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CrisisWatch Georgia

Deteriorated Situation

Russian MP’s perceived insult to Georgia during 26th General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy prompted thousands to protest in capital Tbilisi and raised tensions between Georgia and Russia. Russian MP, Sergey Gavrilov, provoked outrage 20 June when, broadcast live on various Georgian TV channels, he addressed Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy held in Georgia’s parliament building in Tbilisi from seat of Georgian parliament speaker and spoke in Russian. Group of Georgian opposition MPs rushed to parliament building to demand suspension of session. Protesters same day gathered outside parliament and Russian delegation’s hotel prompting Russian delegation to return to Russia; thousands took to streets in Tbilisi demanding resignation of senior officials whom they held responsible for Russian MP’s appearance in parliament; that night opposition MPs and supporters stormed parliament leading to clashes with riot police; police forcibly dispersed protesters hospitalising over 240 and arresting about 300. Protests continued till end month and were set to continue in July, with demonstrators calling for resignations of top officials, electoral reform and early elections. Parliamentary speaker and MP who had organised 20 June event resigned 21 June and ruling party agreed to initiate electoral reform. Russian President Putin 21 June temporarily banned passenger flights to Georgia from 8 July and ordered evacuation of Russian citizens from Georgia. Russian FM 24 June blamed West for “engineering” protests. De facto Abkhaz security forces 27 June announced restrictions for crossing into breakaway region in response to Tbilisi protests.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

13 Jun 2018
The Georgian government has been in crisis for quite a long time. Mr. Ivanishvili’s comeback and popular protests are just symptoms of this process. The New York Times

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
12 Mar 2018
Over the last three years, we have been seeing a serious decline in the situation in the districts [of South Ossetia] mainly populated by ethnic Georgians. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
5 Feb 2018
There was a social media campaign two years ago [in Abkhazia] encouraging people to boycott the funerals of anyone who died after seeking medical care in Tbilisi. EurasiaNet

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood

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