Affair", was to become one of the major points at issue between Stalin and Trotsky in the last years of Lenin's leadership and found its reflection in "Lenin's Political Testament".
The world largely neglected the violent Soviet takeover of Georgia. On 27 March 1921, the exiled Georgian leadership issued an appeal from their temporary offices in Istanbul to "all socialist parties and workers' organizations" of the world, protesting against the invasion of Georgia. The appeal went unheeded, though. Beyond passionate editorials in some Western newspapers and calls for action from such Georgian sympathizers as Sir Oliver Wardrop, the international response to the events in Georgia was silence.
In Georgia, an intellectual resistance to the Bolshevik regime and occasional outbreaks of guerrilla warfare evolved into a major rebellion in August 1924. Its failure and the ensuing wave of large-scale repressions orchestrated by the emerging Soviet security officer, Lavrentiy Beria, heavily demoralized the Georgian society and exterminated its most active pro-independence part. Within a week, from 29 August to 5 September 1924, 12,578 people, chiefly nobles and intellectuals, were executed and over 20,000 exiled to Siberia. From that time, no major overt attempt was made to challenge Soviet authority in the country until a new generation of anti-Soviet movements emerged in the late 1970s.
Soviet historians considered the Red Army invasion of Georgia a part of the larger conflict which they referred to as "the Civil War and Foreign Intervention". In early Soviet history writing, the Georgian episode was considered as a "revolutionary war" and is described in just this term in the first edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Later, the term "revolutionary war" went out of fashion among Soviet writers, partly because it was not easy to distinguish from "aggression", in the Soviets' own definition of that word. Hence, the later Soviet histories put things differently. The Red Army intervention, according to the official Soviet version, was in response to a plea for help that followed an armed rebellion by Georgia's peasants and workers. This version exculpated Soviet Russia from any charge of aggression against Georgia by pointing out that the Georgians themselves asked Moscow to send the Red Army into their country, so as to remove their existing government and replace it with a communist one.
Using its control over education and the media, the Soviet Union successfully created an image of a popular socialist revolution in Georgia. Most Georgian historians were not allowed to consult Spetskhran, special restricted access library collections and archival reserves that also covered the "unacceptable" events in Soviet history, particularly those that could be interpreted imperialist or contradicted a concept of a popular uprising against the Menshevik government.
The 1980s wave of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost ("publicity") policy refuted an old Soviet version of the 1921–1924 events. The first Soviet historian, who attempted, in 1988, to revise the hitherto commonly accepted interpretation of the Soviet-Georgian war, was a notable Georgian scholar, Akaki Surguladze, ironically the same historian whose 1982 monograph described the alleged Georgian worker revolt as a truly historical event.
Under strong public pressure, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR set up, on 2 June 1989, a special commission for investigation of legal aspects of the 1921 events. The commission came to the conclusion that "the [Soviet Russian] deployment of troops in Georgia and seizure of its territory was, from a legal point of view, a military interference, intervention, and occupation with the aim of overthrowing the existing political order." At an extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR convened on 26 May 1990, the Sovietization of Georgia was officially denounced as "an occupation and effective annexation of Georgia by Soviet Russia."
Modern Georgian politicians and some observers have repeatedly drawn parallels between the 1921 events and Russia’s policy towards Georgia and Western Europe's reluctance to confront Russia over Georgia in the 2000s, especially during the August 2008 war.
On July 21, 2010, Georgia declared February 25 as Soviet Occupation Day to recall the Red Army invasion in 1921. The Georgian parliament voted in favor of the government’s initiative. The decision, endorsed unanimously by the Parliament of Georgia instructs the government to organize various memorial events every February 25 and to fly the national flag half-mast to commemorate, as the decision puts it, the hundreds of thousands of victims of political repressions of the Communist occupational regime.
The Svanetian uprising of 1921 was an unsuccessful rebellion against the recently established Bolshevik regime in Georgia.
