Ethnic Georgians in Russia: how many are there really? Census and Georgian Dream data differ
Georgians in Russia
According to the 2020 census, 113,687 ethnic Georgians live in Russia. The Rosstat website separately lists people from the occupied regions — 8,177 Abkhazians and 323 Ossetians. The ruling Georgian Dream party claims that Putin’s May 10 decree lifted “the punishment imposed on about a million people.”
“We could not have any position, because the imposition of sanctions was a unilateral decision, and today it is also a unilateral decision. As for the Georgian side, it does not impose sanctions o Russia, we have already explained why we will not do this — it would affect our own people,” Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the Georgian Dream, stated.
The description posted on the Rosstat website mentions that only 3,045 people in Russia are citizens of Georgia. And in this case, citizens from the occupied territories are also singled out separately: from Abkhazia – 644, from the Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) – 333.
According to the census, Russia has 196,610 people born in Georgia (regardless of nationality).
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On May 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a document on the abolition of the visa regime for citizens of Georgia and the resumption of direct flights between Russia and Georgia.
An exception to the visa-free regime is “citizens entering the Russian Federation for work or for a period of more than 90 days, including for the purpose of obtaining education.”
The visa regime between Russia and Georgia has been operating unilaterally since 2000, and direct flights have been discontinued since July 2019.