Accessibility links

Breaking News

An Emerging Tale Of Two Ports

7:45 p.m. local (3:45 p.m. GMT)

I've made some phone calls, trying to arrange a visit to the main port tomorrow -- to see how things work from the inside. I was told it might be possible. Let's wait and see.

After I made those calls, I tried to visit Poti's military port, which remains closed. I saw two people, in civilian clothing, guarding the port and preventing anyone from entering. In fact, as I approached, they started shouting at me to stop. The authorities have said they are almost certain the area is mined, so people aren't even allowed to walk on the pavement in the vicinity of the port, lest the ground vibrate and set off mines. A special pathway has been set up, and everyone who passes by the area is required to use it.

I still tried to get as close as possible. The fence that surrounds the port is destroyed; it looks like it's been run over by a tank. All windows are shuttered, and some walls are torn down. I could see a lot of stuff that, presumably, the Russian soldiers left behind -- boxes and plastic items were scattered all around. Everything looked messy and dirty. There was no weaponry left there -- the Russians apparently either took it with them or destroyed it.

From where I stood, I could see some of the Georgian vessels that the Russians destroyed. For me, it was a very sad sight -- no one's around, it's completely silent, and parts of those destroyed vessels jut spectrally out of the water. I felt like I was gazing at a nautical graveyard.