TBILISI, DFWatch--The International Criminal Court said Wednesday that a prosecutor will begin studying the events in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war to investigate possible war crimes. The probe will look at crimes committed by both parties in connection
Posts by DFWatch staff:In brief DFWatch staff | Oct 9
TBILISI, DFWatch--Strong rain overnight Thursday caused flooding and landslides in the Adjara region, in the southwest of Georgia. In Kobuleti, a Black Sea coastal resort, railway traffic was cut off and landslides triggered in the highlands. No casualties have
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warn against selective justice from authorities and call on the government to treat everyone equally. The NGOs’ express concern about the detention of the three activists from Tavisufali
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prison Ministry on Tuesday welcomed an objective investigation into its procurements. According to a report by the State Audit Office on Monday, the same company won all 14 food-related tender in 2013 and 2014. The report also
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Free Democrats has rejected a proposal by the National Movement to hold a snap election one year before the next scheduled one. UNM activists demonstrated Monday evening outside the residence of former Prime Minister
TBILISI, DFWatch--The State Audit Office Tuesday published a report which indicates that there may have been violations in the Prison Ministry’s public procurements. The report covers the years 2013-2014 and shows that in 14 bidding rounds announced by the ministry,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili says there is too little attention being paid to Georgia as a victim of Russian aggression. He told the television channel Rustavi 2 upon returning from the recent United Nations general assembly that
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former ruling party the National Movement demands a snap election, a year before the next scheduled parliamentary election. At a demonstration by party activists outside the residence of businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili Monday, Giga Bokeria
TBILISI, DFWatch--The family of a soldier who died from a gunshot wound a few days ago refuse to believe that it was a suicide. The deceased, Tamaz Tamarashvili (33) was a private in the Fifth Brigade of the Georgian armed forces. Monday, his family and relatives
TBILISI, DFWatch--Three activists were detained Friday for assaulting a member of parliament. The detainees are Nika Narsia, Mirian Deisadze and Kakhaber Gabunia, all members of the youth group Tavisupali Zona (Free Zone), which on many occasions
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia was hit by a spell of bad weather Saturday night, with hailstorm, strong rain and high winds. The hailstorm in Akhaltsikhe, in the south, lasted for almost one hour. In several villages, crops were destroyed and houses damaged.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A lengthy and intense debate in the Georgian Football Federation Saturday ended in the election of Levan Kobiashvili as new president. GFF’s former president Zviad Sichinava resigned after the UEFA Super Cup match in Barcelona-Sevilla in Tbilisi.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A court hearing in Tbilisi in a lawsuit about control over Georgian television company Rustavi 2 ended without much progress Friday. The preparatory hearing in Tbilisi City Court concerned a lawsuit by businessman Kibar Khalvashi against Rustavi 2.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The city assembly in Joseph Stalin’s hometown Gori on Friday voted against the idea of re-erecting a six-meter high statue of the dictator. The statue was unveiled in 1952 on the central square in Gori. After the end of the Soviet Union
TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of visitors to Georgia increased 12.6 percent in September, compared to the year before, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ department for analysis. The total number of visitors in September was 568,663. Out of this, 227,130
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Thursday ordered the seizure of the shares in the company that owns the television channel Rustavi 2. The court ordered the seizure of all shares in TV Sakartvelo, which holds 51 percent of the shares in Rustavi 2. The latter
TBILISI, DFWatch--By September 28, Georgia had exported 23.3 million bottles of wine so far in 2015. 3.5 million bottles were exported in September, according to the Agriculture Ministry; the highest monthly rate in 2015. The export of wine has tripled, compared
TBILISI, DFWatch--A TV channel in Georgia has published footage apparently proving that the Georgian police allows friends of government officials to violate traffic rules if they can show a special permit. The licences to drive dangerously were introduced
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected a call by his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili that it is a test of ‘decency’ to pardon three former top government officials who are convicted of crimes committed while in office. Saakashvili, who is now
TBILISI, DFWatch--A dead body has been found in the river Mtkvari, increasing the number of confirmed deaths after the June flood to 20. Two people are still missing. Moambe, the news program on Channel 1, reported that Elizbar Baghashvili, 56, has been found.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A European human rights observer claims Georgia is using excessive pre-trial detention for political reasons against former government officials. The new report is written by Pedro Agramunt from the Spanish People's Party, and published by
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament on Tuesday started reviewing a proposal to abolish compulsory military service and move to a professional military based on contracts. The goal of the bill is to redirect finances spent for compulsory military service
TBILISI, DFWatch--A small, male-dominated village in the northeast of Georgia has for the first time appointed a woman as a head of municipality. Monday, Tamar Margoshvili, 55, took the post as gamgebeli in Duisi, a village in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia Sunday detained two Georgian for beating two Nigerians in Tbilisi. The attacked happened on September 19 when one Georgian citizen and his two Nigerian friends were walking on Rustaveli Avenue in the capital.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A statue of Joseph Stalin may be put back up in his hometown Gori, where positive sentiments towards the late Soviet ruler are still high. The city council is to discuss the issue on Friday, October 2. If the council approves the decision, the statue will be erected in the small park in central Gori, near the Stalin museum. The overall cost of the project is up to 2 million laris, or about USD 840,000.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bank of Georgia has issued a new anniversary coin in connection with the national currency's 20 years of existence. The nominal value of the new collector's item is 20 laris, and it was manufactured by Mennica Polska in Poland.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - “After all contacts were broken, nothing is being built in Abkhazia,” Paata Zakareishvili, State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, stated at the parliament library on Sunday.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s ombudsman has called attention to discrimination against fathers at the Children's Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital. Fathers are not allowed to stay at the clinic at night to supervise their kids. The ombudsman Wednesday described
