TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian TV company on Sunday announced that it will suspend two popular political talk shows ‘temporarily’ until 2016, promising to change their format and offer viewers ‘a new product.’ Imedi’s decision was met with a negative response from viewers.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Six men broke into a dolphinarium in Batumi on Sunday, and demanded that the dolphins be set free. The six activists were all detained and questioned. According to Batumi Dolphinarium’s management, the group broke
DFWatch (22–28 August 2015) Daghestan Former mayor of Makhachkala, Said Amirov, was sentenced to life by a court in Rostov-on-Don on 27 August. His relative Yusup Dzhaparov was sentenced to 18 years in penal colony.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A former police officer was shot and killed outside Tbilisi Friday night. A former deputy interior minister was seriously injured. The deceased is Revaz Kalomletsavi, a cousin of the injured, Levan Gvazava, who is in hospital with bullet-inflicted
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia sees the opening of NATO’s new training facility in Georgia as a ‘continuation of the provocative policy of the alliance aimed at expanding its geopolitical influence.’ NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday opened
TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is visiting Batumi, a seaside city on the Black Sea coast. Yushchenko, who became famous as one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution in 2004, is accompanied by his wife and not visiting
Tserakvi, DFWatch - Festival brings south Georgia’s multi-ethnic community together with visitors from Armenia and Azerbaijan for music, art, sport, and activism. One Caucasus Festival kicked off yesterday in Tserakvi in Marneuli district, turning the tiny village into a lively melting pot of local and international guests. The festival will last for three days. While it certainly attracts many visitors for its musical programme, including artists from the South Caucasus, Poland, and Senegal, there is a strong family-friendly dimension to the festival, such as sport, dance, and art activities for children and teenagers, which proves very popular among the local community. The festival also includes participatory budget workshops aimed at increasing local participation and activism in the district. DF Watch talked to the festival’s cofounder and coordinator in Georgia Lado Mextiyev who explained the festival’s history and its raison d’être. ‘The idea for the festival was born in 2012 while working on our previous project “Art Zone” in Kakheti, which was aimed at spreading the Polish culture abroad. Within the project’s framework, we conducted meetings with representatives of intelligentsia from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. ...
Tbilisi, DFWatch - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Thursday unveiled new Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in Georgia during his first visit to the country. The centre is located inside the functioning military facility at Krtsanisi settlement,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Ethnic Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian activists from Marneuli district take part in preparations for the One Caucasus Festival to be held on 27–29 August in the village of Tserakvi.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards on Tuesday detained two Georgian citizens who were out attending cattle in Bershueti, which borders with the breakaway region South Ossetia. The detainees are Muraz Javakhishvili (75) and Ivane Sekhniashvili (41).
TBILISI, DFWatch--A seven meter tall steel statue which is one of the coastal city’s most important tourist attractions was damaged while being moved. The Nino and Ali statue stands on the seafront and portrays a man and a woman. It is lit up by colored
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s currency lari has reached its lowest level since 1999, but the government is optimistic and blames media and analysts of being incompetent and engaging in speculating. The lari is now at 2.416 against the US dollar, near the all-time low
TBILISI, DFWatch--Heavy rain battered the Black Sea port of Batumi on Tuesday, causing flooding. Several streets including the entrance to the city were blocked by the flood, while rescue workers tried to help with the first floors of buildings that were full of water.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi’s futuristic House of Justice has once again run into difficulties, this time because cracks appeared on one of its trademark “petals”. People will be restricted from walking under the damaged area from August 25 because of the danger,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s National Food Agency on Monday said there has been found Listeria bacteria in ice cream of the brand "Saojakho". The contaminated products originate from the Mkinvari factory in Samtredia, a town in the western Imereti region of Georgia.
A group of Abkhaz football fans faced harsh criticism in Abkhazia for travelling to Tbilisi for the UEFA Super Cup. The UEFA Super Cup football match between Spanish teams,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Last year, rivalry between Georgia's top two men over who would represent the country at the UN climate conference led to weeks of uncertainty and squabbling. That time, the president had to back down.