The uprising broke out in Svaneti, a highland western Georgian province, almost immediately after the Red Army invasion of Georgia and the establishment of the Georgian SSR (February-March 1921). The first disturbances among the local peasants appeared already in May 1921, and quickly developed into an armed revolt against the highly unpopular Revolutionary Committee of Georgia (Revkom), an acting Bolshevik government in the transitional period. The guerrilla detachments led by Mosostr Dadeshkeliani, Nestor Gardapkhadze and Bidzina Pirveli, disarmed the Svaneti-based Red Army units in September, and launched preparations for the march on Kutaisi, the second largest city of Georgia. The Georgian Revkom, which faced the distinct prospect of a nationwide insurrection and civil war, ordered, on October 7, 1921, the formation of special punitive detachments to fight the insurgents who were denounced as "political bandits". On November 15, 1921, Soviet officials reported that the number of Svanetian rebels amounted to 1,600, and their actions were coordinated by the National-Democratic Party of Georgia, which maintained contacts with a Tbilisi-based Menshevik organization.The fighting in Svaneti continued for six months, but the Soviet troops managed to curb the spread of the uprising into neighboring regions. By late December 1921, the fresh Red Army reinforcements finally crushed the revolt. The chief rebels were executed and severe repressive measures were established in the area. The defeat of the Svanetian rebellion forced major Georgian opposition parties to seek closer cooperation, which would later conclude with the generalization of an anti-Soviet uprising in August 1924.Aleksandr Eiduk
Aleksandr Eiduk (died 1938) was a Soviet Cheka operative and poet of Latvian origin.
In 1919, an American diplomat testified to Congress that Eiduk was, with another Cheka leader, considered the "most blood-thirsty monster in Russia". In the 1920s, Eiduk served as a Soviet representative to the American Relief Administration, whose agents appreciated him for "moving with a celerity not characteristically Russian". He was executed in 1938 during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.
Eiduk is best remembered for his poetry extolling the political terror of the Soviet secret police. In Moscow, Eiduk reportedly admitted to a friend, with 'enjoyment in his voice like that of an ecstatic sexual maniac', how pleasing he found the roar of truck engines used at the Lubyanka to drown out the noise of executions.
In the early 1920s, soon after the Red Army invasion of Georgia, he published the following poem in an anthology entitled The Cheka's Smile:
There is no greater joy, nor better music
Than the crunch of broken lives and bones.
This is why when our eyes are languid
And passions begin to seethe stormily in the breast,
I want to write on your sentence
One unquivering thing: 'Up against the wall! Shoot!'Alexander Nikuradse
Alexander Nikuradse (Aleksandre Nikuradze; Georgian: ალექსანდრე ნიკურაძე), also known by his pseudonym Al. Sanders, (November 10, 1900 – June 13, 1981) was a Georgian-German physicist and Nazi political scientist.
Born in Samtredia, Georgia (then part of Imperial Russia), he was sent by the Georgian government to complete his studies in Berlin. Nikuradse remained in Berlin and became a German citizen after the 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia. Being in staunch opposition to Soviet rule in Georgia, he was actively involved in Georgian émigré activities, and had close Nazi connections. Since their common days as Soviet exiles in Munich in the early 1920s, he had been on friendly terms with Alfred Rosenberg whose views on the Caucasus were largely shaped under Nikuradse's influence. He tried to lobby for an independent Georgia, and enlist German support for anti-Soviet Georgian political emigration. Influenced by Karl Haushofer's theory of "large spaces", he conceived an ambitious project of the German protectorate over the projected Caucasian confederation in which the Georgians were to play the leading role. During World War II, he used his prestige and influence to save many Georgians from Nazi repression.As a physicist, he chiefly engaged in applied physics. In particular he investigated dielectric materials and the theories of electrons and ions.
He died in Munich, Germany. His brother, Johann Nikuradse (1894–1979), was also a notable German based physicist.Evgeni Gegechkori
Evgeni Gegechkori (Georgian: ევგენი გეგეჭკორი) (20 January 1881, Martvili – 5 June 1954, Paris) was a Georgian nobleman, politician, and Social Democratic revolutionary.