TBILISI, DFWatch--The human rights committee in Georgia’s parliament Thursday favored a law that would guarantee that at least 25% of representatives are women. The law concerns those representatives who are elected
TBILISI, DFWatch--A leading member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition is leaving in order to take the helm of the government's Partnership Fund. It is not yet known who will replace Davit Saganelidze as member of parliament. According
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Bank intervened to bolster the flagging currency lari on Tuesday, causing its value to rise four tetris against the US dollar. The Bank put USD 40 million up for auction, out of which USD 27 million has been sold so far. The lari currently
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian soldier has died in Afghanistan while taking part in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. Private Vasil Kuljanishvili was from the 43rd battalion of the IV Mechanized Brigade. Sergeant Paata Rostobaia from the same
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's national currency is four cents away from reaching its lowest point ever against the US dollar. When the lari began to drop rapidly in November, 2014, one USD was about 1.75 laris. Today, the Georgian National Bank’s official exchange
TBILISI, DFWatch--A conservative MP from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition wants to make changes to the anti-discrimination law passed by parliament last year which he himself voted for at every hearing. Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A police officer is in hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed Sunday night in a Tbilisi suburb. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the policeman was stabbed with a knife. An investigation has been launched for attacking a policeman.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Border police in Georgia Sunday detained four people for illegally trying to cross the border with a infant in the trunk of their car. According to the Interior Ministry, the four were trying to go to Turkey, avoiding the official border crossing. One of the grownups
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will send two separate delegations to the upcoming UN general assembly in New York, one headed by the prime minister and the other by the president. Similar to what happened last year, there was a debate that lasted for several months
TBILISI, DFWatch--Demonstrators Friday called for a proper investigation into an Azerbaijani woman’s suicide last year. The demonstrators outside the Prosecutor's Office were raising awareness about the case of Khanum Jeiranova (30), an ethnic Azeri
TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups rallied outside the office of Radio Liberty in Tbilisi Friday evening against a homophobic and xenophobic letter written by a sexologist and published on the radio station’s website. The controversial letter was written by Archil Bakradze,
TBILISI, DFWatch--After one day in freedom, Tbilisi’s former mayor was Friday sentenced to four and a half years in jail. Although the city court in Tbilisi sentenced Gigi Ugulava to nine years, the sentence was reduced to four years and six months in compliance
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Swedish telecommunications giant TeliaSonera is pulling out of several countries, including Georgia. All subsidiaries will be put up for sale in Georgia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan it was announced Thursday.
TBILISI, DFWatch--An anti-hail shell fell on a house in Kakheti Wednesday night, damaging the roof and wall. Delta, a defense company run by the government, installed the anti-hail system in Kakheti earlier this year to protect the harvest. Hail has long
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court released former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava from detention Thursday night. Upon his release, the most prominent leader of the Georgian opposition vowed to challenge “Ivanishvili’s grip on power”. He said the National
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court Wednesday evening announced a ruling that the detention of former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava is unconstitutional. He is awaiting trial for numerous charges including corruption. The ruling sets aside a provision in the
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are twice as many men as women running public bodies in Georgia, according to a new report. The report by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), published on Wednesday, indicates that among 773 employees in higher
TBILISI, DFWatch--The semifinal of Miss China will be held in Georgia. According to the National Tourism Administration, a team from Phoenix TV arrived in Tbilisi September 12 along with the girls from China and will be staying until September 22. There are 16 participants
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday failed to announce a ruling concerning the pre-trial detention of the former Tbilisi mayor, claiming that the judge feels ill and he cannot be present to sign the ruling. Ex-Mayor Gigi Ugulava, an ally of former
TBILISI, DFWatch--Remittances to Georgia fell by 35.1 percent in August 2015, compared to the same period last year, according to new figures published Tuesday by Georgia’s National Bank. The new monthly report shows that the total amount of remittances
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s education ministry has postponed the start of a new school subject as conservatives criticize it for eroding traditional values. Some were expecting the subject called ‘society and me’ to be taught in schools from the beginning of the 2015 fall semester. ‘Society and me’ will
TBILISI, DFWatch--Farmers continued their protest in the Georgian wine region Kakheti on Monday and clashed with police as they blocked the main highway. Several people were detained by police as they cleared the road. One member of parliament was attacked.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Exactly three months after a devastating flood, Tbilisi Zoo reopened on Sunday with surviving animals on display. The zoo’s management held an opening exhibition with pictures of the animals that either drowned or were killed, and presented
Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first eight months of 2015 was 14 percent less than the year before, according to figures published Monday by the National Statistics Department, Geostat.
