Georgian Dream revives extremely controversial law on “Agents of Foreign Influence”, what is written in the new draft

By | April 3rd, 2024|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Shalva Papuashvili Georgian government, after a one-year forced pause and in the face of criticism both inside and outside the country, re-initiated the bill on "Agents of Foreign Influence". The new initiative, titled as the draft law on "Transparency of Foreign Influence", which Georgian Dream seems to be determined to finally adopt, envisages the mandatory registration [...]

Coffee shop owner from Moscow, who angered Putin supporters, leaves Russia, moves to Tbilisi

By | March 15th, 2024|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--A woman from Moscow Oblast, who caused great anger among Vladimir Putin supporters by kicking out a Russian soldier fighting against Ukraine from her coffee shop, has moved to Tbilisi with only ‘two bags’, leaving behind a chain of coffee shops. “I love my home, but I think that it’s better for me to be [...]

Georgian Dream is preparing a bill against “ideology of pseudo-liberals” and “wilful propaganda of non-traditional lifestyle”

By | March 1st, 2024|Categories: Minorities, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Dream is in the process of preparing a legislative initiative to "protect society from pseudo-liberal ideology" and its inevitable harmful consequences." The country may face such a situation when "we will be asked to legalize the so-called civil partnership", says Mamuka Mdinaradze, majority leader at the parliament. Opposition political parties dub this as empty [...]

22 y/o Georgian fighter sentenced to life in Donbass for killing three Russian infantrymen

By | February 21st, 2024|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--The court of the "Donetsk People's Republic" has sentenced a Georgian fighter Mamuka Gatserelia to life imprisonment for killing three Russian infantrymen, the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation states. The 22-year-old volunteer, whose parents reportedly originate from occupied Abkhazia, was found guilty under two articles of the Russian Criminal Code - Article 317 [...]

Who’s the Georgian citizen that Putin talked about in an interview with Tucker Carlson, without mentioning his name

By | February 14th, 2024|Categories: Caucasus region|Tags: , |

Zelimkhan Khangoshvili (left) and his assassin Vadim Krasikov. TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested his country might exchange American journalist Evan Gershkovich for a Russian assassin jailed in Germany.  Speaking to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a two hour long interview, the Russian leader alluded to holding negotiations about the exchange of Wall [...]

Major reshuffle in Georgian politics: PM trades seat with ruling party chairman

By | January 29th, 2024|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Irakli Garibashvili (right) and Irakli Kobakhidze ( TBILISI, DFWatch–After Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili returned to public politics in late December, everyone in Georgia expected major upheavals in the government, although only a small number of commentators predicted dismissal of the prime minister. However, this became clear on Sunday, when the pro-government TV company Imedi reported [...]

The Dutch low-cost carrier starts flights from Tbilisi to Amsterdam in April

By | January 22nd, 2024|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Dutch low-cost airline, Transavia, is starting to operate in the Georgian market. Tickets can currently be purchased on the company's website for flights from late April. During the summer navigation season of 2024, the airline will fly in the Amsterdam-Tbilisi-Amsterdam direction. However, the company has a connection service, through which it is possible to fly [...]

NDI poll predicts bleak future for opposition parties in 2024 unless they somehow manage to unite

By | December 11th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

A poll commissioned by the US National Democratic Institute has once again shown the dire, and one might say catastrophic, situation faced by most political parties in Georgia a year before benchmark general elections. According to the release published by NDI on Monday, if parliamentary elections were to be held now, presumably only the ruling party, [...]

Opposition demands adoption of the “Protect Georgia Act” to stop “invasion of Russians”

By | November 20th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Mamuka Khazaradze (Facebook). TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition party demands the establishment of a visa regime, a ban on the entry of cars with Russian license plates and other strict measures in order to prevent the "invasion of Russians in Georgia". For this, the Lelo, political party founded by entrepreneur Mamuka Khazaradze, submitted Monday “Protect Georgia [...]

Former de facto president elevated to Russian mercenary army ranks claims over 1,000 South Ossetians fight in Ukraine

By | October 16th, 2023|Categories: Conflict news, News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch –1,100-1,200 volunteers from South Ossetia are fighting on the Russian side in Ukraine, said Anatoly Bibilov, Deputy Commander of the Volunteer Assault Corps, in an interview with Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti. Bibilov, who served as president of South Ossetia's puppet regime from 2017 to 2012, claims that VAC, which encompasses all volunteers [...]

“Russian-Georgian Business Council” proposes to open road through occupied Tskhinvali

By | September 19th, 2023|Categories: Caucasus region, News|Tags: , |

Davit Tsetskhladze (Facebook). TBILISI, DFWatch – At the meeting of the "Russia-Georgia Business Council" in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russia’s republic of North Ossetia, the issue of opening a road connecting Russia and Georgia through occupied South Ossetia was discussed on Tuesday, according to the information  spread by the news website Sova News based on the telegram [...]

Remittances from Russia almost halved in August: NBG

By | September 15th, 2023|Categories: Economy, In brief|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The number of remittances from Russia to Georgia in August decreased by 45.5 percent compared to last year and amounted to $60 million, although this country is still the leader and accounts for about a fifth of the total volume, according to the release published by the National Bank of Georgia on Friday. In [...]

Former public defender Nino Lomjaria to establish new pro-EU public movement

By | September 5th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Former Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria, who has been the object of permanent criticism and constant verbal attacks by the ruling party for the past years, is founding a new public movement, the first event of which will be held on Thursday. European Orbit of Georgia is a platform that creates space for those who [...]

Six opposition parties in Georgia release statement claiming GD government collaborating with Putin’s Russia

By | May 12th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

The opposition parties of Georgia issue a joint statement speaking out about the threat of  government shifting foreign political priorities and accuse the ruling power, Georgian Dream, of being a collaborator with the Putin regime for agreeing to the restoration of direct air traffic with Russia. "The Georgian Dream" has once again put Georgia's European and [...]

Opposition demands setting up parliamentary commission to study corruption in judiciary

By | April 10th, 2023|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition appeals President Salome Zurabishvili to convene parliament’s  extraordinary session for creating special commission to study corruption in the judiciary. Opposition MPs say they have the necessary votes to set up commission. A total of 50 PMs’ votes are needed to create a temporary investigative commission, while the opposition has 56 mandates in [...]

Georgian PM speaks about “Ukrainization” conspiracy, claims to have saved the country from war

By | March 24th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, whom the opposition and Western politicians often accuse of populist rhetoric, said during his speech in the parliament Friday that government saved the country from "Ukrainization“, and reiterated the narrative of conspiracy to drag Georgia into a war against Russia. “The real danger facing our country today is the […] conspiracy that [...]

Amid hysteria over “second front”, Abkhaz militia kicks off drills in Gali

By | March 13th, 2023|Categories: Conflict news, In brief|Tags: , , |

The pro-EU protests in Tbilisi, which forced the government to kill the highly controversial bill on “foreign agents”, have triggered a natural hysteria in occupied Abkhazia, where the narrative has stubbornly been spread as if the West is forcing Tbilisi to open a “second front”. As a climax of this hysteria, the military forces of the [...]

The opposition sets up united front to mobilize pro-Western forces against foreign agents’ bill

By | March 6th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: |

The moment of expulsion of opposition MPs from Legal Affairs Committee hearing. The opposition is creating a coordination council to resist the adoption of controversial bill on “foreign (influence) agents” by the ruling Georgian Dream, which is widely perceived as a kind of foreign policy U-turn for Georgia - distancing the country from its Western allies [...]

Parliament starts amid protests discussing “Russian law”, which many believe will drag Georgia to Putin’s embrace

By | March 2nd, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: |

(IPN) Verbal and physical confrontation followed the start of consideration of the anti-Western bill initiated by a political group close to the ruling Georgian Dream in the parliament on Thursday. The opposition urged supporters to gather at the parliament immediately in order to prevent such a step, which will be a big U-turn on the path [...]

Saakashvili’s health has deteriorated, the process will become irreversible in 1-2 months: Council of Doctors

By | February 27th, 2023|Categories: News|

Mikheil Saakashvili's health condition has worsened and if the current trend continues, irreversible processes will start in 1-2 months, states the Council of Doctors set by the Public Defender. “The patient has entered the phase of active catabolism,” reads the document released by the Office of Public Defender of Georgia Monday based on the visit and [...]

Joe Biden nominates Robin Dunnigan as a new US ambassador to Georgia

By | February 14th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , |

President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Robin Dunnigan as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia. Robin Dunnigan is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, and currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central and Eastern Europe in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. [...]

If Saakashvili’s weight drops below 52 kg, he may die, doctor says

By | February 1st, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: |

If Saakashvili's weight drops below 52 kg, his body will not be able to withstand and he will die, said neurologist who is a member of a medical concilium at the office of Public Defender on Wednesday at the ex-president's trial. Currently, according to Saakashvili's lawyer and family, he has started the process of rapid cachexia, [...]

Lawyer says Saakashvili’s health worsened and has never seen him so weak

By | January 31st, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: |

Mikheil Saakashvili's condition has worsened so much that he is being taken to intensive care unit, his lawyer said on Tuesday, although later the director of the hospital, where the third president of Georgia is being treated, said that there are no clinical prerequisites for transferring him to ICU. After the meeting with ex-president, lawyer Shalva [...]

Far-right pro-Russian party disrupts lecture of popular Georgian liberal literary critic

By | January 16th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Alt-Info activists gathered in Kvareli in front of car with Levan Berdzenishvili in the front seat. (Nika Gurini/Facebook.) Georgian far-right pro-Russian political party Alt-Info, which is the organizer of July 5 pogroms in 2021, against LGBTQI activists and journalists assumes responsibility for disrupting public lecture of the liberal politician and popular literary critic. The incident took [...]

Perpetrators of appalling violence against 30 y/o woman convicted after 8 years

By | January 10th, 2023|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Tbilisi court on Tuesday found four men guilty of publicly assaulting and humiliating a young woman, the wife of their relative, which led to the woman's suicide. For the crime that happened eight years ago, each of the defendants was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months in prison. The case concerns the events of September [...]

