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Thousands Of Georgians Denounce Russian 'Occupier' In Tbilisi Protest

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Georgia’s capital on July 18 to protest what they call Russia’s "occupation" of the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

More than 3,000 protesters rallied outside the state chancellery building in Tbilisi chanting "Georgia" and bearing placards denouncing Russia as an "occupier" and calling for an end to "collaboration and cooperation with the enemy."

"The Kremlin continues to use both hard and soft power in its efforts to subjugate Georgia," Tamara Chergoleishvili, an organizer of the demonstration, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

"We gathered here to show that Russia's aggressive policy doesn't belong to the 21st century," she added.

Moscow recognized declarations of independence by South Ossetia and Abkhazia after fighting a five-day war with Georgia in 2008, but few countries have followed suit.

Georgia considers both regions to be occupied by Russia, which has troops and enforces borders in both regions.

Based on reporting by AFP and