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Stun grenades and tear gas used on protesters as 'Russia bill' edges increasingly closer

Police fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons at protesters in Georgia after another night of chaos ensued over a controversial “Russian law”.

The new law, branded the “foreign agents” bill, means that organisations must recieve over 20 percent of their funding from overseas to register as foreign influence agents.

It has sparked controversy from protesters, who have been out on the streets almost every night for a month, as they argue the legislation is modelled on laws used to quash dissent in Russia.

Many civilians still have resentment towards Russia for their brief war on the nation after their brief war on the nation in 2008.

On Wednesday, Georgia’s parliament moved the bill onto the next stage – causing protests to escalate even further. 

Tens of thousands of protesters brought the city centre to a standstill in the largest anti-government demonstration yet on Wednesday night. Some ignited a bonfire while others blocked roads.

Police officers dispersed a crowd near the parliament building using tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons.

An eyewitness reported seeing at least one man being carried away with a bloodied face.

Georgia, which has both a president and a prime minister, is currently witnessing a clash between the two.

Earlier in the day, scuffles broke out during Georgia’s often-rowdy parliament session when a pro-government deputy hurled a book at an opposition legislator, leading to physical confrontations.

Levan Khabeishvili, the leader of Georgia’s largest opposition bloc, appeared with his face heavily bandaged. He revealed that he had suffered broken facial bones and lost four teeth after being assaulted by police during a protest the previous day.

In an interview with Sky News, President Salome Zourabichvili said: “The young part of the population… doesn’t want to fold back under Russian influence,” adding: “What is very profound, and what is not accept[ed] by the entire Georgia population, is what has been said by the Georgian ruling party, which is declaring that the West are enemies and agents.”

She posed the question: “What is at hand, is the existential choice that Georgia will have to make by the time of the elections – Europe or Russia?”

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