Friday, April 9, 2010

Safety, Security, Russia

Safety, Security, Russia and Politics

The April 9th announcement (below) from the US State Department caught our attention. We read this at the same time we read about the growing belief in some quarters that Russia will seek to blame Georgia for the recent subway bombings in Moscow.

American citizens currently in Georgia are urged to continue to review their personal security situations and to take appropriate action to ensure their safety. Given the recent upheaval in Georgia, American citizens should take precautions in case of an increase in violent crime. Demonstrations can occur without notice and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. The U.S. Embassy advises all Americans in Georgia to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. American citizens are encouraged to remain in close communication with the American Embassy in Tbilisi for more detailed information.

American citizens should monitor the U.S. Embassy web site,, and stay in contact with family and friends in the United States. American citizens in Tbilisi may also tune in to Radio Syndicati at FM 104.3 or throughout Georgia at Radio Green Wave at FM 107.4 for updated U.S. Embassy Warden Message information.

Family members and friends unable to verify the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens in the affected area should call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or from other areas via a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). U.S. citizens in the area are urged to monitor the local news. Those residing or traveling in Georgia are reminded to register with the U.S. Embassy either online at or in person at U.S. Embassy Tbilisi so they can obtain updated information on travel and security. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

There is always talk of Russia invading. And the television hoax of several weeks ago is fresh on the minds of Georgians so levels of paranoia are high. The only violent demonstration I have seen was the one resulting from a fender bender outside our apartment involving dozens of the neighborhoods young bucks. But we are also told that there have been a few political demonstrations outside of Parliament and I suppose these will grow in number as the May elections approach. Life in Tbilisi seems safe to us. It is a European city in many ways although the Borjomi Denied blog may throw that observation into question. The streets seems safe even late at night. We will probably go for a hike today on the ridges above the city and not fear that we will be attacked. And if the Russians do invade, then we have to trust the US Embassy to figure out what to do with us or for us.


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