Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner faces protests in Georgia

Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner had to leave Georgia over protests that sparked in the former Soviet republic after his arrival there. Pozner came to Georgia to celebrate his 87th birthday.

In the morning of Thursday, April 1, the Russian journalist and TV presenter left Georgia and flew from Tbilisi to Russia, although he planned to leave the country in a few days.

Georgia's First Channel also said that Pozner and his guests left the hotel through the police cordon.

When the protests sparked, Pozner wrote: “I am now at the hotel. I'm safe."

The protests in Georgia started over concerns about Pozner's recent statements, in which he said that Abkhazia would never be part of Georgia. The hotel, where the journalist stayed, was pelted with eggs, and someone wrote "Get out of Georgia!" on the asphalt near the hotel building.

Protesters also complained to the labor inspectorate that Pozner and his guests arranged a dinner at the hotel in violation of the curfew that is effective in Georgia starting at 9:00 p.m.. As a result, the restaurant was fined 10,000 lari (about $2,940). Pozner and some of his guests were also fined.

  • Abkhazia declared independence after the 1992-1993 war with Georgia. In August 2008, Georgia deployed troops in South Ossetia in an attempt to regain control of the region.
  • Russia immediately intervened and the Georgian military were driven out of the conflict zone. 
  • The same month, Moscow officially recognized the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Later, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Syria recognised South Ossetia's independence.

Kremlin comments on Georgia protests

Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on the protests in Tbilisi.

“It is dangerous for Russian citizens to be in Georgia. It is simply dangerous to go there, and the Russians should clearly understand this," RIA Novosti quoted Peskov as saying.

Vladimir Pozner arrived in the capital of Georgia to celebrate his birthday - on April 1, he turned 87 years old.

Pozner told to get out of Georgia