"I think that Georgia is almost there when it comes to fulfilling the visa liberalization action plan. Now it is up to the member states of the EU to decide. I think that people in Georgia deserve visa-free regime. I see no reason now to delay it further,'' says Boris Iarochevitch, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union since 2011, said.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Tbilisi on Sunday detained three employees of CT Park for illegal deprivation of liberty. CT Park is the company responsible for parking in the capital. Earlier that day, the three detainees moved a car parked near Eliava market
TBILISI, DFWatch--Many tourists were airlifted by helicopter on Sunday after being stuck in Tusheti in the northeast of Georgia due to bad weather. Emergency crews evacuated more than 350 people by helicopter from the disaster zone, and brought
DFWatch (15–21 August 2015) Dagestan According to National Antiterrorist Committee of Russia, the leader of the Vilayyat Daghestan Mountainous Sector of the Caucasian Emirate, Gadzhi Abdullayev (known as Abu Dujana), was killed in course of the
TBILISI, DFWatch--A minibus overturned in western Georgia on Saturday, injuring 11 people, three of whom are in a serious condition. The minibus, a Ford Sprinter, was carrying tourists from Russia, Serbia and Poland when it ran into a utility pole, near the village
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Sports Ministry has handed a property in Tbilisi to a Georgian who is a professional NBA player in the United States, playing for Dallas Mavericks. Zaza Pachulia, who is also captain of Georgia’s national team, plans to establish
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Civil Litigation Chamber at Tbilisi City Court ruled in favor of a female claimant and decided to leave a frozen embryo at her disposal. Her husband was against surrogacy. At a press release published on its website, Tbilisi City Court states that the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Over a dozen wine-producing villages in Kvareli, in the Kakheti region, were hit by a strong hailstorm overnight on Thursday that almost totally devastated the harvest, damaged houses and vehicles and tore down trees. According to Kvareli
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has stepped up efforts to use 'soft power' in Georgia through state-sponsored non-governmental organizations and it would be difficult for the Caucasus nation to fend off pretensions of its assertive neighbor, the head of a Russian NGO says.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Culture Ministry on Thursday granted cultural heritage status to the Enguri hydro power dam, one of the world's tallest concrete arch dams. The dam is 271 meters tall and is located partially on the territory of breakaway Abkhazia.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prosecutors in Georgia are searching for another suspect in the investigation into the murder of a human rights activists seven months ago. As the trial of a man suspected of murdering Iuri Vazagashvili continued Thursday, a lawyer representing
Tbilisi, DFWatch - A principal dancer at Tbilisi ballet company drowned Wednesday in a lake in Pankisi Gorge, Eastern Georgia. According to the Emergency Management Agency at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, accident occurred when Giorgi Mshvenieradze, 25, a prominent ballet
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to respect international law after a Russian helicopter overflew Georgian-controlled territory. According to the ministry, the incident took place at 10:57am on August 19. A Russian military helicopter
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister blames business leaders for causing the instability of the national currency lari by keeping their money in US dollars. Irakli Garibashvili explained Wednesday during a visit to Batumi, a city on Black Sea coast,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police Wednesday seized more than 5kg of cocaine at Tbilisi airport and detained four people. The large drugs bust indicates a new transit route, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says. The detainees are two citizens of Brazil born in 1979
TBILISI, DFWatch--Four were detained Wednesday, after a street fight a few days ago in Kobuleti, a town on the Black Sea coast. A video posted in social media indicates that the fight was between ethnic Georgians and Dagestanis. The video, which is about
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall on Wednesday met with the company that won the tender to construct a hotel complex on Mirza Shafi Street in the old part of the capital. Apart from Vice Mayor Dimitri Kumsishvili and members of the commission
