TBILISI, Georgia – Over 78,000 Russian nationals have entered Georgia in the past 10 days, Georgian authorities said on Tuesday after Moscow called up reservists in the country to fight in Ukraine.
While nearly 78,800 Russian citizens have entered the South Caucasian country in that period, over 62,000 have returned to their country, the Georgian Interior Ministry said in a written statement.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, calling up to 300,000 reservists for deployment to Ukraine, a move seen as an escalation in the war that began in February.
Georgian authorities have since taken additional security measures at the Kazbegi border crossing.
Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri told reporters that the number of Russian citizens entering Georgia from its northern neighbor has increased by 40-45 percent over the past week.
Some opposition leaders have objected to the influx, citing Russia's occupation of parts of the country, and some parties plan to stage a demonstration on the Russian-Georgian border on Wednesday.
In 2008, a five-day conflict referred to as the South Ossetia conflict broke out between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Tbilisi ultimately lost control of both areas and Russia later recognized them as independent states.
In response, Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia, after which Switzerland took up the role of mediator country.
Both regions remain internationally recognized Georgian territories. (Anadolu)