Georgian Surnames

Kakutsa (Kaikhosro) Cholokashvili

National Hero of Georgia

Kakutsa Cholokashvili was born to the family of Prince Ioseb Cholokashvili on July 14, 1888 in the village Matani, (Kakheti, Georgia). The family of Cholokashvili has been playing an important role in the military and political life of Georgia for centuries. Kakutsa was a direct descendant of Prince Bidzina Cholokashvili, a prominent leader of the 1654 uprising against the Persian rule in Kakheti.

After graduation from the Georgian Gymnasium of Tbilisi, Cholokashvili served as an officer in Tver Dragoon Regiment of the Russian army. He married Nino Megvinetukhutsesi in 1913 and lived at his estate until the World War I erupted in 1914.

He fought against the Austro-Hungarian army and was severely wounded in 1914. After that, Prince Cholokashvili was transferred to the Caucasian Front as a commander of a rear unit. During the Turkish offensive, he gallantly defended the strategic fort of “Eagle’s Nest” and received serious wounds again. After the recovery, he was assigned to lead the Georgian Cavalry Legion, which served under General N.N. Baratov (Baratashvili) in Persia in 1915 and made a brilliant raid to Mesopotamia, where he joined the British expeditionary forces in 1916.

On May 26, 1918, Georgia declared independence and Colonel Cholokashvili joined the national army. He took part in all important campaigns of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG) in 1918-1921. He also served as Deputy Defence Minister of DRG in 1919.

In February, 1921, Bolshevik Russia’s Red Army invaded Georgia. Georgians had to abandon their capital, Tiflis on February 25, 1921 and retreat to the west. In March, the Georgian Menshevik government capitulated and left the country. However, Cholokashvili refused to flee and organized a small guerilla force ("the Conspirators of Georgia") to fight the Bolshevik regimen in March 1922.

The first clash took place near the town of Signagi in June, 1922. In the summer of 1922, Cholokashvili and his supporters organized a peasant revolt in the mountainous region of Khevsureti. The Soviet troops burned several villages to the ground, but Cholokashvili managed to escape to neighboring Chechnya. He returned in November and attacked the Bolshevik forces again. His brother Svimon Cholokashvili was killed in one of the skirmishes. Cholokashvili’s family members were arrested and his father-in-low was executed by the Soviets.

Cholokashvili was actively involved in the 1923 plot and August Uprising in Georgia in 1924. His partisans fought desperately during the uprising and took the town of Manglisi on August 29, then moved to the Eastern Georgian mountains, attacked the village of Dusheti and crushed the Red Army units at Svimoniant-Khevi on September 3. Bolsheviks’ numerous efforts to capture him were all unsuccessful. Cholokashvili fought his last engagement at Khev-Grdzela in Kakheti in mid-September and could escape unbeaten despite being vastly outnumbered and shelled by the Red Army artillery. However, the uprising was generally unsuccessful and brutally suppressed. Thousands of Georgians were executed, arrested or exiled. Cholokashvili lost all his hopes to liberate his Motherland and with his friends had to flee to Turkey and then immigrate to France.

Cholokashvili lived a hard life in France and died of tuberculosis on June 27, 1930. He was buried at the Georgian cemetery of Leville, France.

In November 2005 he was moved to another grave at the Mtatsminda Pantheon of Tbilisi, Georgia.


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