Anti-government protests that began late (local time) on Thursday, June 20, have reportedly continued in Tbilisi as of the early morning hours of Friday, June 21. According to local sources, police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at unruly crowds gathered outside the parliament building, as thousands continue to defy orders to disperse. Local reports claim at least 15 people were wounded in the clashes.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near all protest sites. Avoid all gatherings.
Anti-government protesters staged several demonstrations on June 19-20 amid the visit of Sergey Gavrilov, a member of Russia's State Duma, who supports the independence of Georgian breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gavrilov is in Georgia to attend the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, held in Tbilisi from June 19-22.
Roughly 10,000 protesters gathered in central Tbilisi on late on June 20 to denounce the participation of Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov at the General Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy. Protests reportedly turned violent after images emerged of Gavrilov sitting in a seat typically reserved for Parliamentary Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze; Kobakhidze is currently on a state visit to Azerbijian. Police subsequently fired tear gas at protesters after several attempted to storm the parliament building.
Individuals in Tbilisi are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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