Georgian soldier killed in Afghanistan

by | August 4, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian soldier has died in Afghanistan while out on patrol near Bagram Airbase, 60km north of Kabul. Lance sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili (25) was killed as two suicide bombers attacked his convoy Thursday evening. The platoon that was hit consisted


US Vice President Mike Pence visiting Georgia

by | August 1, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Tbilisi on Monday amid a US-led military exercise, which for a moment brought a US military convoy within close proximity of Russian troops stationed in the breakaway region South Ossetia.


Georgia to get rid of its SU-25 in favor of drones and helicopters

by | April 12, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is getting rid of its Soviet era Su-25 attack aircraft, and will instead rely on military helicopters and drones, the country’s defense minister said. Su-25 is a severely outdated aircraft which requires spare parts that are produced in Russia,


South Ossetia declares de facto presidential election valid

by | April 10, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia’s de facto authorities have declared the election for a new leader of the separatist region valid. According to latest news, assembly speaker Anatoly Bibilov is in the lead. He has already declared victory, but it is still not known whether he will get more than 50 percent,


Georgia dismisses over 2,000 defense employees

by | January 30, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has carried out its biggest layoff ever, as more than two thousands employees were dismissed on Monday. Both military and civilian personnel were affected by the mass layoff. The ministry explained the firings


Lawyer’s group asks Georgian government to disclose Gazprom deal

by | January 18, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of lawyers in the former Soviet republic Georgia calls on the government to disclose a controversial deal it recently struck with the Russian-owned energy giant Gazprom over switching monetized payments for transiting Russian gas to Armenia.


John McCain reaffirms U.S. security guarantee during visit to Georgia

by | January 2, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three American senators wrapped up their trip to Georgia on Monday by sending not-so-well wishes for the new year to Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. The two Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and the their Democratic colleague


General Chachibaia promoted to chief of the Georgian Army General Staff

by | November 24, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Tuesday appointed General Vladimer Chachibaia as new chief of the General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF). 45-year-old Chachibaia, who served as chief of the Joint Staff of the armed forces


Germany thanks Georgian soldiers for helping repel attack on consulate

by | November 12, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Germany thanked Afghan and Georgian forces on Friday for repelling an attack on a German consulate in northern Afghanistan the day before. The attack on the consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif ended as the attackers were pushed back by consulate security,


Georgian president picks former GIPA colleague as new NSC secretary

by | October 25, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Monday named Davit Rakviashvili, an old colleague at a media and public relations school in Tbilisi, as new secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council. The friendship between the two go back 30 years,


Russia begins military exercise in South Ossetia involving 5000 troops

by | August 16, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia began a military exercise in Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia on Monday, which will involve 5,000 soldiers, rockets and artillery. The pro-government news agency RES reports that the exercise is taking place at seven different training grounds.


NATO countries agree to ‘intensify cooperation’ with Georgia

by | July 11, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--At the Warsaw summit last weekend, NATO agreed to strengthen its cooperation with Georgia to bolster its defense capabilities. In a joint statement signed by foreign ministers of member countries as well as Georgia, the countries write that


Georgia will stay in Afghanistan until the mission is completed

by | July 10, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will continue its participation in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli said at the alliance’s summit in Warsaw. A meeting was held between heads of state from countries that participate


Georgian cross-party declaration confirms goal is NATO and EU membership

by | July 8, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian delegation to the NATO summit in Warsaw has presented a document signed by six political parties, reiterating their support for the country’s course toward a closer integration with the alliance. The document was signed


Georgian defense minister signs decree that ends compulsory military service

by | June 28, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli on Monday controversially signed a decree ending compulsory military service with immediate effect. In April, Khidasheli said she expected the professional army system to be introduced in 2017.


Georgia may end compulsory military service in 2017: Defense minister

by | April 20, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli says compulsory military service may be abolished from 2017. “This is my decision as minister of defense,” she told Channel 1 on Tuesday. “If another leader comes to this office, naturally, that decision may be changed.”


Georgian official blames Russia for sex tape scandal

by | March 30, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A deputy head of the Georgian counterintelligence on Monday hinted that Russia could be behind leaked surveillance videos recently used to threaten government members, although he did not rule out any theory. The videos were uploaded


Georgia’s NATO accession debate too much focused on MAP: Minister

by | February 8, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian defense minister says there has been too much focus on her country being approved for a formalized plan toward NATO membership, called a MAP, since the alliance can accept Georgia as a member directly, she argues. NATO


Lavrov claims IS fighters are being trained in Georgia

by | January 27, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Islamic State fighters are being trained in the Pankisi valley in northern Georgia which was one of the reasons why Russia introduced stricter visa rules for Georgians. On Tuesday, Tbilisi


Two Georgians detained by Russian forces in Bershueti

by | January 5, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Georgians were detained by Russian border guards on Monday at the delineation line around the breakaway territory South Ossetia. Saba Sekhniashvili and Lasha Glurjidze were trying to go to the Trinity Church, which lies in the village Bershueti.


