TBILISI, DFWatch--Zurab Tsereteli, a Georgian sculptor living and working in Russia, says he will soon finish a 33 meter tall statue of Christ, which he wants to erect in Mtskheta, the former capital of Georgia. “I will finish working on the Christ statue very soon.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s first wind power plant will be completed in September and go into operation in December. Tornike Kazarashvili, president of the board of directors of Kartli wind power plant, told DFWatch that construction work began in March,
Tbilisi, DFWatch - State Security Service of Georgia launched a probe into a possible terror threat distributed by Facebook on Thursday evening.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - The National Democratic Institute released the results of the latest survey which details Georgians’ political affiliations before the upcoming parliamentary elections in October 2016.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Nigerian national, Solomon Adebayo Okeleye accused Bank of Georgia of racial discrimination for limiting his and other Nigerian students’ right to use payment cards.
Tbilisi, DFWatch - Deputy prime minister and minister of energy Kakha Kaladze apologised for sexist remarks he made while commenting on President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s statement about ‘undue connections between political groups and law enforcement’ in the context of the dispute over the Constitutional Court.
ifacts.ge Frontera Resources, the American oil-and-gas company that has been exploring and drilling in Kakheti since 1997, is being harshly criticized for trying to evade a $30 million debt payment due August 1.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili political groups have informal connections with law enforcement and other state bodies and are using them for political purposes. “This trend is used for political goals,” the president said on Monday,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Sunday night, police in Georgia detained two members of a newly formed opposition party led by the opera singer Paata Burchuladze. The two members of State for People were detained outside the party office in Temka, a northern district
TBILISI, DFWatch--Catholics in Rustavi, 20km south of the Georgian capital, have won a court’s backing that they were discriminated against after failing to get a construction permit to build a church there. The Catholic community in Rustavi applied for permission
TBILISI, DFWatch--Architect Irakli Zhvania walked us through the historic devastation of two parks in the capital. The second edition of ‘Tbilisi Ugly Walk’ highlighted how two of the most beautiful green lungs in the city have been reduced by large buildings and roads,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of up to 25 armed militants occupying a police building in Yerevan released all their hostages Saturday but refused to surrender, demanding the president's resignation and the formation of an interim government.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Foreign Ministry extended its condolences to the families of the victims and solidarity with the government of Germany. Nine people were killed in a shooting rampage in Munich at a McDonald’s restaurant Friday evening, in addition to the
TBILISI, DFWatch--Interpol has called off its search for the Georgian former intelligence chief Igor Giorgadze, who has been a staple of domestic politics as the preeminent ’bad guy’. Giorgadze is accused of having organized an assassination attempt
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Georgian rugby players are among the injured after a deadly car crash in western Georgia in which three people died and four were injured. The accident happened last night when a BMW and a Nissan Tiida crashed on the Kutaisi-Samtredia
By Nino Bakradze www.ifact.ge In 2011, a company formed by the brother-in law of former Georgia Minister of Defense David Kezarashvili to operate the country's national lottery system gave 70 percent of that company's shares to the Ministry of Economics free of charge. Leaked documents found in the Panama Papers offer a possible explanation for this gift. Due to a wild overestimation of possible revenues from the lottery, the Georgian Lottery Company was already 30 million lari (about $US12 million) behind in its promised payments to the government for the rights to operate the lottery. The holding company for Georgian Lottery Company was registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2009 and the sole shareholder was Dimitri Chikovani, whose brother-in-law was a powerful minister under former President Mikheil Saakashvili and is currently a fugitive from justice in England. The Panama Papers are a collection of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack-Fonseca, obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zietung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with reporters from over 80 countries. According to the Panama Papers documents, Lexor Capital was registered ...
