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Georgia: Could it be the beginning of World War III?

COC teacher receives more information from friends in Georgia

Posted: August 15, 2008 9:25 p.m.
Updated: October 17, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Kevin Anthony received another e-mail from a friend in the Republic of Georgia Wednesday, thanking him for his concern and describing the conflict with Russia "like it is the beginning of World War III."

Anthony, chair of hotel management at College of the Canyons, visited Georgia last May to lead a customer service workshop for students at Tbilisi Ilia Chavchavadze State University in the Georgian capital.

Natalie Mchedlishvili, a former student at COC and also a former intern at The Signal, arranged Anthony's visit, and what he heard from his friend Wednesday was frightening.

"Please do not believe what international TV channels say, it is just ridiculous. Things are way different in real life," Mchedlishvili wrote. "Russians have forgotten the basic rules of war - killing foreign and local journalists, doctors and peaceful inhabitants."

Georgia's president, Mikhail Saakashvili, said Thursday that Russian forces controlled a third of Georgian territory. On Friday, the president grudgingly signed a truce with Russia.

In her e-mail, Mchedlishvili told Anthony that a friend named Tata had left the country and had fled with her family to Azerbaijan.

"(The Russians) are everywhere, bombing smaller cities. Lots of people died and young guys are being taken to the war despite their education and practice in the military," Mchedlishvili wrote. "I don't know what else to say - people are panicking, and some cities are already empty. Lots of people have left the country, most of them moving to Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey."

Mchedlishvili wrote that, if things get worse, she and her family will also try to leave the country.

"The most important thing is that we were ignored by the U.S., even though we had the biggest hope on them," she wrote. "I'm sorry if I just shocked you, but we are in a real panic."


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