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Interior Ministry stands against people’s patrolling at occupation line

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 27
Representatives of Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs have met with members of the public movement "Power is in Unity", who voluntary patrol the occupation line in order to protect local people from the Russians moving the so-called border on a daily basis.

The Ministry representatives familiarized the movement members with the risks and challenges of their own initiative.

“The occupation line is a high-risk area and any type of movement there is inherently dangerous,” they told the people.

The Ministry states that the movement’s objective is risky and that they will not allow it to continue.

They stressed that the police respected freedom of expression but preserved a right to act within the law if the movement continues to carry on regardless of their warnings.

The Ministry people stated that the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and Interior Ministry units were patrolling the occupation line with the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and Abkhazia regions and protect the safety of locals.

The movement is composed of regular people but has been endorsed by some local celebrities.

While it is a fact that the Russians are engaged in a creeping occupation of Georgian land, the Power is in Unity movement could result in a diplomatic incident.

Yet their concerns are valid; after the Russian Federation occupied 20 percent of all Georgia’s land in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, they have not stopped their advance and continue their creeping occupation.

The most recent incident was in the village of Bershueti, in Gori, when occupants moved 10 hectares ahead and came too near to the main highway connecting east and west Georgia.

It is very likely that the Russians are aiming to provoke Georgia into becoming involved in a wider confrontation.

The presence of ordinary people at the occupation line angered by the occupants’ actions could be a nice target for the Russians to cause the kind of provocation they are hoping for.