DRI: Russian "soft power" is still active - social aid was brought to Gali villages from Krasnodar region
At the end of May 2023, social aid arrived in Gali from the Krasnodar region, which aims to increase the local population’s support to Russia.
The special social aid was brought from the Krasnodar region to the villages of Gali district, where the local population is in extreme poverty. These villages are: Khumushkuri, Sida, Gudaa, Tsreche and Tshiri. According to the information available to the Democracy Research Institute, representatives of the Russian Government knew exactly the specific needs of each family. Clothes, food and household appliances were given away to them.
During the transfer of the aid, the population was told to think about what a big state could do; They were reminded that Russia had the ability to bring aid to places that no one remembered and to know in detail who was in trouble; that "Russia never forgets its Christian brothers, the main thing is that they don't betray Russia." The residents were also reminded that in 1991, when Russia "left" Abkhazia, it was then that living conditions became difficult and grave, and that if they wanted the region to revive, it was necessary to return to Russia.
In the villages where the Russian aid was distributed, the population is significantly reduced and lives in extreme poverty. Therefore, it is easier to win them over.
According to the Democracy Research Institute, it is important that the central government of Georgia, together with international actors, use all the levers and develop special programmes tailored to the needs of the local population, which will improve their social conditions. It is the responsibility of the Georgian authorities to take all measures in order to create decent living conditions for people living in the occupied territory.