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 Su-25 is a severely outdated aircraft which requires spare parts that are produced in Russia,
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,
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
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.
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
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
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,
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,
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament on Tuesday started reviewing a proposal to abolish compulsory military service and move to a professional military based on contracts. The goal of the bill is to redirect finances spent for compulsory military service
TBILISI, DFWatch--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--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--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--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--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--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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
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).
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,
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...