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A dispatch from Tbilisi, Georgia

By Ziba Norman  

I recently met with the Minister for re-integration, Yakobashvili, a large man bearing a resemblance to Luciano Pavarotti. His now thankless task is to re-integrate Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and he believes this is still possible notwithstanding Russia’s recognition of the independence of these regions following the Russo-Georgian War. He beckoned me into his office with a wave of the hand and said “welcome to occupied Georgia.”

But Tbilisi doesn’t have the feel of a city that until two weeks ago was under martial law. Being in the marchlands between super-powers has hardened the Georgians, whose characteristic melancholy has left…

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