„Gross violation” of the diplomatic protocol deepens the crisis between the president and Georgian Dream

By | December 26th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: |

The conflict between the president and the ruling political team of Georgia is getting worse. On Monday, Salome Zourabichvili demonstratively refused to participate in the Ambassadors' Conference 2022 due to "gross violations of generally recognized and established rules of state and diplomatic protocol". “According to the Constitution of Georgia, the President of Georgia is the head [...]

Saakashvili claims Putin personally ordered his assassination by poisoning

By | December 25th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Extremely debilitated Mikheil Saakashvili appeared before court on December 22 via video link to plead for his release or transfer abroad on health grounds. The imprisoned former President of Georgia states that the sharp deterioration of his health condition is related to poisoning, which was ordered by Vladimir Putin of Russia. “Putin really ordered me to [...]

Georgia braces for court hearing, which will decide on the matter of Saakashvili’s “life and death”

By | December 8th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Political forces in Georgia are bracing for a court hearing scheduled for Friday, which should review the issue of releasing Mikheil Saakashvili or postponing his sentence. The trial was scheduled at the request of his lawyers, who claim that the health condition of the ex-president is critical and if not transferred abroad for treatment, his life [...]

Five Georgian fighters killed in the battle of Bakhmut, Ukraine

By | December 3rd, 2022|Categories: Conflict news, News|Tags: , |

Georgian Recon Team captured Russian BTR-82 somewhere in Ukraine (photo @Visioner). On Saturday, reports were spread about the death of five Georgian fighters at Bakhmut, Donbass. Later, this information was confirmed by the Embassy of Georgia in Kyiv, as well as Georgian volunteers who protect Ukraine from Russian aggression. There are no confirmed details about the [...]

Pashinyan, Aliyev to sign peace deal in Tbilisi: Armenian media

By | November 4th, 2022|Categories: Caucasus region, Conflict news|Tags: , , |

( A peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan will be signed in Tbilisi by the end of November or the beginning of December, and preparatory work in this regard is already actively underway in Georgia, Armenian news website Graparak reports based on its own sources. The document, which is planned to be signed in Georgia, implies [...]

Three opposition parties unite to oust Georgian Dream, get EU candidate status

By | October 26th, 2022|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , , , , |

Giorgi Vashadze (from left), Elene Khoshtaria and Zurab Japaridze (Facebook). Three opposition political parties in Georgia - Strategy Agmashenebeli, Girchi - More Freedom and Droa – establish “a pro-European coalition”, the goal of which is to oust Georgian Dream and solicit getting the EU candidate status by the country. "There is no other way, and our [...]

Police arrest nine in connection to Vake Park tragedy that killed 13-year-old girl

By | October 18th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Lasha Purtskhvanidze, director of Greenservice+, escorted by the police after arrest (Mtavari Arkhi photo). As part of the investigation into the causes of the Tbilisi Vake Park tragedy, the police have arrested nine people, including the Deputy Head of the City Hall Environmental Protection Service and director of contractor company, the Ministry of Internal Affairs' representative [...]

Russian military start getting grip on border with Georgia to prevent conscripts’ exodus

By | September 28th, 2022|Categories: Caucasus region|Tags: , |

Telegram channel SHOT On the border with Georgia, which has becomes a point of exodus for those Russian men who want to avoid conscription, Russia opens a military commissariat presence. According to the eyewitnesses from the place, at this stage the conscripts are not detained, nor are they prevented from crossing border. The officers hand over [...]

FSB fears breaching border with Georgia by crowd fleeing mobilization, sends armored vehicle, troops

By | September 26th, 2022|Categories: Caucasus region|Tags: , , |

The war mobilization announced by Vladimir Putin has worsened the situation on the Russian-Georgian border to such an extent that the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), which is responsible for border control, sent Monday an armored personnel carrier there to prevent a forceful breach of the border at Larsi by the crowd - [...]

Georgian tourism industry booming, revenues reach record high

By | August 22nd, 2022|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

( Revenues from international visitors are at a record high this year in Georgia. According to the information published by the National Bank of Georgia, the country received $476 million in income from international visitors in July, which is almost $270 million more than the same figure of July last year. In total, the country received [...]

Ukrainians rout Russian troops redeployed from Abkhazia: military expert

By | August 15th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Ukrainian army has severely defeated the Russian unit stationed in the breakaway Abkhazia on the Kryvyi Rih front, which suffered such significant losses that the leadership was forced to withdraw it from the front for regrouping,, Tbilisi-based Russian-language news portal, reports relying on Ukrainian military expert. “Proud abkhazians were running! Well, how did [...]

Credit Suisse stopped responding even to letters: Bidzina Ivanishvili’s lawyers

By | August 9th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

The Swiss bank Credit Suisse continues to restrict Bidzina Ivanishvili's access to his banking resources “as a matter of principle”, and "for quite a long time" they do not even respond to the letters and questions of the client's representatives, says the legal company MKD Law, which protects the interests of the Georgian Dream founder, in [...]

Russia suggests including assassin imprisoned in Germany in proposed prisoner exchange with U.S.

By | August 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|

Vadim Krasikov. TBILISI, DFWatch--In prisoner exchange talks with the United States, Moscow has offered to include a hitman affiliated with Russian intelligence, who is serving a life sentence in Germany for the elimination of Chechen field commander Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a citizen of Georgia. Russian officials have suggested that the assassin, Vadim Krasikov, be placed on a [...]

“Just like in Russia” – opposition TV director says there total illegal surveillance of journalists in Georgia

By | July 14th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Acting director general of Georgia’s biggest opposition TV channel Mtavari Arkhi states that there is total illegal surveillance of journalists in the country “just like in Russia”. As proof of this, he cites an audio recording that was broadcast on Wednesday on a pro-government TV channel. Giorgi Gabunia, Mtavari Arkhi news anchor who replaced Nika Gvaramia [...]

We do not take decisions at the behest of Ivanishvili: PM Garibashvili

By | July 12th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili publishes an extensive statement, where he responds to the "campaign of internal and external political opponents". In a letter full of praise for billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, the PM claims that the government hasn’t taken any operational or key decisions at his behest. "If anyone thinks that we did not impose sanctions (on [...]

A field of natural gas discovered near Tbilisi

By | July 11th, 2022|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , |

A natural gas field with a volume of 16 billion cubic meters has been discovered near Tbilisi, said Giorgi Tatishvili, the head of the State Oil and Gas Agency, speaking to BMG. "To imagine, this is equal to the consumption of Georgia for 8 years," Tatishvili said. This gas reserve was discovered by the French oilfield [...]

Pro-EU rally organizers in Tbilisi demand ousting the PM, forming a government of national consent

By | June 24th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The organizers of a pro-EU rally in central Tbilisi, where thousands of people gathered to say that Brussels' refusal to grant Georgia candidate status was the result of the Georgian Dream government's misguided policies, demand the resignation of government and PM Irakli Gharibashvili. The PM will resign within a week and a government of national consent [...]

“Do not break up the trio” – Former leaders of Georgia ask the EU to grant candidate status

By | June 22nd, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Giorgi Margvelashvili. Georgia's two former presidents and four ex-speakers of parliament appeal the EU not to oust Georgia from the "trio" and to grant it candidate status, as it did with Ukraine and Moldova. “The content of the letter is as follows - we agree with the demands of European Commission, the expediency of their fulfillment, [...]

GD rules out Saakashvili’s transfer abroad, opposition says ex-president actually “sentenced to death”

By | May 30th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The statement of the chairman of the Georgian Dream, who categorically ruled out the transfer of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili abroad for medical treatment, caused great outrage in the opposition. "Irakli Kobakhidze actually sentenced to death Mikheil Saakashvili," said Nika Gvaramia, director general of the main opposition TV channel, Mtavari Arkhi, who himself was sentenced to a [...]

27 y/o Georgian killed in the bastion of Mariupol’s Ukrainian defenders

By | May 12th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Georgian fighter, 27-year-old Tato Bigvava, commander of the second company of the Azov Regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine has died in the bastion of the defenders of Mariupol, on the territory of the Azovstal plant. The cause of death was believed to have been a cluster bomb explosion. It was dropped by Russian troops [...]

Georgia sends an official delegation to war-torn Ukraine, at last

By | April 13th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Shalva Papuashvili (Facebook). After a long period of hesitation and criticism from the opposition, the ruling party of Georgia has finally decided to send a parliamentary delegation to Ukraine, headed by the chairman of parliament. The visit is expected to take place this weekend, Georgian Dream MP Davit Sergeenko told reporters on Wednesday. He also confirmed [...]

Georgians condemn steps taken by government during Ukraine crisis

By | March 1st, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--While Ukraine is heroically fighting the aggressor and the Georgian people are strongly supporting it in this cause, a diplomatic row has broken out between Tbilisi and Kiev, causing embarrassment and shame for many Georgians. People gathered in the center of Tbilisi on Tuesday to show support for Ukraine and condemn the steps taken by the [...]

Georgians ashamed of PM’s comments about Russia sanctions

By | February 26th, 2022|Categories: News|

( TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s comments, which many Georgians see as bowing down to an aggressive Russia, continues to cause anger, outrage and shame in the country.  The hashtag #ღარიბაშვილიარგამოხატავსჩემსპოზიციას has gone viral on social media. It literally translates to "Garibashvili does not express my opinion". Georgians from a broad range of backgrounds and especially [...]

Georgia makes it mandatory for schools and kindergartens to display national symbols

By | February 18th, 2022|Categories: In brief|

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is making it mandatory for all schools and kindergartens to fly the national flag and display the country’s official coat of arms on their buildings. These institutions will also be required to exhibit the text of the Georgian national anthem in a prominent place. The Parliament approved in the first reading the amendments to [...]

New survey points to increasingly positive attitudes in Georgia toward minorities, LGBT+ individuals

By | February 15th, 2022|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , |

(DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgians are increasingly positive about minorities, including LGBT+ people, according to the new survey commissioned by The Council of Europe Office in Georgia, which covers a period between 2018 and 2021. The CoE presented key findings of the study Monday, which demonstrates that knowledge and appreciation of diversity in Georgian society increased [...]

