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Georgian refugees from South Ossetia asking for help outside the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi.
Georgian refugees from South Ossetia asking for help outside the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi.

Anti-Georgian sentiment, also known as Kartvelophobia, refers to the dislike, hatred, or persecution of Georgians, the country of Georgia, or Georgian culture.


According to a July 2007 poll in Armenia, Georgia was viewed as a political and economic threat by 12% of respondents, while 9% viewed it as an important partner.[1] According to a 2013 poll, a majority of respondents opposed women marrying Georgians (70% disapproving vs 29% approving).[2] In contrast, a majority approved doing business with Georgians (67% vs 31%).[3]


According to a 2013 poll, a majority of respondents in Azerbaijan opposed women marrying Georgians (94% disapproving vs 5% approving).[4] In contrast, a majority approved doing business with Georgians (78% vs 20%).[5]


The statue of word Allah made by Iranian Georgians from the Georgian Mkhedruli letters was to be installed in a square in Fereydunshahr, Iran. On the first installation attempt, the statue was not installed because of opposition from the Lurs. 120 days later, it was installed, but only for a few hours at night, then taken down and moved out of the city.[6][7]


Main article: 2006 deportation of Georgians from Russia

According to the Russian-based human rights center Memorial as of 2006 "Georgian citizens or just ethnic Georgian are subject to unlawful mass checks of observance of regime of sojourn" in Russia. The atmosphere of fear for Georgians in Russia was "supported by a lot of anti-Georgian materials in mass media, first of all on TV."[8]

Russian television stations actively supported and justified the government’s singling out of Georgians through daily news programs as well as weekly analytic and political programming and special series. For example, one-sided news coverage in early October on the government-owned Channel One exclusively presented the position of government officials and agencies and regularly connected Georgians to violations of the law, including organized crime.
— "Singled Out: Russia's Detention and Expulsion of Georgians" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. 19 (5(D)): 34–35. 2007.

It especially intensified during and after the Russo-Georgian War of 2008.[9] In the months following the war, discrimination against Georgian residents in Russia ran high. Svante Cornell and S. Frederick Starr described the situation as follows:[10]

Police, tax, fire, and other inspection teams were sent to the cafés, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centers, and other enterprises belonging to ethnic Georgians in Russia. Scheduled Georgian cultural performances were cancelled. Taxi drivers were encouraged to request identification from their passengers and refuse service if they turned out to be Georgians. And a massive anti-Georgian propaganda campaign unfolded in the Russian mass media.[10]

By early October 2008, the "anti-Georgian campaign had turned into a full-scale witch hunt". Sanctions against Georgia were passed by the State Duma, while visas for Georgian citizens were shortened by half.[10] Temur Iakobashvili, Georgia's State Minister for Reintegration, accused Russia of financially backing an anti-Georgian campaign in the Western media.[11] After change of leadership in Georgia in 2012-2013, when Georgian Dream replaced Saakashvili's UNM, "Moscow’s anti-Georgian rhetoric has softened as the strong ideological opposition frequently raised by the previous Georgian government has disappeared, and Russia has lifted its previous embargoes on Georgian wines and mineral water."[12]

In 2012, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, at a dinner with journalists, said that Boris Akunin, a popular fiction writer in Russia, supports the Russian opposition just because "he's an ethnic Georgian".[13]

In August 2008 opposition activist Aleksei Navalny referred to Georgians by as "rodents." Navalny later apologized, but said that "he stands by the other positions he took at that time."[14][15]

Russian movies Olympus Inferno (2008) and August Eighth (2012) carry anti-Georgian sentiments.[citation needed]


Further information: Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia

Anti-Georgian and anti-Soviet riots took place in Abkhazia during the Soviet period in 1957, 1967, and 1979. Reports of these incidents were largely suppressed until the late 1980s.[16]

During the 1992–93 war the ethnic Georgians were victims of ethnic cleansing by the Abkhaz separatist government.[17]

South Ossetia

During 2008 Russo-Georgian war, Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in South Ossetia took place conducted by the "South Ossetian" separatists and Russian forces in occupied territory of Tskhinvali region, also known as South Ossetia.

Further information: Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in South Ossetia


  1. ^ "Armenia National Voter Study July 2007" (PDF). IRI, USAID, Baltic Surveys Ltd./The Gallup Organization, ASA. p. 29.
  2. ^ "Approval of women marrying Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  3. ^ "Approval of doing business with Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  4. ^ "Approval of women marrying Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  5. ^ "Approval of doing business with Georgians (%)". Caucasus Barometer.
  6. ^ "اصفهان پرس: مخالفت با نصب تندیس "الله " به زبان گرجی در فریدونشهر+عکس". Archived from the original on 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  7. ^ "اصفهان پرس: درگیری موافقان و مخالفان نصب تندیس در فریدونشهر/تشکیل شورای تأمین استان اصفهان". Archived from the original on 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  8. ^ Memorial Human Rights Center (2006). "On anti-Georgian campaign launched on the territory of Russia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Russia and Georgia: The Americans arrive". The Economist. 14 August 2008. ...Mr Putin, cast as the hero of the war, flew to the Russian side of the Caucasus mountain range to hear hair-raising stories from refugees that ranged from burning young girls alive to stabbing babies and running tanks over old women and children. These stories were whipped up into anti-Georgian and anti-Western hysteria.
  10. ^ a b c Cornell, Svante E.; Starr, S. Frederick, eds. (2009). The Guns of August 2008: Russia's War in Georgia. New York: M. E. Sharpe. p. 63. ISBN 978-0765625083.
  11. ^ "Minister: Russia Behind Anti-Georgian Campaign in Western Media". Civil Georgia. 12 November 2008.
  12. ^ Gordadze, Thornike. "Georgia" (PDF). London School of Economics. p. 56. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2014.
  13. ^ Putin Vs. Akunin Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  14. ^ Coalson, Robert (2013-07-29). "Is Aleksei Navalny a Liberal or a Nationalist?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
  15. ^ "Alexey Navalny's blog" (in Russian). Retrieved 26 June 2021. Конечно ни о каких дополнительных русских сухопутных войсках в ЮО речи сейчас идти не может
  16. ^ Minahan, James (2004). The Former Soviet Union's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook. ABC-CLIO. p. 292.
  17. ^ Babayan, Nelli (2014). European Union and United States Democracy Promotion: EU, US, and Russia in the South Caucasus. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 9781317750628. The anti-Georgian policy of Abkhazia continued, officially demanding the departure of all ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia.