News

Abkhazian ‘residency permit’ enforced by threat of cutting off pensions

by | February 25, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--After requiring people to obtain a residency permit which costs almost USD 200, breakaway Abkhazia now threatens to cut off pensions and teachers' salaries of those who don’t comply. Locals in the Gali region consider the new regulation a form of blackmail.

News

Georgia demands investigation into death of war veteran in South Ossetia prison

by | February 23, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A former Georgian military serviceman died Friday morning in South Ossetia after what appears to have been physical abuse by prison guards. Georgia demands an immediate and impartial investigation of the incident and access to the corpse for Georgian forensic experts. The breakaway region’s Security Ministry announced the death of Archil Tatunashvili Friday morning. According to the statement, he died 23 February at night from 'acute heart failure'. Tatunashvili, a retired member of the Georgian military, was detained with two other men in Akhalgori, or Leningor as it is called by de facto authorities, on Thursday. Tskhinvali referred to Tatunashvili as a person possibly implicated in 'the genocide against the Ossetian people', a label commonly applied to people who participated in the Russo-Georgian war in August, 2008. The de facto authorities in Tskhinvali claim Tatunashvili was injured when he tried to resist the guards. "During the transfer to the detention center, [Tatunashvili] resisted, snatched a pistol from the holster of the escort. In order to disarm Tatunashvili and neutralize his illegal actions, the KGB officers of the RSO applied physical strength, during which the detainee ...

News

South Ossetia hit by population crisis as birth rate drops 20% in five years

by | February 22, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia’s population is dwindling, and the de facto authorities will have to do something to address the problem, local media report. In 2017, there were born 513 babies in the breakaway region, which has experienced a 20% drop in its birth rate

News

Minibuses replacing horse carts at Enguri Bridge

by | February 21, 2018

GALI, DFWatch--Four-wheel horse carts (‘tachkas’) are still the main means of transport for crossing the Enguri Bridge, which separates breakaway Abkhazia from Georgia proper. However, recently three ‘marshrutkas’ have started competing for this profitable business,

News

Georgian president accuses Russia of running smear campaign in Europe

by | February 21, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of Georgia has hinted that Russia may have manipulated media in Europe and made them focus on crime committed by Georgian nationals. "It may be the result of Russian propaganda when in the capitals of some European countries

News

Gulen-linked school manager released on bail by Tbilisi court

by | February 19, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The manager of a private school linked to the exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen was released on bail by a Tbilisi court on Monday. Mustafa Emre Cabuk, quality manager at Demirel College, was arrested in May, 2017 in what appeared to be a case of pressure

News

Police in Georgia warn far-right activists against forming vigilante groups

by | February 17, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia on Friday warned far-right activists against forming vigilante groups to patrol Tbilisi streets. Any attempt by Georgian March to set up vigilante groups will be met with a ‘strict response’, the Ministry of Internal Affairs was quoted as saying

News

Renowned Abkhazian composer charged with sexual abuse of a minor

by | February 15, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A renowned Abkhaz musician who wrote the anthem of the breakaway republic was arrested Wednesday in Sokhumi and charged with sexual abuse of a minor. The criminal prosecution against Valeri Chkadua, 70, was initiated after a complaint

News

Georgian far-right group plans to form new political party

by | February 15, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A far right group in Georgia that is forming vigilante groups to patrol Tbilisi's streets looking for 'suspicious foreigners' is also planning to establish a new political party. Leaders of Georgian March confirmed this to different media outlets.

News

Ukraine detains Saakashvili and deports him to Poland

by | February 12, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili has been deported from Ukraine. Saakashvili was detained in central Kyiv and deported to Poland by the border guard service. A statement on the service’s website says supporters of Saakashvili

News

CEO of Tbilisi clinic claims government of Azerbaijan intervened in his trial

by | February 10, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--The director of a Tbilisi hospital claims he was sentenced to prison on orders of the Azerbaijani government. Ferman Ceyranli, the director of Lancet Clinic, was sentenced to six years in jail by Tbilisi city court on Friday.

News

‘Anti-oligarchy’ revolution ‘imminent’ in Georgia: Saakashvili

by | February 9, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian president and ex-governor of Odessa Mikheil Saakashvili thinks an 'anti-oligarchy revolution' is ‘imminent’ in Georgia. "This post-Soviet quagmire will be swept away, because it is contrary to human instincts," Saakashvili said

News

Former high-ranking ‘Mkhedrioni’ paramilitary shot in Tbilisi

by | February 7, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A woman who served in a banned paramilitary force in the 1990s and her son was shot in Tbilisi Wednesday morning. Dodo Gugeshashvili (59), a former high-ranking member of the Mkhedrioni paramilitary group, sustained a wound to her chest and was hospitalized. Her son, 32 year old Nodar Gusgeshashvili, was also shot in the attack and died on the spot. The shooting occurred at Gugeshashvili’s flat in Dighomi, an uptown neighborhood in the west of Tbilisi. No other details are available so far. Mkhedrioni, which literally means “cavalry” in English, was a paramilitary force established in late 1980s by former thief-in-law, Jaba Ioseliani. At its peak in 1992-93 the unit consisted of 7,000 fighters and associate members. It played a key role in ousting President Zviad Gamsakhurdia in 1992 and the subsequent civil war where it was notorious for war crimes and mass looting. Mkhedrioni fought both in the war in Abkhazia and the war in South Ossetia. Apart from fighting, it was also notorious for being involved in mafia-style business in Tbilisi and other parts of Georgia, as well as political assassinations.

News

Rare Georgian language memorial discovered in Abkhazia

by | February 2, 2018

TBILISI, DFWatch--A World War II memorial in Abkhazia has been found to bear an inscription in the Georgian language; a rarity after a recent wave of cultural cleansing. DFWatch’s reporter unexpectedly stumbled upon the memorial stone in Merkheuli,

Society

Selective abortions still rife in Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijani community

by | February 2, 2018

People still actively request to determine the gender of the future child in advance during first trimester of the pregnancy in the municipalities inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijani people. 31-years-old Sakina Alieva from Marneuli has 5-years-old boy. Before having the boy she got two abortions because she was expecting girls.

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