IRI Georgia Poll Shows Political Threat from Russia, Concerns with the Presence of Russian Citizens, High Political Polarization

Given the Russian occupation of Georgia and other threatening behavior in the region, people overwhelmingly perceive Russia to be an existential threat.

Tbilisi, Georgia – A new nationwide poll conducted in Georgia by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) shows a perceived political threat from Russia, concerns with the presence of Russian citizens in Georgia, and high levels of political polarization.  

When asked which country poses the greatest political threat to Georgia, 77% responded Russia. 

“Given the Russian occupation of Georgia and its threatening behavior in the region, Georgians overwhelmingly perceive Russia to be an existential threat,” said Stephen Nix, Director of Eurasia for IRI.  

Georgians are concerned about the presence of Russian citizens in their country. Seventy-three percent do not believe Russian citizens should be allowed to enter Georgia freely without a visa, register a business, or purchase property.  

The poll also found that 51% of people feel the country’s politics are becoming more polarized.  

“In its decision to recommend EU candidacy for Georgia, the European Commission emphasizes that additional steps are necessary to address political polarization in Georgia,” said Nix. “As of now, more work needs to be done throughout all levels of government, among political parties, and within parliament to address this problem.” 


This survey was conducted on behalf of IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research by Dr. Rasa Alisauskiene of the public and market research company Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization between September 14 and October 14, 2023. The fieldwork was conducted by the Institute of Polling and Marketing. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews in respondents’ homes. The sample consists of 1,200 Georgians aged 18+ and eligible to vote. The data was weighted for age, gender, region, and settlement size. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, and the response rate was 73 percent.   

This survey was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  

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