Russian media outlets are actively covering recent developments in Tbilisi, where police, including the riot control units, dispersed protesters who gathered outside the Parliament building through massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets.
According to the pro-Kremlin media outlets, the unrest was staged by the opposition to overthrow the government.
Below is the compilation of extracts from Russian news reports from the evening of 20th and the morning of 21 June:
Channel 1 – Developments resembling a coup. Last night, a crowd of protesters tried to burst into the Parliament. They demanded resignation of the Parliament Speaker and the Interior Minister, as well as changing the electoral system. The government responded strictly – water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas. Tens of people from the both sides have sustained injuries. But the protesters are not stepping back. The crowd has been incited by anti-Russian slogans, citing the visit of our delegation to Tbilisi as the pretext.
Mikheil Saakashvili is applauding the participants of the unrest from abroad, calling on them to remove the leader of the ruling party. And as if by coincidence, all these developments are taking place just when the President and the Parliament Speaker are on foreign visits.
The Interior Ministry of Georgia accused the opposition of an attempted coup. The Russian delegation’s visit could have been used as a pretext for staging mass unrest, which were apparently planned well in advance. Georgia is still on the verge of revolution, like 16 years ago.
NTV – Sergei Gavrilov: “Radicals occupied the Parliament in the morning and thwarted our session. They fulfilled two tasks. The first task: blow to the Orthodoxy in Georgia and Georgian-Russian friendly relations. On the other hand, it was a preparation for the second step – an attempted coup to resolve internal political issues. I noticed that all the posters distributed among the so called protesters were prepared and printed in advance. They were targeting Russia and aimed at discrediting this country. We saw the leaders who were speaking American English and leading the so called media representatives.”
Vesti – Georgian radical opposition deliberately used the Russian delegation’s visit to Tbilisi for the 26th session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) to stage unrest, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin thinks. According to the Russian diplomat, it once again demonstrates emotional drive of a radical part of Georgian politicians. They are doing their utmost to thwart improvement of relations between Georgia and Russia.
Konstantin Zatulin, chairman of the Russian State Duma’s committee on CIS issues, notes that not only Georgian radicals, but also Ukrainian lawmakers participated in the attack in the Georgian Parliament.
Moscow is concerned about the actions of radicals, who thwarted the session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi, the Russian Foreign Ministry reports. Official Tbilisi accused the Russian delegation of staging unrest in the Georgian capital. The Georgian government’s actions during the session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy go against the rules for holding international events, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
RIA Novosti – Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of television news network RT commented on the protest rally outside the Parliament building in Tbilisi. “How exciting it is to watch Washington-backed Georgian democracy – with its rubber bullets and gas – just from the lair of bloody dictatorship, where tear gas has not been used for about 20 years,” writes Simonyan on her Telegram channel.