The scandal with Vladimir Pozner, who was forced to retire from Tbilisi, where he was going to celebrate his birthday, due to protests against him, caused a huge number of comments on social networks. By coincidence, another well-known journalist, the editor-in-chief of the Dozhd TV channel, Tikhon Dzyadko, who flew there on vacation with his family, happened to be in the capital of Georgia just these days. He shared his impressions of the events:
“Yesterday I hung up a photo from the airport and wrote that we were flying to Tbilisi, and today I received several messages asking if we flew “on the same flight”, - with Vladimir Pozner and the guests of his holiday.
We didn’t fly. We flew from Vnukovo to Yerevan, and from there to Tbilisi, and were surprised to see on the scoreboard at the airport a flight straight to Tbilisi - there have been no direct flights for almost two years. Well, people can afford to pay for the charter - well done, I would do that too if I could afford it. But what happened next was, to put it mildly, indecent.
If anyone does not know, curfew begins in Tbilisi at 21 o'clock. This means that everything is closed, there are almost no people and cars on the street, shops, restaurants, pharmacies and everything else are closed. For violation - a fine of 600 dollars (for Georgia, this is not a fortune, but several whole fortunes. UPD - several people in the comments were offended by this phrase; it means “this is a very large fine” (and for Russia too)). Exceptions are only for those who receive special passes - this is a small contingent of people, not at all like in Moscow in the spring. People are very tired of this, it's hard to be so dependent on these restrictions (for example, we didn't have time to buy Misha's diapers today. But we are nothing - tourists, and people have been living this way for more than six months).
And against this background, a charter flight arrives in Tbilisi for the holiday. As the story goes, the following happens. The plane arrives at about 8:00. One of the participants of the event, with the help of the authorities, will arrange passes for all guests. By bus, everyone is brought to the hotel in Istanbul. From there, when the curfew begins, everyone is taken to the Vinotel for dinner. And the procession is headed by a police car with flashing lights. Further there is already happening what happened - a meeting, throwing eggs and swearing.
Of course, throwing eggs and cursing people is not very cool. But to step on the national tragedy of the country with your statements about Abkhazia and then come as if nothing had happened is several times less cool, you need to be prepared for the fact that part of society will express its attitude to this - simply because for Georgia this is a story about thousands of those killed and 250 thousand refugees. And to arrange your visit in such a way that it turns out that the colonialists came from the mainland with the help of the police to have a good time while the natives are sitting at home and cannot even go to the store - this is not just not cool, it is a rather shameful story.
And a little observation about something else entirely. When we were sitting in a cafe today, our spectator from Israel came up to us. She said that she was in the hotel at the moment when the building was showered with eggs. So the Israeli embassy evacuated her from there. This says a lot about the country's attitude towards its citizens ... "
For his part, another well-known journalist and political scientist Sergey Medvedev adds color to this picture:
“It seems to me that it’s good that it happened, this scandal, because it clearly outlined that postcolonial context, those rose-colored glasses in which the Russian consciousness resides regarding Georgia, Ukraine and other parts of the so-called. "post-Soviet space" (another vile colonial term). Because Georgia is not only "Saperavi", "Mimino" and eating lobio, it is also Abkhazia and South Ossetia, this is the Russian aggression of August 2008, this is defamation of Saakashvili, interference in the internal politics of Georgia and a patronizing disdain for it... And this unrelenting Russian-Soviet colonialism is fully reckoned with the lordly visit of a US citizen Posner, a regular propagandist of Channel One (for a second, the head of his project there is Artem Sheinin), who flew in with other media persons, including the general director of TASS, one of in the propaganda war against Georgia.
And this crowd of Russian propagandists on the road, flashing around Tbilisi with flashing lights at curfew, wandering from restaurant to restaurant - and the good fellows Georgians, who were outraged, never denied them a sense of dignity. "Cherry plum blossoms in Tbilisi not for Vladimirovich." And you, of course, go there, friends from Russia are always welcome there, and I myself will soon get ready. It's too early for the cherry plum, but the almonds will soon bloom..."