Politics

Georgian president vetoes National Bank bill

by | July 31, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Friday vetoed a controversial National Bank bill which would mean that the government takes charge of the supervision of private banks. The president made his reasons for blocking the bill,

Security

Georgian released from South Ossetian prison after talks

by | 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

News

Interpol calls off search for former Georgian defense minister

by | July 31, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Interpol has called off its search for former Georgian Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili, because the case is believed to be politically motivated. Also an application by Georgia to declare former President Mikheil Saakashvili wanted has been rejected

Sport

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

by | July 31, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch-Georgia took two more gold on Thursday in the European junior Olympics which are currently being held in Tbilisi. Mzia Beboshvili won in 52kg women’s judo category, defeating her opponent Ilse Buren from the Netherlands. “Everyone

News

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

by | July 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s woman defense minister decided to live the life of a soldier and discovered that the food they are being served is not good enough. The last few days, Tina Khidasheli has been living as a soldier. At a presentation of a new diner

Youth

GEM Fest kicks off in Anaklia, Georgia

by | July 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Gem Fest starts Thursday in Anaklia, a beach resort on the Black Sea coast close to the border with Abkhazia. Georgian Electronic Music Festival will last from July 30 to August 7 and is carried out with the support of the Georgian

Sport

Youth Olympics: Georgia takes five medals in judo

by | July 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has won five medals so far in the European Youth Olympic Festival, which is being held in Tbilisi. All medals, one gold and four bronze, were won in judo. Robinzon Beglasrishvili Wednesday won gold in men’s 60kg category,

News

Ivanishvili donates one million dollars to treat wounded soldiers

by | July 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Prime Minister and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is donating one million dollars to support wounded soldiers, according to Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli. She told journalists on Wednesday that Ivanishivli had to finance the treatment

News

Public Defender criticizes TV exposé about virginity

by | July 29, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Public Defender has criticized a TV report concerning a family conflict which for openly reporting about the personal life of a young couple. The report was aired Sunday on Imedi TV and describes a newlywed couple living in the northwest

In brief

Georgian released by South Ossetia after paying USD 33 fine

by | July 29, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A man who was detained by Russian border guards Saturday was freed on Tuesday, after paying a fine. Davit Khuroshvili, from the village Khurvaleti, bordering breakaway South Ossetia, was detained for violating the border.

News

Daily life in the shadow of South Ossetia

by | July 29, 2015

An inhabitant of Chvrinisi, a Georgian village located right at the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia, tells about his daily life in the conflict zone. ‘There is no fence at the border in our village’, Vakhtang, an inhabitant of Chvrinisi tells DF Watch.

News

Exposé about young bride’s virginity causes outrage in Georgia

by | July 29, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The question of whether a bride must be a virgin has become a hotly debated topic in Georgia after a man beat his new young wife after the wedding. The report shown on Imedi TV on Sunday also revived a discussion of how journalist go about

Youth

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

by | July 28, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Placebo, a British band which recently played at Tbilisi Open Air festival, has donated about USD 40,000 to the victims of the flood on June 13-14. The website Indiegogo, which raises funds for charity, said it had received USD 39,974 from Placebo

News

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

by | July 28, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--In a new report, the U.S. Department of State says Georgia has had progress in fighting human trafficking. The 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report report, which was published Tuesday, says the Georgian government does not fully comply with the minimum

News

EU representative’s car hits and kills 15 year old in Georgia

by | July 28, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A car belonging to the European Union Delegation to Georgia ran into a 15 year old boy on Sunday causing his death. The accident happened 30km away from the capital Tbilisi. An EU delegation spokesperson confirmed to DF Watch

Sport

Tbilisi Olympic festival not prepared for people with special needs

by | July 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Youth Olympic Festival does not have proper infrastructure for people with special needs, according to Georgia’s ombudsman. Rustavi 2 reported Sunday that wheelchair users and others with special needs who wanted

In brief

Georgian murder suspect detained in Bulgaria

by | July 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian murder suspect who was wanted by Interpol was Monday detained in Bulgaria. According to Georgia’s Interior Ministry, the 43 year old was detained in Silistra. He has been wanted by Georgian law enforcement since 2009

