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Saakashvili’s Televised Address
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Aug.'08 / 13:41

President Saakashvili’s pre-recorded televised addressed aired by the Georgian Public Broadcaster early on August 18:

Dear compatriots!

During last days Georgia has passed through the hardest test and the entire Georgian society continues one of the most organized, one of the most heroic resistance against Russian occupation, which, for the first time in our history, was responded by appreciation by the entire world.

We were attacked. Of course, the reason of attack was not either Tskhinvali or Abkhazia.

The goal of the attack was to undermine Georgia’s independence; the goal of the attack was destruction of Georgia’s free sole, destruction of the Georgian nation and burial of Georgia’s future, which would have served as a bitter example for the entire world.

After many days of intervention and occupation, we are now in this situation: the key goals of Russian aggression and occupation have not been reached so far; the Georgian capital has not fallen down, the Georgian government has not run away as it happened in 1921. Moreover, the government at all levels is working in an organized way. The Georgian people have not come out in the streets against their own government and are instead continuing passive heroic resistance against foreign invaders.

I have been reported from various regions of Georgia about numerous examples of heroism of the residents of our cities and villages.

We are successors of our great heroes, we are successors of Tsotne Dadiani, we are successors of Chkondideli, nine brothers Kherkheulidze, 300 Aragvelis, and many other Georgian heroes.

We know and genetically we have an unimaginable experience how to meet the enemy which is thousand times more than us.

Georgia has always been a target of attacks of numerous enemies, but Georgia managed to endure, to survive and we will survive this time as well.

I want to bow low and thank you everybody.

Your unimaginable restraint and demonstration of dignity in the eyes of the entire world has triggered admiration of the entire freedom loving nations throughout the world, and I can say it without exaggeration.

The top issue in the American political discussions is the situation in Georgia, the top issue in Europe is the situation in Georgia and this will have a long-term effect and it will change the history of our country.

We did not want it and we are not glad about it. But it has appeared unexpected and an unpleasant surprise for our enemies, for our invaders.

Now, I want to address the occupational force which entered from Russia and their patrons.

From the very beginning your entry was illegal and amounted to infringement of all international norms.

The continuation of your presence in Georgia is senseless and each day of your presence here is fraught with catastrophic damage for your future, for your future perspectives.

You will fail to achieve your goals. Georgia will not be destroyed. You have probably got assured that Georgia will not run away, Tbilisi will not be deserted, the Georgian army has not been destroyed and will not be destroyed and what is most important, the Georgian spirit of resistance has not been broken and will not be broken.

The only thing you will reach by maundering about, looting, robbing, exploding and demolishing is alienation from the world for many months and years, and even for generations.

You have caused great damage to Georgia, but afterwards you will not do anything more. Your presence here has no sense, proceeding from your own purposes.

Therefore, I call on you and I demand that Russian occupations forces leave the country immediately.

As soon as your troops leave the Georgian territory, let us start serious thinking about looking for the forms of future negotiations, future discussions, future relations in order not to further alienate our countries from each other for ever.

But now the occupation should end.

The Georgian cities and highways should be set free, as an urgent step and everything should be opened.

The people should be given an opportunity to return home, to restore what has been saved, because each day of your presence here, besides damaging your own future, will bring no harm to the Georgian state, but cause great damage to ordinary citizens.

Our future relations are based on these very people and their generations. Let us not alienate our future generations for ever.

I do not pin great hopes on your mercy and I do not count on it now. But I pin hopes on your pragmatism and elementary sound idea. I think time has come when you should also make a right decision.

Georgia will not fail whatever you will do, Georgia will not surrender, Georgia will not step back, Georgia will never give up any square meter of its territory regardless of what you will do in future.

On the other hand, Georgia is always open, regardless of what has happened between us, to solve all disputable issues, if there are such, through a dialogue, negotiations and elementary civilized relations.

But the precondition for it should be withdrawal of occupational forces and cessation of causing damage to Georgia, as well as de-occupation of Georgia. 

I want to address you, my compatriots, we will completely restore everything, we will put our country on its feet, we will compensate everything what we have lost; but of course it is impossible to compensate for the lives of the dead.

We will regain our foothold; we will put our country - which was not forced to kneel down and to obey - on its feet.

God bless us and our country, Georgia.

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