Opposition supporters gathered in front of the parliament in the capital, waving Georgian, Ukrainian and EU flags. A banner read “For a European future”.

The country’s largest opposition party, the United National Movement of imprisoned ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili, called for the protest. “Long live Mischa,” shouted the demonstrators.

Saakashvili was arrested at the end of 2021 on charges of abuse of office when he returned to his homeland after a long exile, which he spent mainly in Ukraine. He is currently serving a six-year sentence and faces death threats, sleep deprivation and physical abuse in custody.

The demonstrators demanded the release of all political prisoners and the implementation of the reforms demanded by the EU in order to obtain candidate country status.

The small former Soviet republic is actually aiming to join the EU and NATO. Recently, however, several government measures have fueled fears that the country could turn to Russia. The governing party, the Georgian Dream, has an absolute majority in parliament and is seen as close to Moscow.

Russia’s influence on the ex-Soviet republic is great anyway. Moscow controls the two Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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