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Russian Language 'Pressed' On Georgian Teachers In Abkhazia

TBILISI -- Russian-language schoolbooks are being given to schoolteachers in the breakaway region of Abkhazia, prompting protests from some ethnic Georgian parents and teachers that their children are being brainwashed.

For years, Georgian-language textbooks have been used in Abkhazia's southern Gali district, home to some 40,000 Georgians.

One schoolteacher confirmed that "teachers are indeed being put under pressure" to use the new Russian-language materials.

Another schoolteacher told RFE/RL’s Georgian Service that authorities are "spying on us."

Georgian-language instruction has become a more volatile political issue since violence broke out between Russia and Georgia last summer.

Abkhaz officials have banned Georgian-language school materials but have not imposed similar restrictions on the country's 40 Armenian-language schools.

Local Abkhaz officials told RFE/RL that the Georgians are "lying" when they complain about state pressure.