Posts by DFWatch staff:

Media, News

Georgian TV company cancels two talk shows

by | Aug 31
grigolia-inga_imedis-kvira

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.

News

Animal rights activists storm Batumi Dolphinarium, using tear gas

by | Aug 31
batumi_dolphinarium

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

News

Former police officer shot and killed in Tbilisi

by | Aug 29
MIA_shark

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

Security

Russia sees NATO’s new training facility in Georgia as a provocation

by | Aug 29
kremlin

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

News

Former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko is visiting Batumi

by | Aug 29
viktor_yushchenko

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

News

Joint NATO-Georgian training facility inaugurated near Tbilisi

by | Aug 27
NATO

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,

News

Two Georgians detained on disputed South Ossetia border

by | Aug 27
ditsi 2

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).

News

Batumi’s 7 meter tall ‘Nino and Ali’ sculpture damaged during moving

by | Aug 26
ali_and_nino

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

Economy

PM urges calm as Georgian lari reaches lowest level since 1999

by | Aug 26
irakli_garibashvili

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

Environment

Power cut and flooded streets in Batumi

by | Aug 26
flood_batumi

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.

News

Tbilisi’s House of Justice has cracks in one of its “petals”

by | Aug 25
house_of_justice_tbilisi

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,

News

Dangerous Listeria bacteria found in “Saojakho” ice cream

by | Aug 25
ice_cream_listeria

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.

News

Minister: Final decision, PM will head the delegation

by | Aug 25
tamar_beruchashvili

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.

In brief

Three parking attendants detained after moving car with sleeping child

by | Aug 24
CT_Park

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

News

Tourists evacuated by helicopter from Tusheti

by | Aug 24
tusheti_airlift_tourists

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

News

Eleven people injured as minibus full of tourists overturns

by | Aug 23
minibus_accident_Jvari_Zugdidi_road

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

Sport

Georgian professional NBA player signs contract to train youth in Tbilisi

by | Aug 22
zaza_pachulia

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

News

Tbilisi court gives woman control of frozen embryo after couple split

by | Aug 22
city-court-in-tbilisi

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

News

Hailstorm devastates 2,000 hectares of Kakheti vineyards

by | Aug 21
7-stiqia-20-agvisto

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

Interviews

Activist: Russia stepping up anti-EU, pro-Eurasian Union efforts in Georgia

by | Aug 21
IMG_1467

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.

News

Europe’s largest dam granted cultural heritage status by Georgia

by | Aug 21
enguri_dam_Cropped

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.

News

Search for second suspect in Yuri Vazagashvili murder case

by | Aug 20
tbilisi_city_court

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

News

Prominent Georgian ballet dancer drowns in Pankisi

by | Aug 20
ballet

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

Security

Russian helicopter flies over Georgian-controlled territory

by | Aug 20
Afghan_Mi-8M_Cropped

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

News

Georgia’s PM blames private business for causing lari’s instability

by | Aug 20
irakli_garibashvili

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,

News

Large cocaine bust indicates new drugs transit route: Interior Ministry

by | Aug 19
cocaine_seized

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

In brief

Four detained after alleged ethnic street fight in Kobuleti

by | Aug 19
kobuleti_street_fight

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

News

Tbilisi City Hall meets developer of controversial hotel in old district

by | Aug 19
city_hall_mirza_shafi_meeting

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

Media

Rustavi 2 owners say seizure may cause bankruptcy

by | Aug 18
rustavi-2_logo

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.

News

Man arrested for murder after tree-felling accident

by | Aug 18
MIA_shark

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.

News

Flood-hit Tbilisi Zoo will reopen in September

by | Aug 18
tbilisi_zoo

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

In brief

Traffic restrictions in Dariali Valley

by | Aug 18
dariali_valley_road

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

Economy

Foreign investments in Georgia increased 87% in 2014

by | Aug 17
new_kobuleti_road

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

In brief

23 year old dies as car hits motorcycle

by | Aug 17
ozurgeti_police_car

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

News

Georgia’s two top leaders both want to attend UN meeting, again

by | Aug 17
?????

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.

News

Russia expands sanctions list, but Georgia not included

by | Aug 15
kremlin

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

Minorities

Petition calls for tougher punishment in transgender murder case

by | Aug 15
transgender_day_of_remembrance_2014

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

News

Two former guards found guilty of negligence in Zurab Zhvania’s death

by | Aug 15
city court in tbilisi

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.

News

Controversial new hotel complex approved by Tbilisi City Council

by | Aug 14
mirza_shaif

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

In brief

Georgia saw 32% drop in remittances in July

by | Aug 14
national_bank

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

Economy

Georgia’s National Bank adjusts refinancing rate up to 6%

by | Aug 14
National_Bank

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

News

Georgia not in a hurry to cancel Saakashvili’s citizenship

by | Aug 14
mikheil_saakashvili__Crop

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

In brief

One Georgian detained on South Ossetia border

by | Aug 13
south_ossetia_border_sign_warning_Crop

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.

Economy

Foreign trade down 14%, exports 24%

by | Aug 13
deserters_market

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

News

Two defense officials accused of corruption given their jobs back

by | Aug 13
irakli_alasania

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

News

Russian soldiers praying at Georgian monastery

by | Aug 12
lomisi_monastery

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

Sport

UEFA Super Cup: Barcelona-Sevilla ends 5-4

by | Aug 12
lionel_messi_Tbilisi

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.

News

Two policemen wounded in shooting in Tbilisi

by | Aug 12
police_find_narcotic_drugs_ponichala

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

Sport

Embattled president of Georgian Football Federation resigns

by | Aug 12
zviad_sichinava_44188

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

In brief, News

Policeman shot during house call in eastern Georgia

by | Aug 11
police_line

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

Sport

Tbilisi gearing up for UEFA Super Cup between Barcelona and Sevilla

by | Aug 11
super_cup_Barcelona_team_preparing

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.

News

National Movement MP claims he was kidnapped by police

by | Aug 11
karbelashvili

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

Media

Tbilisi court allows lawsuit against Rustavi 2

by | Aug 10
tbilisi_city_court

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

News

One more Georgian volunteer fighter dies in Ukraine war

by | Aug 10
giorgi_barateli-

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

News

Original owners claim Rustavi 2 still controlled by Saakashvili party

by | Aug 10
rustavi-2_logo

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.’

News

Abkhazia’s Georgians still a hostage of regional tensions

by | Aug 10
8b6dc725cd1ff92371ab0ecbcb257112

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.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 1–7 August 2015

by | Aug 10
caucasus

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.

News

Georgia’s two main Internet providers plan merger

by | Aug 9
caucasus_online

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

Minorities

Court rules murderer of transgender woman acted in self-defense

by | Aug 8
transgender_day_of_remembrance_2014

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

News

Tbilisi court orders seizure of all Rustavi 2’s property

by | Aug 7
rustavi-2_logo

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,

News

Vehicles of Georgian opposition TV company seized

by | Aug 7
nika_gvaramia

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

News

Georgia not planning to join new sanctions on Russia

by | Aug 6
irakli_garibashvili

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

In brief

Two dead in car crash in eastern Georgia

by | Aug 6
police_line

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

News

Tbilisi minibus drivers on strike

by | Aug 5
tbilisi_yellow_minibus

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

News

Fire at Tbilisi bazaar claimed two lives

by | Aug 5
fire_eliava_-_photo_by_palitratv

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,

Economy

Russia weighing new ban on import of Georgian wine

by | Aug 5
Georgian-wine-bottles

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

News

Over a dozen firetrucks scrambled to combat blaze at Tbilisi market

by | Aug 4
eliava_fire

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

News

Explosion hits South Caucasus gas pipeline

by | Aug 4
explosion_baku-tbilisi-erzerum_pipeline

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,

Minorities

Georgia’s Yazidis honour the victims of the Sinjar Massacre

by | Aug 4
Yazidi

  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

Economy

Drop in Georgian wine export explained by problems in Russia and Ukraine

by | Aug 4
Georgian_wine_Crop

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

News

Three dead after pickup truck plunged off mountain road

by | Aug 4
car_accident_Keda

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.

News

Search continues for three still missing after Tbilisi flood

by | Aug 4
search_for_missing_Tbilisi_flood

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

News

Eka Beselia calls for more leniency for Georgia’s women inmates

by | Aug 3
eka_beselia_pirveli_Crop

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

News

Nino Burjanadze declared ‘persona non grata’ by Ukraine

by | Aug 3
nino_burjanadze_2

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

In brief

Number of visitors to Georgia in July up 9.5% from 2014

by | Aug 3
tourists

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.

News

Gali women still suffer from conflict-related gender inequality

by | Aug 3
8b6dc725cd1ff92371ab0ecbcb257112

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

Politics

Georgian PM names Giorgi Mgebrishvili as new interior minister

by | Aug 3
giorgi_mgebrishvili

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

In brief

Alleged Moscow mobster murdered in Akhalkalaki

by | Aug 3
a_street_in_Akhalkalaki

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

News

Two road accidents kill seven in Georgia

by | Aug 2
Grigoleti_car_crash

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,

Sport

Host country Georgia takes ten medals in Jr Olympics

by | Aug 2
youth_olympics_2015

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

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 25–31 July 2015

by | Aug 1
caucasus

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.

In brief

Czech climber falls and dies in Caucasus Mountains

by | Aug 1
Mkinvartsveri_mountain

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.

Politics

Georgian president vetoes National Bank bill

by | Jul 31
giorgi_margvelashvili

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,

Security

Georgian released from South Ossetian prison after talks

by | Jul 31
57th_IPRM

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

News

Interpol calls off search for former Georgian defense minister

by | Jul 31
davit kezerashvili

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

Sport

Tbilisi 2015: Georgia takes two more gold medals in Jr Olympics

by | Jul 31
mzia_beboshvili

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

News

Defense minister tries out life of a solder and discovers food is bad

by | Jul 30
tina_khidasheli

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

Youth

GEM Fest kicks off in Anaklia, Georgia

by | Jul 30
GEM_Fest_preparations_cropped

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

Sport

Youth Olympics: Georgia takes five medals in judo

by | Jul 30
irakli_garibashvili_robinzon_beglarashvili

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,

News

Ivanishvili donates one million dollars to treat wounded soldiers

by | Jul 30
bidzina_ivanishvili

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

News

Public Defender criticizes TV exposé about virginity

by | Jul 29
ucha_nanuashvili

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

In brief

Georgian released by South Ossetia after paying USD 33 fine

by | Jul 29
ditsi 2

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.

News

Daily life in the shadow of South Ossetia

by | Jul 29
2015-07-25 14

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.

News

Exposé about young bride’s virginity causes outrage in Georgia

by | Jul 29
beaten_bride_on_bed

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

Youth

British band Placebo donates USD 40,000 to Tbilisi flood victims

by | Jul 28
tbilisi_-x-zoo_Sunday_after_flood

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

News

U.S. State Dep: Georgia shows progress in fight against human trafficking

by | Jul 28
brothel_busted_tbilisi

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

Sport

Tbilisi Olympic festival not prepared for people with special needs

by | Jul 27
Tbilisi_2015_olympic_festival

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

In brief

Georgian murder suspect detained in Bulgaria

by | Jul 27
MIA_shark

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

Environment

Tbilisi flood was preceded by more than 100mm of rainfall

by | Jul 27
mud_-_flood_water

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

Sport

European Youth Olympic Festival opened in Tbilisi

by | Jul 27
olympic_festival_opening_ceremony_torch2

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

News

Georgian man detained at South Ossetia border

by | Jul 26
khurvaleti_border_fence

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.

Interviews

Europe Needs a New Narrative

by | Jul 25
John_C_Kornblum-300x251

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

News

Georgian defense minister asks Ukraine to explain Saakashvili’s statements

by | Jul 25
tina_khidasheli_IPN

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.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 18–24 July 2015

by | Jul 25
caucasus

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.

News

PM accuses president of promoting Saakashvili’s party

by | Jul 24
irakli_garibashvili

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

News

Jachvliani: EBRD should award me for publicity

by | Jul 23
soso_jachvliani

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.

Environment

Hail hits Kakheti wine heartland

by | Jul 23
hail storm kakheti 2013-04-10 ii

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.

In brief

57 kg of amphetamine found in car

by | Jul 23
amphetamine_hidden_in_car

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,

Politics

Gomelauri confirmed as head of Georgia’s new counterintelligence

by | Jul 22
vakhtang_gomelauri

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

News

Donald Tusk sees off Georgian soldiers bound for Central African Republic

by | Jul 22
donald_tusk_-Georgian_soldiers

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

News

Ombudsman calls for investigation of banker’s 2011 detention and fine

by | Jul 22
ucha_nanuashvili

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,

In brief

Georgia police seize 7 kilos of cocaine at Sarpi

by | Jul 21
sarpi_border

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

Security

Donald Tusk visits Georgia’s disputed border zone

by | Jul 21
donald_tusk_2015-07-20

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,

News

Donald Tusk visits Georgia, takes sides in border dispute

by | Jul 21
giorgi_margvelashvili-donald_tusk

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’

Security

Both sides speak of provocations at South Ossetia field meeting

by | Jul 21
IPRM-_July20-2015

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

News

Saakashvili gives up his Georgian citizenship

by | Jul 21
mikheil_saakashvili_Crop

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

Interviews

Interview: Kenneth Yalowitz on how Georgia is developing

by | Jul 20
kenneth_yalowitz_

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

Politics

Georgia’s interior minister will head new security service

by | Jul 20
vakhtang_gomelauri_Irakli_Garibashvili

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

In brief

Husband of Georgian singer arrested for possession of drugs

by | Jul 20
mamulashvili

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.

News

Anti-occupation protest with anti-governmental undertones

by | Jul 20
11709561_678004785633436_7559099649487671392_n

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

News

South Ossetia investigating border sign removal

by | Jul 19
south_ossetia_border_sign_defiled

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,

Minorities

LGBT rights activist assaulted allegedly for his appearance

by | Jul 18
10438527_10204561132129060_1952523753449920137_n

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,

In brief

Donald Tusk to visit Georgia July 20

by | Jul 17
donald_tusk

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.

