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Georgiyevsk ribbon draws public ire

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 12
The Geogievsk ribbon in Russia is viewed as a symbol of Russia’s victory in war. So the appearance of this image on the billboards of the mobile operator Geocell in Tbilisi has caused some anger.

The ribbon is much propagandized in Putin’s Russia. However, in Georgia and Ukraine, the ribbon is understood as a symbol of imperialistic occupation.

The scandal arose when Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Levan Butkhuzi posted a photo of the banner on Facebook.

It turns out that the photo was sent by a member of the local pro-Russian organization Irakli Kipiani.

Commenting on the fact, Kipiani wrote that he associated the ribbon with the Second World War and promised “more Georgiyevsk ribbons.”

Geocell has already apologized for the message. According to the company, the project through which the ribbon has attracted the public’s interest, is being carried out by the new, creative company Deehubs that creates a new style social media.

“Each message appears on the billboard for 20 seconds. Thousands of people have gotten involved in the project since it kicked-off. We have received record number of messages that are filtered by Deehubs. Despite this fact, we do not avoid responsibility and forgiveness for this unfortunate fact,” the company states.

Former Defence Minister Dmitry Shashkin was of the first to point it out. He stressed that the ribbon has nothing in common with the Second World War and that it was created through Putin’s order in 2006.

Member of the opposition United National Movement (UNM) Nugzar Tsiklauri states that the ribbon is the result of the current Georgian authorities’ irresponsible policy.

The ribbon was unacceptable for the majority representatives. Majority MP Zviad Kvatchantiradze states that the “flying of Russian symbols, even for several seconds in Georgia, where 20% of territories are occupied by Russia, is improper.”

The NGO Defense and Security Issues Research Institute has initiated a ban on all the symbols in Georgia that are related to Russian occupation.

However, it is unlikely that the current government will approve the initiative, as such steps might irritate Russia.