Georgian Defense Ministry announces contracts for military service

by | December 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Defense Ministry this week announced vacancies for joining the military on a contractual basis. The contracts offered have a four year term and are available for persons between 18 and 35 year, and youth who have served compulsory military


Alleged IS plot, Russian helicopter overflight topics at IPRM

by | December 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--An alleged New Year’s terror plot by Islamic State and an airspace violation by a Russian helicopter were some one of the topics at a regular field meeting about the conflict over the breakaway territory South Ossetia on Wednesday. The meeting


Stricter border checks for Africans and Asians arriving in Georgia

by | November 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is introducing stricter border checks for visitors from Africa and Asia in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Head of Georgian intelligence Vakhtnag Gomelauri said on Wednesday after a session of the Crisis Management Council that the measures


Dozens suspected ISIS recruits prevented from entering Georgia

by | November 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--An intelligence official in Georgia says dozens of foreigners have been prevented from entering Georgia, because they were suspected of preparing to go to Syria to join ISIS. Deputy head of the State Security Service Levan Izoria told Maestro TV that the government


Georgian intelligence investigating websites supporting ISIS

by | November 16, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian intelligence is investigating a Georgian-language blog which publishes propaganda material from the terrorist organization the Islamic State, or ISIS. Georgian users on Facebook Monday shared a link to the website, and called for help


Bill to end the draft approved by judiciary committee

by | November 11, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A draft bill about ending compulsory military service has survived a debate in the judiciary committee of the Georgian parliament. The bill was approved by the committee on Tuesday. Member of parliament Zurab Japaridze, who co-authored the bill, said


Georgia considers scrapping compulsory military service

by | September 29, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament on Tuesday started reviewing a proposal to abolish compulsory military service and move to a professional military based on contracts. The goal of the bill is to redirect finances spent for compulsory military service


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

by | August 29, 2015

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


Russian helicopter flies over Georgian-controlled territory

by | August 20, 2015

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


Georgian released from South Ossetian prison after talks

by | July 31, 2015

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


Donald Tusk visits Georgia’s disputed border zone

by | July 21, 2015

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,


Both sides speak of provocations at South Ossetia field meeting

by | July 21, 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


Georgia signs defense procurement deal in France

by | June 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli on Monday finally signed a procurement deal with a company in France which is meant to bolster Georgia’s air defenses. The content of the agreement is secret. Signing the document in France on June 15, she said the treaty

News, Security

Khidasheli: Defense deal with France will be signed by end of June

by | June 12, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s new defense minister has sided with her predecessor Mindia Janelidze in an argument with former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania about an agreement with France about buying air defense systems. Tina Khidasheli said in a recent interview


Two more people detained at disputed S.O. border as parties meet

by | May 26, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two more people were detained on the disputed border with one of Georgia’s breakaway regions on Monday. The incident took place the same day as the parties were gathered in a border village for EU- and OSCE-hosted negotiations. The


Georgia’s defense minister says new anti-aircraft system is on schedule

by | April 9, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze explained in parliament Wednesday that a defense deal with France has not been put on hold. His predecessor Irakli Alasania accused the government of halting the planned installation of new air


Russia sends forces for exercises inside Georgian breakaway regions

by | March 7, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia is massing military forces inside the breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and announcing that it is starting military exercises. Official Tbilisi calls on the international community to react to this violation of Georgia’s


Georgian PM: We are ready for negotiations with Russia

by | February 8, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashivli says Georgia is ready for negotiations with Russia. The two countries have not had diplomatic relations since fighting a brief war more than six years ago. Georgia's pro-European course stands firm, the PM


Smiling faces, little substance after security council session

by | October 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's president and prime minister laid their differences to rest on Tuesday and put on big smiles for a session of the National Security Council. The session was called by President Giorgi Margvelashvili to come up with ideas for how to respond

News, Security

Georgian PM to attend security council meeting

by | October 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian prime minister unexpectedly announced that he will attend a meeting today of the National Security Council, which was called by the president to respond to a proposed new pact between Russia and breakaway Abkhazia. Despite

News, Security

Georgia’s security council will meet, though many members absent

by | October 27, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president has called a meeting of the National Security Council tomorrow to discuss an issue that may influence the country's territorial integrity, but several central figures in the government are unlikely to show up. President Giorgi

News, Security

Russian drones threaten stability, Georgia says

by | October 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian drones are endangering the security and stability in the region, Georgia’s representatives said at a meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) Tuesday. As DF Watch reported earlier, a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle

News, Security

Tbilisi denies that it offered US to host training camp for Syrian rebels

by | September 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government denies that it has offered the US to host a training facility for Syrian rebels fighting both the Assad government and the ISIS, against whom the US and some of its allies wage a military operation. Foreign Policy

News, Security

U.S. to strengthen its military cooperation with Georgia

by | September 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The United States is strengthening its military cooperation with Georgia and several non NATO-member states on the background of events in Ukraine. US is a strategic partner of Georgia and supports its North-Atlantic integration, US Secretary

News, Security

What NATO’s Wales declaration said about Georgia

by | September 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 113 point declaration passed by leaders of NATO countries at the summit in Wales has two points about Georgia. Apart from support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and a commitment that it will become a member of NATO someday

News, Security

Georgian president compares Ukraine events with 2008 war

by | September 5, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said in a speech at the NATO summit in Wales that the events in Georgia in 2008 and in Ukraine in 2014 demonstrate that stability and peaceful development of young democracies is a significant challenge