TBILISI, DFWatch--About 130 tourists from Georgia are still stuck in Antalya, Turkey, several days after a tour operator failed to pay the airline for their flights. Initially, about 400 passengers were stranded in Turkey. The Georgian airline Airzena
TBILISI, DFWatch--In the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti, farmers have been protesting for several days because of low price of grapes, which is their only source of income. Four people were detained during a protest Thursday in Gurjaani, as farmers blocked the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Around 400 Georgian passengers are currently stuck in Antalya, Turkey, as the airline Airzena refuses to carry out a flight because a tour company didn’t pay for the tickets. For more than a day, passengers have been waiting to return to Georgia. The
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Chinese company Dongfang Electric plans to construct a 150 MW thermal power station in Tkibuli, a mining town in western Georgia. The announcement came during a China visit by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and is further
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president Thursday signed a bill into law that will take away responsibility for supervising private banks from the National Bank and hand it to a new agency controlled by the government. President Giorgi Margvelashvili, the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia went up 81 percent in the second quarter, compared to the same period in 2014. The jump in foreign investment became known Wednesday as Georgia’s National Statistics Department presented
The UK ambassador attributes the recent criticism over her speech at the international conference to the poor translation, stating that some parts of it were misrepresented. Salome Zourabishvili, a French-Georgian politician and former Minister
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian politician lashed out at a British diplomat on Facebook Tuesday, accusing her of being ‘neocolonial’. UK Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall’s remarks at a conference in Tbilisi, organized by McCain Institute,
Local fraction of Georgian Dream alleges Mr Saakashvili’s “Armenian origin” in a fresh display of anti-Armenian sentiment. NGO platform No to Phobia issued a statement condemning the use of Armenophobic
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Trade Union has won a lawsuit against RMG Gold, the mining company which destroyed an ancient gold mine at Sakdrisi in December, 2014. Many locals have been employed in the company, and the jobs sustain families in surrounding villages.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Ukraine intends to sign a free trade pact with the EU without further postponement, despite warnings from Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said in Brussels on Monday. Ukraine’s foreign minister met with the EU Commissioner
In December, 2014, an archaeological site in southern Georgia was destroyed by the Russian mining company RMG Gold. What was lost in the blasts at Sakdrisi? Professor Thomas Stöllner at the University of Bochum in Germany is one of the people
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two politicians from Abkhazia have been banned from entering Moldova for ten years after they celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the breakaway region Transnistria. On the way back from the celebration, Sukhumi's vice president Vitaly Gabniya
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement, former ruling party, does not plan to put up candidates in the by-elections for two vacant seats in the Georgian parliament. Instead, the former ruling party plans to use its legally guaranteed free commercial time on TV. The governing
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who now serves as a governor of the Odessa region, says oligarchs are the foremost obstacle for Ukraine’s nascent statehood. “Ukrainian oligarchs,
DFWatch (29 August–4 September 2015) Daghestan Two suspected militants were killed in Magaramkent district of Daghestan on August 29. According to the law enforcement officials,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A 38 year man was arrested on Saturday for growing marijuana in the northwest of Georgia. The man is charged with illegal purchase and possession of a large amount of drugs. Police searched the man’s house in the village
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The fourth weekly political TV programme may be cancelled on Georgia, as the Public Broadcaster (GPB) may suspend Pirveli Studia (“First Studio”), soon after announcement of marriage of its hostess with the Secretary General of opposition political party.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Electricity prices have gone up in the Georgian capital. Utility company Telasi explains the decision with a drop in the national currency lari, as well as increased prices for purchasing electricity and increased transmission taxes. There are three
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man killed a 39 year old woman working in a shop in western Georgia on Thursday for not letting him borrow a beer. The murder took place in Khelvachauri, in the Adjara region. The suspect has been detained, according to the Ministry
Georgian Prime Minister distances himself from the recent cancelation of two popular political talk-shows on Imedi TV, stating that it is a separate decision of the TV company's management. "If a TV company cancels a talk-show, this is a separate decision by its top management, which I'm not going to comment," - Irakli Garibashvili, PM, said to a dozen of journalists at the rugby training center inauguration in Didi Digomi, Tbilisi's western outskirt. "For the third year, the country and the government has proved that media freedom in the first place… The result is that media is free," Irakli Garibashvili said, adding that in the last three years there has not been any instance of pressure on the media from authorities, and this fact "needs recognition and appropriate appreciation." Imedi TV, a large national Georgian TV company owned by the family of late mogul, Badri Patarkatsishvili, last Sunday announced that it will suspend two popular political talk shows ‘temporarily’ until 2016, promising to change their format and offer viewers ‘a new product.’ Imedi’s decision was met with a negative response from viewers. Opponents of ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--A statement by a leading parliamentarian about the president and knitting pins has caused puzzlement in Georgia. A spokesman for the president’s administration called it insulting and unethical. "I blame Ivanishvili for taking the knitting pins out of the hands of the NGO and Soros guys ("ენჯეოელი სოროსელი")