News

Locals unhappy about South Ossetia border protests

by | Jul 17
khurvaleti_locals_demonstrating

TBILISI, DFWatch--Locals gathered near the border with Georgia's breakaway region South Ossetia on Friday to protest against the actions of a group of journalists who staged a protest a few days ago against Russia’s 'creeping occupation.' People say they have

News

Another border incident: Georgian flag removed by armed Ossetian servicemen

by | Jul 16
khurvaleti_incident_July2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers on Wednesday removed a Georgian flag at the border with the breakaway region South Ossetia. On June 10, Russian troops guarding the perimeter of the breakaway republic placed two news border signs near the villages

News

Head of Georgia’s National Bank makes new call to cut expenses

by | Jul 16
National_Bank

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of Georgia’s National Bank on Wednesday again asked the government to cut the budget, but the government has no plans to follow the recommendation. Giorgi Kadagidze said the adjustments in the 2015 budget

In brief

Fire in Tbilisi department store injures eleven

by | Jul 16
Gorgia_fire

TBILISI, DFWatch--Eleven people were injured in a fire Thursday morning at a department store in Tbilisi. The fire started at about 9am on the second floor of the store, where there was furniture. Giorgi Bakhutashvili, communication manager of Hypermarket Gorgia,

News

Bill to reform Prosecutor General’s Office seen as ineffective

by | Jul 16
prosecutors_office_Crop

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three influential European organizations criticize Georgia for carrying out a reform that doesn’t do enough to depoliticize the Prosecutor General’s Office. One of the most important remarks by the Venice Commission, OSCE and the Consultative Council

Politics

Georgian president signs law that will split Interior Ministry

by | Jul 16
margvelashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Ministry of Interior will be split in two on August 1, and a new body called the State Security Service will come into existence. President Giorgi Margvelashvili has signed the law about splitting the ministry, which means that it is in force.

Economy

Remittances to Georgia plummet by a fifth

by | Jul 15
National_Bank

TBILISI, DFWatch--Money transfers from abroad to Georgia in June dropped by 20.8% compared to the same period last year, according to the latest monthly report by the National Bank. The total amount of money transfer flow in June was $100.4 million

NGO news

NGOs urge Georgia to overhaul its strategy towards Russia

by | Jul 15
ngos

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgian NGOs call upon the government to "fundamentally revise" its politics toward Russia, postpone next round of Abashidze-Karasin talks and ensure more involvement of the international community in Georgian-Russian relations.

News

Gas explosion in Tbilisi kills five

by | Jul 15
explosion_gldani

TBILISI, DFWatch--A gas explosion in a suburb of Tbilisi on Tuesday killed at least five, and injured eight. Two girls are in hospital in a serious condition. The accident happened in the evening, in building 2 in the sixth micro district of Gldani, a suburb in the western

News

Georgian journalists trampled, removed Russian-installed border sign

by | Jul 14
1234

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Journalists from several Tbilisi-based outlets arrived at the conflict line with breakaway South Ossetia, removed a border sign installed by Russian troops last week and defiantly trampled it on Tuesday.

Minorities

ECHR ruling is vital for all minority movements in Georgia

by | Jul 14
unnamed

Tbilisi, DFWatch - The European Court of Human Rights ruling in the case Identoba and others vs Georgia can be considered a landmark decision, as it stated that hate crimes, committed against individuals based on their sexual orientation is a violation of the European Convention on Human rights.

News

Khidasheli: No link between arms deals and Russian troops’ activities

by | Jul 14
tina_khidasheli

Tbilisi, DFWatch - There are no direct links between signing of arms deals with western manufacturers and recent activities of the Russian troops in South Ossetia, Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli says. "Any activity undertaken by the Georgian

News

President awards Kaladze with Order of Honor

by | Jul 14
11535920_588456421257798_5236459488923276755_n

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Minister of Energy and the first vice Prime Minister of Georgia was awarded by the president with Order of Honor for his active efforts in the rescue operation after deadly flood in Tbilisi in June 13. Along with Kakha Kaladze

News

Russian troops pushed “border” over BP-operated pipeline, few hundred meters off main road

by | Jul 14
razor wire

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Recent push of the Russian border troops inside mainland Georgia left behind parts of Georgian settlements and agricultural lands, as well as an underground portion of significant pipeline that is used to export crude oil from Azerbaijan via Supsa terminal on Black Sea coast bypassing Russia, and caused massive outrage in Tbilisi.

Economy

Georgia’s foreign trade down 13% in first half of 2015

by | Jul 13
Rustavi_car_market_-_rustavi.ge_Cropped

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2015 was 13 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 trade

Sport

Ticket sale for UEFA Super Cup ends

by | Jul 13
UEFA_ticket_sale01

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ticket sales for the August 11 UEFA Super Cup match between Sevilla and Barcelona ended at 5:15am Sunday, leaving thousands of fans disappointed. 22,089 tickets were sold at booths. When ticket sales opened at 9am on Sunday,

Sport

Georgians lining up to buy tickets for UEFA Super Cup

by | Jul 11
UEFA_ticket_sales_queue

TBILISI, DFWatch--Hundreds of Georgia fans rushed to line up in Tbilisi’s Vake Park to secure seats for the UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla a day before ticket sales starts. Tickets for the match should have been sold online weeks in advance,

News

Plans for new spacious Tbilisi zoo presented

by | Jul 11
davit_narmania_new_zoo_tbilisi_reservoir

TBILISI, DFWatch--After being partly destroyed by a flood a month ago, Tbilisi Zoo will move into a new facility to be built on the shores of Tbilisi Reservoir, the largest lake in the capital. Reflecting on the future of the zoo, director Zurab Gurielidze and spokesperson

