Thousands rally against ‘Russian Bill’ in Tbilisi, police resort to special measures - Video

A demonstrator waves a Ukrainian flag during a protest against the law on “foreign agents” in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 28, 2024.
A demonstrator waves a Ukrainian flag during a protest against the law on “foreign agents” in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 28, 2024.

A massive rally was held in Tbilisi on April 28 as Georgians flocked to the capital to protest the adoption of the 'On Transparency of Foreign Influence' bill, also known as the 'Foreign Agents Bill' or, simply, the 'Russian Bill', the BBC reported.

Protesters filled the area near parliament with flags of Georgia and the European Union after police blocked their movement near Tbilisi's central avenue.

Parliament is currently fenced off and under police guard. 

A stage has been set up for a counter-rally to support the ruling party's law.

Read also: Georgia risks sliding into Russia’s orbit — opposition MP

Protesters asked for some demonstrators to be granted access to hang Georgian and EU flags near the stage - but police denied the request.

Georgia's Internal Affairs Ministry accused protesters of staging a rally with "a violent character"., adding that additional police and special units will be deployed to the parliament.

Read also: Ukraine’s ruling party in war of words with Georgian government

"Despite numerous calls from law enforcement, rally participants repeatedly attempted to break through the police cordon," the ministry said.

"Police used special means provided by law to maintain order."

Foreign Agents Bill and Protests in Georgia

A wave of mass protests erupted in Georgia on April 9 after the leader of the parliamentary majority Georgian Dream, Mamuka Mdinaradze, said his party would again introduce a bill on "foreign agents" to parliament. Tbilisi Law enforcement began dispersing demonstrators on April 16.

Georgia's parliament adopted the bill in its first reading on April 17.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili promised to veto the document.

Read also: ‘Will never be tolerated’ – Georgians will not allow a pro-Russian government – Georgian President

Georgia's "Foreign Agents" bill aims to protect it from "Ukrainization," Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze claimed on April 18.

The real threat to Georgia is Russification, not "mythical Ukrainization," Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Ministry responded, adding that using Ukraine in such a derogatory context "further damages Ukrainian-Georgian relations."

Members of the European Parliament stated on April 18 that adopting the controversial Foreign Agents bill in Georgia jeopardizes the country's Euro-Atlantic integration.

The scandalous "Foreign Agents" bill could be repealed or rewritten if the country is invited to join the European Union, the head of Georgia's ruling party said on April 20.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Georgia's ‘On Transparency of Foreign Influence’ bill on April 25, questioning whether Georgia's EU accession negotiations could continue while the law is in effect.

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine