Zurab Iarajuli was born on March 12, 1971, in Tbilisi. He joined the aeroclub when he was studying in the 8th grade. After graduating from school in 1988, he continued his studies in Russia at Kacha Higher Military-Aviation School.
After the beginning of the Abkhazian war, in 1992, Zurab Iarajuli returned to Georgia and trained on Su-25 fighter aircraft. In the same year, he was awarded the rank of aviation lieutenant. During the war, to protect the country’s unity, Zurab Iarajuli conducted more than 20 combat flights and made a number of successful strikes on opposition positions.
Zurab Iarajuli, on July 13, 1993, flew from Kopitnari aerodrome to village Shromi with a Su-25 aircraft. Georgian pilots completely destroyed the enemy’s military column near the village Shroma.
Zurab Iarajuli, who returned to the airport, had to return to the village of Shromi to complete a combat mission, where Georgian militants made another successful attack on the enemy, but the opponent was able to bring down Zurab Iarajuli’s plane.
Georgian pilot landed with a parachute in the territory controlled by the opponent and spent three days and nights, he was trying to cross the front line and make peace. The enemy suspected that the pilot survived and was looking for him in hiding.
In the end, in the forest of Gumist, the opponent turned Zurab Iarajuli into an alka. He was offered to surrender and promised to exchange him for prisoners later. The senior lieutenant did not give up the enemy alive – killed two of the guards and wounded one.
“I will never be trapped by the enemy… “This phrase was once said to me in Kopitnari. He also added that before they kill me, I will take some of them. Zura put those words one by one… “- Recalls Zviad Bekauri, a fellow classmate and comrade of Iarajuli, Vice Colonel of Tadarigi.
Zurab Iarajuli, who beat the captivity to heroic death, was awarded the title of National Hero of Georgia on September 19, 2013, on the Day of Military-Air Forces of Georgia. Senior lieutenant Yarajuli was also awarded, after his death, the Vakhtang Gorgasli’s I degree medal. He is buried in the cemetery of the village Yarajulebi of Tianeti municipality.