Monthly Archives: August 2014

Russia-Georgia border reopened after landslide

By | August 31st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Photo published by Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The road through Dariali Valley in Georgia is reopened for traffic with some restrictions, ten days after it was hit by a landslide. The road itself, and Larsi border crossing, will be opened from 07:00 to 18:00 without restrictions, but the rest of the time, […]

Georgia to ask Interpol help detain Saakashvili

By | August 31st, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia is preparing to ask Interpol to issue a red alert for ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and declare him internationally wanted. In mid-August, Georgia announced a domestic search for Saakashvili, which means that […]

Ukraine support rally demands more forceful response from Tbilisi

By | August 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–People demonstrated in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi Friday in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression. Demonstrators called on the international community to make more efforts to help Ukraine in the ongoing crisis. […]

Georgia’s growth up 7.2% in July

By | August 30th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s estimated real GDP growth in July 2014 was 7.2 percent more than in the same period last year, according to preliminary results from Georgia’s Statistics Department, GeoStat. Estimated GDP growth in the second quarter of 2014 was 5.1 […]

Azerbaijan fires four customs guards after record heroin seizure

By | August 30th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four employees of Azerbaijan’s customs service have been fired following the seizure in Georgia of 2.8 tons of liquid heroin in July. According to the Azerbaijani newspaper Eni Musavat, the four fired employees were working at the custom’s check-point […]

Grand Mufti of Caucasus visits Georgia

By | August 29th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Grand Mufti of Caucasus, Haji Allahshükür Hummat Pashazade. (Photo published by TBILISI, DFWatch–Grand Mufti of Caucasus, Haji Allahshükür Hummat Pashazade, arrived this morning for a two day visit to Georgia. Pashazade, who is based in Baku, Azerbaijan, was greeted at the airport by Georgian Patriarch Ilia II, who hosted him at the main […]

Three men shot dead in Georgian village

By | August 29th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Photo published by TBILISI, DFWatch–Three men were killed Thursday night near Adigeni in southern Georgia. The suspect is a local public registry official. A brother of one of the three murder victims was also injured. The killing took place in the village Karatubani, where there was […]

Georgian takes gold medal in World Judo Championship

By | August 29th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: , , |

Avtandil Chrikashvili won gold in men’s half middleweight in the World Judo Championship. (Photo published by the Georgian Judo Federation.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Avtandil Chrikashvili, 23, won a gold medal in the 2014 World Judo Championship on Thursday in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Chrikashvili won six fights and in the end defeated Antoine Valois-Fortier from Canada in the men’s half middleweight […]

Georgia’s government coalition has lost popularity

By | August 29th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania is the most popular politician, if we are to believe the American NDI’s newest survey. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government coalition and its leading figures have lost popularity, according to a new poll by National Democratic Institute (NDI). 42 percent of the questioned say the Georgian Dream coalition is closer to them, while 11 percent say they feel […]

Religious summer camp brings children together across confessions

By | August 28th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: |

The camp in Vartsikhe brought together children of different religious background. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A ten-day summer camp was organized in mid-August for about one hundred Georgian Muslim and Christian children. The camp is aimed at making friends, train and educate, as well as breaking down prejudices about religion. Giorgi Jaiani, 15, came […]

Georgia qualifies for EuroBasket with 71-59 win against Portugal

By | August 28th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: |

Georgia’s basketball team is qualified for the European championship next year, after winning against Portugal. TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s basketball team won 71-59 against Portugal on Wednesday and is qualified for FIBA 2015. The Georgian team is now on top of Group E with four wins and two losses, followed by Czech Republic, Hungary and Portugal. Georgia’s […]

Georgian health minister in Ukraine developing aid plan

By | August 28th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Health Minister Davit Sergeenko started his visit to Ukraine by making several agreements about offering assistance to Ukraine as result of the crisis there. A bilateral working group is being created to coordinate the assistance. Sergeenko Wednesday […]

