One way to escape Russia’s orbit

As a young democracy eager to join the European Union, Georgia was told last year by the EU to first show more harmony and less polarization in its politics. Well it certainly did that last week.

By the tens of thousands, people in the small Caucasus state turned out in great diversity, from young teens to seasoned scholars, to protest a Russian-inspired bill pushed by the ruling party to muzzle journalists and civic activists – just before an election the party fears it might lose.

“They can’t erase our yearning for freedom from our brains, they can’t rip it off our hearts,” one protester told Politico. “I’m not afraid to be arrested. No bullets, no tear gas can stop me.” The sudden burst of national unity – some 80% of Georgians want to join Western institutions – forced the Georgian Dream party to quickly shelve the measure.