Born of a noble family, he entered the Social Democratic student movement in 1903 during his studies at the Moscow University and soon joined the Menshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He was involved in the 1905 revolution in Georgia and was elected a member to the Third State Duma for the Kutais Governorate from 1907 to 1912. During the February Revolution in 1917, Gegechkori became commissar for the Russian Provisional Government in western Georgia. From 28 November 1917 to 26 March 1918 he chaired the Transcaucasian Commissariat and served as minister of labor before leading the Transcaucasian Sejm and becoming its minister of war. After the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in May 1918, he became its Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1921, he briefly served as a Minister of Justice. After the Red Army invasion of Georgia, Gegechkori left for France in March 1921. From 1953 until his death, he headed the Georgian government in exile.Gandzieli-Gegelia
Gandzieli (literally meaning "of Gandza") was a noble family of Dukes (Tavadi) and later of Marquesses (Aznauri) in the Kingdom of Georgia, in the period between 1083 and 1727. According to an extensive study of the surnames of Georgian nobility by Prince Vakhushti Bagrationi, Gandzieli's held the dukedom in Gandza, then Armenia currently part of Azerbaijan. Gandzielis lost their dominance over the Armenian duchy in 1727, as a consequence of the "lowering of the Kingdom of Armenia" and moved to Principality of Ksani, Georgia. However, due to the failure to sustain power in Gandza, the Georgian monarch Vakhtang VI of Kartli lowered Gandzielis to the rank of Aznauri which was equal to that of Marquess at the time. In Ksani, Gandzielis assumed the title of the Royal Aznauri of Ksani, the highest of all the Aznauri degrees and led the court of the Principals of Ksani alongside other noble families. Gandzielis have been mentioned in the Treaty of Georgievsk as the Royal Aznauris of Ksani Principality alongside several other noble families. However, Gandzielis later moved to the Kingdom of Imereti where their surname changed to that of Gegelia. This occurred "due to the linguistic traditions" of the Imereti people as Bagrationi reported in his study. Eventually, one branch of the Gegelia family of Aznauris moved to the Kingdom of Odishi, the late Samegrelo, where they governed the marquisate of Martvili, Salkhino and Taleri until the Communist Red Army invasion of Georgia in 1921. Gegelias nowadays reside both in Imereti and Samegrelo regions of Georgia.Giorgi Gvazava
Giorgi Gvazava (Georgian: გიორგი გვაზავა) (April 23, 1869 – January 20, 1941) was a Georgian jurist, writer and politician; one of the founding members of the Georgian National Democratic Party.
Born in the village of Nokalakevi in western Georgia, then under the Russian Empire, Gvazava’s became involved in politics early in the 1890s when he was among the organizers of the Freedom League (თავისუფლების ლიგა, t’avisup’lebis liga), which coordinated Georgian student groups in the universities of the empire. He also published lyrics and wrote for local press. Later, he was a founding member of the Georgian National Democratic Party, more like a group in its early days, in 1906. Centered on various newspapers, the best known of which was klde (კლდე; "Rock"), the party held its founding congress in June 1917, in the aftermath of the February Revolution in St. Petersburg. Gvazava was a member of the Georgian National Council and its presidium. After Georgia’s declaration of independence (May 26, 1918), Gvazava was elected to the Constituent Assembly and headed the National Democratic faction there. The 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia forced Gvazava into exile to Paris where he died in 1941.
Gvazava authored works on the politics and international relations of Georgia. He also translated into Georgian Sophocles’s Antigone (1912), Prometheus (1935), Crébillon’s Rhadamiste et Zénobie (1929), and Racine’s Mithridate (1934). In 1938, together with Anie Marcel-Paon, Gvazava produced a French translation in prose of the medieval Georgian epic The Knight in the Panther's Skin (L'homme à la peau de léopard) by Shota Rustaveli.Grigol Uratadze
Grigol Uratadze (Georgian: გრიგოლ ურატაძე) (1880 – 1959) was a Georgian Social Democratic politician, diplomat and author. His name is also spelled Grégoire Ouratadze in a French manner.
In 1912, Uratadze, together with Vlasa Mgeladze, was part of the Georgian delegation to Vienna, where Leon Trotsky organized his short-lived union of social democratic factions as an alternative to Lenin’s narrow notion of party unity. A close associate of Noe Zhordania, he figured prominently in the development of Menshevism in Georgia and took an active part in the establishment of an independent republic of Georgia in 1918. As a Georgian plenipotentiary in Moscow, he signed a May 7, 1920 treaty with Soviet Russia in which Georgia’s independence was de jure recognized. The Red Army invasion of Georgia (1921) forced him into exile to France where he authored several monographs and numerous articles on the revolutionary movement in Georgia and the Soviet nationalities policy.Isidore Ramishvili
Isidore Ramishvili (Georgian: ისიდორე რამიშვილი) (8 July 1859 – 3 January 1937) was a Georgian Social Democratic politician, journalist, and one of the leaders of Menshevik movement in Imperial Russia.
