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They Say Life In Town Has Become Safe Again

8 p.m. local time (4 p.m. GMT)

It's going to be another hot night in Poti. The sea is calm.

I was out all day today, talking to people and observing life on Poti's streets. It is becoming increasingly clear that things are normalizing here, despite the continuing presence of the Russian troops.

I spoke to minibus drivers who told me that the number of their passengers has increased, yet another indication that people who fled the Russian invasion and bombardments are now steadily returning.

A lot of people actually say that since the Russians moved to the outskirts of Poti, and no longer come in direct contact with residents, that life in the town has become safe again.

As I reported, schools -- as well as kindergartens -- are opening on September 15, even those located close to Nabada, where the Russians have one of their checkpoints. But, of course, things are not fully normal yet, and won't be until the Russian checkpoints are gone.

In order to really talk about "safety," Poti still needs de-mining work in several places -- the military port, the coast guard base, and the locations of the current Russian checkpoints among them.

As I wrote in one of my earlier entries, de-mining brigades will only arrive once the Russians have left.