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Georgia: Tbilisi's Mayor Draws a Red Line

As U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warns Russia to stop its aggression in Georgia or face lasting consequences, iWitness talks with Gigi Ugulava, the young mayor of Georgia's capital Tbilisi and a close confidant of President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Tbilisi faces a mounting refugee crisis as Georgians flood in from Gori and other towns bombed by the Russian army

Tbilisi faces a mounting refugee crisis as Georgians flood in from Gori and other towns bombed by the Russian army.

Ugulava describes the mounting refugee crisis facing his city as Georgians flood in from Gori and other towns bombed by the Russian army, and how the city is reacting as Russian tanks remain less than 40 miles from the capital. Ugulava tells FRONTLINE/World that when it comes to Tbilisi, Georgians are drawing a red line. "If Russia will succeed here, they will be halfway to reestablishing the Soviet Union and nobody can stop them then."


Thank goodness someone is reporting on this crucial and complex story. Frontline is always there to fill in the gap of how the media should be covering a topic and how they actually are. Rubin, admirably, goes the extra distance to go straight to the source. I'm perplexed by some viewer comments that refer to a 'pro-US' or 'neo-con' slant;
terms that really only apply in a Western political and cultural context.Surely, in the post Cold War world we have learned the dangers of over-simplifying what are complicated and multi-layered conflicts..?

Irun Cohen - Rehovot, Israel
Thanks Frontline World for this interview with Tibilisi's mayor. The conversation elicited important answers while maintaining a reporter's sympathetic distance. The content is alarming; it should ring alarms.

I live and Canada and have a bunch of friends from Tbilisi I get in touch with on the regular basis. Interestingly enough there is an obvious shift in those people's perception noticed lately. Previously we were able to find common grounds talking about global politics. Healthy criticism was there: they hated Saakashvilli, western money spent on meaningless projects, etc. Now they hate Russians. Not only Russian military that is still present there, but all Russians. It is almost like their attention is being drawn away from the fact of the US betrayal. They are somewhat blind now in their hatred. I blame media propaganda.

This is absolutely the last time I watch Frontline. The Georgians just finished slaughtering 1,500 civilians, this 'propaganda minister' remarks that 'Russia carpet bombed Skinvali', and you say nothing? How could you not ask this Georgian 'official' why Georgia fired missles into apartment buildings in Ossetia? Not only am I done with one sided neo-con Frontline, I am pretty sure this is a team effort to cover up the truth and protect a little Hitler, Shakashvili. I am therefore pretty certain that Western Media is a mouthpiece for Western oligarchs trying to convince their mind-numbed brainless citizens that they still live in a democracy.

I came across this site quite by accident, and was amazed at the pro U.S. slant. There is no plan to reestablish the Soviet Union and the U.S. is powerless and impotent in this situation. The CIS has stolen a march on the intelligence agencies of the West but nonetheless reestablished itself as a regional power on its way to becoming a world power. Here in the EU, there is not much sympathy for Georgia, not least because of the strong links to the U.S., aka the debacle of Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently Iran. The U.S. axis is paying the price of former sins, but this view is completely absent from your simplistic "good boy bad boy" view of world geopolitics.

Please next time you have a person who is trying to show only one point of view ask him some harder questions... like: Why did they decide to move military units into south Ossetia? Why were they using MLR (Multiple Launch Rocket) systems against the Ossetian rebels and civilians? Did they really believe Russia would have done nothing as a result of this?