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former interior minister Vano Merabishvili, who has been in prison since May 2013, claims a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will soon lead to his release. After a two years’ silence, Merabishvili
TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of lawmakers in the Russian Duma are preparing to demand that the Kremlin take punitive measures against Georgia for joining the European Union's economic sanctions against Russia. The Duma's foreign relations committee is working
TBILISI, DFWatch--Four people died when a truck crashed in western Georgia on Thursday. The accident happened in Lugela Valley near the village Nukhuri. According to Interpressnews, the truck of the brand Kamaz crashed and overturned after the driver lost control
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia are still searching for Sergei Smislov, a 65-year-old German citizen who disappeared one week ago on a mountain road near Georgia's breakaway territory Abkhazia. Shortly before he disappeared, Smislov received
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili claims the media in his country are publishing more anti-Western stories now than they used to. In an interview with the program ‘Archevani’ on Rustavi 2 TV Tuesday evening, he said it was
TBILISI, DFWatch--A woman is missing after a group of three climbers were struck by lightning at 5,000 m altitude yesterday in the Kazbegi mountains. Two of the group were injured, and later rescued, but the third - a woman from Moscow - went missing.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Filing a lawsuit with the courts in Tbilisi might mean a long wait, due to a lack of judges and resources. People who file lawsuits in the Georgian capital might have to wait for years to see their case reach a conclusion.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Koba Narchemashvili, who was interior minister at the moment when Eduard Shevardnadze was deposed as president in the Rose Revolution, was Tuesday nominated by Georgian Dream as majoritarian candidate for parliament. As commander
TBILISI, DFWatch--Turkish consul in Batumi Yasin Temizkan has called on Georgian authorities to close down a private school in the city because it is fostering terrorism. The Şahin schools are funded by the movement of Fethullah Gülen (pictured), a Turkish preacher,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A prominent member of the Free Democrats resigned from the party on Friday, stating that he doesn't feel comfortable in politics. Philosopher Zaza Piralishvili stated that his leaving the party was not due to any conflict with other party members or having issues with its ideology.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The parliament in Georgia Monday rejected a bill to bring in stricter control of tobacco products. Resistance to the bill within the governing coalition proved too strong, as opponents believe it will create problems for business. Lela Sturua,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili spoke by phone with his Turkish colleague Binali Yıldırım on Monday, and both confirmed that Kvirikashvili will visit Ankara for the first session of the Georgia-Turkey strategic partnership council on July 19.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two persons are injured after a shooting incident at noon Monday in front of the National Enforcement Bureau in Tbilisi. The enforcement bureau said the shooting was not related to them but a confrontation between private individuals. Witness
TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian citizen who went missing after the terrorist attack last Thursday in Nice was confirmed dead on Monday, Georgia’s Ambassador to France Eka Siradze Delone told Interpressnews. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of Roman Ekmaliani,
TBILISI, DFWatch--The leader of the Republican Party says he and other party tops have received an offer from the ruling Georgian Dream to abandon their own party and join them ahead of the election, but they rejected the offer. In an interview with the newspaper
TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s border crossings with Turkey at Sarpi, Kartsakhi and Vale are working normally after being partially blocked on Saturday morning due to the recent events in Turkey. A short statement by Georgia’s Revenue Service says passengers
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Free Democrats, a party which withdrew from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition in 2014, on Saturday named its candidates for majoritarian MPs in the October 8 parliamentary election. The nominees were selected on Saturday
TBILISI, DFWatch--Groups demonstrated Thursday to ask the president to release a 22 year old man who is serving a one year prison sentence for possession of two grams of ecstasy. Kote Japaridze, the recipient of a presidential scholarship, was arrested
TBILISI, DFWatch--Authorities in Georgia decided Saturday morning to seal its land border to its neighbor Turkey and cancel all flights into that country for the time being, out of concern for the safety of civilians. At the border crossing near Sarpi, only Turkish citizens are currently
TBILISI, DFWatch--One Georgian citizen is reported missing after the terrorist attack in Nice, the Georgian ambassador to France has confirmed. The man’s wife, who is not a Georgian citizen, is confirmed dead. Moambe, the evening news program on Georgia’s Channel 1,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Four Georgian citizens who were reported missing after the terrorist attack in Nice during the national celebrations July 14 have been found safely, the Georgian embassy said. The embassy contacted the missing persons and found
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Hall is not planning to bring back the trams in the capital, despite a call from a member of Tbilisi City Council. City Hall will only considers it in a long-term perspective. Aleko Elisashvili, independent member of Tbilisi City Council,
TBILISI, DFWatch--During the opening ceremony of the international conference ‘Georgia’s European Way’ in Batumi, prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili declared that ‘trillions of dollars’ will be accumulated in the city as a result of trade between Europe and China.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Kvirikashvili on Thursday expressed hope that Georgia will become a member of the European Union in the near future. He said this during the opening ceremony of the annual conference ‘Georgia’s European Way’
TBILISI, Dfwatch--The Islamic State military commander Tarkhan Batirashvili, a native of the village Birkiani in Georgia’s Pankisi valley, widely known under his nom de guerre Umar Shishani, was confirmed dead by Amaq Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic State.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Dream Party on Wednesday announced its top 15 people on the party list for the parliamentary election in October. The list consists of eight women and seven men. There are no MPs or cabinet members among them. Three of them are deputy ministers.