Georgia ends visa free rules for 24 countries

By | August 28th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is ending visa free rules for citizens of 24 countries from September 1. But people from 94 countries can still visit the country without a visa. However, those who are allowed to stay in Georgia without a visa, may now only stay for 90 days, […]

Second body found after Dariali landslide

By | August 27th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

(Photo published by Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A second person has been found dead on Wednesday, after the massive landslide in Dariali Valley on August 21. Two people died in the disaster, one was a citizen of Turkey and one a Georgian citizen. Both were working in a tunnel when a landslide hit […]

Georgia’s health minister to visit Ukraine, offer assistance

By | August 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian health minister Davit Sergeenko will go to Ukraine on Wednesday in order to learn what kind of assistance Ukraine needs and how Georgia can help. After a government session on Tuesday, he said that Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili […]

Less Georgians think Russia is a threat

By | August 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Russian soldiers in the 2008 war. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–42 percent of Georgians think Russia is a real and existing threat to Georgia, according to a new survey. The survey by National Democratic Institute (NDI) shows that 36 percent think Russia is a threat to Georgia, but an exaggerated one. 15 percent […]

KaZantip festival in Georgia a failure, may be cancelled

By | August 27th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: |

KaZantip visitors are making the most of it, but some are disappointed. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The long-awaited music festival KaZantip turned out a disappointment for some visitors and the head organizer. The electronic music festival, which has been held for the last decade in Crimea, was moved to Georgia’s Black Sea coast after Russia’s […]

Suspect in Girgvliani murder avoids jail time after plea deal

By | August 26th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Oleg Melnikov may soon leave jail as a result of a plea deal. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A court in Tbilisi has offered one of the suspects in the Girgvliani murder a plea bargain, after he pleaded guilty more than a week ago. Oleg Melnikov, former Interior Ministry official, recently admitted guilt in the murder of Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. […]

NDI survey looks at Georgians’ views on Church’s influence

By | August 26th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Bishop Iakob called on people not to vote for the National Movement. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Jobs, poverty and territorial integrity are the most important national issues, as Georgians see it. 3 percent of those questioned in a new survey say that the number of jobs in Georgia increased after the parliamentary election in 2012. […]

How Georgians view minorities: Protect minority groups but not gays

By | August 26th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

One of the injured in the anti-gay rally on May 17, 2013. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–63 percent of Georgians think it is important to protect the rights of minorities, but they don’t want such protection extended to sexual minorities. National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Monday published the results of its newest survey of public […]

Khajimba won disputed election in Abkhazia

By | August 25th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–On Sunday, there was held de facto presidential election in the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia. Preliminary results show that Raul Khajimba won with 50.57 percent of the votes, according to Batal Tabaghua, head of the region’s election […]

Three Georgians detained near South Ossetia

By | August 25th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russian soldiers last week detained three Georgian citizens at a village bordering with the breakaway region South Ossetia. According to Channel 1, Russians detained a father and son, Avtandil and Shota Atskarunashvili, and later also Ilia […]

Georgia’s basketball team won 79-59 against Hungary

By | August 25th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s national basketball team won 79-59 against Hungary on Sunday, in a qualification match for the 2015 FIBA EuroBasket. The Georgian team was only losing for one quarter of Sunday’s match. Tornike Shengelia played best among the teammates […]

Interview with Kenneth Yalowitz, former US ambassador to Georgia

By | August 24th, 2014|Categories: Interviews|Tags: |

Kenneth S. Yalowitz, former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia. DFWatch: What’s your prediction, how will the situation around Ukraine evolve? Kenneth Yalowitz: What worries me is that you have a situation where the Ukrainian side is doing better militarily in Eastern Ukraine and we don’t know how the Russians are going […]

26,000 passed university entrance exams in Georgia

By | August 24th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , |

Maia Miminoshvili, head of the National Exam Center. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–More than 26,000 candidates have been accepted as students this year, according to the head of Georgia’s National Exam Center. Maia Miminoshvili told journalists that about 35,500 entrants took their test exams this year, but 9,000 failed to pass. […]

