April 9, 1989


It’s the day of the Soviet crackdown in Tbilisi. 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries … Georgians took to the streets to call for independence from the Soviet Union, but were violently dispersed by the Soviet Army. Photographer Yuri Mechitov was out on the streets that day to bear witness of what was going on …

Two years later, on March 31, 1991, Georgians voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence and on April 9 of that year, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia proclaimed Georgian sovereignty and independence from the Soviet Union.

Today, April 9th is a public holiday and is remembered as Day of National Unity in Georgia.

(Photo: © Yuri Mechitov)