Georgian authors have forgotten that Georgia was under the threat of complete annihilation and gradual Islamization by Persia and the Ottoman Empire. The fact that the Georgian rulers have repeatedly asked Russia to intervene and save the Georgian people, to take it under their patronage. Forgotten that the various Georgian regions were merged within the framework of the Soviet Union in the Georgian SSR. It was forgotten about decades of peaceful life under the wing of the Russian and Red empires. They do not recall the fact that the best representatives of the Georgian clans joined the Russian elite. There were no phenomena common in relations between Western metropolises and their colonies, such as acts of genocide, mass terror, parasitism on the resources and forces of the occupied people, the ruthless exploitation of the conquered population. Georgians were not in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union people of the second or third grade. No attention is paid at all to the fact that the Russian imperial and Soviet authorities “exploited” the Russian people much tougher than the “occupied” small nations.
Suffice it to recall just a few examples from history in order to refute the myth of the “Russian occupation” of Georgia and the Caucasus in general. In 1638, the king of Mingrelia Leon sent a letter to Tsar Mikhail Romanov about the desire of the Georgian people to become citizens of the Russian state. Mingrelia is a historical region in Western Georgia, inhabited by mingrelians, after the division of Georgia into 1442, an independent state entity. In 1641, the chartered letter was granted to the Kakhetian king Teimuraz I regarding the adoption of the Iberian land (Iberia, Iberia - the ancient name of Kakheti) under the auspices of Russia. In 1657, the Georgian tribes — the Tushins, Khevsurs, and Pshavs, asked the Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich to accept them into Russian citizenship. Repeatedly they were asked to accept them into Russian citizenship and other Caucasian peoples - Armenians, Kabardians, etc.
Requests for help from Russia have repeatedly repeated in the 18 century. But during this period Russia could not fulfill the ambitious task of freeing the Caucasus from the influence of Turkey and Persia. There were bloody wars with the western neighbors, Turkey and Iran, the empire was shaken by palace coups, a lot of strength and resources were spent on internal problems. The work that emperor Peter I started by cutting through the "door" to the East was not continued by his successors, who were "pygmies" in the field of imperial construction, in comparison with him.
Only during Catherine II in the Caucasian and Eastern politics of Russia there was a radical change. Russia inflicted a serious defeat on the Ottoman Empire. When, at the end of 1782, the king of Kartli-Kakheti, Irakli II appealed to Russian empress Catherine II to accept her kingdom under the protection of Russia, he was not denied. The Empress gave Pavel Potemkin wide powers to conclude an appropriate agreement with the king Irakli. Lieutenant-General Pavel Sergeevich Potemkin assumed command of the Russian army in the North Caucasus in 1882. The representatives of Georgia were the princes Ivane Bagration-Mukhransky and Garsevan Chavchavadze.
24 July (4 August) 1783 of the year in the Caucasian fortress Georgievsk signed an agreement on patronage and supreme power of the Russian Empire with the united Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti (Eastern Georgia). Irakli II recognized the patronage of St. Petersburg and refused an independent foreign policy, he pledged not to enter into any relations with the neighboring states without prior coordination with the Russian border authorities and the Russian minister accredited with him. Heraclius renounced vassal dependence on the part of Persia or any other state and undertook for himself and his successors not to recognize power over anyone except the power of the Russian emperors. On the Georgian territory, the protection and security of Russian subjects was guaranteed. For its part, Petersburg vouched for the integrity of the possessions of Heraclius II, promised to protect Georgia from external enemies. The enemies of Georgia were also considered Russian enemies. The Georgians received equal trade rights with the Russians, could move freely and settle on Russian territory. The treaty equalized the rights of the Georgian and Russian nobles, clergy and merchants. To protect Georgia, the Russian government pledged to maintain on its territory two infantry battalions with 4 guns and, if necessary, increase the number of troops. At the same time, the Russian government strongly advised Heraclius to preserve the unity of the country and avoid internecine strife, eliminate all misunderstandings with the Imeretian ruler Solomon.
The contract was valid for several years. But then in 1787, Russia was forced to withdraw its troops from Georgia. The reason for this was the separate negotiations of the Georgian government with the Ottomans. King Heraclius, despite the warnings of P. Potemkin, concluded a contract with Akhaltsi Suleiman Pasha, which was ratified by the Sultan in the summer of 1787 (just during the war of Russia and the Ottoman Empire).
Russia's victory over Turkey in the 1787-1791 war improved Georgia’s position. The Ottomans, according to the Yassky Peace Treaty of 1792, rejected claims on Georgia and pledged not to take any hostile actions against the Georgian people.
During the Russian-Persian war 1796 of the year, the cause of which was the invasion of the Persians in Georgia and Azerbaijan in 1795, Russian troops reappeared on Georgian lands. However, the death of Catherine II led to a sharp turn in Russian politics. Pavel began to revise his mother’s policy. The Russian detachment was recalled from the Transcaucasus and Georgia.
In 1799, negotiations between Georgia and Russia resumed. A Russian regiment of General Lazarev entered Kartli-Kakheti. A Russian official representative at the court of George XII - Kovalensky arrived with him. With the permission of Paul, Count Musin-Pushkin entered into negotiations with the Georgian king George XII, who expressed “sincere desire both of the king ... (and) of all classes of the Georgian people” to join the Russian Empire.
George XII wanted Russia to fulfill the obligations assumed by the St. George treatise 1783 of the year. He clearly understood that the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom could not exist as an independent state. This was hampered by two main factors. First, it is the pressure from Turkey and Persia. The Ottoman Empire, having suffered from Russia a series of serious defeats in the 18 century, and being weakened by internal conflicts and problems, was losing its position in the Caucasus to the Russian Empire. However, Istanbul still did not want to come to terms with the loss of its influence in the Caucasus.