During the Russian Revolution of 1905, he was elected to the First State Duma for the Kutais Governorate and became one of its leading Menshevik deputies. He also chaired the proceedings that resulted in Joseph Stalin’s expulsion from the party. Arrested in 1908, he remained in exile in Astrakhan until the Russian Revolution of 1917. He briefly served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, but the Bolshevik October coup forced him to return to his native Georgia, where he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1919. From summer 1918 to September 1920, he was an envoy of the Government of Georgia to autonomous Abkhazia. The Red Army invasion of Georgia early in 1921, forced him to retire from politics.Kojori
Kojori (Georgian: კოჯორი) is a small town (daba) in Georgia, some 20 kilometers southwest of the nation’s capital of Tbilisi. It is a so-called "climate resort" and home to several dachas of the Tbilisite families.
South of the townlet, on Azeuli Hill, stands the medieval Kojori Fortress (also known as Agarani or Azeuli Fortress). The earliest layers of the fortress date to the late 11th century, but most of the structures are newer, dating to the 16th-18th centuries. During the Red Army invasion of Georgia in February 1921, the heights of Kojori saw heavy fighting between the Georgian and Russian SFSR forces. A monument to the Georgian Junkers (cadets) who died in this battle was erected on the site in the 1990s.The medical wellness resort Bioli is also located in the recreation area of Kojori. The resort is well-known for its unique concept which is based on an assessment of an oxidative stress at the level of the life unit - cell in order to prevent possible chronic diseases and premature ageing.
The SGT Giorgi Antsukhelidze NCO School and Center is located near Kojori. The Center is named for SGT Antsukhelidze who was captured, tortured and murdered by South Ossetian militants during the 2008 Ossetian War. He was posthumously awarded the Order of National Hero by the Georgian government in 2013.Maro Makashvili
Maro Makashvili (Georgian: მარო მაყაშვილი; 25 August 1901 - 19 February 1921) was a young Georgian woman who was killed during the 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia. In 2015, she was the first woman to be awarded the Georgian Order of National Hero.Makashvili was born in a family of the Georgian nobility. Her father Konstantine Makashvili was a poet and her maternal grandmother was the writer Ekaterine Gabashvili. Maro Makashvili was a student at the Tbilisi State University when the Red Army launched its invasion of Georgia in February 1921. She volunteered as a nurse and was sent to Kojori along with the Georgian Regiment. She was killed by splinters from a shell two days later.Immediately after her death Georgian poet Titsian Tabidze compared her to Joan of Arc in a newspaper article. In her honour, Zakaria Paliashvili used the name Maro for the heroine of his opera Daisi, which premiered in 1923. A park located off Gudiashvili street in Tbilisi is named after her.From age 16 until her death, Makashvili kept a diary that is now part of the collection of the Tbilisi Museum of Literature. It has been published as a book.Michel Mouskhely
Michel Mouskhely (Mouskheli) born Mikheil Muskhelishvili (Georgian: მიხეილ მუსხელიშვილი) (July 8, 1903 – July 11, 1964) was a Georgian-French political scientist and jurist.
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, then part of Russian Empire, Muskheli emigrated to Western Europe following the Red Army invasion of Georgia in 1921. He then studied at Göttingen, Munich, Lyons, and Paris. After his brief work for the University of Paris (1932–33), he lectured at the University of Cairo from 1935 to 1948. In 1948, he became a Professor of International Law and of Political and Economic Sciences at the University of Strasbourg. Mouskhely organized and directed a center for Soviet studies at the Strasbourg law faculty which began in 1960 publication of abstracts from the principal Soviet periodicals dealing with the social sciences. Mouskhely wrote a number of works on federalism, and drafted, together with Professor Gaston Stefani, a 1948 European federal constitution which was submitted to the International Coordinating Committee of the Movements for European Unity, but had no direct effect on the latter's work.Parmen Chichinadze
Parmen Chichinadze (Georgian: პარმენ ჭიჭინაძე; 13 November 1881 – 30 September 1921) was a Georgian Social-Democratic politician and the Minister of War of the Democratic Republic of Georgia from November 1920 to February 1921.
Born in the Georgian village of Godogani in the Kutais Governorate of the Russian Empire, Chichinadze was trained as a physician. He became involved in Marxist revolutionary activities and, as a member of the Menshevik faction, took part in the Russian Revolution of 1905. Chichinadze was persecuted by the Imperial government and exiled from Georgia from 1911 to 1915. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, Chichinadze was active in Rostov-on-Don, which he left for Georgia after the Bolshevik coup in October 1917. He joined the Menshevik-dominated government of now-independent Georgia and was appointed the country's Minister of War in November 1920. He tenure was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia, in February 1921, which brought Georgia's short-lived independence to an end. Unlike most of the Menshevik leaders, Chichinadze did not flee abroad and remained in the country, only to be arrested by the new Bolshevik regime and cast in the Metekhi prison in Tiflis. He became ill of meningitis and died at a hospital for his transfer from prison was delayed by the officials.Poti Cathedral
Poti Cathedral (Georgian: ფოთის საკათედრო ტაძარი), or Poti Soboro Cathedral, is a Georgian Orthodox church in downtown Poti, Georgia.
The cathedral is an imitation of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, and it was built in 1906-07 with the great contribution of Niko Nikoladze, the mayor of Poti. Notably, Niko Nikoladze chose the location of the cathedral in the center of the town to make it viewable from every side of Poti.
Alexander Zelenko and Robert Marfeld were the architects of this Neo-Byzantine cathedral and the capacity of the church is 2,000 people. The ornaments and decorations are modeled after the medieval Christian cathedrals in the Trabzon mountains. The Poti Cathedral has three iconostases and among the main decoration of the iconostasis are the icons of St. Nino, St. Andrew the First Called, and the St. David the Builder.
This is one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete applied to a church. The Hennebique system was employed following a project made by the office's engineers in Paris. Several projects were made, but because of the bad soil, a traditional solution in masonry was not adequate. So, the reinforced concrete was used for the foundations and the entire structure, domes comprised.In 1923, after the Red Army invasion of Georgia, the Communist government turned it into a theater and the bells were donated to the industrialization foundation.
In 2005, the cathedral was restored to the Georgian Orthodox Church.Razhden Arsenidze
Razhden Arsenidze (Georgian: რაჟდენ არსენიძე) (October 1, 1880 – May 24, 1965) was a Georgian jurist, journalist, and politician.
He was involved with the Georgian Social Democratic Labour Party, branch of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and sided with its Menshevik wing in 1903. He later engaged in revolutionary journalism and was exiled by the Imperial Russian administration to Siberia whence he was able to return only after the 1917 February Revolution toppled down the Tsar’s government.
Arsenidze was one of the authors of the May 26, 1918 Act of Independence of Georgia and was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Georgia in 1919. The same year, he became a Minister of Justice in the cabinet of Noe Zhordania, and held this post until being briefly succeeded by Evgeni Gegechkori in 1921. At the same time, he functioned as a secretary of the Central Committee of Georgian Social Democratic Labour Party.
The Red Army invasion of Georgia of 1921 forced him into exile to France where he published his memoirs about Joseph Stalin (frequently cited in the works of a prominent U.S. Sovietologist Robert C. Tucker) and produced a study of the 18th-century Georgian code of King Vakhtang VI (both works published in Paris, 1963).
Arsenidze died in Paris and was buried at the Leuville Cemetery.Revaz Gabashvili
Revaz Gabashvili (Georgian: რევაზ გაბაშვილი; November 6, 1882 – 1969) was a Georgian politician and writer involved in the independence movement and revolutionary journalism in the early 20th century.
