Cadaver of persons who died in Abkhazia were returned to their families after 30 years


On July 19, 2023, Major General Koba Kobaladze, Director of the State Service of Veterans Affairs, along with Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili and members of the government, attended the civil funeral at Holy Trinity Patriarchal Cathedral of those who died during the hostilities in Abkhazia in the 1990s. The director of the Service offered his condolences to the families of the deceased and paid tribute to their memory.

The civil funeral was also attended by the first deputy director of the State Service of Veterans Affairs Nikoloz Kvezereli,  Deputy Directors Miron Chigodze and Jandri Ubiria, Director Advisor Vladimir Imnadze, the staff of the Service’s. The representatives of LEPL Youth and Veterans for National Defense and Security were also present at the civil funeral together with veterans of war and defense forces.

With the joint efforts of International Committee of the Red Cross and State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia, 13 identified persons who died during hostilities in Abkhazia in the 1990s were transferred from the occupied territory of Abkhazia to Georgia – Givi Chelidze, Davit Zakaraia, Guram Khuntselia, Shakhi Sichinava, Shota Murusidze, Moses The remains of Margvelan, Anzor Todua, Gennady Todua, Vakhtang Chichua, Abel Pataraia, Davit Sharvadze, Jemal Iosava and Gulnara Abuladze.

Four fighters are among the transferred persons, including:

Givi Chelidze son of Jason

He was born on March 29, 1933. He served as a volunteer in the railway platoon of Sukhumi Military Commandant’s office. Givi Chelidze participated in all major combat operations carried out by the military commandant’s platoon, both in Gumista as well as in Shroma-Kaman and Kindghi-Tamishi. On September 29, 1993, in the aftermath of disorganized withdrawal from Sukhumi, Abkhaz militants shot him in the territory of Village Pshapi of Gulripshi District. According to the decision of the family, Givi Chelidze will be buried on July 20 in the ancestral cemetery in the village of Znakva, Ambrolauri Municipality.

Davit Zekaria son of Abel

He was born on January 7, 1968, in Sukhumi. He was enrolled in the third battalion of the 23rd brigade. During the hostilities in Abkhazia, he participated in almost all crucial battles. He was killed on September 17, 1993 during the assault of Sukhumi. He was buried in Achadara in the yard of his own house. Davit Zakaria will be buried with military honors on July 20 at the Dighomi Brothers Cemetery.

Shahi Sichinava son of Nikolozi

He was born in 1949 in Sukhumi. On September 17, 1993, Shahi Sichinava was enrolled in the ranks of the 6th separate tank battalion of the 23rd brigade. In particular, he served in the 3rd platoon of the first company of the battalion. On September 18, 1993, he actively fought to free positions. Shahi Sichinava defended the “Ushkhozi” territory of Gumista until the end. During the siege of the 6th battalion, he attempted to break through the siege. Abkhazian separatists killed him during this clash near the so-called “Maiaki”.  According to the decision of the family, Shahi Sichinava will be buried on July 22 in Village Rukhi, Zugdidi Municipality, at the ancestral cemetery.

Guram Khuntselia son of Ermile

He was born on February 10, 1942 in Martvili. He was killed on October 5, 1992, in Village Alakhadze, Gagra District. According to the decision of the family, Guram Khuntselia will be buried on July 20 in the ancestral cemetery in Martvili.


In 2010, with the involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross, overall, 601 remains were found out of whom 243 were given to families following the creation of two coordination mechanisms, one of which operates concerning the armed conflict in Abkhazia in 1992-1993, and the other concerning the hostilities in Tskhinvali Region 1990-2008. Presently, 2049 military and civilian persons are still considered to be missing, and the humanitarian coordination mechanism continues to work continuously to locate, identify and return them to their families.