Environment

Tbilisi flood was preceded by more than 100mm of rainfall

by | July 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new study shows that there was more than 100 mm of precipitation the night of June 13-14, when a disastrous flood killed at least 19 people in Tbilisi. Three are still missing after the flood, which destroyed many houses and cars

Sport

European Youth Olympic Festival opened in Tbilisi

by | July 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Youth Olympic Festival opened in Tbilisi Sunday evening. About 1,500 people attending the opening ceremony at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. The ceremony lasted about two hours and included Georgian national dances

News

Georgian man detained at South Ossetia border

by | July 26, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards Saturday detained a man in a village bordering with Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia. Davit Khuroshvili, 48, from Khurvaleti was detained for violating the border. Locals claim he was detained in his own garden.

Interviews

Europe Needs a New Narrative

by | July 25, 2015

New Eastern Europe A Bimonthly Dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe An interview with John Kornblum, American diplomat, businessman and former US ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Interviewer: Matthew Luxmoore. Interview was

News

Georgian defense minister asks Ukraine to explain Saakashvili’s statements

by | July 25, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli has asked Ukraine’s government to explain whether they take responsibility for statements made by former Georgian President Mikheil Saaksahvili, who is now governor of Odessa.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 18–24 July 2015

by | July 25, 2015

DFWatch (18–24 July 2015) Daghestan A policeman and a suspected militant were killed in a shootout in the Tabasaran district on 19 July. A group of unidentified people opened fire to a group of policemen in the forest near the village of Akka.

News

PM accuses president of promoting Saakashvili’s party

by | July 24, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday accused President Giorgi Margvelashvili of being pro-National Movement, after the latter pardoned the brother of a member of that party, which is opposed to the government. Among 98 prisoners

Minorities

Akhalkalaki media: Tbilisi should not fear Armenian separatism

by | July 24, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Georgia should not fear separatism in Samtskhe-Javakheti, writes jnews, an Akhalkalaki-based news website. In a meeting, organized by the Go Group Media back in June, journalists

News

Jachvliani: EBRD should award me for publicity

by | July 23, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - A member of parliament from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, whose apparent confusion of the abbreviation for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with a brothel has become an instant hit in social media, came forward of Thursday in his attempt to explain his awkward speech a day earlier.

Environment

Hail hits Kakheti wine heartland

by | July 23, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Hailstorm once again hit Telavi and Kvareli municipalities, heartland of Georgia’s grape growing and wine producing Kakheti region in Eastern Georgia, badly damaging famous vineyards, as well as watermelon and corn fields.

Politics

Georgian MP confused EBRD with a brothel

by | July 23, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A member of parliament from the governing coalition on Wednesday defended himself against what he thought was innuendo implying that he had visited a brothel. The speech by Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director who is also

In brief

57 kg of amphetamine found in car

by | July 23, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry in Georgia seized more than 57 kg of amphetamine on Tuesday. The drugs were found in the car of a man who attempted to cross the border with Armenia at Sadakhlo. As the police checked the Toyota Land Cruiser,

Politics

Gomelauri confirmed as head of Georgia’s new counterintelligence

by | July 22, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri was approved as new head of the State Security Service on Wednesday, as the ministry he has headed until now is split in two. Facing questions from parliamentarians, Gomelauri said that one

News

Donald Tusk sees off Georgian soldiers bound for Central African Republic

by | July 22, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--At the end of his two-day visit to Georgia, President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Tuesday attended a meeting with Georgian soldiers preparing to leave for the Central African Republic. He wished the soldiers good luck and thanked

News

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

by | July 22, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Public Defender has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate a possible crime which took place in March, 2011. A person with the initials L.L. was detained by strangers and brought to the Prosecutor General’s Office,

In brief

Georgia police seize 7 kilos of cocaine at Sarpi

by | July 21, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday seized more than seven kilograms of cocaine. According to the ministry, a 25 year old Lebanese man attempted to leave Georgia with the cocaine but was arrested at the checkpoint in Sarpi, at the border

Security

Donald Tusk visits Georgia’s disputed border zone

by | 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,

News

Donald Tusk visits Georgia, takes sides in border dispute

by | July 21, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Monday sided with Georgia in a conflict over the installation of border signs with South Ossetia, calling the signs a provocation. The signs are placed along the old ‘administrative border’