News, Security

Georgian soldiers to take part in military exercise in Ukraine

by | September 5, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian platoon is taking part in the annual exercise Rapid Trident in Ukraine September 13-27. The multinational exercise will be conducted at the training ground Yavoriv, nearby the western Ukrainian city Lviv, and include participants

News, Security

NATO chief meets Georgian president

by | September 4, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president on Thursday met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in preparation for the NATO summit in Wales. The two talked about the importance of the summit on the background of the Ukraine crisis and the significance

News, Security

NATO plans to hold more military exercises in Georgia

by | September 2, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO is ramping up its defense of Eastern Europe with a new expeditionary force that will be able to "travel light but strike hard if needed". Also planned are five new bases in the Baltic states, Poland and Romania, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine

News, Security

Government wants to reduce president’s power as commander in chief

by | August 19, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia wants to limit the power of the president as commander in chief. The draft bill will take away the president’s power to approve the regulation of the Joint Staff, and the head of the Joint Staff will become subordinate

News, Security

NATO to strengthen cooperation along Russia’s southwest fringes

by | July 26, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The head of NATO Parliamentary Assembly says the alliance will strengthen its cooperation with countries along Russia’s southwest borders. Hugh Bayley, a member of the British parliament for the Labour party, says one of the main topics

News, Security

NATO politicians on visit to Georgia

by | July 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of NATO politicians are arriving in Georgia on Thursday, to meet Georgian politicians and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The delegation is headed by the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, British Labour

News, Security

NATO envoy to Georgia: Courts must act independently

by | July 10, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO envoy James Appathurai says the justice system shouldn't be politically motivated and trials must be conducted independently, without political interference. Appathurai, who is on a visit to Georgia, on Wednesday met with Defense

News, Security

NATO will not offer Georgia a membership plan this year

by | June 26, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO will not offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at a summit in Wales in September, the alliance’s secretary general said on Wednesday. “The Summit in Wales will not be about a Membership Action Plan; but about more support

News, Security

Georgia doesn’t know what Obama’s military assistance means

by | June 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government is unable to say specifically what Barack Obama’s initiative to boost the military capacity of non-NATO partner countries will mean and how the US will assist Georgia, but they welcome the initiative. Georgia’s defense

News, Security

Rasmussen stops short of promising Georgia MAP

by | June 5, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen promises that Georgia’s progress will be assessed at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales, but stops short of saying what the outcome might be. Many Georgians had reckoned that their country would

News, Security

Merkel: NATO not to offer Georgia MAP in September

by | June 2, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--German Chancellor Angela Merkel says NATO will not offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the upcoming summit in Wales in September. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday met Merkel during a visit to Germany. At a joint

News, Security

Georgian minister asks NATO for air defenses

by | May 2, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania asks NATO to install air defenses and other military systems in Georgia. He made the call in a speech at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, on Wednesday. “Now the West has to seize the

News, Security

Georgia’s defense minister to meet Chuck Hagel

by | April 30, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania is to meet Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of Defense. Alasania is on a working visit to the US and plans bilateral meetings at the Pentagon. According to the Georgian Defense Ministry’s press office,

News, Security

Georgian speaker: What will NATO do if Georgia is attacked?

by | April 9, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's speaker of parliament says his country could disappear from the world map if abandoned by NATO. “If Georgia takes step towards NATO, this will cause another aggression from Russia,” Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili said Tuesday

News, Security

NATO chief doesn’t exclude Georgian membership plan

by | April 3, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen does not rule out that the alliance might give Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the summit in Wales in September. At a press conference in Brussels yesterday, a journalist from Georgia's

News, Security

NATO chief reiterates support for Georgia’s borders

by | April 2, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--As NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels and discussed the Ukraine crisis, the alliance's secretary general underlined that it supports Georgia's borders. “At this time, it is more important than ever to stress that the breach of territorial

News, Security

Georgia expecting a ‘benificial decision’ at NATO summit

by | April 1, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is expecting a ‘beneficial decision’ from the NATO summit in Newport, Wales in September. Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili said Monday that a statement made by US President Barack Obama last week was a lesson for him and other

News, Security

Georgians debate Obama’s comment on NATO expansion

by | March 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that there has not been any immediate plans for expansion of NATO’s membership, referring to Ukraine and Georgia. His statement caused protest and criticism among some in Georgia. On Thursday,

News, Security

Georgian soldiers in NATO-Ukraine military exercise

by | March 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian soldiers are participating in a two-week joint NATO-Ukraine military exercise in eastern Bulgaria, 400 km from Crimea. The exercise, which started Friday. is called Saber Guardian and has been planned for about a year. It involves 700

News, Security

SO field meeting highlights border problems and helicopter overflight

by | March 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The parties in the 2008 war met again on Friday for a field meeting in a tent in Ergneti, a village on the border with South Ossetia. These field meetings are formally called Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and hosted by the EU's

News, Security

Georgian president visited soldiers in Afghanistan

by | March 18, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has paid a visit to Afghanistan and met with Georgian soldiers participating in the ISAF mission. Supporters of former President Saakashvili have criticized Margvelashvili for not being active, even though

