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Russian cruise ship leaves Batumi after Georgian protests

Russian cruise ship Astoria Grande has left the Black Sea port of Batumi after anti-war demonstrators threw eggs and called for its passengers to leave.

Georgia is courting Russian tourists, but protesters and opposition parties object to Russia’s occupation of Georgian territory and to its invasion of Ukraine.

A protest also took place against the cruises in the capital, Tbilisi.

The ship recently began Black Sea cruises from the Russian port of Sochi.

But Monday’s visit may be its last, as Batumi now appears to have been dropped from its schedule.

The Astoria Grande first weighed anchor last week, carrying some 800 Russian tourists to the Georgian resort.

The visit sparked anger from residents, as Russians were heard parroting Kremlin propaganda about the 2008 Russian invasion that left the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Russian hands.

The ship returned on Monday, hosting singers who have backed the war in Ukraine. As the tourists disembarked, protesters waved Georgian, Ukrainian and EU flags and chanted anti-Putin slogans.

Source : BBC