- Posted August 11, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Georgian Students at Russian Embassy in Armenia
Georgian university students studying in Armenia, Georgian students vacationing in Armenia and Armenian young people born in Georgia staged their own rally of support in front of the Russian embassy in the Armenian capitol of Yerevan over the weekend. Watched carefully by Armenian security forces that nearly out-numbered the young people, the students waved Georgian flags and sang their national anthem. Since its own violence broke out March 1 in connection with protesters objecting to the February 19 presidential elections, Armenia has made it more difficult for people to rally.
Meanwhile, the Georgian students are frustrated. The Georgians feel that all the facts aren't making it into Armenian media. With some jeers by passers-by and motorists, the Georgians say that only the Russian point of view is being through to its neighbors -- from Russian news sources directly and by Armenian newscasters using only Russian sources. The students wish sources such as CNN or Voice of America could be shared with more Armenians so they'd get different perspectives.
However, as of Monday night, the students said they have been asked by their government's representatives to leave Armenia. Apparently, Armenian authorities gave Georgian officials full details of all the students' activities -- which included standing and sitting in front of the Russian embassy and then walking back to their apartment along a major Yerevan street. Returning to Georgia is despite the students' parents encouraging them to stay in Armenia, where they are safe from the fighting.
Sunday and today, Peace Corps volunteers in Georgia were evacuated to Armenia. Other Americans working in Georgia, such as missionaries for the Assemblies of God church, also left the country for Armenia.
One report from the Kabuleti area of Georgia -- a favorite vacation spot for Armenians -- is that there was no evidence of problems or fighting early Monday afternoon. The Armenians vacationing there planned to remain there.