Stand With Ukraine

Stand With Ukraine

The “Shame Movement” began endorsing activities in support of Ukraine prior to the declaration of war between Ukraine and Russia. They initiated a pro-Ukraine petition urging Georgian authorities to utilize all legislative and diplomatic means, denounce Russian aggression, and take a firm stance against Russian military intervention in Ukraine.

On January 28, 2022, the first demonstration took place in front of the parliament, with the aim of signing the petition and urging the government to express support for Ukraine as a strategic partner.

Amidst the escalation of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Georgian government’s lack of action intensified citizen protests. Concurrently with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the “Shame Movement” demonstrations – #ForUkraine – assumed a persistent stance. Through protest speeches, the Georgian populace assumed responsibility in lieu of the government, openly denounced the breach of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and amplified their voices to the international community. Demonstrations – #ForUkraine – were held across Georgia, spanning all central municipalities.

On February 26, the President of Ukraine publicly expressed gratitude to the Georgian people:

Incredible Georgian people who understand that friends must be supported! Grateful to everyone in Tbilisi and other cities who came out in support of Ukraine and against the war. Indeed, there are times when citizens are not the Government, but better the Government.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy
President of Ukraine

Citizens employed diverse forms of protest in solidarity with Ukraine—individuals began displaying Ukrainian flags from their homes, stencils and inscriptions supporting Ukraine emerged on the streets, slogans and badges were affixed to T-shirts and clothing, and solidarity stickers were placed in private establishments.

From Georgian People

The movement realized that mere protests were no longer sufficient to support Ukraine once the war began. Hence, alongside the protests, starting from February 27, the “Shame movement” initiated the humanitarian campaign “From Georgian People,” engaging volunteers across the regions. Through public fundraising, the movement accumulated up to 30,000 GEL in donations, enabling the organization to purchase medicines at cost price from participating pharmacies within the same campaign. The humanitarian aid and medicines contributed by the public were dispatched to conflict regions with the assistance of the Embassy of Ukraine.

Starting from March, expressions of solidarity evolved into citizen protests, spurred by the pro-Russian declarations of the Georgian government. The authorities’ refusal to partake in international sanctions against Russia, coupled with the influx of Russian citizens into Georgian territory, triggered the subsequent demonstration. This protest was characterized by three demands: implementing a visa regime with Russia, banning Russian media, and closing the airspace to Russia. On March 7, amidst a peaceful protest, the government detained 16 individuals, including 11 activists affiliated with the “Shame Movement”.

As part of the #ForUkraine campaign, proactive efforts to support the Georgian Legion and the Ukrainian community in Georgia persisted.