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How was Aslan Abashidze forced out of Adjara?

Wednesday, May 7
(All respondents are Adjara residents.)

“Nothing would have happened without Russia's support. If it weren’t for Igor Ivanov, Aslan would still be in Batumi.”
Jimsher, engineer, 50

“The ‘liberation’ is just a story: one small dictator was replaced with a bigger one.”
Davit, driver, 33

“Aslan was smart enough to understand that his time had come. That’s why he let Misha [Saakashvili] enter Batumi peacefully.”
Nika, manager, 23

“The Georgian nation wanted him to leave Adjara and so it happened.”
Marina, housewife, 46

“Oh, I remember the rallies and peoples’ protests. He was forced to leave Batumi.”
Otar, student, 20

“He wasn’t a bad man—he did lots of good things for Batumi. But it was impossible for him to keep his position after the government changes. Russia played a big role: Ivanov came here to take him to Moscow.”
Natia, banker, 27

“Aslan Abashidze was not supported by the people of Adjara. His own actions, along with the protest from the central government and its supporters, are what got him kicked out of Adjara. By that, I particularly mean blowing up the bridges.”
Giorgi, dentist, 35

“He left after Igor Ivanov came. So that makes me think, maybe it was part of a big decision made in the Kremlin or between the Kremlin and Washington. But the fact is there is no Aslan, and that’s good!”
Ana, student, 22