TBILISI, DFWatch--One more talk show has been taken off air in Georgia. The Sunday evening program ‘Kviris 2030’, which has been a venue for views close to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, will end in September, producer Vasil Maglapheridze said on Tuesday.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Inga Grigolia, a popular TV host, wrote on her Facebook that politicians, presumably from the ruling Georgian Dream, didn't want her on air before the elections, referring to the parliamentary elections planned in 2016.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Tamar Beruchashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was replaced by Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who served as Minister of Economy. The government reshuffle was
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian TV company on Sunday announced that it will suspend two popular political talk shows ‘temporarily’ until 2016, promising to change their format and offer viewers ‘a new product.’ Imedi’s decision was met with a negative response from viewers.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Six men broke into a dolphinarium in Batumi on Sunday, and demanded that the dolphins be set free. The six activists were all detained and questioned. According to Batumi Dolphinarium’s management, the group broke
TBILISI, DFWatch--A former police officer was shot and killed outside Tbilisi Friday night. A former deputy interior minister was seriously injured. The deceased is Revaz Kalomletsavi, a cousin of the injured, Levan Gvazava, who is in hospital with bullet-inflicted
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia sees the opening of NATO’s new training facility in Georgia as a ‘continuation of the provocative policy of the alliance aimed at expanding its geopolitical influence.’ NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday opened
TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is visiting Batumi, a seaside city on the Black Sea coast. Yushchenko, who became famous as one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution in 2004, is accompanied by his wife and not visiting
Tbilisi, DFWatch - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Thursday unveiled new Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in Georgia during his first visit to the country. The centre is located inside the functioning military facility at Krtsanisi settlement,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards on Tuesday detained two Georgian citizens who were out attending cattle in Bershueti, which borders with the breakaway region South Ossetia. The detainees are Muraz Javakhishvili (75) and Ivane Sekhniashvili (41).
TBILISI, DFWatch--A seven meter tall steel statue which is one of the coastal city’s most important tourist attractions was damaged while being moved. The Nino and Ali statue stands on the seafront and portrays a man and a woman. It is lit up by colored
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s currency lari has reached its lowest level since 1999, but the government is optimistic and blames media and analysts of being incompetent and engaging in speculating. The lari is now at 2.416 against the US dollar, near the all-time low
TBILISI, DFWatch--Heavy rain battered the Black Sea port of Batumi on Tuesday, causing flooding. Several streets including the entrance to the city were blocked by the flood, while rescue workers tried to help with the first floors of buildings that were full of water.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi’s futuristic House of Justice has once again run into difficulties, this time because cracks appeared on one of its trademark “petals”. People will be restricted from walking under the damaged area from August 25 because of the danger,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Food Agency on Monday said there has been found Listeria bacteria in ice cream of the brand "Saojakho". The contaminated products originate from the Mkinvari factory in Samtredia, a town in the western Imereti region of Georgia.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Last year, rivalry between Georgia's top two men over who would represent the country at the UN climate conference led to weeks of uncertainty and squabbling. That time, the president had to back down.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Tbilisi on Sunday detained three employees of CT Park for illegal deprivation of liberty. CT Park is the company responsible for parking in the capital. Earlier that day, the three detainees moved a car parked near Eliava market
TBILISI, DFWatch--Many tourists were airlifted by helicopter on Sunday after being stuck in Tusheti in the northeast of Georgia due to bad weather. Emergency crews evacuated more than 350 people by helicopter from the disaster zone, and brought
TBILISI, DFWatch--A minibus overturned in western Georgia on Saturday, injuring 11 people, three of whom are in a serious condition. The minibus, a Ford Sprinter, was carrying tourists from Russia, Serbia and Poland when it ran into a utility pole, near the village
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Sports Ministry has handed a property in Tbilisi to a Georgian who is a professional NBA player in the United States, playing for Dallas Mavericks. Zaza Pachulia, who is also captain of Georgia’s national team, plans to establish
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Civil Litigation Chamber at Tbilisi City Court ruled in favor of a female claimant and decided to leave a frozen embryo at her disposal. Her husband was against surrogacy. At a press release published on its website, Tbilisi City Court states that the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Over a dozen wine-producing villages in Kvareli, in the Kakheti region, were hit by a strong hailstorm overnight on Thursday that almost totally devastated the harvest, damaged houses and vehicles and tore down trees. According to Kvareli
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has stepped up efforts to use 'soft power' in Georgia through state-sponsored non-governmental organizations and it would be difficult for the Caucasus nation to fend off pretensions of its assertive neighbor, the head of a Russian NGO says.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Culture Ministry on Thursday granted cultural heritage status to the Enguri hydro power dam, one of the world's tallest concrete arch dams. The dam is 271 meters tall and is located partially on the territory of breakaway Abkhazia.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prosecutors in Georgia are searching for another suspect in the investigation into the murder of a human rights activists seven months ago. As the trial of a man suspected of murdering Iuri Vazagashvili continued Thursday, a lawyer representing
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A principal dancer at Tbilisi ballet company drowned Wednesday in a lake in Pankisi Gorge, Eastern Georgia. According to the Emergency Management Agency at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, accident occurred when Giorgi Mshvenieradze, 25, a prominent ballet
