A bizarre traveler: Shengelia arrived in Russia on foot

Georgia's airspace was closed and the border with Russia was impassable, so he drove to a border town and walked to the dividing line.

A-bizarre-traveler:-Shengelia-arrived-in-Russia-on-foot

Georgia and Russia maintain relatively respectful diplomatic relations but there are two territories that generate conflict between the two states: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They are republics that once belonged to Georgia but have split and their new status is recognized by a few countries, among them, coincidentally, Russia. When Tornike Shengelia announced that he was signing for CSKA (a traditional club of the first Soviet and now Russian army) Georgia and Russia maintain relatively respectful diplomatic relations but there are two territories that generate conflict between both states: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They are republics that once belonged to Georgia but have split and their new status is recognized by a few countries, among them, coincidentally, Russia. When Tornike Shengelia announced that she was signing for CSKA (a traditional club of the former Soviet and now Russian army), the Georgian president had no qualms about saying that Toko's decision seemed "unfortunate and a disappointment". The words of Salomé Zurabishvili were answered by the ex-Baskonista with an unexpected gesture. "I will always be at the service of my country and my team," he said. In fact, he got a clause according to which he will be able to leave the discipline of CSKA in the selection windows that are in the middle of the season. It is something unheard of in most Euroleague entities that never allow their players to leave the discipline of the team to attend the calls of the national teams.

Well, when the waters seemed to have returned to their course, the Russian media reported that Shengelia had to go through a real odyssey to leave Tblisi and reach Moscow. Georgian airspace has been closed by the protocol to fight COVID-19 and the border with Russia was impassable to, for example, reach another country and move to the Russian capital. Neither short nor lazy, and with the help of a car, he approached a border town, walked almost two kilometers towards the dividing line and reached Russian territory where CSKA operatives were waiting to take him to Moscow. From a 20th century Cold War movie including spy swapping, let's go.

Shengelia related it like this: "It was a curious story. No one inside Georgia put any impediment to me from doing it. They took me to the closest point within Georgia that I could approach the border and from that point I went on foot with a person who I did not know. I walked about a kilometer while it was raining, it was a bit extreme although I do not want to go into details. But finally I got it and here I am in Moscow. With this virus, flights from Georgia to anywhere are canceled and this was the only way I had to be able to join the team and start training. " Shengelia has never been suspected of commitment to his national team and feels Georgian on all sides, but neither has he denied that, in private, he speaks Russian with his wife at home. There are, in fact, compatriots who have an affinity with the neighboring country. 88 kilometers from Tbilisi, near South Ossetia, is the town of Gori. There, on December 18, 1878, Iosif Stalin was born, who years later would become Lenin's successor as the head of the Soviet Union.



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