News

Georgia splits its Interior Ministry in two

by | Jul 10
ministry_of_internal_affairs

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three years after coming to power, the Georgian Dream government has delivered on an election promise to split the intelligence service the from the Interior Ministry. It will be a separate body from August 1. According to an amendment approved

News

Burjanadze: Ukraine will never get Crimea back

by | Jul 10
burjanadze-nino_cropped

TBILISI, DFWatch--"Crimea is a part of Russia, and will never come back to Ukraine" - Nino Burjanadze, former speaker of the parliament and former acting President of Georgia, said during her visit to Moscow. "Crimea is part of Russia. I can say that

Sport

Azerbaijani football supporters take revenge on Georgians with map

by | Jul 10
11168541_1185185514840252_4262989445559269520_n

TBILISI, DFWatch--Azerbaijani football supporters took revenge against their Georgian counterparts on Wednesday by holding a poster with a subtle political message during a match in Gabala. A few days ago, Georgian supporters trampled on an Azerbaijanian

News

Prosecutors in Georgia investigating alleged beating of woman by police

by | Jul 9
lika_-_kikiani

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia are accused of beating a young woman during a brawl at a youth club in Tbilisi. A video where the young woman describes her treatment by police has gone viral on social media in Georgia. The Ministry of Internal Affairs

Environment

Small landslide in village near Tbilisi, origin of catastrophic flood

by | Jul 9
akhaldaba_landslide_2015-07-09

TBILISI, DFWatch--There was a small landslide this morning in a village near Tbilisi, the same place where a landslide caused a catastrophic flood wave in a river valley June 13. Thursday’s landslide damaged a road and utility pipe which supplies households

Economy

Next Abashidze-Karasin meeting to be held July 15 in Prague

by | Jul 9
zurab_abashidze_-_grigory_karasin

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Russian and a Georgian diplomat will meet on July 15 in Prague. The Abashidze-Karasin talks are an informal channel for discussing trade and other cooperation between the two countries, which don’t have diplomatic relations.

News

Abkhazia–Russia relations under strain following pressure

by | Jul 9
raul_khajimba_Cropped

The latest developments in Abkhazia–Russia relations turn increasingly sour as Russia attempts to strengthen its presence in the region. As continued Russian funding is dependent on the implementation of the provisions of the Abkhazian–Russian treaty, many Abkhazians grow disenchanted with their key ally.

Sport

Tbilisi almost ready to host UEFA Super Cup

by | Jul 8
davit_narmania

TBILISI, DFWatch--Dinamo Stadium is now ready for the August 11 UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla, the mayor of Tbilisi said after a session of the organizing committee on Tuesday. Mayor Davit Narmania said his city is ready to host the Super Cup

Youth

KaZantip manager calls Georgians ‘ridiculous’ for removing sculpture

by | Jul 8
anti_kazantip_20140726_20_Crop

TBILISI, DFWatch--The manager of KaZantip has called Georgians ‘ridiculous, poor and wild’ people after learning that someone demolished a sculpture built by the music festival’s organizers in Anaklia last summer. KaZantip is an electronic music

Sport

Tickets for UEFA Super Cup to be sold from booths starting Sunday

by | Jul 8
uefa_super_cup

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tickets for the UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla will be sold from booths in Tbilisi, starting July 12 at 9am. Tickets will be available only in booths at Mikheil Meskhi stadium in Tbilisi after the website biletebi.ge

News

Ukraine detains two high officials for corruption

by | Jul 8
davit_sakvarelidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--The new government in Ukraine has detained the deputy chief prosecutor and deputy head of the investigation service on suspicion of corruption. Ukrainian media report that the General Prosecutor’s Office and Ukraine’s security service

Economy

National Bank recommends reducing expenses

by | Jul 7
National_Bank

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bank of Georgia advises the government to cut expenses and revise its tax policy in order to avoid currency fluctuation. The NBG sent parliament its recommendations letter over the adjusted state draft budget 2015, concluding

In brief

Turkish captain fined $20,000

by | Jul 7
traffict

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Coast Guard has fined a captain of a cargo ship under the flag of the Comoros, a tiny state located in Comoro Archipelago, off the East African coast, 50,000 laris (USD 22,200). According to a statement by the Ministry of Interior, the crew

News

Trade Unions: 14 construction workers killed in 2014 accidents

by | Jul 7
collapsed_building_Apakidze_Street

TBILISI, DFWatch--14 people died, and 11 were severely injured during construction work in Georgia in 2014, according to a report published by the country's United Trade Unions and the Union of Construction Workers and Forestry. A deadly collapse of a building

News

Update: Building collapse in Tbilisi causes four deaths

by | Jul 6
collapsed_building_Apakidze_Street

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four people died when a building collapsed in central Tbilisi on Monday. Three of them died on the spot, while the fourth, believed to be 17 or 18 years old, died of his injuries at the hospital. The three dead were laborers working to demolish

