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Georgian Soldiers in the Hungarian Uprising of 1956

11:28 AM - 1 November 2016

Georgian Soldiers in the Hungarian Uprising of 1956

Author: Giorgi Khatiashvili


Sixty years have passed since the Soviet Union militarily intervened to suppress the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (23 October – 11 November). Over 30,000 soldiers and more than 1,000 Soviet tanks crossed the Hungarian border. According to official data, the Soviet Union lost 720 soldiers – 669 dead and 51 missing. More than 2,500 Hungarians, both civil and military, lost their lives(1).

The military forces used by the Soviet Union for the intervention included a small number of soldiers conscripted from Georgia. Information about this is kept in the so called “Secret Fund” of the Second Department (Party Archive) of the Archive of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia.

According to these documents, on January 3, 1957, the Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union Marshal Georgy Zhukov sent a secret letter to Secretary of the Communist Party of Georgia Vasil Mzhavanadze. The letter stated that the Presidium of CPSU(2) and the Council of Ministers decreed to provide support to wounded soldiers and families of those military personnel who died in the process of crushing Hungarian Counterrevolutionary Uprising(3). Marshal Zhukov asked Mzhavanadze to take care of this issue and implement all the necessary measures to ensure timely support. Attached to the letter was a list of 10 soldiers from 10 different Georgian regions and cities who died in Hungary. Mzhavanadze directed the staff to prepare project of the decree and to determine the family status and addresses of these soldiers.

The same “special folder” contained the list of killed and wounded soldiers by their region of origin in Georgia as well as the needs of their families prepared by Georgian Central Committee. Unlike Zhukovs’s list, this document listed 23 dead and 4 wounded persons from 23 Georgian cities and regions. In addition, one name from Zhukov’s list is absent from the Georgian one. 
On January 30, 1957, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia and the Council of Ministers issued a decree, according to which, families of soldiers who were killed or wounded in Hungary would receive an apartment, a piece of land and money for renovation. The children of soldiers who died in Hungary would get a preferential treatment during admission in schools, and families would be provided with jobs and training opportunities. The social status of those killed or wounded during the Hungarian Uprising would be made equal to those of the Great Patriotic War. Families of fallen soldiers would receive compensation and be granted a pension.


List of Soviet military personnel from Georgia who were killed or wounded in Hungary (prepared by the Central Committee of Georgia)



1. Vasil Burduli - District of Aspindza 
2. Manasha Alelishvili - District of Akhalkalaki 
3. Stepane Zazashvili - District of Adigeni
4. Aikaz Vartapetov - District of Akhaltsikhe
5. Amayak Martirosyan - District of Bolnisi
6. Sardion Gaboshvili - District of Gurjaani
7. Aleksi Matichashvili - District of Gurjaani
8. Valerian Tsiklauri - District of Dusheti
9. Girogol Mujiashvili - District of Kareli
10. Guri Dolidze - District of Lanchkhuti
11. Valuman Janashvili - District of Mtskheta
12. Avtandil Shvelidze - District of Ordzhonikidze (Kharagauli)
13. Valiko Chutlashvili - District of Signagi
14. Ushangi Kublashvili - District of Tkibuli
15. Arutyn Kulyan - District of Gulripshi
16. Krikor Kalajan - District of Gagra
17. (No first name indicated) Saryan - District of Gagra
18. Givi Varshanidze- District of Batumi 
19. Galust Akopyan - District of Sokhumi
20. Vagarshak Kaleijan - District of Sokhumi
21. Vasil Bekoev- District of Staliniri (Tskhinvali)
22. Tengiz Gabrashvili - City of Tbilisi
23. Levan Jamagidze- District of Tianeti


1. Avetis Avekyan - District of Akhalkalaki
2. Givi Gocholeishvili - District of Abasha
3. Abesalom Akhpatelov - City of Tbilisi
4. Nugzar Pataraia - City of Kutaisi




1. Каким было Венгерское восстание 1956 года. http://kommersant.ru/doc/3124760
2. Communist Party of the Soviet Union
3. This term was used in the Soviet document to describe the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

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