Dina Khapaeva (Primary) & Aaron Santesso (Secondary)
On June 20, 2019 protests broke out in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi after a speech, delivered in Russian and from the chair reserved for the Head of the Georgian Parliament, by Russian Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov. Russia responded to the to the protests by banning flights between the two countries and imposing stricter import regulations on Georgian wine, and threatened to ban the importation of Georgian wine and mineral water altogether. This article demonstrates that Russia's reactions to the protests were part of a broader strategy to restore and maintain its sphere of influence in the Caucasus region. Economics, media, and the historical relationship between Georgia and Russia are analyzed in the article, and the economic and cultural attacks on Georgia are Russia's attempts to maintain its influence and prevent Georgia from exercising self-determination and escaping Russian control.
"I really enjoyed diving deep into such a recent and important issue and combining my background in business, Russian studies, and media studies."