In Georgia, at a concert of the American group The Killers, a conflict broke out due to the fact that a drummer from the audience, who turned out to be Russian, came on stage, the Georgian service of Radio Liberty reports. The band has officially apologized for the incident.
During a performance in Batumi at the Black Sea Arena, the band’s lead singer Brandon Flowers called the audience to the stage with a poster “If destiny is kind I’ll be your drummer tonight” (“If fate is kind, I’ll be your drummer tonight”).
Finding out that the fan turned out to be a Russian citizen, Flowers, according to eyewitnesses, said that he had no problems with this and clarified whether the audience would mind that they would play together. In response, part of the crowd began to shout and whistle, demanding that the Russian leave the stage.
But the group still played one of their compositions with an invited Russian fan, after which Flowers stated that he considers the band’s fans to be brothers and sisters, and does not support the separation of people because of countries and borders. In response to this, as people present at the concert told the telegram channel Paper Kartuli, negative reviews followed from a part of the hall, some shouted “Fuck Russia”. The Telegram channel Formula reported that some of the attendees left the concert due to the scandal with the Russian drummer. One of the readers of Paper Kartuli noted that this was a small part of the audience.
The day after the concert, the band posted a story on their Instagram, in which they apologized for the conflict that had occurred the day before.
“We have a long tradition of inviting people to play drums, and from the stage it looked like the crowd at first didn’t mind having one of the audience on stage. We acknowledge that the comment that suggested that all The Killers audiences and fans are brothers and sisters could be misinterpreted,” the band said in a statement.
On July 27, a scandal erupted in Batumi over the Astoria Grande cruise liner with tourists from the Russian Federation, who, in an interview with Georgian media, stated that they supported Russia’s actions in the war with Georgia in 2008. After that, protests took place in the center of Tbilisi and in the port of Batumi, and the ship was forced to leave the port.
On July 31, a new rally gathered in Batumi against the arrival of a cruise ship with Russian tourists on board. The protesters brought Georgian and Ukrainian flags, some activists came with posters that read “Russia is a terrorist state”, “Russia is an occupier” and “Abkhazia is Georgia”. The police detained nine people. RIA Novosti later reported, citing cruise sales agencies, that the Astoria Grande liner would no longer call in Batumi.
In August 2008, Russian troops invaded Georgia. The armed conflict lasted five days and became the first open act of Russian military aggression in the post-Soviet space. Russia is now calling the war against Ukraine a “special military operation.” And then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called that five-day war against Georgia “an operation to force Georgia to peace.” Today, Georgians themselves often compare Russia’s war against Georgia with Russia’s war against Ukraine.