Human chain outside Ukrainian embassy in Tbilisi

By | August 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Photo published by Free Zone, a youth group which supports the National Movement.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Movement demonstrated outside the Ukrainian embassy in Tbilisi on Saturday, to mark the 25 year anniversary of Freedom Chain, an anti-Soviet protest, and to express solidarity with Ukraine. Demonstrators called on the government […]

Abkhazia to hold presidential election August 24

By | August 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Raul Khajimba. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–August 24, there will be held presidential election in the breakaway region Abkhazia. Four candidates are standing in the election, all of whom have general’s rank. Raul Khajimba, the key figure in the toppling of former de facto president […]

Armenia’s gas supply restored, pipeline repaired after landslide

By | August 23rd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

The pipeline supplies Armenia with Russian natural gas and runs through Georgia. (Photo published by Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Gas began flowing again Saturday in a pipeline that runs through a Georgian mountain valley which was hit by a landslide on August 21. The pipeline through Dariali Valley brings Russian natural gas to Armenia. According to Georgia’s Gas Transport […]

Conflict erupts about illegal tree-cutting in Georgia

By | August 23rd, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

Locals in Khaishi blocked the road Friday in protest against fines imposed on people who cut trees for firewood. (TV3.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Locals demonstrated Friday in a Georgian village because of strict rules about the cutting of trees for fire wood. People in Khaishi, in the northern part of Georgia, blocked the Zugdidi-Mestia highway because of sanctions introduced […]

Ice bucket challenge spreads to Georgia

By | August 22nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili is joining the Ice Bucket Challenge. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian celebrities, including politicians and journalists, are joining the international charity movement Ice Bucket Challenge, which aims gathering donations to support treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. ALS is a disease […]

Fight between inmates in Gardabani prison

By | August 22nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Two prisoners clashed at Prison No 6 in Gardabani on Friday. The fight took place at 01:00 at night. Relatives and family were gathered at the prison, and some of them told journalists that law enforcement entered the prison, but the Prison Ministry […]

Danger of more landslides in Dariali

By | August 22nd, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

After two catastrophic landslides in three months, the government has decided to place a weather monitoring station in Dariali. (Photo published by Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There is a danger that more snow may come loose from Devdorak glacier and trigger another landslide in Dariali Valley, Georgia’s Environment Ministry warns. Experts working for the National Agency of Environment have visually surveyed […]

One person found dead after landslide in Georgia

By | August 22nd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

(Photo published by Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.) TBILISI, DFWatch–One person has been found dead after the landslide catastrophe in Georgia on Thursday. The body was found on the bank of the river Tergi near the village Larsi on the Russian side of the border. According to head of Kazbegi municipality Givi […]

Georgian prosecutors examining finances of former parliament speaker

By | August 22nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Davit Bakradze, former Speaker of Parliament. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office wants to study the income of Davit Bakradze, former Speaker of Parliament and MP for the National Movement. The office said in a statement on Wednesday that information reported by the media about Bakradze indicates […]

New catastrophic landslide hits Georgia’s Dariali Valley, two missing

By | August 21st, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

Thursday’s landslide in Dariali Valley caused more material damage than the one on May 17, 2014. (Photo published by Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three months after a landslide disaster in a Georgian valley near the Russian border, another landslide struck Thursday, severing the only road across the Caucasus mountain range and cutting gas supply to Armenia. Two people are missing. […]

Delayed ratification of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine’s EU treaties

By | August 21st, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Two members of the European Parliament on Wednesday called on member states to accelerate the ratification of the association agreements signed with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in June. Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed association agreements […]

KaZantip opens as conservatives protest

By | August 20th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: |

Conservatives protested outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Conservative groups continued protesting against KaZantip Wednesday as the music festival opened at 9 pm in the evening. Those opposed to the festival are radical Orthodox Christians and small opposition parties. On Wednesday one such group held a protest […]