News, Security

Georgian defense minister visits Italy

by | March 13, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Italy and Georgia will strengthen their defense cooperation, according to a press release published by Georgia's Ministry of Defense. Irakli Alasania, the Georgian defense minister, on Thursday met his Italian colleague Roberta Pinotti during a visit

News, Security

NATO may accept Georgia as member if Russia annexes Crimea

by | March 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia may move one step closer to joining NATO as a result of the Ukraine crisis. If Russia annexes Crimea, NATO will offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP), Russian daily Kommersant reported on Tuesday. The paper based its report on sources

News, Security

Obama to meet Georgian PM at Hague summit

by | March 10, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Barack Obama writes in a letter that he hopes to meet Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili at the third Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague 23-25 March. The US president's letter to Gharibashvili, published on Monday,

News, Security

Georgia to present 2014 reform plan to NATO

by | March 10, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s State Commission for NATO Integration on Monday approved the annual national program (ANP) for 2014, which will be presented to NATO. Alexi Petriashvili, Minister of Euro and Euro-Atlantic Integration, chaired

News, Security

US to fund Georgia’s participation in NATO Rapid Reaction Force

by | February 13, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The United States will finance Georgia’s participation in NATO Rapid Reaction Force, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania says. The NATO Military Committee visited Georgia on February 11 and 12. The delegation was chaired by Committee head Knud Bartels.

News, Security

Head of NATO Military Committee visits Georgia

by | February 12, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Wednesday hosted Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, which is currently visiting Georgia. Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, Chief of Joint Staff, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, and

News, Security

NATO ambassadors encourage new Georgian government

by | February 6, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The new Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says NATO ambassadors gave him positive signals at Wednesday's meeting of the NATO-Georgia commission in Brussels. Gharibashvili said the ambassadors told him the new government has strengthened

News, Security

‘Georgia should convince Russia NATO is not a threat’

by | February 3, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says Georgia should assure Russia that its aspirations to become member of NATO and the EU is not a threat to Russia. He said this in a speech during one of the sessions at the Munich Security Conference. The PM said

News, Security

What Georgia can expect from the Munich Security Conference

by | January 30, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--When the annual Munich Security Conference opens in a few days, it will be the first time Georgia's delegation is headed by the prime minister and not the president. The reason for the change is partly that a constitutional amendment came into force

News, Security

NATO chief: Georgia has made progress

by | January 28, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen writes in his latest annual report that Georgia has made good progress in implementing the reforms required to meet its standards. Rasmussen writes in his 2013 report, which was published on Monday, that NATO

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Georgia creates an additional security council

by | January 25, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has created a consulting group named the Security Council that will work on issues concerning Georgia’s internal and external safety. The council has almost the same duties and responsibilities as the National

News, Security

Constructive dialogue at South Ossetia field meeting

by | January 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) met in the village Ergneti on Tuesday. Representatives of Georgia's Interior Ministry presented footage of Russians installing barbed wire and fences in villages close to the demarcation line

News, Security

The NATO Military Committe to visit Georgia Feb 11-12

by | January 22, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The NATO Military Committee will visit Georgia February 11-12. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said at Tuesday’s briefing that the visit is important, because it means that the military cooperation with NATO is on a new level. "Reforms implemented

News, Security

Russia moves disputed state border near Sochi

by | January 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has created a temporary border zone in the disputed Georgian region Abkhazia. The measure is said to be temporary in connection with the Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi. According to the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Russia has moved its

News, Security

PM to head Georgia’s delegation at Munich Security Conference

by | January 17, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili will lead the Georgian delegation at the annual Munich Security Conference in two weeks. Mikheil Saakashvili, who stepped down as president three months ago, has been representing Georgia in recent

News, Security

Georgia denies claim Russian fighter jets flew over its territory

by | January 16, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia rejects reports that Russian military jets recently violated Georgian airspace. A few days ago, local media reported that five Russian SU-27s and one IL-76 crossed Georgia on January 10 and landed near the Armenian capital

News, Security

NATO top: Georgia can seek membership and be friends with Russia

by | December 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says it is possible for Georgia to have good relations with Russia and at the same time move towards NATO membership. Rasmussen said there are examples of nations that are member of NATO and

News, Security

Georgia renames ministry: not reintegration but reconciliation

by | November 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government has decided to change the name of the Reintegration Ministry into the Ministry of Reconciliation and Civil Equality. The name change will come into force on January 1, 2014. The minister who heads the renamed ministry,

News, Security

Georgia gets new military top

by | November 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Vakhtang Kapanadze has been appointed as chairman of the Joint Staff of Georgia’s armed forces, replacing Irakli Dzneladze. Who should take over as head of the Joint Staff was subject of a conflict between ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili and

News, Security

Election incidents discussed at Ergneti near South Ossetia

by | November 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM) met for the 39th time on Friday. According to the Interior Ministry, Georgia raised the issue of the installation of barbed wire and fences by Russian soldiers in the villages Ergneti, Ditsi and

News, Security

Georgia rules out peace treaty with Abkhazia

by | November 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has ruled out that there will be signed a non-use of force treaty with Abkhazia, because the country does not sign treaties with the breakaway regions. Vyacheslav Chirikba, de facto Foreign Minister of the breakaway region Abkhazia, said after

News, Security

Russia and Georgia to hold talks in Geneva Nov 5

by | November 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new round of Geneva talks will be held November 5-6. It is the 25th time the warring parties of the 2008 Russia-Georgian war meet, and one of the main topics of discussion will be freedom of movement and the installation of barbed wire and fences.

