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Russia / October 6, 2008

I was in Georgia last week researching a magazine story on the Russo-Georgian conflict, when I stumbled upon the shuttered Russian embassy in Tbilisi. The gated compound looked normal — no bullet holes or anti-Russian graffiti — but there was a mysterious pile of trash dumped right in front of the building’s main gate. There was a sign on the ground, too, that according to a Georgian security guard read something like this: “This is a Russian soldier’s toilet.”

And if you look closely, there is actually a cracked porcelain john lying at the far end of the mess (check out the second pic below). The funny thing is that no one, including the guards posted at the embassy 24/7, seemed to know how the trash got there. Nor did they care. People were just going about their business as if it didn’t exist. In fact, the trash seemed to be protected, sectioned off by specially placed red police tape.

All in all, this ain’t much of a fuck you to the Russians, but with russkie troops still crawling all around the edges of town just hoping the Georgians will start some shit, this is the bravest fuck-you the Georgians can muster.

Yasha Levine is an American journalist living in Moscow. You can reach him at


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