The host of Georgia’s Rustavi 2 opposition TV channel Giogri Gabunia caused a scandal after he delivered an expletive-laden diatribe against Russia, using some of the strongest swearwords in the language – and to drive the point home he delivered his philippic all in Russian.
The monologue comes in the context of a week of protests following a speech given to Georgian lawmakers by a Russian deputy that led to riots in front of the parliament building. Russia and Georgia fought a short war in 2008 and Russia has annexed two Georgian regions.
The Russians were obviously outraged, but more surprisingly both the Georgian president and the foreign ministry condemned the outbust as going too far.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili condemned the use of “hate speech” that can only inflame tensions, and called for restraint. The foreign ministry took up the same theme.
"We strongly condemn Rustavi 2 television’s statements, which have nothing to do with freedom of speech and which are a sheer provocation aimed at making Georgian-Russian relations, complex as they are, even more tense," the Georgian foreign ministry said in a statement on June 9.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the same day that an on-air verbal attack against Russian President Vladimir Putin by a Georgian TV presenter was “unacceptable”.