Hundreds of protesters in Sukhumi, the capital of the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia, attempted to storm the presidential administration building on Thursday, January 9, demanding the resignation of President Raul Khajimba. Protesters reportedly smashed windows and scuffled with guards in attempts to enter the building. No injuries have been reported as of Thursday evening (local time).
A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in Sukhumi over the coming hours and days. Further protests are possible over the near term.
Incumbent President Raul Khajimba won the September 8 runoff presidential elections with 47.39% of the vote, while his opponent, opposition leader Alkhas Kvitsinia, received 46.17%. The Supreme Court in Abkhazia confirmed the results of the highly contested election on September 20. Kvitsinia has repeatedly called on authorities to void the results of the runoff.
Individuals in Sukhumi are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all public gatherings and demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.