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    Live Updates: Georgian Opposition Calls for More Protests in Tbilisi

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    TBILISI (Sputnik) – Grigol Vashadze, the chairman of the Georgian opposition United National Movement party, called on supporters to continue protests in central Tbilisi later on Friday.

    On Thursday, protesters launched a rally outside the parliament building in the Georgian capital against the participation of Russian delegates in the General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodox. The opposition subsequently joined the demonstrators, calling on the government and the parliament speaker, to step down. The protests were subsequently dispersed but demonstrators reportedly broke into the office of the ruling Georgian Dream party and ransacked it.

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    • 19:51

      Russian PM Warns Georgia of ‘Political Clowns’ Hijacking Protests

      "These events in Georgia are part of an internal political strife between the radical opposition and forces in power. Attempts to blame it all on Russia seem forced … It [protests] is used to put pressure on the parliament and, if possible, to collapse the sitting Georgian government. That’s why it is accompanied by comments of political clowns like Mikheil Saakashvili, who promptly got involved in this process," Medvedev said.

    • 19:16

      Georgian Opposition Calls for Interior Minister’s Resignation

      "Our demands are the same: Gakharia should go, those who used force yesterday should be punished and a proportional [representation parliamentary] election should be called," Grigol Vashadze, the leader of the United National Movement, said.

    • 18:21

      Moscow Patriarchate Spokesman Blames Georgian Protests on ‘Political Divisions’

      Vladimir Legoida, spokesman of the Moscow Patriarchate, has blamed protests in Georgia over Russia’s participation in an Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi on political divisions inside this former Soviet country.

      "There are no rifts inside the assembly that could have led to this ... Events of the past day are rooted in social and political divisions in Georgia and the assembly only served as a catalyst," he said on Telegram.

    • 18:21

      Kommersant Newspaper Says Its Journalist Soloviev Barred From Entering Georgia

      Kommersant Journalist Vladimir Soloviev has been denied entry to Georgia amid protests in the country's capital, the newspaper said on Friday.

      "The [Georgian] border police did not allow Kommersant special correspondent Vladimir Soloviev to enter Georgia. Police refused to provide any explanations. Soloviev flew to Tbilisi Airport from Moscow on Friday, June 21. He was stopped at the border control, his passport was seized. After three hours of waiting he was told that he should take the next flight and go back to Moscow," Kommersant newspaper said in a statement.

    • 17:27

      Georgian Opposition to Keep Protesting Despite Parliament Speaker’s Resignation

      Georgia’s opposition United National Movement told Sputnik it would go on with its protest on Friday evening despite the resignation of the parliament speaker.

      "We made several demands: that the speaker should go, that Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia should go and that a snap parliamentary election should be called. The protest action will go on," the opposition said.

    • 16:43

      Over 30 Media Workers Injured During Protests in Tbilisi - Independent Union of Journalists

      "At least 31 employees of local and foreign media have been injured during the demonstration," the organization said in a statement, adding that a Reuters correspondent was among the injured as well.

    • 16:38

      Over 300 People Arrested During Violent Rallies in Tbilisi - Georgian Interior Ministry

      "As many as 305 protesters were detained for various offenses. The Interior Ministry has launched an investigation under Article 225 of the Georgian Criminal Code, which implies the organization, holding and participation in public unrest," a spokesperson for the Georgian Interior Ministry said.

    • 15:20

      Organiser of Orthodoxy Assembly, Member of Georgian Parliament Kutsnashvili Resigns

      The organizer of the International Assembly on Orthodoxy, a member of the Georgian parliament, Zakariya Kutsnashvili resigned against the backdrop of protests in Tbilisi.

      "Peace and harmony are much more valuable to me than the mandate of a lawmaker," he told reporters.

    • 14:32

      Speaker of Georgian Parl't Resigns Amid Protests - Ruling Party

      The speaker of the Georgian parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, has resigned amid protests in the country's capital, the secretary general of the country's ruling Georgian Dream party, Kakha Kaladze, said on Friday.

      "This decision has been made to fulfill his responsibility toward the [Georgian] people," Kaladze said at a briefing.

    • 14:30

      Unrest in Tbilisi 'Nightmarish Provocation' Harming Georgia in First Place – Moscow

      The unrest in Tbilisi sparked by the participation of Russian delegates in the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) session in the national legislature building is a "nightmarish provocation," which has done the greatest harm to Georgia itself, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

      "A provocation by radicals, struggle for power between political parties. Politics. Democracy. And I'm not being sarcastic: these are the modern world’s realities ... The conclusion is sad, in my view: yesterday's unrest caused the most harm to Georgia itself," Zakharova wrote on Facebook.

