CNN: To Spite Putin, Come Visit Georgia

CNN has published an article by Tbilisi=-based journalist Will Cathcart on the recent travel ban issued by President Putin and the protests that led to it.
"Dear travelers, wine drinkers, hikers and beachgoers," Cathcart begins. "Dear epicureans, romantics and historians—Dear anybody looking for an adventure or wanting to spite Russian President Vladimir Putin. The country of Georgia needs you. If you've ever considered visiting this small Black Sea nation nestled between Russia and Turkey, now is the time. For those of you who have already been, it is time to return."
He goes on to talk about the protests that were seen in Tbilisi last week, emphasizing that they were against the visit of a Russian politician, "NOT against the Russian people, and I cannot emphasize that enough [he says]," after which, the Russian President issued a ban (starting July 8) on Russian airlines flying to Georgia, while "alluding to canceling visas [...] and restricting imports of Georgian wine, a major Georgian export to Russia."

"In reaction to these #TbilisiProtests, Putin is trying to punish, subdue, and bankrupt the Georgian people for speaking truth to power, for exercising their right to assemble and for ultimately sacking their speaker of Parliament, who resigned after protesters demanded it," Cathcart writes. "If Putin has his way, the Georgian economy will lose up to $300 million, according to one estimate cited by Russia's state-run TASS news agency."

"Why is Putin doing this?" Cathcart asks in his CNN article. "For two reasons: First, he is terrified that the Russian people will see protests in Georgia and do the same.Second, Putin wants to twist the narrative to make the Russian people think that the protest this weekend was a Russophobic demonstration (pro-Kremlin media outlets, according to the Georgian site, portrayed the protests as undermining Russian-Georgian relations)."
For the full article, click here.
By Katie Ruth Davies
Photo by Tony Hanmer
30 June 2019 20:58