‘Get out’: Influx of Russians to Georgia stokes old enmities

Tbilisi, Georgia (CNN) — Above Tbilisi’s Old Town stands the Mother of Georgia statue, like a less imposing Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. “Kartlis Deda,” as she is known to Georgians, holds a wine cup in her left hand and a sword in her right. She offers a choice to new arrivals. Come as a friend, you are our guest. Come as an enemy, you are not welcome.

Tbilisi, an ancient Silk Road city, is no stranger to foreigners turning up on its streets. But the arrival of more than 100,000 Russians in the country since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year has left Georgians uncertain whether to welcome them as friends or shun them as foes.