    • 12:45

      Kremlin Considers Events in Tbilisi to be 'Russophobic Provocation'

      "Everything that happened in Georgia yesterday is nothing more than a Russophobic provocation, and, this certainly causes our extreme concern that there were aggressive manifestations against Russian citizens. There was a question of their immediate personal security... This causes extreme condemnation and requires extreme condemnation," Peskov said.

    • 12:15

      Total of 240 People Injured in Rallies in Georgian Capital - Deputy Health Minister

      As many as 240 people were injured in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi during violent rallies that erupted there over Russian delegates' participation in the general session of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, Georgian Deputy Health Minister Zaza Bokhua said on Friday.

      "A total of 240 people were injured, while 102 of them remain in hospitals," Bokhua said.

      Around 70 people have asked for medical assistance after the protests, according to the previous estimates of the ministry.

    • 10:20

      Tbilisi Rallies Over Orthodoxy Assembly Show Failure of Georgian Gov't - Russian Lawmaker

      "This has been a failure of the Georgian authorities. It is clear that the figure of Gavrilov was used by the opposition to attack the authorities. Russia is only a convenient reason here. It is clear that the opposition wants to fight with Russia, instead of finding a common ground, as the current authorities are trying to do, despite the absence of diplomatic relations. It is clear that any outcome of the confrontation will relate to Georgian internal affairs," Konstantin Kosachev, the Russian upper house foreign policy committee head, said on Facebook.

    • 10:08

      Russian Tourists Should Abstain From Visiting Georgia Until Situation Stabilises- Lawmaker

      Vladimir Dzhabarov, the deputy chairman of the Russian upper house's foreign affairs committee, voiced the belief in his comment for Sputnik on Friday that Russian tourists should abstain from visiting Georgia until the situation in the Georgian capital is stabilized.

      "I would rather abstain from visiting Tbilisi although Georgia has become one of Russians' favourite travel destinations over the past years. Why should we take risks? Let's wait until the Georgian leadership stabilizes the situation ... I do not rule out that the situation in Tbilisi will be heated in the coming days," Dzhabarov said.

      He added that he would like the Georgian president and the Georgian prime minister to comment on the situation.

      "I would like to hear them condemn this ugly story, but the Georgian government has not yet commented on the ongoing events," Dzhabarov said.

    • 09:42

      Georgian President Plans to Wrap Up Visit to Belarus Ahead of Schedule - Source

      Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili plans to wrap up her visit to Belarus ahead of schedule, as she is expected to leave the Belarusian capital of Minsk right after her meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a source in the Belarusian state administration told Sputnik on Friday.

      Zourabichvili arrived in Minsk on Thursday. Apart from meeting with Lukashenko, she was expected to hold talks with Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas and attend the opening ceremony of the European Games multi-sport event, scheduled for Friday.

      "The Georgian president plans to complete her visit earlier than scheduled. Meanwhile, her meeting with President Lukashenko, scheduled for Friday, will be held, although a little bit earlier than it was planned," the source said.

    • 08:43

      Ruptly Video Agency Producer Hit by Rubber Bullet During Tbilisi Protests - Reports

      A producer working with the Ruptly video agency has been injured by a rubber bullet as the Georgian special operations forces dispersed protesters rallying outside the parliament building in Tbilisi, the Russian RT broadcaster, which owns the agency, reported on Friday.

      "The special operations forces fired rubber bullets and used tear gas. I tried to film it then I suddenly felt sharp pain in my liver area. It was a rubber bullet. I checked it with my hands. There was blood. I immediately called the ambulance," the producer said, as quoted by RT.

      Meanwhile, the Russian Gazeta.ru news outlet reported, that one of its correspondents had been affected by the tear gas during the rallies in Tbilisi.

    • 08:42

      Protests in Tbilisi on Thursday: All You Need to Know

      People flee as riot policemen use tear gas during a protest against a Russian lawmaker's visit outside the parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia June 20, 2019

      Tbilisi: Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets, Water Cannons in Action as Special Forces Disperse Protesters

      Thousands of protesters clashed with police Thursday evening after an opposition faction attempted to take over Georgia’s Old Parliament building where a General Assembly of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy had taken place earlier in the day.
      Read more
    • 08:41

      Georgian Opposition Calls for Resuming Rally Later on Friday

      "I am calling on everyone to gather once again today at 07:00 p.m. (15:00 GMT). We will call on the leadership to take adequate action. The authorities should begin talking. We should not tolerate this anymore," Grigol Vashadze, the chairman of the Georgian opposition United National Movement party, told reporters.

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    Live Updates: Georgian Opposition Calls for More Protests in Tbilisi
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