Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgians In Abkhazia To Protest Against Russian Guards

ZUGDIDI, Georgia -- Georgians in the southern-most district of the breakaway region of Abkhazia are planning a protest against arbitrary restrictions on crossings of the Inguri River that marks the border with the rest of Georgia, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Residents of the village of Otobaia say they wrote to Abkhaz leader Sergei Bagapsh to complain about the intimidating behavior of Russian border guards, but have received no reply.

They say they will stage a peaceful demonstration early next week to demand "a narrow access path" across the border so they don't need to travel to the single official border crossing between Abkhazia and Georgia proper.

A woman from Otobaia said that since there was no public transport from the village to the Abkhaz town of Gali, it was easier to travel to Zugdidi in western Georgia to buy food and other basic necessities.

She said when Abkhaz border guards were stationed along the border they allowed Georgians to cross freely, whereas the Russian border guards greatly restrict border crossings.