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to respect international law after a Russian helicopter overflew Georgian-controlled territory. According to the ministry, the incident took place at 10:57am on August 19. A Russian military helicopter
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister blames business leaders for causing the instability of the national currency lari by keeping their money in US dollars. Irakli Garibashvili explained Wednesday during a visit to Batumi, a city on Black Sea coast,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police Wednesday seized more than 5kg of cocaine at Tbilisi airport and detained four people. The large drugs bust indicates a new transit route, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says. The detainees are two citizens of Brazil born in 1979
TBILISI, DFWatch--Four were detained Wednesday, after a street fight a few days ago in Kobuleti, a town on the Black Sea coast. A video posted in social media indicates that the fight was between ethnic Georgians and Dagestanis. The video, which is about
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall on Wednesday met with the company that won the tender to construct a hotel complex on Mirza Shafi Street in the old part of the capital. Apart from Vice Mayor Dimitri Kumsishvili and members of the commission
TBILISI, DFWatch--The owners of Rustavi 2 fear that the seizure of the TV company’s property may cause it to go bankrupt. The court ordered the seizure of Rustavi 2’s property more than a week ago on the grounds of a lawsuit by its former owner Kibar Khalvashi.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man has been charged with murder after one person died during tree-felling. The incident happened a few days ago in Ananuri, in the Dusheti region. Three people were out cutting trees when a tree fell on a passer-by, killing him on the spot.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Zoo will reopen in September, after being closed for several months following a flood that partly destroyed it on June 14. It’s a much reduced compound visitors are welcomed back to, with less than half of the animals and
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are traffic restrictions on the road through Dariali Valley, in the the north of Georgia, an area which was last year hit by several devastating landslides. The Road Department says the restrictions will be in force until August 30. The decision was made on recommendation from Georgia’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia increased 87 percent in 2014, compared to the year before, according to precise data published by the National Statistics Department. The report, which was published on Monday, says investments
TBILISI, DFWatch--A traffic accident in Khobi in the western part of Georgia claimed the life of a 23 year old man Sunday evening. The accident happened in the village Khamiskuri when an Opel car crashed into a motorcycle with two persons on it. One of
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Republic of Georgia is faced with a dilemma: which of the country’s two top people shall attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York in six weeks? Both the president and prime minister are invited and want to attend.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has expanded the list of countries subject to trade embargo, but Georgia is not on the list. The move comes as a response to new sanctions by Western countries against Russia and includes Albania, Montenegro, Iceland
TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups in Georgia on Friday launched a petition demanding to punish the person who was recently acquitted of murdering a transgender woman in Tbilisi on the grounds that he was acting in self-defense. The organization Women’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--The jury on Friday found two members of the personal security detail of Zurab Zhvania guilty of negligence leading to the PM's death in 2005. Ten members of the jury agreed with the charges laid out by the prosecutors, while two were against.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial construction project in the old part of the capital. The decision is bound to further enrage activists, who have been campaigning against the project. The plans for Mirza
TBILISI, DFWatch--Remittances to Georgia in July went down by 31.8 percent compared to last year, according to the latest monthly report by National Bank of Georgia (NBG). In total, USD 93.4 million was sent to Georgia in July, 2015. Money transfers
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bank of Georgia further increased the refinancing rate to 6.0 percent on Wednesday. The Bank’s president, Giorgi Kadagidze, said at a briefing that increasing the refinancing rate by half a percent is a response to an increased
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is not rushing to suspend the citizenship of its ex-president, Mikheil Saakashvili. The justice ministry is awaiting an official notice from Ukraine. The former president, who is now governor of Odessa, received Ukrainian citizenship a few months
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers a few days ago detained another Georgian for violating the border with breakaway South Ossetia. Mamuka Samkharadze (36) was out collecting firewood near the village Kirbala, which borders on the breakaway region.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2015 was 14 percent less than last year, according to preliminary figures from Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat. According to the short monthly report, Georgia’s foreign
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Defense Ministry employees who are awaiting trial for embezzlement of state money have been given their jobs back. Giorgi Lobzanidze and Archil Alavidze were released in June along with three colleagues after spending about
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian priest at a mountain monastery on the border with South Ossetia says Russian soldiers often come there to pray. Abbot Mate Julakidze says he was compelled to provide an explanation after some people wrote on the Internet
TBILISI, DFWatch--Barcelona won last night’s UEFA Super Cup 5-4 against Sevilla, which was played at Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi. It was the team’s fifth Super Cup win in a row. Sevilla scored the first goal, but Barcelona scored three goals, ending the first half 3-1.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two policemen were wounded during a special operation in Tbilisi on Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, two employees of the central criminal police were wounded in Ponichala, a suburb in the eastern part of the capital