TBILISI, DFWatch--It is still unknown who will replace Tina Khidasheli as defense minister, but local media name three possible candidates: Irakli Sesiashvili, Koba Kobaladze and Kakhi Kakhishvili. The decision will be made by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili,
TBILISI, DFWatch--A new runaway was opened at Tbilisi International Airport on Monday. During the 12 weeks of construction work on the new runway, no flights were cancelled but some were rescheduled. The runaway was closed for ten hours
TBILISI, DFWatch--Keti Tsikhelashvili, Deputy Minister for Reintegration and Civil Equality, will be the acting minister as Paata Zakareishvili from the Republican Party leaves his post in connection with the 2016 election campaign. Zakareishvili said on Tuesday
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi is buying 143 new natural gas powered buses that are more environmentally friendly and accommodating to people with disabilities. But the ticket price will remain the same, City Hall assured us. The new 30-seat German-made
TBILISI, DFWatch--On 14 July, the EU commissioner for enlargement Johannes Hahn will visit Georgia. Mr Hahn will hold meetings with Georgian officials, including Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, President Giorgi Margvelashvili, minister of foreign affairs Giorgi Janelidze,
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two men from Pankisi valley in Georgia, one aged 26 and the 34, have been killed in Syria. The younger of them, Bekkhan (Beka) Tokhosashvili, was a native of the village Birkiani. Tokhosashvili left Georgia in 2014 and joined the terrorist group Islamic State in Syria,
TBILISI, DFWatch--An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 caused slight shaking in the Georgian capital Tbilisi Tuesday afternoon. The quake occurred at 2:14pm local time and had its epicenter 10-15 km away from Dmanisi, a town in southern
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Republican Party in Georgia announced on Tuesday at its members of the government are resigning. The ministers who will be leaving their posts shortly are Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli and Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Paata Zakareishvili.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A former Georgian government official who started a new career as head of Ukraine’s police force claims the government of her native country threatens to revoke her citizenship. Khatia Dekanoidze was education minister during President Mikheil Saakashvili,
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--The referendum on early presidential elections in Abkhazia was declared invalid by de facto electoral commission due to low turnout. According to Abkhazia’s de facto Electoral Commission, slightly over one percent of eligible voters
TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia on Sunday arrested two persons in the management of the construction company Center Point and tried to arrest a third who was not at home. Two of them were arrested in the morning, while later representatives
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--A 17-year-old boy has drowned in the river Abashistskali in Martvili, western Georgia. The boy's body was pulled out of the river Friday morning. Elguja Jamrishvili, head of the Underwater Federation of Georgia, who was searching
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--Tbilisi considers it unlikely that NATO will offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the Warsaw summit, which begins today, after a number of officials from member countries made it clear that it is not on the agenda. Georgian authorities believe
Pankisi Valley, DFWatch - Eid al-Fitr, or the Feast of Breaking the Fast, is a major Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. This year, Eid al-Fitr was celebrated by Muslims worldwide on 6 July. In Pankisi valley, Georgia’s utmost
TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday appealed a ruling in the Appeals Court to acquit the defendant in the murder of transgender woman Sabi Beriani. If approved, the case could go to the Supreme Court.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Swiss-made bilevel trains have arrived in Georgia and will be servicing the Tbilisi-Batumi line starting later this month. The bilevel train cars are manufactured by Stadler and arrived in Tbilisi yesterday. A spokesperson for Georgian Railway