News, Security

Georgia to join NATO Response Force in 2015

by | October 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will join NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2015, NATO's Secretary General says. At a monthly press conference, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that from next month the alliance will conduct a major exercise in Poland and the Baltics states.

News, Security

One man is detained for ‘jihad videos’ against Georgia

by | October 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Tuesday provided details about a several month long investigation into two jihad videos posted on Youtube a few months ago with threats against Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan. His comments were a response

News, Security

Georgia commits to peaceful means to solve border issue

by | September 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry says Georgia can only use peaceful and civilian methods against Russia’s action to move the border to the breakaway region South Ossetia. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Davit Jalaghania said on Monday that Russia

News, Security

US concerned about Russian border activity in contested region

by | September 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The United States expresses concern about Russian soldiers installing wire fences at the South Ossetian border. A statement issued by the US Embassy to Georgia on Friday on instructions of the Department of State says the US is concerned with

News, Security

Russian soldiers cease border activity

by | September 19, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers have halted the installation of wire feinces in the border village of Ditsi near South Ossetia. According to the Interior Ministry, the situation is now peaceful in Ditsi, while police are continuing to patrol and the village.

News, Security

Russian border work is continuing, Georgia protests

by | September 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers are continuing to install wire fences along the border with South Ossetia in the village Ditsi. The fence now run a few meters from the house of the Beruashvili family. But locals say the three houses, which it seemed might end up on

News, Security

Georgia issues appeal about Russian border activity

by | September 18, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry appeals to the international community to take measures in order to prevent illegal actions by Russia in the conflict zone. The appeal comes in response to reports about new activity by Russian soldiers on the

News, Security

Russia and South Ossetia to sign border agreement

by | September 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued an order to sign an agreement with the de facto government of South Ossetia about the ‘state border.’ The order instructs the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs to hold negotiations with the de facto

News, Security

NATO and Georgia hold joint military exercise

by | September 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO on Saturday held a joint exercise with Georgia's coast guard in Batumi. According to the Interior Ministry, three mine sweepers arrived in Batumi on Friday. The aim of the exercise was to demonstrate and test the existing mechanisms

News, Security

New inquest into how Saakashvili regime trained Chechen rebels

by | August 30, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili Thursday announced a separate inquest into the Lapankuri border skirmish in August 2012, which claimed the lives of fourteen people. Nanuashvili told Interpressnews a new inquest is necessary because more than a year has

News, Security

Georgia may take part in UN peacekeeping operations

by | August 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia may take part in UN-led peacekeeping operations. This is clear after a visit to the U.S. by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania. During the visit, Alasania and Irakli Dzneladze, head of Joint Staff of Georgia’s armed forces, met with Edmond

News, Security

Three Georgians detained by Russian soldiers near South Ossetia

by | August 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers Friday detained three Georgian citizens close to the breakaway region South Ossetia. The incident took place as the father of one the detainees, Aleksandre Tsertsvdze, was being driven by his neighbor to the neighboring village,

News, Security

EU calls for restraint after shooting near South Ossetia checkpoint

by | August 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--In the morning of August 10, there was a shooting incident close to the so-called administrative border around South Ossetia. A patrol car of Georgia’s Interior Ministry and representatives of EUMM were present. The Georgian Interior Ministry in

News, Security

Five years since the Russia-Georgia war

by | August 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The situation is still tense in the conflict region five years after the Russia-Georgia war, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and the occupation of two Georgian breakaway territories by Russia. The recent tension was caused by Russian soldiers

News, Security

Medvedev: Razor wire fences were not agreed with me

by | August 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that the installation of razor wire close to the so-called administrative border with South Ossetia was not agreed with the Kremlin. In May, Russian soldiers moved a de facto border line around South

News, Security

NGOs in Georgia appeal to EU to stop Russian border activity

by | July 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian National Platform, a coalition of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), appeals to EU to oppose Russia’s recent border moving and installing of razor wire at the so-called administrative border. The statement says that the Russian

News, Security

Georgia has relocated Afghanistan soldiers

by | July 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Defense Minister Irakli Alasania says Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan have relocated to a safer place after the last attack on one of their bases, which caused the death of seven soldiers. However, the investigation into the Taliban threat video,

News, Security

Appathurai: Georgian troops in Afghanistan are not targeted

by | June 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO envoy James Appathurai says the alliance does not have any evidence that Georgian troops in Afghanistan ‘are specifically targeted.’ Appathurai, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said

News, Security

Georgia to close two bases in Afghanistan

by | June 12, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two of Georgia’s military bases in Afghanistan will be closed, according to the defense minister. In a TV interview on Tuesday Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said that his government, acting on recommendations from its armed forces

News, Security

Two Georgians detained in border area

by | June 11, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards detained a father and son in a village close to the de facto border with breakaway South Ossetia. Zviand and Vakhtang Zghentis were bringing cattle out to graze when they were detained and taken to Tskhinvali. Later the same