Economy

Economy minister sees no threat to flow of remittances from Greece

by | Jul 6
giorgi_kvirikashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Sunday that a week of halted money transfers will not hamper the flow of money sent home by Georgian migrants in Greece. Banks in Greece shut down last week after the Tsipras government's

In brief

Houses burned by bush fire in southern Georgia

by | Jul 6
kumisi_fire

TBILISI, DFWatch--There was a fire in Gardabani in the south of Georgia on Sunday. Several abandoned houses burned down, and a woman was slightly injured. Hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers managed to put out the fire in Kumisi settlement

News

Escaped zoo tiger found dead in Tbilisi

by | Jul 5
dead_siberian_tiger

TBILISI, DFWatch--A tiger which escaped from Tbilisi Zoo during a flood three weeks ago has been found dead at a leisure park a few hundred meters from the zoo. The discovery of the dead Siberian tiger "Salima" at Laguna Vere concludes the search for dangerous

News

Suspected Georgian mafia boss and 35 others arrested in Spain

by | Jul 4
qw

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 42 year old Georgian mob boss and 35 others, mostly Georgian nationals, have been arrested in Madrid, Basque Country, Valencia and other places in Spain on Friday, in a raid classified by the EUROPOL as 'the most important development

Sport

Georgian football fans accused of trampling on Azerbaijanian flag

by | Jul 4
georgian_azerbaijan_football_fans_flag_trampling

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian football fans are accused of having insulted supporters of the visiting team by trampling on an Azerbaijanian flag after a match between Dinamo and Gabala in Tbilisi on Thursday. The UEFA Europa League qualifier ended 2-1 to the

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Review 23–30 June 2015

by | Jul 4
caucasus

DFWatch (23–30 June 2015) Daghestan President Ramazan Abdulatipov expressed his ‘complete loss of confidence’ in the acting mayor of Makhachkala Magomed Suleymanov. According to Abdulatipov, 148 houses are being built in the capital without proper

In brief

Saudi crown prince donates money to Tbilisi flood victims

by | Jul 3
abdulaziz_al_saud

TBILISI, DFWatch--The crown prince of Saudi Arabia is donating USD 300,000 to assist the victims of the June 14 flood in Tbilisi. Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who visited Georgia a few weeks ago, wrote in a letter to the prime minister that they carefully

Interviews

Interview: How has Georgia changed since 2012?

by | Jul 3
Lincoln_Mitchell_frontpage

Lincoln Mitchell, Associate Professor at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, recently visited Georgia to attend a conference in Batumi from 18th to 19th June Georgia’s European way. After arriving in Tbilisi Mitchell, who is a Georgia-analyst, met with us

In brief

Suspicious meat seized in Tbilisi

by | Jul 3
agency food

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Food Agency in Georgia on Thursday seized 200kg of suspicious meat at the Dezertirebi market in Tbilisi. According to the short statement, Beka 2015 Ltd had prepared for selling the meat, however some of it didn’t have a seal

News

Georgian volunteer soldier reported dead in Ukraine

by | Jul 3
Lashkhia rustavi 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian, who was fighting for Ukraine in Mariupol, has been reported dead. The death of Konstantine (Kote) Lashkhia has not yet been officially confirmed. Rustavi 2 reported it based on information from Davit Makashvili, who is also

News

Ukraine’s ‘Georgian’ minister resigns

by | Jul 2
Aleksandre Kvitashvili

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Embattled Ukrainian Health Minister, Alexandre  Kvitashvili, resigned Thursday after harsh criticism by the parliament, Verkhovna Rada and even by his former boss and current informal leader, Mikheil Saakashvili. "The old system breaks

In brief

9% more visitors to Georgia in June

by | Jul 2
batumis_delfinarium

TBILISI, DFWatch--There were 9.3 percent more visitors to Georgia in June, 2015, compared to same month last year, according to the latest monthly report from the Interior Ministry. The new figures show that 496,758 people visited the country in June

News

20 year old detained for raping 11 year old boy

by | Jul 1
MIA_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained a 20 year old man who is accused of raping and bringing an 11 year old boy to the point of suicide. The boy who was raped is dead. Investigators think he committed suicide, but the relatives are sure he didn’t kill

NGO news

Think-tank: Georgian business should reorient away from Russia, towards the EU

by | Jul 1
EPRC presentation 2012-12-12

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgian government and business should switch their focus away from the trade with Russia towards taking full advantage of the opportunities created by the free trade agreement with the European Union, the report by Economic

News

Dead zoo animals pulled out of river in Tbilisi

by | Jul 1
river_mtkvari

TBILISI, DFWatch--Rescue workers on Tuesday pulled a number of dead animals out of the river Mtkvari in Tbilisi, while looking for victims of the June 14 flood. 19 people died in the flood, while three are still missing. Apart from the human victims, also many