Georgia slams breakaway Abkhazia’s appeal to UN for observer status

By | February 12th, 2022|Categories: News|

Inal Ardzinba, the de facto Minister of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has dismissed an appeal by the breakaway region Abkhazia to the United Nations to be given status as an “observer state”.  A spokesperson for Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called it a propaganda move with no real chance of succeeding. "Occupying regimes have [...]

Lukashenko says he considers recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

By | February 8th, 2022|Categories: News|

Alexander Lukashenko. TBILISI, DFWatch--Autocratic leader Alexander Lukashenko said Monday that Belarus might recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia if President Putin tells him to do so.  “As soon as I understand and the President [of the Russian Federation] tells me that there is a need for this,” Lukashenko said in an interview with pro-governmental Russian journalist Vladimir [...]

Former Georgian justice minister Adeishvili beaten in Kyiv

By | February 7th, 2022|Categories: News|

Zurab Adeishvili. TBILISI, DFWatch--Zurab Adeishvili, a former Georgian justice minister who is an adviser to Ukraine's Prosecutor General, was attacked and beaten in Kyiv on Monday. Adeishvili was  approached by four men in the street who proceeded to beat the Georgian politician, writes "Ukrainskaya Pravda" based on a source in the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine [...]

GD prepares “non-provocative” resolution on Ukraine, doesn’t mention neither Russia nor Putin

By | January 26th, 2022|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Georgia's ruling Georgian Dream, after lengthy deliberations, finally submitted a draft resolution in support of Ukraine to parliament on Wednesday for approval, which immediately drew criticism from the opposition after it was revealed that it did not mention neither Russia nor Putin. Two meetings were held between the Georgian Dream and opposition factions on Wednesday to [...]

Ex-President Saakashvili says Russia is also planning to attack Georgia, along with Ukraine

By | January 25th, 2022|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , |

Imprisoned former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili says that if Russia launches a direct military aggression on Ukraine, it will inevitably invade Georgia and occupy Black Sea ports that are of strategic importance to it. "According to my information, if Russia starts implementing a large-scale plan in Ukraine, it is going to capture Anaklia in the [...]

“We won convincingly”: Georgian Dream chairman sums up last year

By | January 17th, 2022|Categories: In brief|

Chairman of Georgian Dream, Irakli Kobakhidze. TBILISI, DFWatch--The artificial crisis is over, we won the election convincingly, and the 'radical' opposition, whose leader is 'deservedly' serving a sentence in jail, is 'extremely weakened’, Georgian Dream chairman Irakli Kobakhidze stated as he summed up the political events of the last year. Writing on Facebook on Monday, Kobakhidze [...]

US reaffirms support for Georgia as tensions between West and Russia grow

By | January 17th, 2022|Categories: In brief|

TBILISI, DFWatch--While the crisis in relations between Russia and the West over NATO enlargement continues to escalate, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried reaffirmed the US’ support for Georgia in a phone call with Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani. According to the Georgian MFA, the sides exchanged views [...]

Appeals Court rejects Igor Giorgadze’s lawsuit against DFWatch

By | December 9th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Igor Giorgadze. TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi Court of Appeals on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Georgian security chief and former KGB operative Igor Giorgadze against DFWatch and its editor Lasha Tughushi, in which he demanded a retraction of information published in a 2016 article. The Court of Appeals fully agreed with and upheld an earlier decision [...]

PACE co-rapporteurs to make monitoring visit to Georgia

By | December 7th, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

( Co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will make a fact-finding visit to Tbilisi Wednesday for the monitoring of obligations and commitments by Georgia. Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE) will mainly focus on the recent political developments, the October 2021 local elections, the reform of the judiciary, [...]

Saakashvili was inappropriately given strong “anti-psychotic drugs” in prison, a group of medics says

By | December 6th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Mikheil Saakashvili at the Tbilisi Court, November 29 (Imedinews photo). TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, was given "anti-psychotic drugs" while in custody without a medical need, according to an organization involved in his defense, while his lawyer adds "suspicions grow" this might be done deliberately to impair his mental health. The Rehabilitation Center for Victims [...]

Georgia’s former president Saakashvili to be moved from prison to military hospital after deteriorating health 50 days into hunger strike

By | November 19th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: |

Supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili rallied in Tbilisi Friday. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--In Georgia, the government Friday agreed to transfer the imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili to a military hospital, after a sudden deterioration of his health. The ex-president’s fifty day long hunger strike has caused a public outrage and a growing pressure from the West. Saakashvili and [...]

Saakashvili rushed to prison hospital as supporters rally around the Georgian parliament building in Tbilisi

By | November 8th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: |

(RL/RFE.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was rushed to a prison hospital in Tbilisi Monday evening, reportedly due to a deteriorating health condition after being on a hunger strike for 39 days. Saakashvili had been held in Rustavi penitentiary since October 1, when he was arrested after returning to his home country for the [...]

Saakashvili receives emergency treatment as health seriously deteriorates after 25 days on hunger strike

By | October 25th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s health condition deteriorated critically Monday, after 25 days of hunger strike. His condition was so serious that he required emergency treatment by doctors. After a while his condition improved, said the former president’s defense lawyer Dimitri Sadzaglishvili. "Saakashvili is now entering such a phase of starvation that his health is [...]

Georgia’s GD government holds off on tougher Covid-19 restrictions until after second round of local elections

By | October 20th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Amiran Gamkrelidze. (TV Pirveli.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Officials in Georgia are considering a return to tougher Covid-19 restrictions after a sharp rise in new cases, but are likely to wait until after the second round of the local elections on October 30. Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Center for Disease Control, the key person in managing the [...]

Georgia mourns nine victims of building collapse

By | October 11th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: |

People brought dolls, flowers and candles to the site where an apartment building collapsed in Batumi, Georgia, killing nine people. (IPN.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is mourning the victims of the collapse of a 7-storey building  in Batumi, while investigators are working to identify the causes of the tragedy, which killed nine people, including three children. People bring [...]

Georgia’s ruling party achieves 47% in local elections, higher than EU mediated agreement’s trigger level for snap poll

By | October 3rd, 2021|Categories: Elections|Tags: , , |

Georgians went to the polls Saturday to elect municipal councils and mayors. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's local elections have so far earned mixed results, with both the ruling party and the opposition celebrating victory and highlighting their own success. Although the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) won a landslide victory in the proportional list and received 47% of the [...]

Former president Saakashvili returns to Georgia and is arrested a day before local elections

By | October 1st, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili. TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili allegedly returned on Friday to his home country on Friday after eight and a half years’ absence. Law enforcement authorities arrested the former leader the same evening. The news about the ex-president’s arrest sparked celebrations among the opposition and frustration within the government, and threatened to [...]

Georgia’s ruling party asks for stronger EU condemnation of UNM ‘provocation’

By | September 25th, 2021|Categories: Elections|Tags: , , |

Altercation between Nika Melia (left) and Irakli Kobakhidze at the EU office in Tbilisi. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s ruling party, GD, criticizes EU Ambassador Carl Hartzell for being too timid in his criticism of the leader of the opposition party UNM Nika Melia after a verbal confrontation outside the EU office in Tbilisi on Thursday. Melia approached [...]

Leader of Georgia’s main opposition party stripped of his seat in parliament

By | September 20th, 2021|Categories: Elections|Tags: , , , , |

Nika Melia. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--The largest opposition party’s candidate for Tbilisi mayor has lost his seat in the Georgian parliament. Nika Melia, leader of the largest opposition party United National Movement (UNM), asked for the revocation himself in July, after the ruling party abandoned the EU mediated compromise agreement negotiated by European Council President Charles Michel. [...]

Georgian ombudsman names priest, blogger as organizers of July 5 anti-LGBTQ rally and calls for their prosecution

By | September 6th, 2021|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , |

Zurab Makharadze (center with a microphone) and Archpriest Spiridon (left, with a wooden cross) at the rally in front of parliament. ( The ombudsman calls for the prosecution of an ultra-nationalist journalist and an archpriest of the Georgian Orthodox Church for organizing violence against journalists and LGBTQ rights activists. Ombudsman Nino Lomjaria said 53 people have [...]

GD chairman rules out early parliamentary elections

By | August 31st, 2021|Categories: Elections|Tags: , , |

Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of Georgia's ruling party, Georgian Dream. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s ruling party has dashed the opposition's hopes of holding early elections for parliament in 2022 as a spokesman ruled it out entirely regardless of how few votes Georgian Dream will be able to get in the local elections this October. "Even if Georgian Dream gets [...]

Georgia’s Public Defender calls for postponing the local elections due to Covid-19

By | August 25th, 2021|Categories: Elections|Tags: , , |

Nino Lomjaria, Public Defender of Georgia. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Public Defender calls for postponing the local elections amid skyrocketing numbers of new Covid-19 cases and deaths. Nino Lomjaria’s call is backed by the opposition, but the government categorically rules out postponing the poll, which is scheduled for October. "We have more than 60-70 dead per day. What [...]

22 Georgians stranded in Kabul. Turkey, other partners will help, MFA says

By | August 16th, 2021|Categories: World|Tags: , |

People storming Kabul airport after Taliban takeover of Afghan capital (VOA). TBILISI, DFWatch-Twenty two citizens of Georgia are stuck in Kabul and are unable to return to Georgia. They were scheduled to fly off on a Ukrainian plane on Monday, but were unable to reach the airport due to security concerns. They are currently in a [...]

Georgia halts public transport in biggest cities amid new deadly wave of Covid-19

By | August 12th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Facebook/MIA.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government is tightening regulations due to the worsening epidemiological situation, but still refrains from reintroducing curfew and lockdown, measures that are wildly unpopular among the population. The government was originally expected to announce a new tightening of measures on Tuesday after news of hospitals buckling under the stress of skyrocketing Covid-19 numbers, [...]

Covid-19 surge reaching crisis point in Georgia as hospitals struggle

By | August 11th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Ekaterine Tikaradze at the briefing on Wednesday. (Government of Georgia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The recent surge in Covid-19 is causing a steadily deteriorating situation in Georgia and approaching crisis level. Hospitals are reporting  an acute shortage of free beds and medical staff, while the government is considering more restrictions, something it did not intend to do before the [...]