Georgian PM visits Armenia August 21-22

By | August 20th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili will visit Armenia on August 21-22. After meeting his Armenian colleague, Gharibashvili and the rest of the Georgian delegation will meet with Armenian government representatives. Prime Minister Hovik […]

Saakashvili returns clothes after embezzlement charge

By | August 20th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Police took action as clothes belonging to former President Saakashvili were delivered at the government office. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Tuesday returned clothes to the government in Georgia, after being charged with inappropriate spending while in office. A few days ago, the Prosecutor’s Office charged Saakashvili with […]

Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan strengthen energy transport security

By | August 20th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Defense ministers from three countries: Georgia’s Irakli Alasania, Azerbaijan’s Zakir Hasanov and Turkey’s İsmet Yılmaz. (Photo by Georgia’s Defense Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The defense ministers of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan met Tuesday in the Azerbaijani enclave Nakhchivan, a landlocked region on the border between Armenia and Iran. This is the first time defense ministers from the three countries hold a trilateral […]

Mosque issue in Batumi remains unresolved

By | August 19th, 2014|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , |

Tariel Nakaidze, one of the founders of the Union of Georgian Muslims. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Years have passed without a solution to the need for a new mosque in Batumi. The governments keep promising Muslims that they will make a decision, but according to Muslims, both the central and the local government are attempting to delay […]

Government wants to reduce president’s power as commander in chief

By | August 19th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili with Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan in March, 2014. (Photo by Defense Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia wants to limit the power of the president as commander in chief. The draft bill will take away the president’s power to approve the regulation of the Joint Staff, and the head of the Joint Staff will become subordinate […]

Georgian president rejects ex-interior minister’s citizenship application

By | August 19th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Kakha Targamadze was Georgian interior minister in the late 1990s. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rejected former Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze’s application for Georgian citizenship. The decision follows a call by the National Movement to not approve the application by the controversial […]

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover Jan-Jul ’14 up 14 %

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January-July 2014 was USD 6,480 million. This is  14 percent more than in same period last year. Preliminary data published by the Statistics Department on Monday show that import in the first seven months […]

Georgia’s Orthodox Church signs agreement with Defense Ministry

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania (left) and Patriarch Ilia II (center), signing the memorandum. (Photo by the Defense Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Ministry of Defense on Sunday signed a memorandum with the country’s Orthodox Church. The agreement was signed at Trinity (Sameba) Cathedral by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and Patriarch Ilia II and is about ‘spiritual, […]

Health minister warns about heat wave in Georgia

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

Georgian Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian health minister warns people against staying too long out in the sun as temperatures many places in Georgia will surpass 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), according to the national environmental agency. Health Minister Davit Sergeenko […]

Georgia’s basketball team won against Portugal

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: |

Georgia won 90-91 against Portugal Sunday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s national basketball team Sunday evening won against Portugal in a qualification match for FIBA EuroBasket 2015 played at Arena Dolce Vita in Ovar. Georgia won 90-91, which was quite surprising as the team was losing the game almost before the fourth […]

Defense ministers of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan meet Monday

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The defense ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey will meet in Azerbaijan on Monday. Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said Sunday this is the first formal meeting between the three ministers and has been planned for a long time. […]

Georgian prosecutors publish more details about Saakashvili’s spending

By | August 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Mikheil Saakashvili, former Georgian president. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday published more details about what ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili spent money for that was meant to be used for the security force SSPS. Saakashvili is charged with embezzlement of more than eight […]

Ambulances in Georgia need frequent repair, causing late response

By | August 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The ambulance at the hospital in Kharagauli. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ambulances in Georgia will begin responding to calls from patients according to the severity of their cases instead of who called first, according to the Health Ministry. In many cases, especially in villages and regions outside of population centers, […]

