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.
Posts by DFWatch staff:Media, News DFWatch staff | Aug 31
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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,
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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