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Thousands of Protesters Storm Georgian Parliament in Outrage

Hundreds of people were injured in clashes with police.



Thousands of Protesters Storm Georgian Parliament

(TMU) — Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Georgian parliament building on Thursday in outrage over the presence of a Russian lawmaker in the nation’s capital city of Tbilisi.

Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov, a member of the Communist Party, was visiting the Eurasian country’s parliament to attend an assembly of MPs from Orthodox Christian countries. Gavrilov addressed delegates from the chair of Georgia’s parliamentary speaker, which incited harsh criticism from both opposition and ruling parties.

Footage shows a mammoth crowd angrily teeming and clashing with police in front of the structure over Gavrilov’s appearance.

Cries for parliamentary chairman Irakli Kobakhidze and others to resign roared throughout the night, as approximately 10,000 protesters managed to breach the police cordon, according to AFP News Agency.

Officers reportedly prevented the mob from entering the building. Some 240 people were hurt in the clashes, according to BBC.

Gavrilov was pursued by protesters as he was transported to his hotel. Once the politician was secured inside, the crowd pelted the front of the Raddison that was housing the Russian delegation with eggs.

Gavrilov told Russian news agency Ria that he was not considering shortening his visit.

Protests also took place in the Georgian cities of Batumi and Gori.

Tensions between the nations date back hundreds of years.

A brief conflict erupted between Georgia and Russia in August of 2008 over the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Gavrilov previously voted in favor of both territories being independent from Georgia.

Watch the footage below:

By S.M. Gibson | Creative Commons |

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