TBILISI, Georgia — Georgians have been panicked by a hoax television news program announcing the Russian army had invaded and killed President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Russia and Georgia fought a brief but bloody war in 2008, a conflict still fresh in the minds of Georgians who have since seen two de facto independent provinces erect firm borders.
The private television station Imedi – Georgia's No. 3 channel – showed the faux report Saturday night.
A few media outlets picked up on the story, and the channel ran a ticker during a subsequent entertainment show stating the report "did not correspond with reality." There was no explanation.
Tbilisi resident Gocha Khachiuri, 43, said he had to take heart pills after hearing the news.