Georgians in Moscow Face Violence

As conflict continues, emigrants subject to beatings, robberies
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2008 10:06 AM CDT
Members of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi have led demonstrations against Georgia in Moscow recently.   (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
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(Newser) – As Russia maintains its military presence in Georgia, ethnic Georgians living in Moscow have reported growing harassment and violence. The Russian capital is home to 54,000 Georgians, and since the conflict began, they have been subjected to robberies, beatings, and intimidation, Bloomberg reports. Police are stopping Georgians on the street for identity checks on a near-daily basis.

In Moscow, Georgian foods are popular delicacies, and one suburb is predominantly Georgian. But since the fighting began, several Georgian shops have been shuttered after Russian threats. The Nashi, a Kremlin-supported nationalist youth group, has led protests outside the Georgian embassy. "I used to feel easy," said one Georgian who runs a food stall. "Now I feel like anyone can strike."