TBILISI, DFWatch--The head of the Georgian Football Federation resigns after an epic UEFA Super Cup in which Barcelona beat Sevilla during extra time with a final score 5-4. "As it is in Big Football, a person should leave on his peak," Zviad Sichinava, Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--A policeman was shot on duty in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region on Monday, during a house call about domestic violence. Police received a call about family violence in the village Zemo Alvani, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. When police
TBILISI, DFWatch--Everything is set for this year’s UEFA Super Cup final between Barcelona and Sevilla. It begins at 22:45pm at Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi. Before the match there will be a display of Georgian folk dances and a rendition of the UEFA Super Cup anthem.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A member of parliament from the National Movement claims he had was illegally detained by the police last night. The Interior Ministry denies this and has published a video of the detention. Giorgi Karbelashvili Monday said he was stopped
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Monday allowed a lawsuit against the TV company Rustavi 2 to proceed. Rustavi 2’s lawyer claims that the lawsuit has no legal basis. The case was filed by the businessman Kibar Khalvashi, who was once
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian TV channels reported Monday that one more of the country’s volunteer fighters had died in the war in southeastern Ukraine. 24 year old Giorgi Barateli’s death was reported by the Ukrainian website Tsenzor, which quoted Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--The original owners of a Georgian TV company whose property was seized a few days ago by a court, claimed on Sunday that it is controlled by the opposition party National Movement and that it ‘has nothing to do with independent media.’
Gali, DFWatch - As the Abkhazian de facto government fails to adopt constructive integration policies, many ethnic Georgians living in the eastern districts of Abkhazia complain about prejudice as well as political, economic, and cultural discrimination.
DFWatch - (1–7 August 2015) Daghestan Two men were killed by security forces in Suleyman Stalskiy region in the south of Daghestan on 6 August.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s two main internet providers have decided to merge, but need permission from the National Communication’s Commission (GNCC). Currently Silknet and Caucasus Online are the only two companies offering internet connection
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Friday unexpectedly acquitted a man of premeditated murder and sentenced him instead to four years in prison for beating another victim the same evening. Levan Kochlashvili was on trial for having physically
TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Tbilisi on Friday ordered the seizure of all property owned by Georgia's biggest independent TV company, Rustavi 2 reported on its website. According to the statement, the decision was passed on Wednesday, August 5,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bureau of Enforcement late Thursday evening seized vehicles belonging to the Georgian opposition-leaning TV company Rustavi 2. The seizure came as result of a court plea submitted by Kibar Khalvashi, a Georgian businessman
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is not planning to join another round of sanctions against Russia, Prime Minister Garibashvili said on Thursday. The sanctions were imposed by European countries as punishment for Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year. Garibashvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two people died and one was seriously injured in a car crash in eastern Georgian Wednesday. Local media report that a Toyota SUV and a BMW crashed on a road near the village Shroma in Lagodekhi region. Five people were injured
TBILISI, DFWatch--Part of Tbilisi's minibus drivers went on strike Wednesday morning, demanding a reduction in the daily fee they pay to the company. The company, Tbilisi Minibus, demands 55 laris (USD 24) a day from each driver, which they have to pay at the end
TBILISI, DFWatch--A massive fire at a Tbilisi bazaar on Tuesday claimed the lives of two people. The bodies were found at night at Eliava, in the center of the capital. The bodies could not be immediately identified, as they had been burned almost to ashes,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian wine producers may be hit by another Russian embargo as the Kremlin draws up plans to retaliate against the extension of European sanctions. The Russian consumer safety bureau Rospotrebnadzor apparently is preparing
TBILISI, DFWatch--A huge plume of smoke seen over Tbilisi Tuesday afternoon turned out to be a fire in a warehouse selling paint at a bazaar in the city center. Rescue workers evacuated people from the warehouse at Eliava bazaar on the left bank of the Mtkvari river and
TBILISI, DFWatch--An explosion in eastern Turkey on Monday damaged part of the Baku–Tbilisi–Erzurum pipeline, which carries gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan and runs through Georgia. The cause of the explosion, which happened in Kars province,
Georgia’s Yazidi community marked the first anniversary of the Sinjar massacre and prayed for peace in the Yazidi temple in Tbilisi. Georgia’s Yazidi community gathered on 3 August in the Yazidi temple in the Varketili
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s wine export in the first seven months fell by 46 percent, compared to last year, according to the National Wine Agency. The agency explains the drop as a result of ‘unstable political economic situation’ in two of the most important
TBILISI, DFWatch--A car accident claimed the lives of one man and two children in the mountainous Adjara region in the southwestern part of Georgia on Tuesday. A pickup truck was driving along a mountain road in Keda as it veered off the road and plunged down.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The search is still ongoing for three persons who went missing in a massive flood in Tbilisi in the night of June 13-14. 19 persons have been confirmed dead. Employees of the Interior Ministry’s emergency service have been looking
TBILISI, DFWatch--A leading parliamentarian from Georgia’s ruling coalition asks the president to consider pardoning or easing the sentences of more women. Eka Beselia, head of the human rights committee in parliament, said in a speech
TBILISI, DFWatch--Nino Burjanadze, former speaker of the Georgian parliament who twice served as acting president, has been declared 'persona non grata' by Ukraine, according to a Tbilisi-based radio station. The reason is Burjanadze’s statements about Crimea
TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of visitors to Georgia in the month of July was 9.5 percent higher than in the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to the MIA’s monthly report, 737,696 people visited Georgia in July.