Georgia brings back some stricter regulations amid skyrocketing number of new Covid-19 cases

By | August 9th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

The meeting of the Coordinating Council was presided over by PM Irakli Gharibashvili, August 8, 2021. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Against the backdrop of a skyrocketing number of new cases of Covid-19 and a steady increase in the number of deaths, authorities in Georgia decided Monday to bring back stricter regulations, but stopped short of using another round [...]

Georgia denies that PM Gharibashvili’s visit request was turned down by Baltic states

By | August 5th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies claims by the opposition that the three Baltic countries refused to host PM Irakli Gharibashvili, who was planning a visit. One of the largest online publications in Lithuania,, confirmed, based on anonymous sources, that the PM's request to come on an official trip to [...]

For the first time, Georgia’s president criticizes the country’s ruling party

By | August 4th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Salome Zourabichvili ( TBILISI, DFWatch--President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili has criticized the ruling Georgian Dream party for unilaterally abandoning the EU-mediated agreement.  She also reiterated the importance of the country's European development. This is the first time the president has criticized the political movement that brought her to the presidency. Salome Zourabichvili was able to win [...]

Missing Australian woman, 31, found dead in Tbilisi

By | July 31st, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

Shanae Brooke (Facebook). TBILISI, DFWatch--The body of an Australian expat was found at the Mtatsminda Recreational Park near the center of Tbilisi. It is reported that she was allegedly murdered. Shanae Brooke, 31, went missing Friday when she went to Mtatsminda Park for jogging, which she did routinely. She was last heard from placing a disturbing [...]

Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling to run for mayor of Gori for Georgia’s ruling party

By | July 31st, 2021|Categories: Sport|Tags: , |

Lado Khinchegashvili ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Dream has nominated Olympic champion Vladimer (Lado) Khinchegashvili as a candidate for mayor of Gori in the October local elections. Following the results of the previous elections in this city, the 30-year-old athlete, who has not yet made a public announcement to leave the sport, will most likely win this election. [...]

Georgia responds to Russian threat of ‘countermeasures’ to NATO drills

By | July 30th, 2021|Categories: Security|Tags: , , |

Lasha Darsalia (Imedinews). TBILISI, DFWatch--As NATO’s military drills ‘Agile Spirit 2021’ got underway in Georgia this week, spokespersons for both Georgia and Russia made warning statements illustrating the risk of another round of conflict.  Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov first said NATO’s Agile Spirit 2021 exercise with 2,500 military personnel from 12 alliance members and three partner [...]

GD withdrawal from EU-brokered political agreement fuels confrontation ahead local elections

By | July 29th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Irakli Kobakhidze (center) at the GD briefing. Georgian Dream’s withdrawal from the EU-brokered political agreement has fueled ongoing political confrontation in the country. The case has even reached the point where part of the opposition is considering boycotting the local elections scheduled in October. One MP, Zurab “Girchi” Japaridze, has already left parliament. On Wednesday the [...]

Georgia’s public defender calls on law enforcement to prosecute perpetrators of July 5 violence

By | July 27th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Public Defender Nino Lomjaria. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s public defender calls on law enforcement bodies to react to the violent attacks on journalists during the night of July 5 and the following days and make the results public. After crowds of ultra conservatives hunted down journalists in the street and beat them in the night of July 5 [...]

UNM nominates its chairperson for Tbilisi mayoral race but fails to put up united opposition front

By | July 25th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

UNM candidate for Tbilisi mayor, Nika Melia (left), and UNM candidate for city assembly chair, Elene Khoshtaria. TBILISI, DFWatch--The largest opposition party in Georgia, the United National Movement, on Friday nominated party chairman Nika Melia as its candidate for Tbilisi Mayor in the local elections in October. But Melia has so far failed to secure broad [...]

Georgia sees disturbing rise in Covid-19 cases but government rules out another lockdown

By | July 24th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vaccination center at Hualing shopping mall in Tbilisi ( TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia  is facing a setback in its fight against the coronavirus as experts predict an increase in daily cases in the next 2-3 weeks, but the government reiterates that it’s not planning another lockdown. Meanwhile, the mass vaccination program is continuing and the [...]

Georgian PM rules out another lockdown despite Covid-19 virus again running rampant

By | July 21st, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

PM Irakli Gharibashvili rules out another lockdown, saying that country’s economy can’t withstand it. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government is not going to declare a lockdown ahead of the upcoming elections, despite a rapidly deteriorating situation in tackling the spread of the coronavirus. Many see the government’s avoidance of new unpopular restrictions in light of the [...]

Rally in Tbilisi calls for PM’s resignation after death of cameraman beaten in July 5 violence

By | July 11th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Rally organizers demanded the resignation of PM Irakli Garibashvili, as well as a full independent investigation of the death of TV cameraman Lekso Lashkarava. (Interpressnews.) Opposition parties, journalists and civil society activists are protesting in the center of Tbilisi on Sunday, demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, after the death of a cameraman who was [...]

Dozens injured as far-right groups attack Tbilisi Pride, journalists

By | July 5th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Far-right activists attacking a reporter for Formula TV. (IPN). TBILISI, DFWatch--Dozens of people were injured in Tbilisi on Monday as far-right activists attacked the LGBTQ Pride parade. There were incidents several places in the capital. The main targets of the attacks were journalists and cameramen for several opposition TV stations that are considered "propagandists for liberalism." [...]

Georgia lifts nightly curfew from July

By | June 22nd, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is relaxing or lifting the two Covid-19 measures that have irritated the population the most. PM Irakli Gharibashvili said on Tuesday that the government is lifting the nightly curfew from July 1, although restaurants and cafes, as well as other entertainment establishments will be open only until midnight. At the same time, Gharibashvili [...]

Ivanishvili rejects rumors of links to his ex-PM’s new party

By | June 8th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: |

Giorgi Gakharia and Bidzina Ivanishvili (Facebook/GeorgianDream)  TBILISI, DFWatch--The founder of Georgia’s ruling party has publicly dispelled rumors that he is secretly supporting the former prime minister Giorgi Gakharia’s new political party. In a letter published on Monday, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili called Gakharia a "traitor" and categorically ruled out collaborating with the party he founded. Gakharia, who [...]

Two injured in clashes as special forces arrest hydropower protester near Tskaltubo

By | June 1st, 2021|Categories: Environment|Tags: , , |

Locals gather at Sakulia cemetery after the clash. TBILISI, DFWatch--At least two people were injured as protesters clashed with police in a village near Tskaltubo Tuesday evening. The clashes broke out as special forces arrived in the village of Sakulia in order to arrest a 29-year-old man for involvement in protests against the Namakhvani hydropower project. [...]

Georgia ponders reopening its land borders

By | May 23rd, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

Paata Imnadze ( TBILISI, DFWatch--With the tourist season approaching, Georgia is thinking about opening its land borders. "Discussions are already underway and the border will probably be opened," said Paata Imnadze, Scientific Director at National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, which is the main body handling the pandemic in the country. Everything has been [...]

Conservative millionaire Vasadze, who suggested anti-LGBT vigilante groups, to launch political movement

By | May 6th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Levan Vasadze with his followers threatening to set up vigilante patrols against LGBT activists in Vere Park in Tbilisi, 2019. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--After years of denying his intention to go into politics, the conservative millionaire Levan Vasadze finally announced on Thursday that he is launching a public movement. "I’ve made a very difficult decision in my [...]

Fatal climbing accident in Svaneti, Georgia

By | May 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Rescuer workers at Guli Glacier. (Emergency Management Agency). TBILISI, DFWatch--A foreign tourist has died in a climbing accident in the Svaneti highlands, according to the Emergency Management Agency of Georgia. Officials did not name the deceased but indicated it was a citizen of Switzerland. Local media reported that the death was caused by a fall into [...]

Russia sends first batch of Sputnik V vaccines to Abkhazia

By | April 30th, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

(Sputnik-Abkhazia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia has sent its first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine to Abkhazia, where people will start receiving the jab after the May 9 Victory Day celebrations. The Russian vaccine against the coronavirus will only be administered in one location, Sokhumi Republican Hospital. Initially, only medical staff, teachers, government employees and law enforcement officials [...]

Georgia considers return to tougher coronavirus measures after another increase in cases

By | April 20th, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch--In light of rising concerns about the Covid-19 situation in the country, Georgia may tighten its existing restrictions or bring in tougher measures.  The government will hold a meeting with specialists on Wednesday, where a final decision will be made, the health minister said. The epidemic is getting worse, and with more than 10,000 active [...]

EU backs early parliamentary election in Georgia if ruling GD party gets less than 43% in local elections

By | April 19th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

European Council President Charles Michel. (Twitter.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Union on Sunday made another attempt at breaking the political deadlock in Georgia, offering a compromise that envisions the release of perceived political prisoners as well as early parliamentary elections. The EU earlier suggested Georgia's factions agree to the release of UNM leader Nika Melia and Giorgi [...]

Georgia’s ruling party signs EU-mediated agreement but opposition refuses to sign

By | April 16th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Archil Talakvadze (Imedinews). TBILISI, DFWatch--The ruling Georgian Dream party has unilaterally signed an EU-mediated compromise agreement intended to overcome the political crisis in Georgia, which addresses one of the two main demands of the opposition. “Today, the Georgian Dream publicly signs a document created under the auspices of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, [...]

Four Georgians found drowned after trying to cross the Enguri bypassing Abkhazia checkpoint

By | April 7th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Rescue workers at the Enguri River (RFE/RL) TBILISI, DFWatch--Four people were found dead on the banks of the Enguri River on Wednesday. The four are believed to have  drowned as they tried to cross from Abkhazia to Georgian-controlled territory bypassing Russian border guards and Abkhaz customs officers.  Rescue workers found the bodies of three people Wednesday [...]

A PM who recently resigned is Georgia’s most popular politician

By | April 5th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has 65% approval rating among Georgians. TBILISI, DFWatch--A recently retired prime minister is one of Georgia's most popular politicians, according to a new survey published by the International Republican Institute (IRI) on Monday. Giorgi Gakharia, who resigned in February citing disagreement with his party colleagues over the detention of UNM leader [...]