News, Security

Georgia’s Security Council to meet to discuss video threat

by | June 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili has called Georgia's National Security Council together for another session in the beginning of this week to discuss a video threat uploaded on Youtube. The video contains threats against Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan

News, Security

Georgia commemmorated fallen soldiers

by | June 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Friday, Georgia commemorated the seven soldiers who died in a suicide attack in Afghanistan the day before. The soldiers were serving in the 42nd infantry brigade at Base Lezernik in Helmand Province. “We took the bodies of our seven heroes

News, Security

Diplomats in Georgia visit border area

by | June 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry in Georgia Friday organized a trip for a few dozen foreign diplomats to villages close to the Russian-controlled breakaway region South Ossetia, where Russian border guards last week moved the border 300 meters into

News, Security

Seven Georgian soldiers die in Afghanistan suicide bombing

by | June 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Seven Georgian soldiers died in a suicide attack in Afghanistan Thursday. President Mikheil Saakashvili has called for a national day of mourning on June 7 and asked that all the flags be lowered. The Ministry of Defense on Thursday informed that

News, Security

Saakashvili rallies people to resist Russia

by | June 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili Wednesday described the moving and fortifying of a de facto border between Georgian- and Russian-controlled territory in place since the war in 2008, as a call for everybody to resist Russian occupation. “This session

News, Security

Georgian soldiers to remain in Afghanistan after 2014

by | June 6, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The NATO-Georgia commission held a session in Brussels on Wednesday as part of a meeting of ministers from member states. The Alliance's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen opened the session by reiterating the importance of Georgia’s

News, Security

Saakashvili calls Security Council session to discuss border issue

by | June 5, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili has called for an unscheduled session of Georgia's National Security Council today at 4 pm. Prime Minister Ivanishvili and several ministers who are abroad will not attend the meeting, but some government officials

News, Security

NATO’s Appaturai calls Russian border activity a violation

by | June 4, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO is concerned about illegal separating constructions in the conflict zone, says the alliance's Caucasus and Central Asia envoy James Appathurai. Last week, Russian soldiers moved the so-called administrative border 300 meters on a point south

News, Security

Two more Georgians detained by Russian border guards

by | May 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers have detained two more Georgian villagers for illegally crossing the so-called administrative border around breakaway South Ossetia. The detainees are Avtandil and Kakha Khaduri. They were detained two days ago and taken to Tskhinvali.

News, Security

Russia silent about South Ossetia border-moving

by | May 31, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Russian Federation has not yet reacted to a diplomatic note of protest from Georgia regarding the moving of the so-called administrative border into Georgian-controlled territory near breakaway South Ossetia. But the Deputy Foreign Affairs

News, Security

South Ossetia downplays importance of border moving

by | May 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border soldiers have again been seen in the village Ditsi, on Georgia controlled territory close to the de facto border with Russian-controlled South Ossetia. On Monday, the first reports came about Russian soldiers in the villages Ditsi and

News, Security

EU observers consider Russian border activity unacceptable

by | May 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The recent installation of fences near Ditsi is unacceptable, EUMM says in a statement. Staff from the EU Monitoring Mission arrived in the village Ditsi, where Russian soldiers have erected new barbed wire which moves the de facto border 300 meters

News, Security

EU’s observer corps studying Russian border activity

by | May 28, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers' moving of the de facto border between Georgian- and Russian-controlled territory is being followed by European Union's observers in the area. Yesterday evening, the European Union Monitoring Mission to Georgia (EUMM)

News, Security

Russia moves de facto border around South Ossetia

by | May 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry in Georgia Monday confirmed that Russian soldiers have moved the de facto border with South Ossetia 200 to 300 meters and is planning to raise the issue at the next meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM).

News, Security

Saakashvili signs Georgia’s new security strategy

by | May 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, has approved the main directions of development of the ministry and Georgia’s armed forces until 2016. The goal of the Strategic Review of Defense 2013-2016, which is a manual for the Defense Ministry,

News, Security

NATO-Georgia Commission discussed visit of NATO tops

by | May 23, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A session of the NATO Georgia commission was held May 22 in Brussels. Ambassadors discussed the planned visit to Georgia of the North Atlantic Council this summer. Zurab Abashidze, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russian Relations,

News, Security

Three dead ISAF soldiers brought back to Georgia

by | May 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The three Georgian soldiers who May 13 died in Afghanistan were today brought back to Georgia. The bodies of Corporal Alexandre Kvitsinidze, Corporal Vladmier Shanava and Sergeant Zviad Davitadze, arrived at Tbilisi airport on Thursday morning.

