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The News in Brief

Thursday, February 29, 2024
Prepared by Messenger Staff

President Salome Zourabichvili Discusses Russia's Influence and Pro-Russian Groups in Georgia

In an interview with Sky News, the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, addressed the question regarding Russia's ongoing influence on the country, stating that there are pro-Russian groups in Georgia that do not openly declare their affiliations.

The President expressed her concerns about the ongoing occupation of 20% of the country's territories and the upcoming significant parliamentary elections scheduled for October in Georgia.

"We know from the experiences of many other countries, much stronger than ours, how Russia can interfere in elections and start a hybrid war. We are experiencing this personally - cyber attacks, possible use of economic pressure, propaganda, and financing of marginal groups. In Georgia, pro-Russian groups are really marginal, because we have occupied territories and we remember them," Zourabichvili said.

According to the President, under the conditions of occupation, "it is quite difficult to imagine such a society to have pro-Russian groups and parties."

But there are pro-Russian groups that don't openly declare their affiliations; funding flows in to support these groups and certain forms of anti-Western propaganda. We see in Georgia what we see elsewhere, and I am sure we will see even more this year, so we have to be very careful," Zourabichvili said.

Russian Occupiers Unlawfully Detain Georgian Citizen in Occupied Territory

The Russian occupiers have unlawfully detained a Georgian citizen within the occupied territory near the village of Takhisdziri in the Kareli municipality.

As mentioned in the statement by the State Security Service, upon receiving information about the incident, the Service activated the 'hotline' operated by the EU Monitoring Mission.

"The information regarding another case of illegal detention was promptly reported to the co-chairs of the international discussions in Geneva and our international partners. All existing mechanisms for the release of illegally detained Georgian citizens have been activated.

The occupying power bears responsibility for all destructive actions committed in the occupied territories of Georgia, as well as along the occupation line," the statement reads.