A country severed in parts and in constant threat
On the hot summer day of August 7, 2008, Georgia, a small and beautiful country home to just below four million citizens, was invaded by Russia. The attacks were launched at full force from all sides. Some 10,000 Georgian soldiers were faced with 70,000 Russian troops. They lost the “war” on August 12, only five days after the invasion.
This was not the first experience of Russian aggression for Georgia. On August 14, 1992, the region of Abkhazia experienced a similar invasion. As an attempt to control the Russian aggression, an agreement was signed in 2008 by both then-presidents of Russia and Georgia with the support of the United States, France and other European allies. It entailed that Russia would immediately stop the attacks. However, the agreement was not only violated but, on August 26, Russia announced both Abkhazia (the region attacked in 1992) and South Ossetia (the region attacked in 2008) as independent countries.
These two territories, which make up approximately 20 percent of Georgia, are currently still occupied by Russia. On top of this, Russian troops keep quietly pushing the physical border between Russia and Georgia towards the Georgian side, occupying additional territories on an ongoing basis.
Being an international student is an extraordinary experience. It is a period in which you discover new cultures, and new people, not to mention all the self-exploration we do. However, this experience also means dealing with the constant feelings of emptiness associated with being away from home. For me personally, missing my family and home is a feeling accompanied by pain. The pain of knowing that my country is severed in parts, divided and under constant threat. It is painful to realise the influence that Russia exercises in the region, affecting countries like Georgia and holding them back from being united and strong. Not allowing them to gain strength and progress.
The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the absolutely horrendous acts of violence against the Ukrainian people also prove that there is no significant force willing and able to oppose Russia’s aggression. This causes a terrible feeling of hopelessness in me.
No country deserves to be a victim of such control and aggression and no person deserves to have their country, home and family attacked, damaged and taken away.
Georgia is a country originating from the legendary kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli/Iberia. Both kingdoms were important during the Bronze Age of Eurasia, around 1500 BCE. Small states in Georgia were established as early as the 12th century BCE. It is a country of great history and rich traditions, wild mountains and untamed nature, home to proud Georgians and the culture of wine-making and feasting. I am proud to be representing Georgia in the Netherlands and I hope there will come a time when Russian aggression will be opposed and stopped.
Nina is a Bachelor's student in Economics and Business Economics at UU. She asked DUB not to publish her picture or last name. Her full name is known by the editors.