Gabashvili was born of a noble family in Tiflis (Tbilisi). His mother was the popular writer Ekaterine Gabashvili. He abandoned his studies at the Montefiore Institute in Liège, Belgium, in 1905 to return to Georgia and take part in the revolution against the Russian rule. Briefly fleeing police persecution to Paris, he returned in 1907 and enrolled in the University of St. Petersburg, from where he was excluded on charges of being involved in students’ disorders in 1910. On his return to Georgia, Gabashvili engaged in opposition journalism; he founded and edited the newspaper klde (კლდე; "Rock"). A group of Georgians collaborating with klde formed the nucleus around which the Georgian National Democratic Party organized. The party held its founding congress in June 1917, in the aftermath of the 1917 February Revolution in St. Petersburg. After Georgia’s declaration of independence (May 26, 1918), Gabashvili was elected to the Constituent Assembly for the National Democratic Party. The 1921 Red Army invasion of Georgia forced Gabashvili into exile to Paris where he wrote for local press on the politics and society of Georgia and the book L’apport de la race caucasienne dans la civilisation mondiale (Paris, 1967). His resonant memoirs რაც მახსოვს (rats’ maxsovs; "What I Remember") – published in Munich in 1959 – was highly critical of the Social Democratic leadership whom Gabashvili accused of incompetence and inability to respond Georgians’ national demands.Russian invasion
Russian invasion may refer to:
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire, 1783
Caucasian War, 1817–64
Russian invasion of Manchuria, 1900
Russian Invasion of Tabriz, 1911
Russian invasion of East Prussia (1914)
Red Army invasion of Georgia, 1921
Hungarian Revolution of 1956
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, 1968
Russo-Georgian War, 2008
2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 2014
War in DonbassSoviet Occupation Day (Georgia)
Soviet Occupation Day (Georgian: საბჭოთა ოკუპაციის დღე, sabch'ot'a okupats'iis dge) is a holiday in the country of Georgia. It is observed annually on February 25 to commemorate the Red Army invasion of Georgia in 1921. The holiday was established in 2010 and its first observance was in 2011.Soviet invasion
Soviet Invasion can refer to:
Soviet invasion of Poland (1939), a military operation during the early stages of World War II
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, a 1968 invasion of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
the second phase of the Polish–Soviet War in 1920, when Soviet armies marched on Warsaw, Poland
Red Army invasion of Georgia, also known as the Soviet–Georgian War (1921)
Ukrainian–Soviet War, also known as the Soviet–Ukrainian War (1917–1920)
Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, when British and Commonwealth forces and the Soviet Union invaded Iran during World War II
Soviet–Afghan War (1979–1989)
Soviet Invasion (album), an EP by the band Witchfinder GeneralZurab Avalishvili
Zurab Avalishvili (Georgian: ზურაბ ავალიშვილი) (1876 – May 21, 1944) was a Georgian historian, jurist and diplomat in the service of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918–1921). He was also known as Zurab Davidovich Avalov in a Russian manner.
Born in Tbilisi, Georgia (then part of the Russian Empire), into the family of Prince David Avalishvili, he graduated from St. Petersburg University in 1900 and took post-graduate courses at the Department of Law, University of Paris from 1900 to 1903. He became a Docent at the St. Petersburg University in 1904 and a Professor of Public Law at the St. Petersburg Polytechnical Institute in 1907. He was an official adviser to the Russian Ministry of Trade and Commerce for many years.
After the February Revolution in Russia, Avalishvili was named a Senator by the Provisional Government in May 1917. When Georgia declared independence on May 26, 1918, Avalishvili entered Georgian diplomatic service and was appointed a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He rendered important services to his homeland as a member of her delegation to the 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
The Red Army invasion of Georgia forced him into exile in March 1921. He lived thereafter in Germany where he worked as a Professor at the University of Munich. He was one of the founding members of the Georgian Association in Germany and worked for the editorial boards of historical journals Georgica (London) and Byzantion (Brussels). He died in 1944, in Germany, and was reburied to Didube Pantheon, Tbilisi, in 1994.
Avalishvili’s main works focuses on the history of Georgia and the Caucasus, Georgian literature (e.g., the critical studies of Shota Rustaveli), international law and Georgia’s foreign relations. His The Independence of Georgia in International Politics, 1918-1921 is a detailed and well-documented first-hand account of Georgia’s relations with its neighbors, the nation’s struggle for recognition and its international ramifications in the period of 1918 to 1921. Much of the works is in diary form, the author being judiciously critical of ineptitude of the Caucasian governments.
Theaters of the Russian Civil War
Invasions of Georgia