People's Guard of Georgia

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The People's Guard of Georgia

The People's Guard of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს სახალხო გვარდია) was a Social-Democrat-dominated volunteer force of Georgian former soldiers and civilians, active during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Democratic Republic of Georgia from 5 September 1917 to 18 March 1921. It consisted of 2,000 full-time members and 18 field battalions (300-800 soldiers in each) drafted on a territorial basis. In war time it could mobilize up to 10,000 to 12,000 citizens. The commander of the People's Guard was Valiko Jugheli, and notable members included Kakutsa Cholokashvili, Alexander Koniashvili, Alexander Maisuradze, and Vladimer Goguadze.[1]

The People's Guard of Georgia conducted its first combat mission on 12 December 1917, when it seized a former Imperial Russian army arsenal and artillery depot in Tiflis which had hitherto been under the control of units sympathetic to the Bolsheviks. In the words of a Guard commander Valiko Jugheli, the operation "determined the fate of the revolution an a Transcaucasian scale."[2] Throughout 1918–1921, 12 December was celebrated as the Guard's day. From 1920 to 1921, the Guard published its illustrated periodical sakhalkho gvardieli (სახალხო გვარდიელი, "People's Guardsman") twice a month.[3]


  1. ^ Occupation of Georgia Archive Administration of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs
  2. ^ Ogden, Dennis George (1977). National Communism in Georgia: 1921-1923 (Ph.D. thesis). University of London (School of Slavonic and East European Studies). p. 21. 
  3. ^ "სახალხო გვარდიელი [People's Guardsman]". Digital Library "Iverieli" (in Georgian). The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. Retrieved 21 January 2018.