14 years since the August War

On August 7, 2008, Russia once again invaded Georgia. 228 civilians, 170 soldiers and 14 policemen died in the 2008 Georgia-Russia war. 2,232 citizens of Georgia were wounded and injured; 263,598 were displaced in the territory of Georgia; Georgia lost control over 151 settlements.

20% of Georgia’s territories are still occupied by Russia. The Russian Federation continues to occupy and militarize the regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, regularly conducts illegal military exercises on the territory of the country, intensively reinforces the occupation line with barbed wire and various artificial barriers, continues the practice of illegal detention and kidnapping of the local civilian population.

Russia is still not honoring the ceasefire agreement mediated by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008, and Russian troops have not returned to their pre-2008 war positions.

After the August war, Russia recognized the independence of two regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and the so-called “South Ossetia”, but the international community supports the territorial integrity of Georgia.

In connection with the anniversary of the August War, the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili wrote on Twitter: “1801, 1921, 1992, 2008 – are dates that every Georgian remembers for ever. They illustrate Russia’s ruthless policy of armed aggression and occupation. Georgian resilience has proven stronger. My thoughts go to our citizens living in the occupied territories in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, in a statement issued on August 7, noted that “on the 14th anniversary of the occupation, Russia does not fulfill the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008, mediated by the European Union, and expands its illegal control over the occupied in the regions”.

“With building barbed wires and other artificial barriers along the occupation line, illegal detentions and kidnappings, gross violations of human rights and ethnic discrimination of Georgians, it is undermining the security, human rights and humanitarian situation on the ground and is trying to isolate the people living in the occupied territories from the rest of Georgia and the international community”. – the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also draws attention to the violation of the right of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced citizens of Georgia to return to their homes, which “remains a heavy humanitarian burden of Russia’s illegal occupation.”

Cyber ​​attack on Dedaena Bar

The owner of one of the most popular bars in Tbilisi, Dedaena bar, Data Lafauri, on August 4, wrote on the social network Facebook that there was a cyber attack on the bar.

“SOS. The cyber attack on Dedaena bar continues, 5,000 reviews on Google alone, threatening comments on our social media accounts.” – He wrote.

The reason for such reaction from the Russian citizens is the so-called “visa” for which Russian citizens must fill out a special form. The questionnaire contains the following points: I did not vote for Putin, he is a dictator; I condemn Russian aggression in Ukraine; Crimea is Ukraine, just like other occupied territories; Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are Georgia; 20% of Georgia is occupied by Russia; Every 12th citizen of Georgia is displaced due to Russian aggression; I like the phrase: “Русский военный корабль, иди на х**”; Glory to Ukraine

Dedaena Bar on August 2, published a post saying that Russian customers are giving the bar negative reviews en masse on social networks.

On the same day, the rating of the Dedaena bar increased to 4.8 stars, and the negative ratings of supporters of the Russian occupation were deleted by Google.

48 opposition MPs condemn GD’s continued  attacks on western allies

Forty-eight opposition and independent MPs from the Georgian Parliament published a joint statement which condemned the ruling Georgian Dream party’s continued war blackmail conspiracy against Georgia’s Western allies and pledged support for former EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell and U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan amid the attacks.

In their statement, the MPs acknowledged the significant role that the U.S. and EU have played in Georgia’s statehood and its Western aspirations since it gained independence. They emphasized that alongside both current and departed members of the GD party, “it is particularly alarming that certain representatives of the judicial corp” are also involved in this political campaign which claims that Georgia’s strategic allies are trying to involve it in the war against Russia.

The MPs pointed to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s recent letter published on July 27, 2022, which confirmed his meeting with Ambassador Degnan but did not specify its content, as evidence of Ivanishvili’s connection with the “anti-state campaign of GD.”

The MPs further noted that such acts are against Georgia’s national interest and are aimed at separating “Georgia from its Western allies and partners and leaving it alone in the face of the occupying state, which is only in the interests of the Russian Federation.”

They highlighted that despite numerous public statements by Ambassadors that the US and EU have never wanted to involve Georgia in the war against Russia “GD stubbornly continues to circulate such lies.”

Signatories included MPs from the United National Movement, For Georgia, Lelo for Georgia, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Republicans, and Law and Order, as well as several independent MPs. The Citizens, European Socialists, and Girchi did not sign the statement.

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EGI Political Digest was created with support from Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC). The views and opinions expressed in this Digest are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of EGI or SILC.

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