Maia Kvarachelia from Gali-based NGO Avangard tells DF Watch about the gender-related issues the region has been facing since the end of the war in Abkhazia. The conflict in Abkhazia has left its mark on the population of the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili wants Prison Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili to become new interior minister. The position is vacant after a reform that splits the interior ministry, creating a new Security Service. Mgebrishvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Akhalkalaki-based news agency Jnews reports new details about a murder of an alleged mobster one week ago. Sargis Hakobyan was found dead in his car near the village Aragva on 26 July. It is believed that his car was ambushed
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two car crashes caused the death of seven people late on Saturday, including two minors. Four people were hospitalized. First, a Mercedes car and a minibus crashed in Grigoleti, a small town on the Black Sea. The Mercedes caught fire and exploded,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia won ten medals in the European junior Olympics, which ended in Tbilisi on Saturday. Four gold and six bronze went to the home nation in this year’s European Youth Olympic Festival. Nine of the Georgian medals were in judo, while one
DFWatch - 25-31 July, 2015 Daghestan The head of the Daghestani branch of the Russian Pension Fund Sagid Murtazaliyev is suspected of involvement in assassinations and financing terrorism.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Czech climber died on Mount Kazbegi, one of the major peaks of the Caucasus Mountain Range, in the northern part of Georgia on July 30. According to the Emergency Service, the girl fell down and suffered severe head trauma.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Friday vetoed a controversial National Bank bill which would mean that the government takes charge of the supervision of private banks. The president made his reasons for blocking the bill,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian citizen who was arrested for spying in the breakaway region South Ossetia has been set free after a meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM) held on July 30 in Ergneti. IPRM is a series of meetings
TBILISI, DFWatch--Interpol has called off its search for former Georgian Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili, because the case is believed to be politically motivated. Also an application by Georgia to declare former President Mikheil Saakashvili wanted has been rejected
TBILISI, DFWatch-Georgia took two more gold on Thursday in the European junior Olympics which are currently being held in Tbilisi. Mzia Beboshvili won in 52kg women’s judo category, defeating her opponent Ilse Buren from the Netherlands. “Everyone
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s woman defense minister decided to live the life of a soldier and discovered that the food they are being served is not good enough. The last few days, Tina Khidasheli has been living as a soldier. At a presentation of a new diner
TBILISI, DFWatch--Gem Fest starts Thursday in Anaklia, a beach resort on the Black Sea coast close to the border with Abkhazia. Georgian Electronic Music Festival will last from July 30 to August 7 and is carried out with the support of the Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has won five medals so far in the European Youth Olympic Festival, which is being held in Tbilisi. All medals, one gold and four bronze, were won in judo. Robinzon Beglasrishvili Wednesday won gold in men’s 60kg category,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Prime Minister and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is donating one million dollars to support wounded soldiers, according to Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli. She told journalists on Wednesday that Ivanishivli had to finance the treatment
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Public Defender has criticized a TV report concerning a family conflict which for openly reporting about the personal life of a young couple. The report was aired Sunday on Imedi TV and describes a newlywed couple living in the northwest
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man who was detained by Russian border guards Saturday was freed on Tuesday, after paying a fine. Davit Khuroshvili, from the village Khurvaleti, bordering breakaway South Ossetia, was detained for violating the border.
An inhabitant of Chvrinisi, a Georgian village located right at the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia, tells about his daily life in the conflict zone. ‘There is no fence at the border in our village’, Vakhtang, an inhabitant of Chvrinisi tells DF Watch.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The question of whether a bride must be a virgin has become a hotly debated topic in Georgia after a man beat his new young wife after the wedding. The report shown on Imedi TV on Sunday also revived a discussion of how journalist go about
TBILISI, DFWatch--Placebo, a British band which recently played at Tbilisi Open Air festival, has donated about USD 40,000 to the victims of the flood on June 13-14. The website Indiegogo, which raises funds for charity, said it had received USD 39,974 from Placebo
TBILISI, DFWatch--In a new report, the U.S. Department of State says Georgia has had progress in fighting human trafficking. The 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report report, which was published Tuesday, says the Georgian government does not fully comply with the minimum
TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Youth Olympic Festival does not have proper infrastructure for people with special needs, according to Georgia’s ombudsman. Rustavi 2 reported Sunday that wheelchair users and others with special needs who wanted
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian murder suspect who was wanted by Interpol was Monday detained in Bulgaria. According to Georgia’s Interior Ministry, the 43 year old was detained in Silistra. He has been wanted by Georgian law enforcement since 2009
TBILISI, DFWatch--A new study shows that there was more than 100 mm of precipitation the night of June 13-14, when a disastrous flood killed at least 19 people in Tbilisi. Three are still missing after the flood, which destroyed many houses and cars
TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Youth Olympic Festival opened in Tbilisi Sunday evening. About 1,500 people attending the opening ceremony at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. The ceremony lasted about two hours and included Georgian national dances
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards Saturday detained a man in a village bordering with Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia. Davit Khuroshvili, 48, from Khurvaleti was detained for violating the border. Locals claim he was detained in his own garden.
