Russians in Georgia | DW Documentary

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  • Published on:  Monday, July 25, 2022
  • More than 40,000 Russians have fled to Georgia since the war in Ukraine began. A lot of Georgians are skeptical or even hostile, however, toward the new arrivals from their much-hated neighbor.

    Georgia has become one of the places of refuge for Russians fleeing either state persecution or the impact of western sanctions. After organizing an anti-war demonstration, Artyom Petukhov had to leave at short notice with little more than his smartphone. He found support from an exiled compatriot, Egor Kuroptev, who moved to Tbilisi over ten years ago. Tanya from Moscow is not an activist, but has come to Georgia with her four children to give them a better future.

    Meanwhile, there are growing concerns in Georgia about more Russian citizens potentially relocating to their country. Many Georgians are calling on the government to introduce a strict visa regime for the new arrivals and to distinguish between those fleeing for political or for economic reasons. Relations between the two countries are already tense; since the 2008 war, 20% of Georgia's territory has been occupied by Russia. There is a widespread fear that Georgia could be Russia's next target and that Putin might take over the entire country. Volunteers from Georgia are therefore fighting on the Ukrainians’ side in the current conflict - and risking their lives in their own personal fight against Russia.

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