German film director Stefan Tolz on living in Georgia

By | August 15th, 2014|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

German film director Stefan Tolz. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–“Full Speed Westward” (Vollgas gen Westen) – this is the title of a new movie by German film director Stefan Tolz.  The movie opened in Georgia a few months ago and was well received. It is a documentary about Georgian reality, which shows […]

Saakashvili says spending was necessary

By | August 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Mikheil Saakashvili, former Georgian president. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili again denies the new corruption charge about embezzling eight million lari from the security force SSPS. Prosecutors say instead of using the money on the SSPS, Saakashvili spent it on vacations, presents, […]

KaZantip organizer to priests: ‘We have a no drugs policy’

By | August 15th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: |

KaZantip is planned held in Anaklia, a beach resort in Georgia near the border with Abkhazia. (Palitra.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The manager of KaZantip has offered to meet priests and conservative activists to discuss the music festival, claiming that they are misinformed. Orthodox activists demonstrated near the festival site Thursday using biblical slogans warning […]

Search order issued for ex-President Saakashvili

By | August 15th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has issued a domestic search order for ex-President Mikheil Saakahsvili. Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office prepared the order and has forwarded it to the Interior Ministry. This means that if Saakashvili enters the country, […]

Georgian conservatives demonstrate against KaZantip

By | August 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Orthodox activists are against the music festival KaZantip. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian conservatives continue trying to stop the music festival KaZantip from going ahead in Georgia and Thursday organized another rally, this time attempting to enter the festival compound. Orthodox clerics and followers a few days ago […]

38 died in fires in Georgia Jan-Jun ’14

By | August 14th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There were 1,703 fires in Georgia in the first half of 2014. 38 people died and 61 were injured, according to the Interior Ministry. In 1,005 of the cases, the reason for the fire could not be determined. In 333 cases, the cause was negligence, […]

Georgia tightens regulation of prescription drugs

By | August 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In an extremely controversial move, Georgia’s Ministry of Health is tightening the regulation of prescription drugs. Seen as a step away of the former government’s deregulation stance, the initiative by the Ministry of Labor, Health […]

Saakashvili denies embezzlement charge in Facebook post

By | August 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili denies new charges that he spent money meant for the special protection service on his own lavish life style. Prosecutors in Georgia charged him Wednesday with having spent 8.8 million lari (USD […]

Yazidis in Tbilisi call on the world to stop ISIS

By | August 14th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Yazidis in Tbilisi demonstrated against the brutal attacks on their people by ISIS in Iraq. (Photo: Georgian Union of Kurdish Youth.) TBILISI, DFWatch–‘Stop ISIS’ was the slogan of a rally organized by the Yazidi community in Tbilisi as a show of solidarity with their besieged countrymen in Iraq, who suffer from ruthless savagery by the terrorists from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). […]

Saakashvili charged with embezzlement of security force money

By | August 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

USD 4,600 spent on two tailor made suits is one of the expenses former President Saakashvili must answer for. (Photo published by the president.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prosecutors in Georgia have brought further charges against former President Mikheil Saakashvili about embezzlement of public money. The case describes embezzlement of about 8.8 million lari (USD 5.2 million) meant to be used for the protection […]

180 died in traffic in Georgia Jan-Jun ’14

By | August 13th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–180 people died in traffic accidents in Georgia in the first half of 2014, according to new figures from the Interior Ministry. The figures published Tuesday show that an upward turn in road accidents has stopped, but numbers remain high compared […]

A hundred houses flooded in Georgian village Kvishkheti

By | August 13th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

Mudwater soiled a hundred houses in Kvishkheti, near Khashuri. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A hundred houses were flooded in a small Georgian village Tuesday night. Due to heavy and long rain, villages were flooded in an area near Khashuri in the central parts of Georgia. The flood hit hardest in Kvishkheti, which […]

Stalin bust in Akura, Georgia, taken down

By | August 13th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The restored bust of Stalin before it was taken down. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A bust of Stalin was Tuesday dismantled in a small village in Georgia, less than a day after it was put up. It is still unknown who placed the monument in Akura, in the eastern part of the country, but the same bust has been erected several times in two […]