New Eastern Europe A Bimonthly Dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe An interview with John Kornblum, American diplomat, businessman and former US ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Interviewer: Matthew Luxmoore. Interview was
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli has asked Ukraine’s government to explain whether they take responsibility for statements made by former Georgian President Mikheil Saaksahvili, who is now governor of Odessa.
DFWatch (18–24 July 2015) Daghestan A policeman and a suspected militant were killed in a shootout in the Tabasaran district on 19 July. A group of unidentified people opened fire to a group of policemen in the forest near the village of Akka.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday accused President Giorgi Margvelashvili of being pro-National Movement, after the latter pardoned the brother of a member of that party, which is opposed to the government. Among 98 prisoners
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, whose apparent confusion of the abbreviation for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with a brothel has become an instant hit in social media, came forward of Thursday in his attempt to explain his awkward speech a day earlier.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Hailstorm once again hit Telavi and Kvareli municipalities, heartland of Georgia’s grape growing and wine producing Kakheti region in Eastern Georgia, badly damaging famous vineyards, as well as watermelon and corn fields.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry in Georgia seized more than 57 kg of amphetamine on Tuesday. The drugs were found in the car of a man who attempted to cross the border with Armenia at Sadakhlo. As the police checked the Toyota Land Cruiser,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri was approved as new head of the State Security Service on Wednesday, as the ministry he has headed until now is split in two. Facing questions from parliamentarians, Gomelauri said that one
TBILISI, DFWatch--At the end of his two-day visit to Georgia, President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Tuesday attended a meeting with Georgian soldiers preparing to leave for the Central African Republic. He wished the soldiers good luck and thanked
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Public Defender has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate a possible crime which took place in March, 2011. A person with the initials L.L. was detained by strangers and brought to the Prosecutor General’s Office,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday seized more than seven kilograms of cocaine. According to the ministry, a 25 year old Lebanese man attempted to leave Georgia with the cocaine but was arrested at the checkpoint in Sarpi, at the border
TBILISI, DFWatch--President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Tuesday visited an area near the disputed border with South Ossetia where Russian border guards recently installed new signs. Tusk went to the area near Khurvaleti and Tsitelubani,
TBILISI, DFWatch--President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Monday sided with Georgia in a conflict over the installation of border signs with South Ossetia, calling the signs a provocation. The signs are placed along the old ‘administrative border’
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian and South Ossetian negotiators met Monday for field talks called following a series of border incidents. The Georgian view is that newly installed signs are illegal and the border has been moved, while South Ossetia’s view is that the
TBILISI, DFWatch--The former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili is giving up his native citizenship, according to Ukrainian media. According to Ukrainian Pravda, Saakashvili is ‘in the process’ of rejecting his Georgian citizenship. He was given Ukrainian
DFWatch recently had a Skype chat with Kenneth Yalowitz, former US Ambassador to Georgia, to discuss current events in Georgia, its Euro-Atlantic integration and issues in the region. Yalowitz extended his condolences to the victims of a recent flood in Tbilisi
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has named current Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri as new head of the State Security Service, a body that is created as the MIA is split in two. If confirmed by parliament, Gomelauri will leave his
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia on Sunday arrested the husband of a well-known singer at Tbilisi airport after he was found carrying drugs. Kakha Mamulashvili is a producer, but better known as the husband of the Georgian singer Lela Tsurtsumia.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Representatives of the civil society, science, and media lead the protest triggered by the latest developments at the border with South Ossetia and blame the government for inaction. Around thousand people gathered in front of the State Chancellery in Tbilisi on 18
TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia has initiated a criminal investigation of the journalists who recently pulled down a border sign demarcating the breakaway region and replaced it with a Georgian flag. According to South Ossetia’s official news agency RES,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Interior Ministry launched criminal investigation into physical attack on employee of the NGO working in the field of protecting rights of sexual minorities in Georgia. Levan Berianidze, of NGO Identoba,
TBILISI, DFWatch--President of the European Council Donald Tusk will arrive in Tbilisi on July 20 for a two day visit. Tusk was invited by President Giorgi Margvelashvili. The two will have a bilateral meeting, and afterward answer questions at a joint press conference.