Security

Both sides speak of provocations at South Ossetia field meeting

by | 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

News

Saakashvili gives up his Georgian citizenship

by | July 21, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili is giving up his native citizenship, according to Ukrainian media. According to Ukrainian Pravda, Saakashvili is ‘in the process’ of rejecting his Georgian citizenship. He was given Ukrainian

Interviews

Interview: Kenneth Yalowitz on how Georgia is developing

by | July 20, 2015

DFWatch recently had a Skype chat with Kenneth Yalowitz, former US Ambassador to Georgia, to discuss current events in Georgia, its Euro-Atlantic integration and issues in the region. Yalowitz extended his condolences to the victims of a recent flood in Tbilisi

Politics

Georgia’s interior minister will head new security service

by | July 20, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has named current Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri as new head of the State Security Service, a body that is created as the MIA is split in two. If confirmed by parliament, Gomelauri will leave his

In brief

Husband of Georgian singer arrested for possession of drugs

by | July 20, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia on Sunday arrested the husband of a well-known singer at Tbilisi airport after he was found carrying drugs. Kakha Mamulashvili is a producer, but better known as the husband of the Georgian singer Lela Tsurtsumia.

News

Anti-occupation protest with anti-governmental undertones

by | July 20, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Representatives of the civil society, science, and media lead the protest triggered by the latest developments at the border with South Ossetia and blame the government for inaction. Around thousand people gathered in front of the State Chancellery in Tbilisi on 18

News

Who wants to use Tbilisi’s Atoneli residence?

by | July 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Security Council (NSC) has turned down an offer to use the residence on Atoneli Street as office. The residence used to house the U.S. embassy, but was refurbished to be used for the president’s office. This, however,

News

South Ossetia investigating border sign removal

by | July 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia has initiated a criminal investigation of the journalists who recently pulled down a border sign demarcating the breakaway region and replaced it with a Georgian flag. According to South Ossetia’s official news agency RES,

Minorities

LGBT rights activist assaulted allegedly for his appearance

by | July 18, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Interior Ministry launched criminal investigation into physical attack on employee of the NGO working in the field of protecting rights of sexual minorities in Georgia. Levan Berianidze, of NGO Identoba,

News

Russia to ease visa rules for Georgians

by | July 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia promises to ease visa rules for Georgian citizens. The news of this came after talks in Prague between a Georgian and a Russian diplomat. The Abashidze-Karasin talks were launched after Georgian Dream came to power in 2012.

In brief

Donald Tusk to visit Georgia July 20

by | July 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--President of the European Council Donald Tusk will arrive in Tbilisi on July 20 for a two day visit. Tusk was invited by President Giorgi Margvelashvili. The two will have a bilateral meeting, and afterward answer questions at a joint press conference.

News

Locals unhappy about South Ossetia border protests

by | July 17, 2015

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

News

Another border incident: Georgian flag removed by armed Ossetian servicemen

by | July 16, 2015

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

News

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

by | July 16, 2015

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

In brief

Fire in Tbilisi department store injures eleven

by | July 16, 2015

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

News

Bill to reform Prosecutor General’s Office seen as ineffective

by | July 16, 2015

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

Politics

Georgian president signs law that will split Interior Ministry

by | July 16, 2015

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

Economy

Remittances to Georgia plummet by a fifth

by | July 15, 2015

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

NGO news

NGOs urge Georgia to overhaul its strategy towards Russia

by | July 15, 2015

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

News

Gas explosion in Tbilisi kills five

by | July 15, 2015

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

News

Georgian journalists trampled, removed Russian-installed border sign

by | July 14, 2015

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

Minorities

ECHR ruling is vital for all minority movements in Georgia

by | July 14, 2015

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

News

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

by | July 14, 2015

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

News

President awards Kaladze with Order of Honor

by | July 14, 2015

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

News

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

by | July 14, 2015

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

Economy

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

by | July 13, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2015 was 13 percent less than last year, according to preliminary figures from Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat. According to the short monthly report, Georgia’s foreign trade

Sport

Ticket sale for UEFA Super Cup ends

by | July 13, 2015

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

Opinion

Georgia’s Magna Carta

by | July 13, 2015

Shakespeare would no doubt concur that democracy has an element of drama. In this drama, a constitution may be likened to a play, minus the actors. Setting the scene, a constitution lays out the notion of a state, like the preamble of a play. Articulating the script,