TBILISI, DFWatch--The owners of Rustavi 2 fear that the seizure of the TV company’s property may cause it to go bankrupt. The court ordered the seizure of Rustavi 2’s property more than a week ago on the grounds of a lawsuit by its former owner Kibar Khalvashi.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A man has been charged with murder after one person died during tree-felling. The incident happened a few days ago in Ananuri, in the Dusheti region. Three people were out cutting trees when a tree fell on a passer-by, killing him on the spot.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Zoo will reopen in September, after being closed for several months following a flood that partly destroyed it on June 14. It’s a much reduced compound visitors are welcomed back to, with less than half of the animals and
TBILISI, DFWatch--There are traffic restrictions on the road through Dariali Valley, in the the north of Georgia, an area which was last year hit by several devastating landslides. The Road Department says the restrictions will be in force until August 30. The decision was made on recommendation from Georgia’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia increased 87 percent in 2014, compared to the year before, according to precise data published by the National Statistics Department. The report, which was published on Monday, says investments
TBILISI, DFWatch--A traffic accident in Khobi in the western part of Georgia claimed the life of a 23 year old man Sunday evening. The accident happened in the village Khamiskuri when an Opel car crashed into a motorcycle with two persons on it. One of
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Republic of Georgia is faced with a dilemma: which of the country’s two top people shall attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York in six weeks? Both the president and prime minister are invited and want to attend.
TBILISI, DFWatch--While transphobia remains a societal and legal issue in Georgia, NGO activists try to raise awareness of the problem and exercise pressure on the authorities. As some in Georgia are still
DFWatch (8–14 August 2015) Daghestan According to the Russian Investigative Committee, leader of the Caucasian Emirate, Magomed Suleymanov (A.K.A. Abu Usman Gimrinskiy),
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has expanded the list of countries subject to trade embargo, but Georgia is not on the list. The move comes as a response to new sanctions by Western countries against Russia and includes Albania, Montenegro, Iceland
TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups in Georgia on Friday launched a petition demanding to punish the person who was recently acquitted of murdering a transgender woman in Tbilisi on the grounds that he was acting in self-defense. The organization Women’s
TBILISI, DFWatch--The jury on Friday found two members of the personal security detail of Zurab Zhvania guilty of negligence leading to the PM's death in 2005. Ten members of the jury agreed with the charges laid out by the prosecutors, while two were against.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Council on Wednesday approved a controversial construction project in the old part of the capital. The decision is bound to further enrage activists, who have been campaigning against the project. The plans for Mirza
TBILISI, DFWatch--Remittances to Georgia in July went down by 31.8 percent compared to last year, according to the latest monthly report by National Bank of Georgia (NBG). In total, USD 93.4 million was sent to Georgia in July, 2015. Money transfers
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bank of Georgia further increased the refinancing rate to 6.0 percent on Wednesday. The Bank’s president, Giorgi Kadagidze, said at a briefing that increasing the refinancing rate by half a percent is a response to an increased
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is not rushing to suspend the citizenship of its ex-president, Mikheil Saakashvili. The justice ministry is awaiting an official notice from Ukraine. The former president, who is now governor of Odessa, received Ukrainian citizenship a few months
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers a few days ago detained another Georgian for violating the border with breakaway South Ossetia. Mamuka Samkharadze (36) was out collecting firewood near the village Kirbala, which borders on the breakaway region.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2015 was 14 percent less than last year, according to preliminary figures from Georgia’s National Statistics Department, GeoStat. According to the short monthly report, Georgia’s foreign
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Defense Ministry employees who are awaiting trial for embezzlement of state money have been given their jobs back. Giorgi Lobzanidze and Archil Alavidze were released in June along with three colleagues after spending about
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian priest at a mountain monastery on the border with South Ossetia says Russian soldiers often come there to pray. Abbot Mate Julakidze says he was compelled to provide an explanation after some people wrote on the Internet