EU-mediated talks fail to resolve Georgia’s political crisis

By | March 31st, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Christian Danielsson addressing the media after the failed talks. TBILISI, DFWatch--EU-mediated negotiations to end the political crisis in Georgia have once more ended in failure.  The compromise proposed by EU envoy Christian Danielsson was rejected Tuesday evening by both the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) and the group of opposition parties led by United National Movement (UNM). [...]

Third wave looming, but half of Georgians don’t want to get vaccinated

By | March 27th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s vaccination effort has run into a roadblock, as many people are skeptical of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is believed to have caused the death of a 27-year-old nurse a week ago. The attitude toward the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech is more positive, although the available supplies of it are limited. A large [...]

Georgian ex-PM Gakharia keeps people guessing after cryptic message that he hasn’t left politics

By | March 22nd, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

(Facebook/გახარია.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said on Monday that he has not left politics, without further explanation, leaving people guessing as to what he might have meant. "I am not leaving anything, not even politics," Giorgi Gakharia wrote on his Facebook page on Monday. But when asked by reporters, he did not explain [...]

Georgia will not halt the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine despite 27-year-old nurse’s life-threatening allergic reaction

By | March 18th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

(Government of Georgia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is not halting its use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine after a 27-year-old female nurse suffered anaphylactic shock and went into a coma on Thursday after receiving the jab. "We recently heard a report about AstraZeneca from a strict European regulator. It is recognized as a safe vaccine that has far more [...]

Georgian PM rejects opposition’s two main demands

By | March 17th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Irakli Garibashvili meeting with Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. (Facebook/Government of Georgia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister on Tuesday rejected the two main demands put forth by the opposition, thus prolonging the country’s four and a half months long political crisis. "The next parliamentary elections will be held in 2024," Prime [...]

Locals in Gali, Abkhazia demand lifting of 5-day Covid-19 quarantine for crossing Enguri Bridge

By | March 12th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Enguri Bridge. (DFWatch.) GALI, DFWatch--Gali residents demand the opening of the checkpoint on Enguri Bridge and the lifting of the five-day quarantine for travelers that have been tested for Covid-19.  Locals told DFWatch that because of the quarantine requirement, many people have resorted to a dangerous route, wading through the surging Enguri river at the so-called [...]

South Ossetia incident: Two Russian soldiers advance 500m into Georgian-controlled territory, fire warning shots, in failed attempt to detain resident

By | March 9th, 2021|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--The two armed Russian service members advanced 500 meters into territory controlled by Georgia and fired warning shots in an attempt to seize a local resident in the village Khurvaleti, about 50km northwest of Tbilisi, an eyewitness told Radio Tavisupleba. Khurvaleti is located at the southern tip of the breakaway region South Ossetia, whose de [...]

Audio of Georgian PM discussing crackdown on social media comments sparks outrage in Georgia

By | March 7th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Bera Ivanishvili (left) and Irakli Garibashvili. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Audio recordings aired by an opposition TV channel in Georgia have caused outrage and demands for the prime minister’s resignation. The recordings, aired Saturday on TV Pirveli, appear to show Georgia’s current PM Irakli Garibashvili and ruling party founder Bidzina Ivanishvili's rapper son Bera discussing with Anzor Chubinidze, [...]

Georgia’s economy minister expects a sevenfold increase in flights this month as Covid-19 restrictions on air travel are lifted

By | March 4th, 2021|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , , |

( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia expects air traffic to increase sharply as Covid-19 related restrictions on regular flights are lifted, to reach a level this month seven times what it was in August last year. By summer, the number of flights per week may reach 200, a 20-fold increase, the Minister of Economy Natia Turnava said Thursday at [...]

Georgian opposition offers to tone down protests to give negotiations a chance

By | March 4th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: |

Policemen guarding the entrance to parliament during an opposition protest on March 2, 2021. (RFE/RL) TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s opposition have decided to scale back their protest rallies, citing a wish to not give the ruling Georgian Dream party an excuse to stall the talks initiated by the President of the European Council. The decision was made at [...]

Political crisis deepens in Georgia following violent police raid and arrest of opposition leader

By | February 24th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Opposition supporters rallied in front of the government office in Tbilisi. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--A police raid of the headquarters of Georgia’s largest opposition party and the arrest of its leader Tuesday morning has further deepened the political crisis in the country. Nika Melia, leader of the United National Movement, was dragged out of the party building [...]

Abkhazia village appeals to Tbilisi for help after massive disease outbreak, suspected to be Covid-19

By | February 19th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

A school building in Sida, another village in the Gali region. (DFWatch.) GALI, DFwatch--In the village of Tagiloni in the Gali district of breakaway Abkhazia, there has been an explosion of cases of an illness locals suspect to be Covid-19, following a burial feast held ten days ago. Locals reached out to DFWatch, to appeal for [...]

Resignation of PM fails to defuse Georgia’s political crisis, as incoming PM vows to ‘restore order’, hinting that UNM leader Melia may still be arrested

By | February 18th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Irakli Garibashvili speaking at Georgian Dream headquarters during his nomination. TBILISI, DFWatch--The opposition in Georgia breathed a sigh of relief Thursday, as Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation and the MInistry of Internal Affairs postponed the arrest of Nika Melia, leader of the largest opposition party in the country, UNM. Opposition leaders had spent the [...]

Georgia on the verge of fierce escalation: opposition prepares to resist arrest of UNM leader after controversial court ruling

By | February 18th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Nika Melia, surrounded by opposition politicians, speaking to journalists at the UNM office after court ruling. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Five out of eight opposition parties and blocks which passed one percent barrier in 2020 parliamentary election - UNM, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Labour Party - voice their support for and pledge to defend UNM’s Nika Melia [...]

Leader of Georgia’s main opposition party facing imprisonment on charges from 2019 protest rally

By | February 12th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Nika Melia talking with supporters at an opposition rally in Tbilisi, Novermber, 2020. (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The leader of Georgia’s main opposition party faces imprisonment after participating in a protest in 2019.  The prosecutor's office asked parliament on Friday to strip Nika Melia of his immunity as a member of parliament. If parliament agrees - and that [...]

Georgia lifts some coronavirus restrictions after week of protests

By | February 4th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Anti-lockdown rally by representatives of the hospitality sector outside the government building in Tbilisi on January 30. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Amid growing discontent and irritation among the population, the Georgian government is lifting some of the most painful restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. From Monday, February 8, public transport in major cities will be allowed to [...]

Citizens Party calls off parliament boycott after GD promises reforms, rest of opposition still rejects 2020 election results

By | January 29th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Aleko Elisashvili answering journalists at the parliament (video grab from One of the opposition parties in Georgia announced Friday that they are calling off their boycott of parliament, breaking ranks with the rest of the opposition, which have held that the October 31 election was fraught with violations and should be annulled. Chairman of the [...]

Georgia’s Public Defender says representatives are threatened by Soviet-style inmate leaders

By | January 20th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Nino Lomjaria. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Penitentiary authorities in Georgia have unleashed “prisoners managed by the administration” to systematically carry out “verbal attacks, threats and aggression” against representatives of the Public Defender's Office, Ombudswoman Nino Lomjaria said on Wednesday. The PDO earlier released a report claiming the management model of semi-open prisons was based on an informal hierarchy [...]

Georgian opposition party Citizens to break off parliament boycott if government promises election reform

By | January 20th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian opposition’s boycott of parliament after the October 31 election is in doubt, after one of the parties indicated they will break off the boycott. Aleko Elisashvili, leader of the  Citizens party, said Wednesday that he will announce the party’s decision to take up their two seats in parliament in a few days. "If [...]

Georgia to lift some Covid-19 restrictions after drop in number of infections

By | January 18th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Amiran Gamkrelidze. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia plans to gradually lift Covid-19 related restrictions as the most recent statistics show a reduction both in new cases and the number of deaths, the country's chief epidemiologist Amiran Gamkrelidze said on Monday.  This process will be accompanied by an increase in the total number of tests and the start of [...]

42-year-old Irakli Kobakhidze takes over reins of Georgia’s ruling party as billionaire founder steps down

By | January 16th, 2021|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Former party secretary Irakli Kobakhidze was "unanimously" elected as new leader of Georgian Dream. TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s ruling party on Saturday elected former party secretary Irakli Kobakhidze as new chairman, after its billionaire founder stepped down.  The choice of a new leader and new composition of the political council at the party convention are important developments for [...]

Novosibirsk Opera terminates contract with wife of former leader of Georgian opposition party UNM

By | January 14th, 2021|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Nino Ananiashvili. TBILISI, DFWatch--A Russian theater in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, which was supposed to be headed by the wife of a prominent Georgian opposition politician, has terminated its contract with her. Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater said the decision was provoked by the fact that former Bolshoi prima ballerina Nino Ananiashvili made a premature [...]

Wildfires now threatening Gagra, the former Soviet holiday resort north in Abkhazia

By | January 8th, 2021|Categories: News|

Wildfires in the hills above Gagra. (Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch--A number of wildfires have been put out in the Gali district of Abkhazia but the fires have now moved further north, threatening Gagra, an iconic holiday resort on the Black Sea coast. Despite lacking the means to fight the fires, the breakaway authorities in Sokhumi have rejected [...]

Wildfires threatening populated areas in Gali, Abkhazia

By | January 5th, 2021|Categories: News| Fire in the village Zemo Barghebi published by a local resident at about 2 pm. GALI, DFWatch--Wildfires tore through several villages here in the Gali district of Abkhazia on Tuesday. The fires broke out late last night and soon spread to populated areas due to strong winds.  Despite reports by the breakaway authorities that they [...]

Georgia shuts down again due to Covid-19, brings back nightly curfew

By | January 3rd, 2021|Categories: News|

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia on Sunday re-introduced strict Covid-19 restrictions that will last until January 15. The rationale behind the measures adopted by the government in November was to reduce people’s mobility amid a worrying rise in the number of cases, which were well above 4,000 new cases a day during that month and continued growing. After a [...]

