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How should Georgia react to Moscow increasing ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

Thursday, April 17

“They should take radical steps, because nobody in Georgia can stand Russia, and it’s an extremely bad situation. I can’t say exactly what should be done, but the government should definitely take some serious measures.”
Nana, teacher, 37

“Only international organizations can stop this. They must respond forcefully to this decision, because Russia’s bad behavior has no limit.”
Otar, pensioner, 68

“I’m despairing, you know, because every day that goes by we are losing hope of returning these territories. I’m from Sokhumi, and I really want to go back there. I can barely remember my home now. I really don’t know—should Georgia start a war?”
Nika, economist, 30

“War is inevitable, without it we will never get back our territories. Russia is using every chance it has to take them away.”
Misha, student, 19

“Well, it doesn’t mean that they’re recognizing these territories as independent, but I think actual recognition is closer than we expected. Our government should be very cautious, and do what is necessary. It’s difficult for me and other ordinary citizens to say what Georgia should do.”
Nini, student, 21

“I think Russia is just bluffing. It won’t really carry out all its threats on our breakaway regions, because then it will lose any reputation it may have in the world as a peacekeeper.”
Zura, driver, 52

“Only with peaceful talks. Our leaders must consistently try to keep their patience—we don’t have the people to lose in a lopsided war. We can’t fight the Russian bear.”
Lolita, bank worker, 21

“Although our president is always declaring that we will do anything for our territorial integrity, it’s senseless. We can’t start a war. We’ve been through that before. Officials should be thinking of better ways of conflict resolution than warfare.”
Manana, pediatrician, 39

“Georgia can’t do anything except try to hold constructive negotiations with them. I understand it’s really impossible to have constructive relations with Russia, as throughout history they’ve never kept their promises, but Georgia must convince them not to do anything radical with our breakaway regions.”
Malkhazi, pharmacy owner, 37