TBILISI, DFWatch--Barcelona won last night’s UEFA Super Cup 5-4 against Sevilla, which was played at Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi. It was the team’s fifth Super Cup win in a row. Sevilla scored the first goal, but Barcelona scored three goals, ending the first half 3-1.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two policemen were wounded during a special operation in Tbilisi on Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, two employees of the central criminal police were wounded in Ponichala, a suburb in the eastern part of the capital
TBILISI, DFWatch--The head of the Georgian Football Federation resigns after an epic UEFA Super Cup in which Barcelona beat Sevilla during extra time with a final score 5-4. "As it is in Big Football, a person should leave on his peak," Zviad Sichinava, Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--A policeman was shot on duty in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region on Monday, during a house call about domestic violence. Police received a call about family violence in the village Zemo Alvani, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. When police
TBILISI, DFWatch--Everything is set for this year’s UEFA Super Cup final between Barcelona and Sevilla. It begins at 22:45pm at Dinamo Arena in Tbilisi. Before the match there will be a display of Georgian folk dances and a rendition of the UEFA Super Cup anthem.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A member of parliament from the National Movement claims he had was illegally detained by the police last night. The Interior Ministry denies this and has published a video of the detention. Giorgi Karbelashvili Monday said he was stopped
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Monday allowed a lawsuit against the TV company Rustavi 2 to proceed. Rustavi 2’s lawyer claims that the lawsuit has no legal basis. The case was filed by the businessman Kibar Khalvashi, who was once
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian TV channels reported Monday that one more of the country’s volunteer fighters had died in the war in southeastern Ukraine. 24 year old Giorgi Barateli’s death was reported by the Ukrainian website Tsenzor, which quoted Georgian
TBILISI, DFWatch--The original owners of a Georgian TV company whose property was seized a few days ago by a court, claimed on Sunday that it is controlled by the opposition party National Movement and that it ‘has nothing to do with independent media.’
Gali, DFWatch - As the Abkhazian de facto government fails to adopt constructive integration policies, many ethnic Georgians living in the eastern districts of Abkhazia complain about prejudice as well as political, economic, and cultural discrimination.
DFWatch - (1–7 August 2015) Daghestan Two men were killed by security forces in Suleyman Stalskiy region in the south of Daghestan on 6 August.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s two main internet providers have decided to merge, but need permission from the National Communication’s Commission (GNCC). Currently Silknet and Caucasus Online are the only two companies offering internet connection
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Friday unexpectedly acquitted a man of premeditated murder and sentenced him instead to four years in prison for beating another victim the same evening. Levan Kochlashvili was on trial for having physically
TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Tbilisi on Friday ordered the seizure of all property owned by Georgia's biggest independent TV company, Rustavi 2 reported on its website. According to the statement, the decision was passed on Wednesday, August 5,
Georgia’s greatest obstacle to becoming a European democracy is the persistence of an informal system of political governance. Though most welcomed the change of government in 2012, the signs were there early on: When then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Bureau of Enforcement late Thursday evening seized vehicles belonging to the Georgian opposition-leaning TV company Rustavi 2. The seizure came as result of a court plea submitted by Kibar Khalvashi, a Georgian businessman
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is not planning to join another round of sanctions against Russia, Prime Minister Garibashvili said on Thursday. The sanctions were imposed by European countries as punishment for Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year. Garibashvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two people died and one was seriously injured in a car crash in eastern Georgian Wednesday. Local media report that a Toyota SUV and a BMW crashed on a road near the village Shroma in Lagodekhi region. Five people were injured
TBILISI, DFWatch--Part of Tbilisi's minibus drivers went on strike Wednesday morning, demanding a reduction in the daily fee they pay to the company. The company, Tbilisi Minibus, demands 55 laris (USD 24) a day from each driver, which they have to pay at the end