Georgia to take part in humanitarian effort in Ukraine

By | August 13th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is to join an international humanitarian effort in Luhansk, Ukraine. This became known on Tuesday. Last week, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said Georgia is not planning to join the international sanctions EU and the United […]

Disputed Stalin bust goes up again in Georgian village

By | August 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The Stalin bust in Akura, Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A bust of Joseph Stalin was re-erected in a Georgian village Monday night. It is unknown who put it there. The reemerged bust is located in Akura, a village in Eastern Georgia. After the change of government in Georgia in late 2012, busts and […]

Scuffle outside Tbilisi City Hall as people queue to meet mayor

By | August 12th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There was a quarrel outside Tbilisi City Hall on Monday between people who wanted to meet the mayor and tell him about their problems. Newly elected Mayor Davit Narmania decided to set aside one day to meet with citizens. Hundreds of people turned […]

Merabishvili loses appeal in May 26 case

By | August 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Appeals Court in Georgia upheld the City Court’s guilty verdict against former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili for the May 26, 2011, violent dispersal of anti-government protesters. Tbilisi City Court in February sentenced Merabishvili […]

Suspect in Girgvliani case pleads guilty

By | August 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Oleg Melnikov said Saakashvili and higher officials decided to cover up the murder. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former government official in Georgia has pleaded guilty in the murder of bank employee Sandro Girgvliani in 2006. The 28-year old Girgvliani was brutally murdered after a scuffle at a cafe in Tbilisi, during a birthday party for an Interior Ministry […]

Georgian president accuses prosecutors of releasing classified document

By | August 11th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili accuses the Prosecutor’s Office of publishing a document which was classified as top secret, but the office denied this. August 8, Margvelashvili expressed concern about the publishing of […]

Georgian village hasn’t had running water for two decades

By | August 11th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Residents of Ninigori demand running water. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Locals demonstrated in an eastern Georgian village on Monday, demanding to get running water installed. People living in the village Ninigori in the Lagodekhi region claim they have been without running water for more than 20 years. During all this time, […]

Police officer detained in Georgia for receiving bribe

By | August 11th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A police employee was Sunday detained in Batumi, a city on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, accused of receiving a bribe two days prior. According to the Interior Ministry’s press department, the general inspection detained an employee of the patrol […]

From Europe to the Caucasus: hunting time, then and now

By | August 11th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

Tedo Japaridze is Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the Parliament of Georgia. There is indeed a civilizational cleavage between “Europe” and the South Caucasus. To encapsulate this cleavage in a single metaphor, one could say it is the difference between youth and age: the European sense of time seems youthful, with the certainty that […]

Georgia beats Czech Republic 73-62 in EuroBasket qualifier

By | August 11th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: |

Georgia won 73-62 against Czech Republic in Tbilisi on Sunday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s basketball team won 73-62 against the Czech Republic on Sunday in a qualification match for FIBA EuroBasket 2015. There was a scuffle during the match. On one of the tribunes, Georgian fans started a quarrel. It didn’t last long, […]

Georgian FM criticized for not clearly supporting Russia sanctions

By | August 10th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign minister is criticized by opponents for saying that the economic sanctions against Russia will not solve the Ukraine crisis. The minister says she was misinterpreted. Maia Panjikidze on Thursday said that sanctions against Russia […]

Georgian president defends decision to use lavish palace

By | August 10th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

The presidential palace lies on a hill overlooking Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili last year thought the presidential palace was too luxurious for him to use, but now he defends his decision to make it his place of work. In the presidential election campaign in October, 2013, Margvelashvili […]

Georgian leader attacks Swedish foreign minister

By | August 9th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgian PM Gharibashvili called Sweden’s foreign minister a part of Saakashvili’s friends club. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A war of words developed between Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili on Friday as the two spoke on the phone. In the conversation, Gharibashvili called Bildt, as well as Lithuanian FM Linas Linkevicius, members […]

