While the international community waits for Russian troops to complete their withdrawal of Georgia, our Observer in the field tells us that the army is in fact consolidating its position around Poti, her town. According to her, its citizens have begun protesting against this occupation.

Demonstration against the presence of Russian troops

Photos : Samira Kuznetsova, August 20 2008

Samira Kuznetosva is a Russian blogger from Poti, a seaside town in Georgia occupied by Russian troops.

Russians are blocking the entrance to the city, nobody can go there. The town itself is calm: shops are open, but not banks.

I'm Russian, I speak Russian and I feel Russian, but I have the Georgian nationality and I have always lived here, my family moved here a century ago. I don't feel any animosity specifically against me from native Georgians. This is a small town and we all grew up together. I can imagine that some people feel resentment, but most realise that this invasion was decided by Russia's government, not by its people.

I would also like Russians to leave my town. Yesterday, I went to a demonstration [see photos] demanding their departure. But they don't seem ready to withdraw."