Sport

Online ticket sale of UEFA Super Cup tickets opens, and closes

by | Jul 1
uefa_super_cup

TBILISI, DFWatch--Online ticket sale for the August 11 UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla began Tuesday morning, but was stopped in the evening due to technical problems. The site biletebi.ge began selling tickets at 9am, but at 9pm

Economy

Rustavi smelter plant fires hundreds of employees due to lawsuit

by | Jun 30
rustavi-poladi

TBILISI, DFWatch--Rustavi Poladi, a smelter plant in a town 20km away from the capital, has fired hundreds of employees because of a lawsuit. Nugzar Kachukhashvili, Director of Rustavi Poladi Ltd, said at a press conference on Monday that the

News

PM Garibashvili: We’ll decide same-sex marriage issue by ourselves

by | Jun 29
irakli_gharibashvili

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia’s PM will do his best to fix definition of a marriage as ‘union of a man and a woman.’ In a lengthy interview published on Monday by a popular Georgian ultra-conservative newspaper Asaval-Dasavali, Irakli Garibashvili, PM, says that the state firmly stands

In brief

Members of U.S. congress to visit Georgia

by | Jun 29
peter_roskam

TBILISI, DFWatch--A delegation from the U.S. congress is to visit Georgia from July 2 to 5. Among the delegation are members of congress from the Republican and the Democratic parties, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Davit Kereselidze. Peter Roskam

Politics

Georgian parliament approves controversial bank bill

by | Jun 29
National_Bank

TBILISI, DFWatch--Parliament in Georgia approved a bill on Sunday which will relieve the National Bank of responsibility for supervising private banks and instead transfer such authority to a new agency. The vote was preliminary, as the bill must go through

News

Thirteenth Georgian dies fighting in Syria

by | Jun 29
turpal-_borchashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 23 year old was reported by locals in his hometown in Pankisi Gorge Sunday to have died in the Syria war. Turpal Borchashvili is at least the thirteenth Georgian citizen who has died in Syria fighting for Islamists. Borchashvili was from

Youth

Anaklia hosts GEM Fest, instead of KaZantip, in July

by | Jun 29
123

Tbilisi, DFWatch - A western Georgian Black Sea resort Anaklia is going to host one of the largest electronic music festivals this summer. GEM Fest features popular electronic music stars, such as world renowned Dutch DJ and trance guru Armin van Buuren,

Minorities

Georgian parliamentarian criticizes U.S. Supreme Court same-sex ruling

by | Jun 28
manana_kobakhidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--The deputy speaker of the Georgian parliament, Manana Kobakhidze, is criticized for recent remarks about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. “Even if we are left all alone on earth, if every one of our friends or partners abandons us, I will not

Minorities

U.S. State Dep criticizes Georgia for failure to protect gays

by | Jun 27
08_-_May_17_2014_Cropped

TBILISI, DFWatch -The U.S. State Department criticizes Georgia in a new report about human rights published on Friday. Among a whole a number of problems highlighted in the report, it pays particular attention to the violation of the rights of gays and other sexual minorities.

News

Georgia extradites man suspected of beating wife to the U.S.

by | Jun 26
iranian_-extradited_to_US

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has extradited a man holding dual Iranian-U.S. citizenship to the United States. The man has been subject to an Interpol red alert notice since 2011. The man, who is born in 1979, was detained on January 23, 2015 by Georgian police. Interpol has determined

In brief

NATO’s Secretary General to visit Georgia in August

by | Jun 26
giorgi_margvelashvili_jens_stoltenberg

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit Georgia this August, according to the Defense Ministry. The visit was agreed during a meeting Wednesday between Georgia’s Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli and Deputy Secretary General of the alliance

Sport

80% of UEFA Super Cup tickets will be reserved for Georgians

by | Jun 26
uefa_super_cup

TBILISI, DFWatch--80% of tickets for the August 11 UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevillia in Tbilisi will be sold exclusively to Georgians. Only 6,000 tickets will be earmarked for visiting football fans from abroad. Eka Eloshvili, spokesperson for Georgian

News

Ditsi incident and irrigation canal discussed during South Ossetia talks

by | Jun 25
56th_-IPRM

TBILISI, DFWatch--The sides in the 2008 Georgia war met for a field meeting on Wednesday at Ergneti, a village on the border with the Georgian breakaway region South Ossetia. Also this time, border issues were on the agenda at the so-called Incident

In brief

Georgian minister: Armenia’s EEU membership not an obstacle for ‘centuries-old friendship’

by | Jun 25
thea_tsulukiani

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Armenia's membership to the Eurasian Economic Union is not an obstacle but rather an opportunity of 'mutual enrichment and opening of new opportunities', Minister of Justice of Georgia said in an interview with Mediamax, Armenian e-newspaper.