News, Security

Georgia declares a day of mourning after Afghanistan losses

by | May 16, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, has declared May 16 a day of mourning as a tribute to those Georgian soldiers who have lost lives while serving in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The presidential order says that May 16 will be announced

News, Security

27 Georgians were wounded in attack, some back on duty

by | May 15, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ten of the 27 wounded Georgian soldiers in an insurgent attack have returned to duty in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, while the remaining 17 are still undergoing medical treatment. Part of the wounded may be taken to Germany or brought to

News, Security

Injured ISAF soldiers brought to hospital

by | May 14, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian soldiers who were wounded in yesterday’s attack in Afghanistan are in a satisfactory health condition and have been moved to the main hospital at Base Bastion, according to the Ministry of Defense. Three Georgian soldiers in the 42nd battalion

News, Security

Three Georgian soldiers die in Afghanistan

by | May 13, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three Georgian soldiers died on Monday in Afghanistan in a large attack by insurgents. There are wounded soldiers as well, Defense Minsiter informs. Georgia's Defense Minsiter Irakli Aalasania said Monday that the insurgent attack took place

News, Security

Eleven more Georgians released by South Ossetia

by | May 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Eleven more Georgia citizens have been released from their detention by Russian soldiers. They were detained earlier in May for crossing the border with South Ossetia. The release on Wednesday came after the Ministry of Interior had held

News, Security

FBI’s Robert Mueller visiting Georgia regarding Sochi Olympics

by | May 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Robert Mueller, director of the US federal police FBI, has paid a visit to Georgia in connection with the Olympic winter games in Sochi in 2014. This is Mueller's second visit to Georgia. The first time was in May, 2010, when he discussed deepening

News, Security

Georgia examining bodies of dead Chechen fighters

by | May 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Authorities in Georgia Wednesday conducted a somewhat belated autopsy of the bodies of some of the dead in a special operation along the border with Russia in August, 2012. The shooting in a forested hillside in Lapankuri, near the border between Georgia

News, Security

Ombudsman claims Saakashvili government trained Chechen rebels

by | May 7, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Public Defender says the eleven Chechen fighters who died in a shooting incident at the border between Georgia and Russia in August 2012, were part of an operation by the then Georgian government to train and equip fighters and send

News, Security

Ivanishvili expects NATO membership plan next year

by | May 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The new government expects Georgia to receive a membership action plan (MAP) next year. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said this Tuesday at the 22. anniversary of the Georgian army. The head of government has often had to defend himself against

News, Security

NATO experts discuss reopening Abkhazia railway

by | May 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The plan to reopen a railway through breakaway Abkhazia came up during a NATO seminar in Tbilisi. Lawrence Scott Sheets, South Caucasus Project Director for the International Crisis Group, said during the 83rd Rose Roth Seminar of NATO’s

News, Security

Ivanishvili optimistic about NATO membership prospects

by | April 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--‘A magical recipe for Georgia’s NATO integration without offending Russia is Georgia becoming an interesting country,’ says Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. He said this Monday as he attended the 83rd Rose Roth Seminar of NATO's

News, Security

Ivanishvili says Georgia has softer tone towards Russia

by | April 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Friday that Georgia has softened its tone towards Russia in the new security doctrine. But Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and Secretary of the National Security Council Giga Bokeria deny that Georgia

News, Security

Izvestia claims link between Boston bomber and Georgian intel

by | April 25, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Russian newspaper Izvestia accuses Georgia’s special services of having trained one of the brothers behind the recent Boston marathon bombings, but Georgian officials deny this. According to an article published in Izvestia, Tamerlan Tsarnayev,

News, Security

Georgia offers Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway for ISAF exit

by | April 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia offers NATO to use the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to ship equipment out of Afghanistan after the ISAF mission finishes in 2014, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze says. Construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, one of the largest

News, Security

Georgian soldier goes missing in Afghanistan

by | December 21, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A Georgian soldier serving in Afghanistan has disappeared, according to the defense ministry. The soldier, who was serving as part of the ISAF mission, disappeared on December 19, and no one has seen him since.

News, Security

Georgia raises salaries for its soldiers in Afghanistan

by | December 15, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia’s Defense Ministry plans to improve conditions for Georgian soldiers serving in NATO's ISAF mission to Afghanistan. Defense Minister Irakli Alasania on Friday stated that the salary will be increased for Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan

News, Security

Tbilisi welcomes missile defense despite warning

by | January 20, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch - A Georgian parliamentarian from the governing party welcomes the idea of Georgia as location for parts of the U.S. missile defense system. Davit Darchiashvili, who heads parliament’s EU integration committee, said it while commenting statements by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that if America places parts of its missile defense in Georgia, it would force Russia to aim its offensive weapons at Georgia. The idea of Georgia as location for missile defense was floated one year ago by a group of U.S. senators, because Turkey demanded that if a radar were to be located in that country, information should not be shared with Israel. „We believe the Republic of Georgia’s geographical location would make it an ideal site for a missile defense radar aimed at Iran“, the senators wrote. Georgia did not immedately respond, but in a September interview with Newsweek, president Mikheil Saakashvili said he would accept a missile defense radar in his country. Darchiashvili doesn’t have any information about the perspectives of the placement of these systems in Georgia. He says such issues are not his area of competence, ...

