Opposition protests have been ongoing in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi since June 21, when a hard-core pro-Western opposition and supporters of former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili [he started and lost a war in South Ossetia in 2008] used a visit by Russian lawmakers to the country as a pretext to start riots.
While mainstream meaid outlets prefer to describe the ongoing events as some kind of ‘anti-oligarch’ protests, in fact, they are a common struggle for power between oligarchic/elite clans within the country. At the same time, both the government and opposition use a harsh anti-Russian rhetoric. The opposition describes the government as a kind of Russian puppets and demands “Putin” to withdraw from Georgia. Ironically, the government says that the riots are being used by Russia to destabilize the government.
Threats against Russia and its citizen, including at least one documented attack on Russian journalists, as well as a series of anti-Russian steps by local businesses did not come unanswered. The Russian government imposed a temporary ban on passenger flights with Georgia from July 8th. The presidential decree also ordered to provide assistance for the return of Russian citizens currently in Georgia and recommended tour agencies not to send Russian clients to Georgia.
Georgian politicans and ‘civic activists’ were surprised by Moscow’s move. They have become used to see almost no official response to their Russophobic actions. Now, the Georgian media is full of reports blaiming the “Russian agressor” [that should “withdraw” according to the very same persons] for not allowing its citizens to spend money in Georgia.
The tourism and visits of various kinds wer 7.6% of Georgia’s GDP in 2018. The biggest tourist flow is from Russia.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
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- Unrest In Georgia: Government And Opposition Blame Russia