On February 25, 2013 Regional Association of Youth Initiatives (AIRA), in partnership with Rustavi Youth Center, organized event in Rustavi dedicated to the Day of Soviet Occupation of Georgia. In 2010,Parliament of Georgia declared the 25th of February as the day of Soviet occupation of Georgia. In 1921 Soviet Russia occupied Democratic Republic of Georgia, and the communist regime, established as a result of the occupation,during its existence killed tens of thousands of Georgian citizens because of political, ethnic, religious or any other grounds. About 80 000 civilians died as a result of Soviet repressions and about 250 000 have been exiled. The goal of the event was to remember victims of Soviet occupation and repressions on the one hand, and to raise awareness among local society about the crimes committed by the Soviet regime on the other hand.
The event was supported by other non-governmental and civil organizations: Association?Georgian Youth for Europe?, Kvemo Kartli Regional Organization of the Scout Movement and etc. The event included photo and video exhibition about the fighters against the occupation and perished civilians, national-liberation movement, Stalin?s Great Purge,anti-religious campaign, crimes against post-soviet, central and Eastern European countries. At the same time exhibition of the displays associated with the Soviet life-style and theatre performances were held in order to provide audience with the live-show about the crimes and violence of the Soviet regime. The event was finished with the concert of rock-group ?Shelby?. In the future Regional Association of Youth Initiatives (AIRA) plans to work actively in this direction. Crimes and violence committed by the Soviet Union aren’t studied adequately not in the world, neither in Georgia. Therefore impartial assessment of the past is crucial to eliminate any justification for these crimes, to avoid similar crimes in the future and not to forget memory of victims of Soviet occupation and repressions.