Georgia Says Russia Behind Mass Upheaval

Former Soviet republic declares state of emergency after alleged coup attempt
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2007 2:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Saying Russian intelligence was behind six days of mass protests, the president of the former Soviet republic declared a state of emergency today in the capital, Tbilisi, Reuters reports. "There was an attempt at a coup and creating disorder," the prime minister said after police attacked unarmed demonstrators with batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas.

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"We cannot let our country become the stage for dirty geo-political escapades by other countries," said President Mikhail Saakashvili, whose desire to join NATO and the EU is a sore point with Moscow. The pro-Western Saakashvili has been accused by opponents of exhibiting the same corrupt, authoritarian tendencies as the country's former Communist bosses. (Read more Georgia stories.)

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