Georgia’s main electricity provider announces price hike in midst of pandemic

By | December 28th, 2020|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--At the end of a difficult year with families struggling to get through a pandemic, Georgia’s largest electricity provider announced a price hike that risks causing major discontent. On Monday, the CEO of Energo-Pro Georgia, which in 2016 controlled 62% of the country’s energy distribution, said an increase in electricity tariffs was inevitable. "The existing [...]

Georgia’s ruling party softens stance on two controversial bills severely limiting oppposition parties

By | December 24th, 2020|Categories: News|

Opposition parties holding a joint briefing after the October 31 elections. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Facing growing criticism from the West, Georgian Dream seems to soften its strict stance towards the opposition. Although parliament on Wednesday adopted a bill at the first reading that strips all opposition parties of their state funding, GD said it would send the [...]

Volunteer teacher bringing hope to university entrants remotely from locked down Gali

By | December 21st, 2020|Categories: News|

Rusudan Samushia. (Facebook.) GALI, DFWatch--Classes have been suspended in public schools in Abkhazia as in the rest of Georgia because of the pandemic, and also here in Gali, local teachers try their best to assist students with distance learning.  Despite many difficulties, including the interruption of electricity supply, local teachers are still more or less able [...]

Georgian Dream starts crackdown on opposition after talks to stop boycott fail

By | December 18th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

GD Executive Secretary Irakli Kobakhidze. TBILISI, DFWatch--After talks between Georgian Dream and the opposition failed to defuse the political crisis, the ruling party in Georgia has started to weigh in with threats of revoking registration for the largest opposition party and stripping others of state funding. On Thursday, Irakli Kobakhidze, the Georgian Dream executive secretary, said [...]

Gali residents struggling to get by under Covid-19 travel restrictions

By | December 13th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

Gali. (DFWatch.) GALI, DFWatch--Under conditions that amount to a blockade, the population of Gali are finding ways of sorting out their daily life problems, such as how to receive pensions when they can’t get to a Georgian bank. In spring, Abkhazia’s separatist authorities closed the only road connecting the Gali district with the rest of Georgia, [...]

Opposition boycotting parliament in Georgia, first session begins with only ruling party in attendance

By | December 11th, 2020|Categories: News|

First session of newly elected parliament with opposition seats vacant. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's newly elected parliament opened its first session on Friday with only one party in attendance. All opposition parties are boycotting the parliament despite many rounds of negotiations and efforts by Western diplomats to break the deadlock. Nine parties surpassed the threshold in the [...]

Georgians in Gali welcome the partial opening of Enguri Bridge, but want it opened in both directions

By | December 10th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

( GALI, DFWatch--Georgians living in Gali welcome the opening by separatist authorities of Enguri Bridge for travel in one direction, but demand they also allow passage in the other direction across the bridge that connects Abkhazia with Georgia proper.  Although Sukhumi does not allow the passage from Gali to Zugdidi, locals think that if the Georgian [...]

Georgian resident of Gali sentenced to 9 years in jail in Abkhazia for dishonoring the flag

By | December 8th, 2020|Categories: News|

 The textile which Bebua is accused of burning (also shown in the video below) was part of decoration in the colours of Abkhaz flag. TBILISI, DFWatch--A resident of Gali who is accused by the breakaway authorities of Abkhazia of vandalism and dishonoring the flag, has been sentenced to 9 years in prison. The Georgian side protests [...]

Political gridlock continues after third round of negotiations between Georgian government and opposition

By | December 7th, 2020|Categories: News|

Speaker of Parliament Archil Talakvadze exiting the meeting at the US diplomat’s residence. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--The third round of negotiations between the Georgian government and opposition ended with minor progress on Monday.  The talks were mediated by Western diplomats and aimed at ending the boycott of the newly elected parliament.  Nine parties overcame the 1% threshold [...]

Council of Europe urges Russia to not delay €10 million compensation to victims of 2006 mass expulsion of Georgians

By | December 5th, 2020|Categories: News|

CoE Committee of Ministers sitting in Strasbourg, France. TBILISI, DFWatch--The Council of Europe (CoE) has urged  Russia to not delay further the payment of EUR 10 million damages to Georgia for human rights violations when thousands of Georgian citizens were expelled from Russia following a spy row between the two neighboring countries.  The European Court of [...]

Enguri Bridge to open temporarily from December 3 to 10 for humanitarian reasons

By | December 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|

(Gal Info.) DFWatch--The separatist authorities in Abkhazia have decided to temporarily open the Enguri checkpoint with Georgia proper from December 3 to 10 for "humanitarian" reasons. Those who possess Abkhaz citizenship or permanent residence there and are Covid-19 free can cross the “border” from 9 am till 7 pm during this period, reads a statement released [...]

Covid-19 restrictions causing extreme hardship for residents of Gali, Abkhazia

By | November 30th, 2020|Categories: News|

Enguri Bridge. GALI, DFWatch--The pandemic has caused an extremely difficult situation for tens of thousands of Gali residents whose livelihood depends on commuting to Georgia proper. The restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19 have exacerbated the situation for locals here in Gali, a mostly ethnic Georgian area of Abkhazia, where residents are already suffering under [...]

Georgia goes into lockdown as surge in Covid-19 cases threatens to overwhelm healthcare system

By | November 26th, 2020|Categories: News|

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced drastic new measures after consultations with major businesses and business unions. (Imedi.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government on Thursday announced new restrictions amid a skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases and deaths, and with a healthcare system on the verge of collapse. The new measures, though anticipated, are much less strict than what [...]

With power cuts and poor Internet, remote learning no substitute for closed schools during Covid-19 in Gali, Abkhazia

By | November 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|

Public school in the village Sida, Gali district. (DFWatch) GALI, DFWatch--School closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic are worsening an already difficult situation in Gali district  in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. Teachers are struggling to continue classes remotely, but with unstable electricity supply and a lack of computers and Internet, few students are able to [...]

ECHR finds Georgia in violation of right to life in Roin Shavadze murder case

By | November 19th, 2020|Categories: News|

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday found Georgia in violation of ARticle 2 - the right to life - in the high-profile case of torture and death of Georgian sergeant, an Iraq War veteran. In its judgment, the ECHR unanimously held that “there has been a violation of Article 2 of the Convention [...]

US State Dep official calls on opposition parties in Georgia to work within, not boycott parliament

By | November 18th, 2020|Categories: News|

Opposition parties held a “silent rally” on Rustaveli Avenue. (Formula TV) The Georgian opposition should call off their threats of boycotting parliament and instead fight for change within the parliament, a senior US State Department official told the traveling press at a briefing Wednesday. “So to see them calling for a boycott again is like watching [...]

As Georgia records 3,157 new Covid-19 cases, government considers using indoor arena to treat patients

By | November 16th, 2020|Categories: News|

Amiran Gamkrelidze, director of Georgia's National Center for Disease Control. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--A few months ago, Georgia was commended for its success in containing Covid-19, but in the last few weeks the country has seen a record spread of the virus causing the disease.  There are growing concerns that the health care system is failing to [...]

One injured as opposition clash with GFF staff over government officials’ attending Georgia – North Macedonia match despite Covid-19 restrictions

By | November 13th, 2020|Categories: News| Activists quoted from Georgia Orwell's book Animal Farm, that 'some animals are more equal than others'. At least one person was injured during a brawl at the offices of the Georgian Football Federation Friday, during an opposition rally against the presence of high-ranking government officials at the UEFA Cup qualifier between Georgia and North Macedonia [...]

Georgian government meets opposition for talks to end post-election deadlock

By | November 13th, 2020|Categories: News|

The EU ambassador's car leaving the US ambassador's residence after the meeting. (Video grab from Mtavari Arkhi.) Government and opposition representatives met for the first time Thursday evening at the residence of US Ambassador Kelly Degnan to look for solutions to the continuing political crisis in the country. The meeting lasted three hours and was attended [...]

Shots fired outside residence of Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili

By | November 6th, 2020|Categories: News|

Opposition rally at the residence of Bidzina Ivanishvili (RFE/RL) TBILISI, DFWatch--Shots were fired outside the residence of Georgian Dream leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili on Friday, during a rally by the opposition party United National Movement and its allies to protest what they call “total rigging” of the October 31 parliamentary election. No-one was injured in the [...]

Georgian opposition demands election results canceled and CEC head’s resignation

By | November 3rd, 2020|Categories: News|

CEC chairwoman Tamar Zhvania is confronted by an opposition member of the CEC during an announcement of preliminary results. TBILISI, DFWatch--Eight of the nine political parties which qualified for seats in Georgia’s new parliament declare the October 31 election fraudulent and demand a new election and the resignation of the head of the Central Election Commission. [...]

Georgia’s ruling party declares resounding victory, but opposition rejects election results, claiming fraud

By | November 1st, 2020|Categories: News|

Nika Melia, UNM's candidate for the Tbilisi district Gldani. TBILISI, DFWatch--The ruling party holds a significant lead after Georgia’s general election, according to the Central Elections Commission, and will be able to form a new government without the need for a coalition. The opposition, meanwhile, refuses to accept the election results released by CEC, insisting they [...]

Ten opposition parties unite to exclude ruling Georgian Dream from new coalition

By | October 30th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Opposition leaders at the signing of agreement at Labor Party office in Tbilisi. ( A day before the general election, ten opposition parties signed an agreement not to form a coalition government with the Georgian Dream, a political party presided by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili which rules the country since 2012. The parties state that current government [...]

The government in Georgia claims the opposition is preparing a revolution

By | October 29th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

Irakli Kobakhidze, secretary of the ruling Georgian Dream party. (Facebook.) Three days ahead of Georgia’s general election, the government is trading barbs with the opposition with each side accusing each other of extreme measures, ranging from election rigging to staging a violent overthrow of the government. Minister of Defense Irakli Garibashvili, who has previously served as [...]

