Five Georgians killed on single mission in Ukraine

TBILISI/DEC. 4 2022 (The Bulletin) — Five Georgians fighting in Ukraine against Russia were killed on one mission, the deadliest day that Georgia has suffered in the war.

At least 26 Georgian volunteers have now died fighting in Ukraine. Georgia has perhaps the biggest single deployment of volunteers from any country fighting in Ukraine and has its own battalion. 

Unlike other countries, Georgia has not tried to stop men going to fight in Ukraine and Georgian President Salome Zurbishvili praised the courage of the dead fighters.

“In these difficult moments, I express my condolences to the families, friends and relatives of all Georgian fighters killed in Ukraine,” she said.

The five Georgian fighters were fighting in Bakhmut in Donetsk, east Ukraine, when their unit was surrounded and killed by Chechens fighting for Russia.

The intensity of fighting between Russia and Ukraine has stalled except for around Bakhmut which British intelligence has said Russian forces are determined to capture.

Two days earlier another Georgian fighter had also been killed in Ukraine.

Georgia fought a five day war against Russia in August 2008. After the war, the Kremlin recognised the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkahzia. Only fringe Russian allies have recognised their independence too. 

Russia has stationed soldiers in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia and many Georgians consider their country to be under effective Russian occupation.

Georgia’s government has been accused of being soft on Russia but Georgian public opinion is firmly behind Ukraine. 

When the bodies of Georgian fighters killed in Ukraine have been returned to Georgia, their funerals have been attended by thousands of people and often high-profile politicians. Although the Georgian battalion is not officially linked to the Georgian army, dead fighters have also been buried with full military honours.


— This story was published in issue 530 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on Dec. 4 2022

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2022

« Back to newsdesk