Georgians rally for Abkhazia, S. Ossetia

TBILISI, Georgia, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Georgian nationalists said during a protest in Tbilisi they were worried Russia may stake its claim to more of Georgia's sovereign territory.

Members of the National Front movement rallied in front of government buildings calling for the return of the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


Georgia and Russia went to war briefly over the breakaway republics in 2008.

Russia's state-backed news agency RIA Novosti reported Friday protesters shouted slogans against Russia's "imperialistic plans" and called for action to prevent "further annexation of Georgian territories." The Russian flag was burned during the demonstrations.

Georgia's government reacted angrily to an August visit to Abkhazia by Russian President Vladimir Putin. His visit coincided with the 5th anniversary of Russia's recognition of Abkhazia as an independent republic.

Dmitry Vishernyov, the first secretary at the Russian Embassy in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head last month. The Russian embassy said it was considering a number of motives for the killing, including terrorism.

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