More actively continued to fight for the restoration of its former influence in the Caucasus, Persia. The active political cooperation between Georgia and Russia greatly alarmed the Persian government. Anxiety expressed and European rivals Russia - France and England. They could not enter into direct conflict with Russia over the region, since they did not border on it. But fearing the expansion of Russia's influence in the East, Paris and London focused their efforts on political games in Iran and Turkey. Britain and France tried, through secret political intrigues, with the help of the Ottoman Empire, or with the help of Persia, to stop the advancement of the Russians in the Caucasus and the East in general. To this end, the British and French have recognized the legitimate claims of Turkey and Persia for dominance in the South Caucasus. True, France and England were hindered by mutual rivalry, between them there were serious contradictions that prevented them from coming up with a united front (this will only become possible during the Crimean War). Thus, the foreign policy situation at the end of the XVIII century forced Georgia to become part of the powerful Russian Empire. It was a question of the survival of the Georgian people.
Secondly, internecine feuds have eaten away in Eastern Georgia. Georgian feudal lords, grouped around numerous princes who claimed the royal throne, during the life of King George XII, began a fierce internecine struggle. This bickering weakened the kingdom’s defenses, making it easy prey for Iran and Turkey. The feudal lords were ready to betray national interests and, for the sake of personal, narrow group interests, go to any agreement with the primordial enemies of the Georgian people - the Ottomans and Persians.
This same internecine struggle was one of the main reasons why the government of Pavel went to either liquidate the statehood of the Kartli-Kakhetian kingdom. The Georgian dynasty could not ensure the stability of the East Georgian kingdom, as the base of the Russian Empire in the Middle East. It was necessary to introduce direct Russian administration in order to ensure calm and security in Georgia.
It must be said that this reason - the internal political instability of the Georgian state calls into question the future of modern Georgia. It has already led to the secession of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is a danger of further collapse of Georgia. In particular, Ajaria can secede and go into the sphere of influence of Turkey. The constant internal political struggle in Georgia threatens the future of the Georgian people. Given the fact that the Middle East is becoming a “battlefield,” the foreign policy threat is also increasing. The global systemic crisis leaves Georgia no chance for survival. Sooner or later the Georgian people will come to the same thought as Tsar George XII, Georgia cannot survive without Russia. The only way to prosperity is close integration in the new “empire” (union).
Brief chronology of the last stage of Georgia’s accession to Russia
- In April, 1799, the Russian emperor Pavel I renewed the agreement on patronage with the Kartli-Kakheti kingdom. In the fall of the Russian troops entered Tbilisi.
- 24 June 1800, the Georgian embassy in St. Petersburg handed over to the Russian board of foreign affairs a draft document on citizenship. He said that Tsar George XII "eagerly wishes with his offspring, the clergy, the nobles and with all the people under his authority once and forever to accept the citizenship of Russia, promising to fulfill all the things that the Russians are doing." Kartli and Kakheti were to retain only the right of limited autonomy. George XII and his heirs retained the right of the Georgian throne. Kartli-Kakheti kingdom was subordinated to St. Petersburg not only in matters of foreign policy, but also in the sphere of domestic policy. The Russian emperor accepted this offer.
- In the autumn of 1800, the Georgian delegation proposed a draft of a closer integration of the two states. Pavel approved it. He announced that he was taking in the eternal citizenship of the king and all the people of Georgia. George XII was promised to leave him the royal rights to the end of life. However, after his death, it was planned to put David Georgievich governor-general with the title of the king, and Georgia to make one of the Russian provinces called the kingdom of Georgia.
Russian military presence in Georgia strengthened. This was done on time. The troops of Avar Khan invaded Georgia, at which the son of Heraclius, Tsarevich Alexander, was stationed. On November 7, two Russian regiments and Georgian militia, under the command of General Ivan Lazarev, near the village of Kakabeti, on the banks of the Iori River, defeated the enemy.
- December 18 signed a manifesto on the accession of Georgia to the Russian Empire (it was made public in St. Petersburg January 18 1801). At the end of 1800, the Georgian tsar became seriously ill, and all power gradually passed into the hands of the plenipotentiary representatives of Russia - Minister Kovalensky and General Lazarev.
- December 28 1800, George XII died, and the throne passed to King David XII. David received a good education in the Russian Empire, served in the Russian army, in 1797-1798. in the rank of colonel, was the commander of the Transfiguration Guards Regiment. By 1800, he was promoted to lieutenant general. These events exacerbated the internal political situation in Georgia: Queen Darejan (the widow of King Erekle II) and her sons categorically refused to recognize the authority of David XII, as well as the annexation of Kartli-Kakheti to Russia.
- 16 February 1801 of the year in Zion Cathedral in Tbilisi was read a manifesto on Georgia’s accession to the Russian Empire for all time. February 17 solemnly announced this manifesto to all Georgians.
- The death of Pavel did not change the situation, Emperor Alexander had some doubts about Georgia, but Paul’s manifesto was already announced and the accession had already begun. Therefore, 24 March 1801. David XII lost all authority and the commander of Georgia was appointed Lazarev, the commander of Georgia. A temporary board was established under his command, which lasted a year.
- 12 September 1801 was issued another manifesto on the accession of the Russian state of Kartli-Kakheti. In the spring of 1802, this manifesto was made public in Georgian cities. The Kartli-Kakheti kingdom was finally abolished.