In brief

Missing hyena found dead at Tbilisi Zoo

by | Jun 25
Tbilservis_-_group-photo

TBILISI, DFWatch--A missing hyena was found dead on Wednesday during clean-up work inside the partially destroyed Tbilisi Zoo. The hyena was found by employees of Tbilservice Group, close to the cages of tigers and lions near the administration building. A tiger

Politics

Consultations begin to find new National Bank head

by | Jun 24
giorgi_margvelashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president is starting consultations to find a new head of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG). Current NBG head Giorgi Kadagidze was appointed during Saakashvili’s presidency for a seven years term which expires in February, 2016. According

News

Georgian journalists receive death threats after publishing cartoon

by | Jun 24
renessance-ge

TBILISI, DFWatch--Several journalists in Georgia have been threatened by a radical Islamist that he will ‘spill their blood’ if they don’t remove a cartoon from a website. The journalists launched the site to help ethnic minorities get an education and rid themselves of the chains

Sport

Biletebi.ge given 48 hours to solve UEFA Super Cup ticket mess

by | Jun 24
uefa_super_cup

TBILISI, DFWatch--The website responsible for selling tickets to the August 11 UEFA Super Cup between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC has been given 48 hours to solve its technical problems. Zviad Sichinava, President of the Georgian Football Federation, told journalists that the tickets won’t

News

Georgian government proposes USD 60 million budget cuts

by | Jun 23
ფინანსთა მინისტრი ნოდარ ხადური აცხადებს, რომ ყველაზე დიდი დანაკლისი განიცადა თავდაცვის და შინაგან საქმეთა სამინისტროებმა და "ორივე სამინისტრო ამას ძალიან გაგებით მოეკიდა"

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia plans 140 million of budget cuts, about USD 60 million with today’s currency rate. The finance minister on Monday presented an adjusted budget to the cabinet of ministers. He said that the state budget,

News

Penguin found alive as Tbilisi Zoo publishes complete list of animals

by | Jun 23
penguin_found

TBILISI, DFWatch--As a penguin was discovered alive Tuesday, Tbilisi Zoo for the first time published the complete list of animals they had before the flood on the night of June 13-14. The penguin was found by soldiers as they were cleaning the lower section

Minorities

The Sayat Nova Project: Music Defying Borders in the Caucasus

by | Jun 23
Bela Mutoshvili and Benjamin Wheeler. Joqolo, Pankisi​ (Dominik K. Cagara)

A group of ethnomusicologists known as the Sayat Nova Project has been documenting the musical heritage of the South Caucasus, trying to de-emphasise national divisions, explore the shared heritage, and pay attention to the underrepresented forms of musical expression.

News

Three people still missing after Tbilisi flood

by | Jun 23
GWP_workers_-_flood

TBILISI, DFWatch--The search is still on for three people who are missing after a devastating flood in Tbilisi early morning on June 14 which killed at least 19 people. Minister of Internal Affairs Vakhtang Gomelauri said on Tuesday that a large part of the gravel

News

Court allows prosecution’s evidence in Saakashvili trial

by | Jun 23
mikheil_saakashvili_Crop

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court has accepted evidence presented by the Prosecutor General’s Office in a criminal case against ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. The former leader was charged last November in a case that concerns the murder of a bank employee

In brief

Georgia to allow visa-free visits for Argentina, Uruguay and Chile

by | Jun 22
Tamar Beruchashvili (IPN)

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia plans to allow short visa-free visits for citizens of Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchasvili announced as she began her first visit to South America. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Davit Kereselidze said the aim of Beruchashvili’s

In brief

Storm toppled trees in several villages in southern Georgia

by | Jun 22
tree_crushed_house_mareuli_gamgeoba_photo

TBILISI, DFWatch--High winds toppled trees which crashed into several houses in Marneuli in southern Georgia on Saturday. According to the head of Marneuli municipality, the fallen trees also blocked several of the roads in the surrounding villages. Heavy rainfall and hail also

News

Animal rights activist demand to shut down Tbilisi Zoo

by | Jun 21
vegan_georgia01

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of animal rights activists demonstrated Sunday outside City Hall in Tbilisi, demanding to shut down the zoo, after a flood killed more than 50 percent of the animals held there, and others escaped. The demonstration was organized by Vegan Georgia

Environment

Flooded areas of Tbilisi are being disinfected

by | Jun 21
trailer_disinfected

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Health Ministry in Georgia has sent teams to disinfect five areas that were hit by a disastrous flood in Tbilisi on June 14 to prevent the spread of disease. Health Minister Davit Sergeenko named the targeted areas as Mziuri Park, Zoo, Svanidze Street,

News

Justice Ministry proposes bill for stronger protection of women

by | Jun 21
tea_tsulukiani

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Justice Ministry in Georgia has introduced a package of legislative amendments to prevent violence against women. The amendments apply to about 20 different sections of laws and will target illegal spying, communication by phone or by

News

Five Defense Ministry officials released

by | Jun 20
freed_defense_ministry_officials

TBILISI, DFWatch--Five Defense Ministry officials who were detained last fall on embezzlement charges were released Friday on the basis of personal guarantees from several MPs. The Prosecutor General’s Office wanted to set a bail bond, but backed down. The so-called

Browse our archive by date

September 2015
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  
ads
ads
ads
ads