Georgian president rebuffs MP for criticizing Bildt

By | August 8th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili has rebuffed a parliamentarian in his own coalition for criticizing a tweet by Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. The controversy started when Bildt criticized the criminal charges against former President Mikheil […]

Georgia’s Patriarch Ilia II gives white horse to PM

By | August 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili was given a horse by Patriarch Ilia II. (Photo published on the PM’s Facebook page.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Patriarch Ilia II on Tuesday gave Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili a white horse. The event took place at the end of a visit by the PM to the Patriarch’s hometown Sno in Kazbegi, northern Georgia. The two visited Larsi checkpoint, […]

Georgian minister: sanctions not proper way out of Ukraine crisis

By | August 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Photo: Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze (left) and Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili during an ambassadorial in Tbilisi on August 6 (PM’s Press Office). Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia’s Foreign Minister says that western sanctions against Russia and reciprocal moves by the Kremlin are not proper way out of the Ukrainian crisis and that conflict should be solved rather by the negotiations. Maia Panjikidze, […]

Georgian foreign minister criticizes Carl Bildt’s tweet

By | August 7th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign minister says Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is putting to perssure on the courts in Georgia by a statement criticizing the investigation of former officials. Foreign Minsiter Maia Panjikidze said this on Wednesday […]

Georgians injured in bus accident in Turkey

By | August 7th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–There was an accident on Wednesday in Rize, Turkey, which left ten passengers injured, including citizens of Georgia. Representatives of the Health Ministry of Adjara left for Turkey to see citizens of Georgia. According to Deputy Health […]

Discussion: Georgian youth and higher education

By | August 7th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , , |

Tako Kakabadze (left) and Temo Kakhidze. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–DF Watch last week organized a discussion about education and the problem of self-realization among youth. The discussion included representatives of the youth wings of political parties. Tako Kakabadze, chair of the youth wing […]

Outgoing NATO chief writes critical send-off to partner Russia

By | August 7th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen writes that Russia has stirred up conflicts in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. In an opinion piece published in Financial Times, Rasmussen writes that after the collapse of communism, NATO has made […]

Mine worker dies of electrical shock in Chiatura, Georgia

By | August 6th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The accident happened when a worker’s shoulder touched an uninsulated cable. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A mine worker died from electrical shock Tuesday night in Chiatura, a manganese mining town in western Georgia. Engineer Zaliko Tkemaladze was trying to repair a damaged locomotive at night in the Shukruti mine when the accident happened. […]

Georgian PM criticizes NGOs for being biased

By | August 6th, 2014|Categories: NGO news|Tags: , |

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday criticized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for not being objective. He said during a meeting with students that it is important for democracy to have a strong, objective and unbiased civil […]

Saakashvili’s appeal turned down

By | August 6th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Appeals Court in Georgia left in force a decision by Tbilisi City Court to place ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and former officials in pre-trial detention in a case concerning the violent dispersal of an anti-government demonstration on November 7, 2007. […]

New charges against Saakashvili

By | August 6th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has brought further charges against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili and other former officials in a case concerning an attack on a former parliamentarian. Prosecutors say Saakashvili and former Interior […]

Georgia introduces stricter regulation of secret surveillance

By | August 5th, 2014|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament last week approved an amendment which will bring in stricter rules for the use of secret surveillance by the state. According to the changes, the state may use secret surveillance in cases when it is a necessary, appropriate […]

Rights groups want tougher reaction to chauvinistic football fans

By | August 5th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A number of human rights organizations in Georgia have united under the name ‘No to Phobia’ and want the government to show a tougher attitude to what happened during a football match between Georgian and Azerbaijani teams a few days ago. […]

New rules for visitors to Georgia from September

By | August 5th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Tbilisi international airport. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–From September 1, Georgia introduces new rules for foreigners who wish to stay for shorter or longer periods of time. The new rules are about visa and residency permit, and about procedures for expelling illegal immigrants. The government recently […]