Sport

Thousands waited for UEFA Super Cup tickets

by | July 12, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Several thousand people showed up in Vake Park near Meskhi stadium on Saturday to buy tickets for the UEFA Super Cup match between Sevilla and Barcelona in Tbilisi on August 11. The Georgian Football Federation (GFF)

Sport

Georgians lining up to buy tickets for UEFA Super Cup

by | July 11, 2015

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

News

Plans for new spacious Tbilisi zoo presented

by | July 11, 2015

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

News

Georgia splits its Interior Ministry in two

by | July 10, 2015

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

News

Burjanadze: Ukraine will never get Crimea back

by | July 10, 2015

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

Sport

Azerbaijani football supporters take revenge on Georgians with map

by | July 10, 2015

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

News

Prosecutors in Georgia investigating alleged beating of woman by police

by | July 9, 2015

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

Environment

Small landslide in village near Tbilisi, origin of catastrophic flood

by | July 9, 2015

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

Economy

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

by | July 9, 2015

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

News

Abkhazia–Russia relations under strain following pressure

by | July 9, 2015

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

Sport

Tbilisi almost ready to host UEFA Super Cup

by | July 8, 2015

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

Youth

KaZantip manager calls Georgians ‘ridiculous’ for removing sculpture

by | July 8, 2015

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

Sport

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

by | July 8, 2015

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

News

Ukraine detains two high officials for corruption

by | July 8, 2015

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

Economy

National Bank recommends reducing expenses

by | July 7, 2015

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

In brief

Turkish captain fined $20,000

by | July 7, 2015

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

News

Trade Unions: 14 construction workers killed in 2014 accidents

by | July 7, 2015

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

News

Update: Building collapse in Tbilisi causes four deaths

by | July 6, 2015

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

Interviews

Sleazy 90s transition – Paul Manning on “Shevardnadze Era” in Georgia

by | July 6, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--When I heard Paul Manning, an anthropologist from Trent University (Canada) is visiting Tbilisi, I knew I had to meet him. Not only because of his papers on  toasts and supra culture, cartoons during the Rose Revolution, notion of terror in Pankisi,

Economy

Economy minister sees no threat to flow of remittances from Greece

by | July 6, 2015

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

In brief

Houses burned by bush fire in southern Georgia

by | July 6, 2015

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

Minorities

LGBT* community in Georgia has bigger concerns than same sex marriages

by | July 5, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Same sex marriage legislation in the U.S. is a landmark decision, but LGBT* people in Georgia have bigger problems than not being allowed to get married. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriages country wide

News

Escaped zoo tiger found dead in Tbilisi

by | July 5, 2015

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

News

Suspected Georgian mafia boss and 35 others arrested in Spain

by | July 4, 2015

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

Sport

Georgian football fans accused of trampling on Azerbaijanian flag

by | July 4, 2015

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

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Review 23–30 June 2015

by | July 4, 2015

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

In brief

Saudi crown prince donates money to Tbilisi flood victims

by | July 3, 2015

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

Interviews

Interview: How has Georgia changed since 2012?

by | July 3, 2015

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

News

Former defense minister charged with appropriation of property

by | July 3, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Prosecutor  General’s Office on Thursday charged a former defense minister with appropriation of property from private persons during his time in office. The Prosecutor General’s Office said Davit Kezerashvili in August, 2010,

In brief

Suspicious meat seized in Tbilisi

by | July 3, 2015

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

News

Georgian volunteer soldier reported dead in Ukraine

by | July 3, 2015

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

News

Georgia’s National Bank raises refinancing rate to 5.5%

by | July 2, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bank of Georgia is increasing the refinancing rate because of an expected increase in inflation, which means that loans for a certain category of clients will get more expensive. The explanation given for the National

News

Ukraine’s ‘Georgian’ minister resigns

by | July 2, 2015

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

In brief

9% more visitors to Georgia in June

by | July 2, 2015

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

News

20 year old detained for raping 11 year old boy

by | July 1, 2015

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

NGO news

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

by | July 1, 2015

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

News

Dead zoo animals pulled out of river in Tbilisi

by | July 1, 2015

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

Sport

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

by | July 1, 2015

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

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