Zugdidi hostage-taker still at large as manhunt continues

By | October 27th, 2020|Categories: News|

Police and forensic experts on Monday searched the house of Esebua's parents near Zugdidi. TBILISI, DFWatch--An ongoing police hunt in Georgia as so far failed to turn up a former soldier suspected of taking dozens of people hostage in a bank in Zugdidi, a town in west Georgia, and escaping with USD 500,000 of ransom money. [...]

18 natives of Georgia’s Javakheti killed in Karabakh war: local media

By | October 20th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Photos of those fallen in Karabakh are displayed at Surb Khach (The Holy Cross) church in Akhalkalaki. (Jnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch--At least 18 natives of Georgia’s Javakheti region have died in the ongoing Karabakh war, an Akhalkalaki-based news website reports. The list published on includes both volunteers and military personnel. Many natives of Javakheti live in [...]

Saakashvili’s ex-ally accuses him of undermining opposition unity

By | October 12th, 2020|Categories: News|

Gigi Ugulava. Opposition infighting intensifies to new extremes three weeks ahead of general elections as former ally of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili accuses him of violating opposition unity. Gigi Ugulava, the former mayor of Tbilisi and leader of the European Georgia party, says "Saakashvili stabbed opposition unity in the back." In a video address posted on Facebook, [...]

Armenia refuses to attend Russian-led military ODKB drills in Belarus

By | October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Indestructible Brotherhood-2019 in Tajikistan. (CSTO) Amid full-scale war in Nagorny Karabakh, Armenia refuses to take part in Russian-led military exercises “Indestructible Brotherhood-2020", which will be held in Belarus in mid-October, the Armenian Defense Ministry stated Monday. The exercises are dedicated to carrying out peacekeeping missions. It is scheduled on October 12 to 16 at the Losvido [...]

“Clear disinformation”: Georgia denies allowing Turkish weapons shipments to Azerbaijan

By | October 5th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Lasha Darsalia. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia categorically denies rumors spread on various social networks that weapons are being brought to Azerbaijan through its territory and calls on the Armenian side not to rely on such misinformation and fake news. "We observe that various types of misinformation and fakes are spread in the social space, as if weapons [...]

Locals in Javakheti blocked for several hours road at the border with Turkey

By | September 30th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , |

( Ethnic Armenians of Georgia’s Javakheti regions blocked for several hours Tuesday a road that connects Georgia with Turkey and didn’t let trucks with Turkish numberplates in at the village of Kartsakhi, Akhalkalali Municipality. About a thousand people, mostly men, participated in the rally, local news agency Jnews reports. They suspect Turkey transfers weaponry [...]

Tensions high in Georgia as ethnic Armenians, Azerbaijanis rally to support sides in Karabakh war

By | September 29th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Registration of volunteers at Ninotsminda stadium. (Radio Nor) Ongoing armed conflict between Azerbaijan and breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh has had strong repercussion in Georgia with its ethnic Armenian and Azerbaijan minorities. Both groups hold mass rallies in support of their ethnically kin states. People in Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda, two municipalities in southern part of the country [...]

UNM embraces four minor parties to defeat “oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili”

By | September 15th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Coalition presentation. ( Georgia’s largest opposition force forms an electoral block with four small political parties to propose candidacy of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili for PM office. State for the People, Republican Party, Chven Tviton, and Progress and Freedom joined ranks with UNM to defeat “oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili” and signed a formal agreement on Tuesday. [...]

Russian MP claima Georgia might have been involved in Navalny poisoning

By | September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Yuri Shvytkin. (Facebook) As the world, and democratic forces in Russia, remain shocked by cold-blooded poisoning of President Putin’s top foe by Novichok, the Kremlin points at Georgian and the United States as possible perpetrators. Russia is not engaged in the manufacture of chemicals from the Novichok group, such laboratories are located in Georgia [...]

Anger in SO triggers political crisis, MPs boycott sessions

By | September 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|

Chief prosecutor Uruzmag Jagaev ( Situation in the breakaway South Ossetia remains tense after torture and death of a 28 y/o local man by police. The opposition and relatives keep on holding rallies in Tskhinvali, while the deputies at the de facto parliament have started boycotting sessions. Opposition MPs, who constitute majority in de [...]

Georgia cracks down on another Gulen-linked private school

By | August 25th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Faqcebook.) Georgia cracks on educational institutions linked to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen again. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Education declined appeal by a private schooled linked to Turkish President Erdogan’s top foe. The school named after Shota Rustaveli is located in Rustavi, about 20 km east from Tbilisi and is regarded by locals as [...]

Georgia declares nationwide mourning on August 25 after 17 killed in minibus crash

By | August 24th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

( Georgia marks August 25 as a day of mourning for victims of deadly crash on the road to Khevsureti. Out of 20 people on board of minibus, 17 died and three others, all women, are currently in the critical condition. The tragedy occurred on the mountainous road leading to the ancient fortress of [...]

Georgia’s opposition forces agree to join efforts to beat Ivanishvili

By | August 18th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Opposition meeting at GLP office. (IPN) A group of Georgia’s opposition political forces, including United National Movement, the biggest opposition party, has agreed to unite their efforts “to defend” their votes against possible rigging by government in general elections in October. "Opposition parties will work in a coordinated manner in all electoral districts, including [...]

Cornered, beaten, thrown into the river: POG reveals its version of the footballer death

By | August 11th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Giorgi Shakarashvili (FC Saburtalo). The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia claims it has untangled a mystery behind a high profile case of tragic death of a young Tbilisi football player. Five young men, including two underage adolescents and a rugby player, were direct culprits of the intentional homicide, the POG representative said at the briefing [...]

President Zourabichvili rebuffs pardoning Rurua – “No one and nothing can influence me”

By | July 31st, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Salome Zourabichvili ( Despite a growing number of appeals, President Salome Zourabichvili has rejected the idea of pardoning Giorgi Rurua, an opposition activist and former paramilitary. “I won’t pardon [him]. The Georgian society knows better than me everything about him and is aware why I will not make this decision. No one and nothing [...]

23 y/o programmer mysteriously disappeared, found dead near Tbilisi

By | July 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

Tamar Bachaliashvili (Facebook). The mysterious disappearance and death of a 23 year old programmer cause mass agitation in Georgia. The police clearly indicate that cause of death was a suicide, which is flatly rejected by the family. Many in Georgia point at the tragedy as an example of the low efficiency of police, which [...]

Ex-official charged with mass torture in Georgian prison extradited from Germany

By | July 6th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Davit Chakua (center) upon his extradition in Batumi airport. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Germany Friday extradited the former head of Georgia's prison department Davit Chakua, who is charged with abuse of powers, humiliating and inhumane treatment, provoking a crime, falsification of evidence and influencing a witness. A plane with Chakua on board landed at Batumi airport. [...]

Georgia lifts restrictions from exhibitions, trainings and conferences

By | June 30th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Activities such as exhibitions, trainings and conferences are expected to be allowed from July 6 on, but this does not apply to swimming pools and fitness centers, said Economy Minister Natia Turnava Tuesday after Interagency Coordinating Council meeting. "Of course, this will be done in accordance with certain rules. In fact, the Ministry of Health has [...]

Abkhazia temporarily reopens Enguri crossing for “humanitarian reasons”

By | June 20th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

Sokhumi regime re-opens the sole crossing point on the river Enguri for three days for “humanitarian reasons” for the return of “citizens and residents of the republic temporarily being in Georgia”, the breakaway republic’s security service states on its website. Between June 22 and June 24, the passage through the checkpoint will be carried out daily [...]

Did Kadyrov send a hitman to murder Georgian journalist for swearing at his patron?

By | June 16th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Riot police at the scene of Vasambeg Bokov arrest. (RFE/RL) Mounting evidence indicates the authoritarian leader of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov has sent a hitman “to punish” Georgian journalist for publicly insulting President Vladimir Putin of Russia. The State Security Service of Georgia (SUS) Monday late evening confirmed information that had earlier that day been [...]

Libertarian group rallies in Tbilisi, demands swift re-opening of gyms

By | June 9th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , |

( A couple dozen people, mostly gym employees and libertarian opposition party Girchi members, rallied in front of Georgian government in Tbilisi Tuesday demanding re-opening gyms. Protesters say they don’t understand why they are forbidden to exercise and expect explanation from government. "This ban damages people’s health more than the virus could have done," [...]

Wizzair drops 19 destinations from Kutaisi base: source

By | June 8th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Wizzair planes at Kutaisi Int. Airport ( A Hungarian lowcoster WizzAir has removed 19 routes from Kutaisi, its base in Georgia, and decreased number of based aircraft to two, from previous three, Belgian aviation news platform reports relying on a Twitter user @SeanM1997 as a source. In July 2019, WizzAir announced that its [...]

Prominent mobster’s family, friends clash with police in Georgia, 9 detained

By | June 5th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(RFE/RL.) At least nine people were detained in Adjara Friday during a clash between the police and a group of people demanding extradition to Georgia of a prominent mobster. The clash occurred Friday afternoon after dozens of protesters blocked a road connecting Batumi to the Turkish border. The protesters, mainly relatives and friends of [...]

Georgian March turns political party, pledges to hold convention in a week

By | June 2nd, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Sandro Bregadze ( Georgian far-right group Georgian March plans to set up a political party and settle deeper in Georgian politics, its leader Sandro Bregadze says. "We were forced to go into politics in order to create a strong, nationalist political center on the basis of the Georgian March,” Sandro Bregadze said in an [...]

Amid optimistic figures Georgia starts reopening restaurants, malls, public transportation

By | May 27th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

( Georgia will scale down most of restrictions imposed in February and March, including public transportation, shopping malls and even cafes and restaurants, PM Giorgi Gakharia said Wednesday. Public transportation, including metro, buses and minibuses, will resume operating on Friday, while intercity travel will reopen on June 8. People shall wear medical face masks [...]

Covid-19 bill sparks controversy in Georgia

By | May 19th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

( A bill drafted by Georgian Dream MPs sparked a heated debate in the parliament Tuesday, with the opposition accusing the government of curtailing certain freedoms, including freedom of movement and freedom of assembly, i.e. holding protest rallies. The opposition suspects delivering additional rights to government may be abused in order to suppress critical [...]

