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Whose deserter is better?2009-06-22 13:47
Now Russia has got "Georgian Glukhov": 35-year-old Alik Bzhania, a Georgian border guard lieutenant asked for political asylum live on Ekho Moskvy radio. After the story with sergeant Glukhov who deserted his military unit seeking asylum in Georgia the Georgian lieutenant's revelations have become top news in almost all information reports of the Russian mass media. Georgia Times correspondent tried to find out how all this had been taken in Tbilisi.
In his interview with Ekho Moskvy Bzhania stated: "I love my country but I can no more stay in its territory for I can't passively watch President Mikheil Saakashvili destroying Georgia from the inside". In order to protect his family he wrote a statement to Russian and International Red Cross asking to help his relatives to move to Russia and acquire political asylum.
To Venidiktov's captious question whether he is not afraid that his name and personality will be used for political games between Russia and Georgia the Georgian lieutenant says: "No, I wasn't beaten in the Georgian army. There were no complaints from Bzhania about bad food or unpaid salary either".
Revelations that he loves Russia very much and that he fled to the brotherly nation - not to the enemy are too weak to hit the headlines. I can tell you all passers-by on Tbilisian streets say similar things. They just don't run away and seek no political asylum. Anti Russian rhetoric in Georgia is heard only on TV and from the politicians. The rest of the people support Bzhania. Besides in his condemnation of Saakashvili's regime the Georgian lieutenant explicitly states that his views are not totally in line with the policy of the Russian authorities. Alik Bzhania is not in favor of recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence.
The runaway lieutenant says about his desire to renounce Georgian citizenship, to live in Russia, form a family and work in his profession. By the way as of June 1 Russian Federal Migration Service had 183 refugees from Georgia in the lists. Many of them are ethnic Russians but there are Georgians who don't want to return to their motherland for fear of repressions, Gazeta reports.
Bzhania's revelations live on Ekho Moskvy radio have aroused a storm of emotions of the Georgian authorities. Temur Yakobashvili, Minister for Reintegration stated it was a "third-rate provocation" and the Russian special services' conspiracy as a response to their Glukhov.
Paradoxically there were such assumptions on Ekho Moskvy forum too.