Anti-Russian protests in Tbilisi do not change Russians’ opinion of Georgia
7% of Russians are “very well disposed” towards the country and 42% are “well-disposed”.
Russians have not started to dislike Georgia since the mass anti-Russia rallies in Tbilisi this summer, Levada Center concluded after conducting a survey, according to Kommersant.
According to the findings, 7% of Russians are “very well disposed” towards the country and 42% are “well-disposed”. In July 2018, that is, before the anti-Russia protests in Tbilisi and the ban on direct flights, the figures had been almost identical: 5% liked Georgia very much and 41% were mostly supportive of the country’s policy. The number of those who had anti-Georgian sentiments in most regards and in all regards remained at the same level, too - 22% and 13% now against 20% and 11%, respectively, in 2018.
“The Russians have not changed their opinions about Georgia because there was no long-term media campaign that would cover and escalate the conflict,” says Karina Pipia, a sociologist at Levada Center. “In addition, the tendency towards an increased positive attitude towards Georgia, which we have detected in recent years, is difficult to break right away.”
The tension between the two countries reappeared after an incident involving State Duma deputy Sergei Gavrilov, who sat in the chair of the Georgian parliament speaker during an Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, which Gavrilov chaired. The opposition did not like the act and mass protests took place in Tbilisi. As a result, the Russian authorities imposed a temporary ban on air communication with Georgia.