Two Georgian opposition politicians released from prison, threw scathing remarks towards Ivanishvili

By | May 15th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(IPN.) Embattled Georgian Dream admitted a major concession on Friday when President Salome Zurabishvili pardoned two opposition politicians. The two, former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava and ex-Minister of Defense Irakli Okruashvili were soon released and immediately hailed Bidzina Ivanishvili, the GD leader, with scathing remarks. "The only easy promise that Ivanishvili made was to [...]

Electoral reform in deadlock, opposition threatens resuming rallies in Georgia

By | May 13th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

( Political conflict in Georgia over electoral reform has escalated again amid disagreement between the government and main opposition forces, as the latter accuses the Georgian Dream of renouncing an agreement struck in March 8. The tension is so high some opposition politicians threaten to resume protest rallies despite Covid 19 restrictions. In particular, [...]

Georgia plans to establish special safe zones for tourists, reopens for international visitors by July 1

By | May 7th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , , , |

Giorgi Gakharia (Imedinews photo). Georgia gradually scales down restrictions imposed due to Covid 19 outbreak in order to reopen its embattled tourism industry and pledges to establish special Covid-free zones in several mountainous resorts across the country. "Georgia can allocate Covid-free tourist zones. These could be Tskaltubo, Gudauri, Sairme, Abastumani, Borjomi and many more,” [...]

Former chief of Georgian patrol police detained, sentenced for domestic violence

By | April 30th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Davit Tsinaridze (Facebook.) Tbilisi court sentenced Georgian patrol police former chief Davit Tsinaridze to two months of pretrial detention for domestic violence on Thursday. Tsinaridze was detained Tuesday after he reportedly physically assaulted his wife and shot a pistol. “The investigation established that on the night of April 27, 2020, drunk [Davit Tsinaridze] verbally [...]

Tskhinvali regime revives the city’s Soviet-era name, Stalinir

By | April 27th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Stalin's monument in central Tskhinvali (formerly Stalinir) in early 1950s. (Facebook.) The head of South Ossetia puppet regime Anatoly Bibilov seems to revive Soviet-era name of Tskhinvali. The city, which was a capital of South Ossetia Autonomous Oblast, between 1934-1961 bore the name of Soviet leader Josef Stalin- Staliniri or Stalinir in Ossetian. It [...]

Farmers took to the streets, blocked major highway protesting strict quarantine measures

By | April 22nd, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(Imedinews.) Dozens of farmers took to the streets in Marneuli municipality Wednesday protesting strict quarantine regime and appealing to the authorities for assistance. Farmers, mostly ethnic Azerbaijani from nearby settlements, assembled at Shulaveri, a village five km south from Marneuli, an administrative center in Kvemo Kartli region, and blocked traffic on a road leading [...]

Georgia extends state of emergency, vows to ease some restrictions in May

By | April 21st, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Salome Zurabishvili ( Georgia extends state of emergency by one month till May 22. “This decision will allow us to prepare for the lifting of restrictions,” said President Salome Zurabishvili on Tuesday, after announcing the decree. “The measures undertaken during this month helped us to control and check the spread and scale of the [...]

Ex-defense minister sentenced for participating in Gavrilov Night clashes

By | April 13th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Irakli Okruashvili. ( Irakli Okruashvili, who served for various important offices under President Mikheil Saakashvili in early 2000s, was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday for taking part in the Gavrilov Night clashes with police. Initially he was accused of attempting coup d’état but later was charged with organizing of and participating [...]

Prominent Georgian doctor says the country will overcome pandemic with minimal losses

By | April 7th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Tengiz Tsertsvadze (TV Pirveli.) The peak of covid19 pandemic in Georgia will come in two or three weeks, a prominent medical doctor of infectious diseases said on Tuesday, adding that he predicts total number of cases at about 1,000. “Georgia will overcome this harshest challenge with minimal losses," said Dr. Tengiz Tsertsvadze, Director of [...]

Additional flights designated to evacuate stranded Georgians, but much more still needed

By | April 5th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Airways crew for emergency flight to Rome in March 10. (Facebook/GA.) Georgia designates additional emergency flights to evacuate its nationals from abroad due to covid19 pandemic. However, the demand is so high the carrier's sales portal was virtually flooded and broken in few minutes after sales started for the first flight. Up to [...]

Campaigners deliver 1,500 flowers to medics fighting covid19 in Georgia

By | April 5th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

(Facebook/Ketevan.Lortkipanidze.) Volunteers have delivered 1,500 home-grown tulips to medics fighting covid19 after a campaign in social media to raise money to support a stranded farmer. Kako Jeiranashvili is a 63 y/o resident of one of Kakheti village. He’s been growing tulips for years and usually sell them to Tbilisi markets. However, the coronavirus pandemic [...]

Georgia sets up 600 million dollar stimulus package

By | April 1st, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

Giorgi Gakharia (Imedinews photo). Georgian government puts forward two billion GEL (USD 605 million) stimulus package to respond coronavirus and diminish damage, PM Giorgi Gakharia said on Wednesday. “According to the government decision, GEL 2 billion has been allocated for direct assistance to the economy. This is the assistance that will be directed to [...]

Full list of businesses permitted during quarantine

By | March 31st, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Army and police officers at the special checkpoint in western Georgia. (Facebook/MIA.) The government of Georgia on Tuesday released a list of 18 “economic directions”, which are permitted to keen on their activities during tightened quarantine measures. The list includes: - Medical facilities. - Businesses related to production, distribution and sale of food, and [...]

Georgia declares nationwide quarantine

By | March 30th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , |

Giorgi Gakharia (Imedinews photo). PM Giorgi Gakharia declared full quarantine throughout the entire territory of Georgia on Monday evening. The quarantine will be enforced from 8 am Tuesday on and it prohibits free movement by any public transportation by 9 pm. From 9 pm till 8 am morning a curfew is being imposed. Any type [...]

Covid19 update: Georgia bans public gatherings, passenger traffic

By | March 23rd, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Army checkpoint on Marneuli road. (MoD/Facebook.) Georgia introduces new measures to tackle covid19 spread inside the country as total number of cases reaches 61 with seven new cases reported on Monday. The decree issued by the government on March 23 bans all social gatherings which involve ten people or more, including funerals, weddings, birthday [...]

Azerbaijan unexpectedly frees journalist who was secretly abducted in Tbilisi three years ago

By | March 17th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Azerbaijan’s authorities released on Tuesday Afgan Mukhtarli, an investigative journalist convicted on falsified charges. The released was ordered by the court, his lawyer Neymat Karimli said. He immediately left the country and flew to Germany, his wife Leyla Mustafayeva said. The release might be connected to Nowruz celebrations, Azerbaijan’s news agency Turan reports. Afgan Mukhtarli, an [...]

Five measures introduced by Georgia to tackle coronavirus spread

By | March 17th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , |

(Facebook.) Georgia introduces special measures to tackle coronavirus spread in the country by virtually closing borders and proposing shutdown of cafes and restaurants. On Monday, the government declared blanket ban on aliens to enter the country, and decided to close down ski resorts. Additionally, on Tuesday it ordered banning marshutkas as public transport across [...]

Georgian government says “no threat of epidemic outbreak”

By | February 28th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Health minister Ekaterine Tikaradze (Facebook). No new cases of coronavirus, except the one confirmed on Wednesday, have reported in Georgia so far, and public officials affirm citizens that situation is under control. “At this stage in Georgia there is no risk of a widespread coronavirus infection and therefore there is no threat of the [...]

Georgia ponders suspending flights to Iran fearing coronavirus pandemic

By | February 22nd, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Amiran Gamkrelidze (Facebook). Georgia ponders suspending direct flights to Iran amid the growing fear of coronavirus outbreak in the country. The government of Georgia has been discussing the issue for two days, said Amiran Gamkrelidze, the director of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). Ultimately, the final decision is up [...]

Saakashvili government strongman release from prison, promised to topple “regime”

By | February 20th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

(IPN) “I ensure you this government will be finished in a year,” said Vano Merabishvili, former PM and ex-minister of interior, on Thursday after release from prison where he served almost seven years. Merabishvili was an iconic figure in the government led by Mikheil Saakashvili and one of his closest allies. He’s been widely [...]

Opposition rages in Georgia as Supreme Court sentences key politician to prison term

By | February 10th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Gigi Ugulava at Labor Party office making statement upon hearing information about the judgment. (IPN) The political confrontation in Georgia hit another low point on Monday after the Supreme Court sentenced Giorgi "Gigi" Ugulava, key opposition politician, to 3 years in jail for diverting public funds during his tenure as Tbilisi Mayor in 2005-2013. [...]

Khajimba resigns, refuses to meet key Kremlin fixer

By | January 12th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Raul Khajimba and Vladislav Surkov (right) at "presidential" office in Sokhumi. August 5, 2019. Embattled de facto president of breakaway Abkhazia Raul Khajimba had to file his resignation amid growing protests of opposition on Sunday evening. Immediately before the resignation, a group of about a hundred of opposition supporters came to his state datcha [...]

Mass unrest in Sokhumi: Khajimba flees his office, threatens to impose state of emergency

By | January 9th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Opposition activists at the Khajimba's office. TBILISI, DFWatch--Raul Khajimba, de facto president of the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia, threatens to impose a state of emergency after opposition activists stormed his office on Wednesday. "I am in Sukhumi at the workplace in the state building," Khajimba was quoted by Interfax. The authorities work to “localize” [...]

Russian journalist asks Georgia for asylum

By | January 5th, 2020|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , |

Yuri Izotov. ( TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian dissident and investigative journalist Yuri Izotov has applied to Georgian authorities for asylum. According to the Ukrainian news website,, he said that fears persecution by Russia for his journalistic activities. “[Russian authorities] carried out investigative check for my posts on social networks where I revealed the data of [...]

Georgian doctor freed from South Ossetian captivity

By | December 30th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch--A prominent Georgian medical doctor was released on December 28 after spending 50 days in South Ossetian captivity for “illegal border crossing”. After his release on Saturday, Vazha Gaprindashvili emphasized that he has never admitted crossing the border, which is not recognized as such by Georgia. “My position was from the first day [of captivity], and [...]