A protest rally ‘No to Russia!’ was held in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi on March 7th. People were protesting the Georgian government’s attitude to the ongoing war in Ukraine, calling it “shameful.”
Protesters demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and expressed solidarity with Ukraine.
Demonstrators had three main requirements:
– Establish a visa regime with Russia
– Prohibit Russian media outlets
– Close airspace for Russia
A statement issued by the rally organizers said that all democratic countries are now united for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion, expressing their support for its sovereignty and freedom.
“Georgia’s government has chosen the side of Putin, a war criminal in this war – Irakli Garibashvili has demonstratively refused to join international sanctions; to this day, the airspace remains open for Russian aviation; Irakli Kobakhidze has launched an initiative to give Russia an excuse to accuse us of inciting ethnic strife against the Russians; the government prevents volunteers and medical staff from traveling to Ukraine; until now, Russian propaganda media have been operating in Georgia; Russian citizens still enjoy visa-free travel when entering Georgia.
“The Ukrainian people consider the actions of the Georgian government as a betrayal of Ukraine, a knife in the back. Only we, the citizens of this country, can wash away the shame that the Georgian Dream government creates every day,” the statement said.
The protesters moved from the parliament building to the government administration, where there was a confrontation between the protesters and law enforcement. Several protesters were arrested.
By Ana Dumbadze
Related Story: Russia Approves List of Countries Carrying out ‘Unfriendly Actions,’ Georgia Not on List