Anti-Georgian sentiment

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Georgian refugees from South Ossetia asking for help outside the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi.

Anti-Georgian sentiment, also known as Kartvelophobia, refers to the dislike, hatred, or persecution of Georgians, the country of Georgia, or Georgian culture.


According to a July 2007 poll in Armenia, Georgia was viewed as a political and economic threat by 12% of respondents, while 9% viewed it as an important partner.[1] According to a 2013 poll, a majority of respondents opposed women marrying Georgians (70% disapproving vs 29% approving).[2] In contrast, a majority approved doing business with Georgians (67% vs 31%).[3]


According to a 2013 poll, a majority of respondents in Azerbaijan opposed women marrying Georgians (94% disapproving vs 5% approving).[4] In contrast, a majority approved doing business with Georgians (78% vs 20%).[5]


The statue of word Allah made by Iranian Georgians from the Georgian Mkhedruli letters had to be installed in a square in Fereydunshahr, Iran. On the first installation attempt, the statue was not installed because of opposition from the Lurs. 120 days later, it was installed, but only for a few hours at night, then taken down and moved out of the city.[6][7]


According to the Russian-based human rights center Memorial as of 2006 "Georgian citizens or just ethnic Georgian are subject to unlawful mass checks of observance of regime of sojourn" in Russia. The atmosphere of fear for Georgians in Russia was "supported by a lot of anti-Georgian materials in mass media, first of all on TV."[8] It especially intensified during and after the Russo-Georgian War of 2008.[9] In the months following the war, discrimination against Georgian residents in Russia ran high. Svante Cornell and S. Frederick Starr described the situation as follows:[10]

Police, tax, fire, and other inspection teams were sent to the cafés, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centers, and other enterprises belonging to ethnic Georgians in Russia. Scheduled Georgian cultural performances were canceled. Taxi drivers were encouraged to request identification from their passengers and refuse service if they turned out to be Georgians. And a massive anti-Georgian propaganda campaign unfolded in the Russian mass media.[10]

By early October 2008, the "anti-Georgian campaign had turned into a full-scale witch hunt". Sanctions against Georgia were passed by the State Duma, while visas for Georgian citizens were shortened by half.[10] Temur Iakobashvili, Georgia's State Minister for Reintegration, accused Russia of financially backing an anti-Georgian campaign in the Western media.[11] After change of leadership in Georgia in 2012-2013, when Georgian Dream replaced Saakashvili's UNM, "Moscow’s anti-Georgian rhetoric has softened as the strong ideological opposition frequently raised by the previous Georgian government has disappeared, and Russia has lifted its previous embargoes on Georgian wines and mineral water."[12]

Грызуны ('grizuny'; literally meaning "rodents", a pun with the Russian word 'gruziny' for Georgians) is a Russian ethnic slur for Georgians. One of those who used this slur was Alexei Navalny. In 2008 during the Russo-Georgian War, Navalny repeatedly called Georgians grizuny and said he very much wanted to strike Georgians with cruise missiles.[13] In response to criticism, in 2013 Navalny said that he regretted calling Georgians rodents but stood by everything else he said at the time.[14][15]

In 2012, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a dinner with journalists said that, Boris Akunin a popular fiction writer in Russia, supports the Russian opposition just because "he's an ethnic Georgian".[16]

Russian movies Olympus Inferno (2008) and August Eighth (2012) carry anti-Georgian sentiments.


Anti-Georgian and anti-Soviet riots took place in Abkhazia during the Soviet period in 1957, 1967, and 1979. Reports of these incidents were largely suppressed until the late 1980s.[17]

During the 1992–93 war the ethnic Georgians were victims of ethnic cleansing by the Abkhaz separatist government.[18]

South Ossetia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Armenia National Voter Study July 2007" (PDF). IRI, USAID, Baltic Surveys Ltd./The Gallup Organization, ASA. p. 29.
  2. ^ "Approval of women marrying Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  3. ^ "Approval of doing business with Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  4. ^ "Approval of women marrying Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  5. ^ "Approval of doing business with Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  6. ^ "اصفهان پرس: مخالفت با نصب تندیس "الله " به زبان گرجی در فریدونشهر+عکس". Archived from the original on 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  7. ^ "اصفهان پرس: درگیری موافقان و مخالفان نصب تندیس در فریدونشهر/تشکیل شورای تأمین استان اصفهان". Archived from the original on 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  8. ^ Memorial Human Rights Center (2006). "On anti-Georgian campaign launched on the territory of Russia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Russia and Georgia: The Americans arrive". The Economist. 14 August 2008. ...Mr Putin, cast as the hero of the war, flew to the Russian side of the Caucasus mountain range to hear hair-raising stories from refugees that ranged from burning young girls alive to stabbing babies and running tanks over old women and children. These stories were whipped up into anti-Georgian and anti-Western hysteria.
  10. ^ a b c Cornell, Svante E.; Starr, S. Frederick, eds. (2009). The Guns of August 2008: Russia's War in Georgia. New York: M. E. Sharpe. p. 63. ISBN 978-0765625083.
  11. ^ "Minister: Russia Behind Anti-Georgian Campaign in Western Media". Civil Georgia. 12 November 2008.
  12. ^ Gordadze, Thornike. "Georgia" (PDF). London School of Economics. p. 56. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2014.
  13. ^ Andrey Illarionov, Против Путина, но за империю. Темная сторона оппозиции (Against Putin, but for the Empire. Dark Side of Opposition), 29 May 2015
  14. ^ Alexey Navalny, Ответ Айдеру Муждабаеву Archived October 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Echo of Moscow 22 July 2013
  15. ^ Васильев, Анатолий Навальному припомнили Грузию АНТИКОР
  16. ^ Putin Vs. Akunin Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  17. ^ Minahan, James (2004). The Former Soviet Union's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook. ABC-CLIO. p. 292.
  18. ^ Babayan, Nelli (2014). European Union and United States Democracy Promotion: EU, US, and Russia in the South Caucasus. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 9781317750628. The anti-Georgian policy of Abkhazia continued, officially demanding the departure of all ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia.