The March Offensive: A Solemn Tribute to the Fallen of the 1992-93 War

SUKHUM / AQW'A ― The March Offensive stands as the most tragic military operation in the annals of the Georgian - Abkhazian war of 1992-1993. This operation, characterised by its intense battles and significant casualties, marks a profound period in the history of Abkhazian resistance.

In a solemn ceremony held at the Park of Glory in Sukhum, flowers were laid in memory of the warriors who fell during the March Offensive. The commemorative event saw the participation of war veterans, relatives of the deceased, President Aslan Bzhania, Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab, Parliament Speaker Lasha Ashuba, and Security Council Secretary Sergey Shamba. This gathering underscored the enduring respect and remembrance for those who sacrificed their lives in pursuit of their homeland's freedom.

March offensive - Abkhazian soldiers

On March 15, 1993, in a daring counterattack, Abkhazian fighters crossed the Gumista River and captured strategically crucial heights near Sukhum. This bold move signalled the commencement of the operation aimed at liberating Sukhum. However, similar to the offensive on January 5, 1993, this attempt stalled shortly after its initiation.

+ On the Other Side of Gumista: The Harsh Lessons of the March Offensive
+ Lost Battles: January and March 1993
+ Visiting Hell: How Relatives Identified the Dead in the March Offensive

Following fierce combat, the Abkhazian forces were compelled to withdraw to their initial positions. The March 1993 battles for Sukhum were particularly devastating, resulting in 222 soldiers killed and over 20 reported missing.

March offensive Abkhazia fallen soldiers

The fallen heroes, who perished after crossing the Gumista River, were interred in a mass grave near the Republican Hospital, along with others who died in the conflict. After the war concluded in November 1993, efforts were made to properly re-bury those initially deemed missing. Through the identification of clothing and personal effects by relatives, many of the deceased soldiers were recognised, though some remained unnamed.

This poignant chapter in the history of Abkhazia serves as a reminder of the heavy price of conflict and the indomitable spirit of those who fight for their homeland. The March Offensive, with its significant human toll and acts of valour, continues to be honoured and remembered by the people of Abkhazia.




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