TBILISI, DFWatch--A massive fire at a Tbilisi bazaar on Tuesday claimed the lives of two people. The bodies were found at night at Eliava, in the center of the capital. The bodies could not be immediately identified, as they had been burned almost to ashes,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian wine producers may be hit by another Russian embargo as the Kremlin draws up plans to retaliate against the extension of European sanctions. The Russian consumer safety bureau Rospotrebnadzor apparently is preparing
TBILISI, DFWatch--As Bidzina Ivanishvili’s party is ramping up for the 2016 parliamentary election, it is still unknown whether Georgian Dream will run as a coalition, as in previous elections. The political council of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia
TBILISI, DFWatch--A huge plume of smoke seen over Tbilisi Tuesday afternoon turned out to be a fire in a warehouse selling paint at a bazaar in the city center. Rescue workers evacuated people from the warehouse at Eliava bazaar on the left bank of the Mtkvari river and
TBILISI, DFWatch--An explosion in eastern Turkey on Monday damaged part of the Baku–Tbilisi–Erzurum pipeline, which carries gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan and runs through Georgia. The cause of the explosion, which happened in Kars province,
Georgia’s Yazidi community marked the first anniversary of the Sinjar massacre and prayed for peace in the Yazidi temple in Tbilisi. Georgia’s Yazidi community gathered on 3 August in the Yazidi temple in the Varketili
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s wine export in the first seven months fell by 46 percent, compared to last year, according to the National Wine Agency. The agency explains the drop as a result of ‘unstable political economic situation’ in two of the most important
TBILISI, DFWatch--A car accident claimed the lives of one man and two children in the mountainous Adjara region in the southwestern part of Georgia on Tuesday. A pickup truck was driving along a mountain road in Keda as it veered off the road and plunged down.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The search is still ongoing for three persons who went missing in a massive flood in Tbilisi in the night of June 13-14. 19 persons have been confirmed dead. Employees of the Interior Ministry’s emergency service have been looking
TBILISI, DFWatch--A leading parliamentarian from Georgia’s ruling coalition asks the president to consider pardoning or easing the sentences of more women. Eka Beselia, head of the human rights committee in parliament, said in a speech
TBILISI, DFWatch--Nino Burjanadze, former speaker of the Georgian parliament who twice served as acting president, has been declared 'persona non grata' by Ukraine, according to a Tbilisi-based radio station. The reason is Burjanadze’s statements about Crimea
TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of visitors to Georgia in the month of July was 9.5 percent higher than in the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to the MIA’s monthly report, 737,696 people visited Georgia in July.
After a landmark deal with the P5+1 group in Vienna, a window to the world will open up for Iran. Iranians are set to start a new era of cooperation with important global businesses in many fields. This is bound to affect many of Iran's economic sectors positively,
Maia Kvarachelia from Gali-based NGO Avangard tells DF Watch about the gender-related issues the region has been facing since the end of the war in Abkhazia. The conflict in Abkhazia has left its mark on the population of the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili wants Prison Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili to become new interior minister. The position is vacant after a reform that splits the interior ministry, creating a new Security Service. Mgebrishvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Akhalkalaki-based news agency Jnews reports new details about a murder of an alleged mobster one week ago. Sargis Hakobyan was found dead in his car near the village Aragva on 26 July. It is believed that his car was ambushed
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two car crashes caused the death of seven people late on Saturday, including two minors. Four people were hospitalized. First, a Mercedes car and a minibus crashed in Grigoleti, a small town on the Black Sea. The Mercedes caught fire and exploded,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia won ten medals in the European junior Olympics, which ended in Tbilisi on Saturday. Four gold and six bronze went to the home nation in this year’s European Youth Olympic Festival. Nine of the Georgian medals were in judo, while one
DFWatch - 25-31 July, 2015 Daghestan The head of the Daghestani branch of the Russian Pension Fund Sagid Murtazaliyev is suspected of involvement in assassinations and financing terrorism.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Czech climber died on Mount Kazbegi, one of the major peaks of the Caucasus Mountain Range, in the northern part of Georgia on July 30. According to the Emergency Service, the girl fell down and suffered severe head trauma.