Lingering concerns over implementation of Georgia’s anti-discrimination law

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , |

Sarah Delys is a criminologist working for Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre in Tbilisi. Earlier this summer the UN Human Rights Committee published its concluding observations on Georgia’s fourth periodic report. The report praises the Government of Georgia on a number of positive steps, both at the legislative and the institutional level. Nevertheless, […]

Georgia preparing for visit by Angela Merkel

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government has begun preparing for a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even though the exact date of her visit is still unknown. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze on Sunday met with the German ambassador […]

4,000 people in Georgia have had no running water for two months

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Four thousand people in Velistsikhe in the eastern Kakheti region have to drive their household water from several kilometers away. TBILISI, DFWatch–People demonstrated on Sunday in a Georgian village where 4,000 people have been without running water for two months. Locals in Velistsikhe near Gurjaani claim the head of municipality Gia Gergidze is doing nothing to solve the water problem. […]

Georgian government official gives details about UN committee’s work

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: |

Surb Etchmiadzin Church in Tbilisi, where priests were attacked by a crowd last month. TBILISI, DFWatch–A government official in Georgia has provided details about the internal work of a United Nations committee tasked with overseeing the human rights situation in member countries. Levan Isakhanyan, Head of the Department of Legal Affairs, Relations […]

Georgian Church plans big demonstration against KaZantip

By | August 4th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , |

Archimandrite Antimoz. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Clerics in Georgia plan a big demonstration against the music festival KaZantip, and have started information work and preparing the Church and clerics. Archimandrite Antimoz on Sunday told Interpressnews that the rally is going to be peaceful […]

Azerbaijan postpones enforcement of car standards

By | August 3rd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Azerbaijan has postponed the introduction of new restrictions on cars entering from Georgia until August 16. Georgian officials say the reason is a need to inform Georgians about the new rules. Azerbaijan decided in January, 2014, […]

Saakashvili given pre-trial detention in absentia

By | August 2nd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili speaking in Kiev in March, 2014. (Maestro.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Friday evening decided to issue a pre-trial detention order for ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, although he is not in Georgia at the moment. After leaving office in November 2013, the former president has not been in Georgia. […]

Georgian and Azerbaijani football supporters clash in Baku

By | August 1st, 2014|Categories: News, Sport|Tags: |

Chikhura supporters brought with them a map which shows Georgia with expanded territories. TBILISI, DFWatch-UEFA has issued a 15,000 euros fine to a Georgian football team after its supporters clashes with supporters of an Azerbaijanian team in Baku. The clashes took place during and after a qualification match for UEFA Europe League. After the match, another […]

Georgian and Russian diplomats talk on phone about trade

By | August 1st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Zurab Abashidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian diplomat says the reason Russia decided to suspend its free trade agreement with Georgia is that Georgia is not member of the Russia-initiated Customs Union. Zurab Abashidze, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russian […]

Two Georgians detained by Russian soldiers

By | August 1st, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

A sign warning about the de facto border. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russian soldiers have detained two Georgian citizens outside the village Kveshi, near Gori, which borders on the South Ossetian breakaway region. According to Interpressnews, the detainees are Zakro Butkhuzi, from Kveshi, and his guest Buta […]

New bill to regulate sale of agricultural land in Georgia

By | August 1st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Lasha Tughushi, Director of the Academy. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Liberal Academy Tbilisi foundation addresses parliament with a draft bill about Georgia regarding regulations of selling lands to the foreign citizens. The organization on Thursday held a presentation of the draft and a study conducted by the […]

Georgia downplays impact of losing free trade with Russia

By | August 1st, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Government officials in Georgia claim it will not bring serious financial harm to the country if Russia suspends its free trade agreement with Georgia. On Wednesday, the Russian Duma was reported to be preparing a draft bill about suspending […]