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A Lot Of Anxiety In The Air Again

A woman sells fruit in Poti today.

1 p.m. local time (9 a.m. GMT)

It's been raining in Poti since last night. Several people told me they could hardly sleep, waking up at the sound of thunder, afraid it was explosions.

After the recent increase in Russian military forces, there is a lot of anxiety in the air again. Residents of Poti continue to be highly doubtful of the pledge given by President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday -- that he is going to withdraw Russian forces from Poti within a week.

The authorities say four Russian armored vehicles left Poti yesterday. However, the mayor of Poti, Vano Saghinadze, does not think this is related to Medvedev's statement because at all three of the Russian checkpoints, excavators are still working, trenches are still being dug, and tents are still up. The sounds of helicopters could again be heard above Poti today.

Contrary to earlier talk, now there's a feeling that people might not send their children to school on September 15 because of safety worries.

The authorities say the academic year will resume as planned on September 15, however, despite the presence of the Russian forces.