News, Opinion, Security

Fighting in Afghanistan for Georgia’s Security

by | December 29, 2011

Georgia has increased its military presence in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan making it the biggest non-NATO contributor to ISAF operations. The Georgian parliament supported this decision and the Christian Democratic Movement of Georgia voted in favor. This was a well thought-out decision designed for making Georgia a part of a global security network. Although this is was a painful decision and obviously has its downsides, we, Christian Democrats strongly support Georgia's active participation in NATO-led international operations and believe that rather than being just a consumer, Georgia should become an active contributor to the global security system. Today, the most effective way for Georgia to play a role in the world's security system and fight against global terrorism is to be actively involved in ISAF operations in Afghanistan. Taking into account the present developments in Russia, is Georgia taking an unnecessary risk by sending another battalion to Afghanistan? While not being a member of NATO, is it worth having more troops in Afghanistan than a majority of NATO members do? Will the Georgian troops be mobile enough to oppose ...

News, Opinion, Security

The Flanks That Should Be Well Defended

by | December 29, 2011

Pressure for democratic transformation and modernization challenges Georgia from three main “flanks”: Internal stability – that was not a matter for real concern for President Saakashvili until the public unrest in 2007; imperatives of the European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; a proper Ambition and the promises of the ruling party to the public. Difficult to say, which one is more important factor, but in my view the presented order is close to what is the priority. I would start from the ambitions that the Government of Georgia shows towards fast modernization of the country. A motivation is well apparent, and the results in lots of directions are really impressive. Yet the examples of all transition countries show (and Georgia is not an exception) that democratic transformation is the last concern of the governments in this process. It is somehow believed that economic liberties and consolidation of power, security of the state and safety of citizens, i.e strengthening of basic state functions shall be treated as a priority order. That may be echoes still weak public demand on the democratic institutions. Indeed, it ...

News, Security

Georgia’s new national security concept

by | December 24, 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch - Givi Targamadze, chairman of Parliament's Defense and Security Committee, states that the government should use the national security concept as a daily action document. He made this statement on December 23 in parliament as the National Security Concept was approved. This is the second security concept in the history of the country. The Georgian National Security Council began working on it at the beginning of 2011 and the document lists all the challenges the country is facing. It will be approved at the end of the year. Sovereignty and territorial integrity are named as Georgia’s national values in the document; also freedom; democracy and rule of law; prosperity and peace. The national interests of Georgia, according to the document, are providing sovereignty and territorial integrity, strengthening the state institution and the democracy; European and National integration; providing for Georgia’s role as a transit point; providing economic growth; providing national and cultural uniqueness; and demographic security. According to Georgia’s national security concept, the risk exists of Russian aggression, because the final goal of the Russian Federation in August was not the occupation of ...

News, Security

Georgia opens way for Russia to WTO

by | October 28, 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch - Georgia has agreed to a proposal from Swiss intermediaries which if adopted will lead to Russia becoming member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Russian position is not yet known. Russia joining WTO has become more of a pressing issue during the last few years. What stood in the way was the fact that Russia refused to fulfill the Georgian government’s main request, which involves the opening of customs checkpoints between Russia and Georgia, the lifting of Russia's embargo on Georgian goods as well as issues connected to the war in August 2008. But still Russia has not lost sight of the WTO membership up till today. It is not surprising, considering how it will make things easier for the country in its relations with the members. Besides, USA and Europe both had been involved in this process in the recent times. The Georgian government was still not going to give up its positions. But yesterday, Foreign Affairs Ministry officially confirmed that Georgia agreed on the proposal prepared by Swiss intermediaries. “Swiss intermediaries presented those proposals. It implies to set ...

News, Security

Troop replacement in Afghanistan

by | October 15, 2011

Georgia's light infantry Battalion #31 has just left for Afghanistan. It consists of 749 soldiers and will replace Battalion #33. The troop Georgian replacement takes place within the framework of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operation in the country. The Georgian peacekeeping battalion will carry out its mission alongside American troops in Helmand province. They will be involved in an operation together with US marines which will last for six months. This is the second troop replacement for battalion #31. According to Georgia's Defense Ministry, the battalion has had a six-month intensive pre-deployment training before participating in the peacekeeping operation. The Georgian soldiers were preparing for the operation under the the guidance of the United States' Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group. They studied defense, requisition, clearance and containment, as well as convoy operations, evacuation procedures of the wounded and relations with leaders and inhabitants. Since April 2010 Georgian troops’ third infantry brigade’s battalion #31’s 749 soldiers has been stationed in Helmand province in Southern Afghanistan, according to the Ministry’s official data. The battalion has been performing the full spectrum of operations ...

News, Security

Three detained Georgians released

by | October 9, 2011

South Ossetia Sunday released three Georgians who were charged of illegally crossing the so-called state border, Kavkaz Uzel reported. The three Georgian citizens Gaioz Gulitashvili, Murad Macharashvili and Vaja Sauri were arrested near the villages Perevi and Medjvriskhevi north west of Tskhinvali while out working on their fields on October, 5. They had been detained for three days. “You have just crossed the border, they told me before arresting me,” one of the released told Georgia's public broadcaster, First Channel. “I had not crossed the border, I told them. It’s my territory, my cornfield. We’ll find out it later, they told me and took me.” After being handed over to Georgian law enforcers, the three were interrogated and then allowed to return home. The same day as they were detained, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested the so-called South Ossetian authorities to immediately release the three. In a statement about this latest incident, Georgia and the United States expressed "concern over the illegal detention of so-called border violations by residents adjacent to the administrative border with the Tskhinvali region areas," the online news agency reports. On ...

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