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Georgia finally lets in 6 Ukrainians after 10 days on Russian-Georgian border

by The Kyiv Independent news desk August 28, 2023 12:25 AM 2 min read
Protesters outside the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, on March 8, 2023, objecting to the government's planned "foreign agent" law, reminiscent of Russian legislation. (Vano Shlamov/AFP via Getty Images)
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After a 10-day stay in the neutral zone on the Russia-Georgia border, Georgian officials finally let in six Ukrainian men seeking asylum, the human rights organization UnMode reported on Aug. 27.

The six Ukrainians arrived at the Georgia border on Aug. 16 requesting political asylum. Their group included five former prisoners that Russian authorities had previously deported  from occupied Kherson Oblast.

Despite the fact that the asylum-seekers had all the necessary documents, the Georgian border guards refused to grant them entry, citing "other reasons,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on Aug. 24.

They were forced to spend 10 days in the buffer zone between Russia and Georgia.

"They get sunburned during the day, cold at night and sleep on the ground," UnMode said on Aug. 19. "The lack of water, food and the uncertainty of how things will turn out make the crossing a real struggle for survival."

According to the organization, one of the Ukrainian asylum-seekers has HIV and was running out of essential medication.

The group was officially allowed to cross the border into Georgia on Aug. 27. No explanation or further comment on the long delay was offered.

Kutelia, Sikharulidze: Ending Putin’s wars – don’t forget Georgia
Aside from the capital city of Tbilisi, where 40 miles away Russian occupying troops are stationed in Georgia’s South Ossetia region, the danger of unjust peace is also felt in Batumi, the country’s tourist hotspot on the Black Sea coast. Over the horizon lies Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea.

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