Russians-caused problems in Georgia and changes in Israeli rhetoric due to Iranian drones. Worldʼs leading media about the war in Ukraine on October 19

Sasha Sverdlova

Politico correspondent Dato Parulava from Tbilisi writes about the problem of Russians in Georgia. Now the Russian language can be heard everywhere on the streets of Tbilisi, but Georgians are not too excited about this, the journalist writes. Most people remember the Russian invasion in 2008 and believe that many Russians who come from the Russian Federation still passively support the war in Ukraine. The correspondent spoke with the founder of the Dedaena bar, Dato Larauri, which introduced "visas" for Russians. To get a "visa" for entry, Russians must confirm that they did not vote for Putin, that Russia is occupying the territories of Georgia, that Crimea is Ukraine, and also agree with the slogan "Glory to Ukraine!". Lapauri says that the idea of ​​introducing "visas" came to his mind because many citizens of the Russian Federation were behaving aggressively, demanding to be served in Russian and to accept payment in rubles. The introduction of the new rule made it possible to weed out such an audience, but instead the institution began to receive messages with threats and accusations. In addition to political problems, the Russians "brought" Georgians economic difficulties, the publication writes. According to the research organization IDFI, Russians have more than 60,000 bank accounts in Georgia. The increase in demand has led to higher prices for housing rent and products, and the positive effect of economic growth will be short-lived, the head of IDFI believes. According to a sociological survey, 66% of Georgians support the idea of ​​introducing a visa regime with Russia, but the Georgian government is under the influence of the Kremlin and refuses to criticize Russia. Parulava also spoke with several Russians in Georgia who believe that citizens of the Russian Federation cannot be blamed for the actions of the regime, because they live under the conditions of a dictatorship.

The Associated Press writes that it is increasingly difficult for Israel to maintain a "balanced" position towards the Russian Federation due to Russiaʼs use of Iranian drones in Ukraine. Until now, Tel Aviv provided only humanitarian aid to Kyiv and refused air defense systems and other military support. In addition, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Israel maintained long-standing working relations with the Russian Federation and did not impose sanctions. However, the situation is beginning to change, the publication writes. On Monday, the Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naсhman Shai, confirmed the call for military assistance to Ukraine, in particular mentioning the defense capabilities regarding protecting the civilian population. In response, Russiaʼs ex-president Dmitriy Medvedev tweeted that this would be the end of Israelʼs relations with the Russian Federation. After that, the Israeli Defense Minister stated that the position regarding Russia will not change, and the Prime Minister decided not to comment on the situation. In July, the Russian court closed the office of the Jewish Agency in the Russian Federation, and now Iran, with the help of the Russian Federation, is testing weapons that can be used against Jerusalem. The former head of Israelʼs military intelligence believes that the countryʼs knowledge of Iranian weapons and technologies that allow countering them can be useful to Ukraine.

Defense and technology experts Christine Fox and Emelia Probasco write about the prospects and challenges of involving large technological businesses in military aid using the example of Ukraine in an essay on Foreign Affairs. Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Silicon Valley businesses have provided Ukraine with surveillance, intelligence, cyber defense, and more. The publication provides both a list of such companies and examples of their assistance to Ukraine. This aid was provided independently of the US government, and businesses made decisions about it. They were motivated by both market and emotional factors: for many, aid to Ukraine simultaneously signaled the Biden administrationʼs willingness to cooperate and improved its image in the eyes of the public. While the active involvement of tech companies has generated real public approval, the US government needs to figure out how to work with businesses to coordinate their efforts and avoid harm, the article says. Among the advantages of coordinated actions, it is through large technology companies that the government can better learn about possible threats from similar businesses of the enemy. But numerous problems are also possible ― for example, the situation with Elon Musk and Starlink. In this case, Ukraine turned out to be dependent on SpaceX technology, and therefore on Elon Musk. Some of his decisions, including the request for funding from the Pentagon, are motivated by business needs. And other decisions ― in particular, how and in which territories the Starlink coverage will work, are probably based on Muskʼs own assessment of the risks of escalation on the part of the Russian Federation. Therefore, the events in Ukraine should show government officials that technology companies can bring a lot of benefit by supporting military and security operations, but to achieve a sustainable effect, the authorities need to build long-term strategic partnerships with them, the authors conclude.