TBILISI, DFWatch--The road through Dariali Valley is still closed because of further landslides after the June 23 incident. According to the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, traffic will be restricted until July 7, as it can not be ruled out
TBILISI, DFWatch--A few days prior to a NATO summit in Warsaw, Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding about defense and security cooperation between the United States and Georgia.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The de facto president of Abkhazia Raul Hajymba (Khadzhimba) told Russian media that the murderer of Georgian IDP Giga Otkhozoria won’t be handed over to the Georgian side.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Up to two hundred locals and environmental activists gathered in Chuberi in Upper Svaneti on Sunday as the protests against the planned Nenskra hydro power plant resumed. Activists argue that if built, the dam on the Nenskra river will deprive
TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the attempts to hold a referendum about same-sex marriage has been rejected by Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) because the sponsors failed to collect the required 200,000 signatures. The CEC’s decision was unanimous.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi international airport is now serviced all night through by the regular daytime bus line number 37, Tbilisi City Hall informs. Before the new schedule on July 4, line 37 had been operating until midnight, like other municipal bus lines in the capital.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The speaker of Georgia’s parliament says people must know the truth about the suspected Istanbul bombing mastermind and his role in a mysterious shooting incident in Georgia in 2012. The same day, a member of government
TBILISI, DFWatch--Two leading politicians in Georgia believe that Akhmed Chatayev, the suspected mastermind of the terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, was an ‘agent of the previous government.’ “It turns out that this prominent terrorist [Chatayev] was an agent
TBILISI, DFWatch--An index that measures how well countries provide for basic human needs lists Georgia in 54th place, far behind most European countries. The most socially progressed country among 133 countries surveyed is Finland, according to the 2016 Social Progress Index.
TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of foreign visitors to Georgia went up 12.9% and the number of tourists 18.1% in the last six months, the National Tourism Administration said on Monday. The latest figures confirm that Georgia continues to attract more visitors.
TBILISI, DFWatch--Several trains will be cancelled in western Georgia the next few days due to ongoing work between Supsa and Ureki. All tracks in Supsa and tracks connecting Ureki and Supsa will be closed from 06:00 on July 5 to 06:00 on July 6, according
TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia and Georgia disagree about what citizenship the suspected mastermind behind the terror attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport June 28 has. Russia claims Akhmed Chatayev is not a Russian but a Georgian citizen. Georgia, on the other hand,
The Other Space Foundation and DF Watch invite journalists to participate in the contest ‘Leaders of Participation’ for the best journalistic work about participatory budgeting in the context of participatory democracy in Georgia.
TBILISI, DFWatch--A thunderstorm led to two planes being diverted from Tbilisi airport on Friday. One year ago, extreme flooding caused massive damage. DFWatch spoke to one of the passengers of a flight that should have landed in Tbilisi but was diverted
TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Union will begin offering visa-free short-term travel to Georgians in the end of September, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday during a visit to Tbilisi. Steinmeier said on Friday that the visa-free rules
TBILISI, DFWatch--The road through Dariali Valley in northern Georgia will be open for traffic in about two weeks, Infrastructure Minister Nodar Javakhishvili said on Thursday. For the moment, the road connecting Russia and Georgia is cut off due to a landslide
TBILISI, DFWatch--U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will come to Georgia and have talks with leaders and opposition, before heading for a NATO summit in Warsaw which begins July 8. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced Kerry’s visit on Thursday during a dinner