Monthly Archives: August 2019

Georgia’s prime minister reportedly resigns

By | August 31st, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

PM Mamuka Bakhtadze (center) and Minister of Interior Giorgi Gakharia (right). (1tv.ge.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze will be replaced by incumbent Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia several Georgian media outlets reported Saturday, based on sources within the ruling Georgian Dream party. Some outlets report that Bakhtadze may be replaced by Maia Tskitishvili, [...]

After ultimatum was not fulfilled by Georgia, Tskhinvali softened its tone

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

The Georgian checkpoint between the villages of Chorchana and Tsnelisi. (IPN). TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia's ultimatum to Georgia to remove a checkpoint was not fulfilled, but the deadline passed without incident Friday.  Another meeting was held within the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the village of Tsnelisi, and like Thursday’s meeting it ended [...]

South Ossetia issues ultimatum to Georgia to remove checkpoint

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

Ossetian forces at the administrative boundary line. (Sputnik-Ossetia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The situation along the de facto border of South Ossetia further worsened on Thursday after representative of breakaway authorities put forward an ultimatum to Georgia to dismantle a checkpoint at the village Chorchana, in Khashuri municipality. If Georgia doesn't dismantle the checkpoint by 6 am [...]

South Ossetia sends extra forces to demarcation line as Georgia builds new checkpoint

By | August 29th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

South Ossetia sent additional forces to "ensure the safety citizens". (Sputnik-Ossetia.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The situation along the de facto border of South Ossetia remains tense as Tskhinvali sent armed forces to prevent the construction of a police checkpoint by the Georgian side. The checkpoint is being built in the vicinity of Georgian village Chorchana. “In [...]

Breakaway Abkhazia election heads to second round as incumbent fails to pass 50% threshold

By | August 26th, 2019|Categories: In brief|Tags: |

(IPN.) TBILISI, DFWatch--There will be a runoff election for de facto president of breakaway Abkhazia on September 8, since none of the candidates received over 50% of votes in the first round on Sunday. Incumbent de facto president Raul Khajimba is in the lead, trailed by Oleg Arshba and Alhaz Kvitsinia, according to preliminary [...]

European far-right politicians praise Abkhazia election as free and democratic

By | August 26th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Patrick Poppel (right), Stefan Keuter (second from right) and Gunnar Lindemann (center) at the concluding conference in Sokhumi. (RFE/RL.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Two politicians from the German far-right AfD were among the foreign observers who were present during Sunday’s election for de facto president of Abkhazia. The election was not recognized by Georgia. Among the dozens [...]

Kremlin linked incumbent likely to be re-elected in breakaway Abkhazia

By | August 25th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Raul Khajimba casting his vote in Sokhumi (RIA). TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia is holding elections for de facto president on Sunday. Ten candidates are vying for the seat, but none of them stand much of a chance against the incumbent Raul Khajimba, a former KGB operative and close ally of the Kremlin. [...]

Ryanair enters Georgia, starts flights from Tbilisi

By | August 21st, 2019|Categories: Brief|Tags: , , , |

Georgia signs a deal with Irish lowcoster Ryanair, which will launch flights to various destinations from Tbilisi and later from Kutaisi airports, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development says. Tickets for a new route between Tbilisi and Milan Bergamo are already on sale on the carrier's website. Flights start on November 6 and will be [...]

Eight detained Georgians released by Tskhinvali regime

By | August 21st, 2019|Categories: Brief|Tags: , , |

(IPN.) The de facto authorities of South Ossetia have released eight Georgian citizens detained on the occupation line. All of them are already in the territory controlled by Georgia’s central authorities. They were handed over to Georgian officials at the abandoned checkpoint in the village of Ergneti, near Tskhinvali on Tuesday. Seven men were [...]

Georgia’s Rustavi 2 TV fires several key journalists after takeover

By | August 20th, 2019|Categories: Media|Tags: , , , , |

Former news chief Nodar Meladze was approached by a person close to Ivanishvili and offered a collaboration, but declined. TBILISI, DFWatch--A day after Rustavi 2’s new owner laid out his plans to revamp Georgia's biggest opposition TV company, the newly appointed director sacks several of its key journalists. The list outlined on Tuesday by [...]

New Rustavi 2 owner vows to develop it as a “rigorous and critical” TV channel

By | August 19th, 2019|Categories: Media|Tags: , |

Kibar Khalvashi, Rustavi 2's new owner. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The new owner of Rustavi 2 is not planning to sell his shares. Instead, Kibar Shalvashi plans to develop Georgia's largest opposition TV channel as a "critical and rigorous" outlet. "I consider it my primary duty to put television freed from Saakashvili into public service and [...]

Russia’s military superiority is visible but its status in Georgia continues to erode: Robert Hamilton

By | August 16th, 2019|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , |

Robert Hamilton. (VoA) Voice of America’s Georgian Service’s Anna Kalandadze talked to Robert Hamilton, Professor of Eurasian Studies at the US Army War College in Washington about trending topics in current-day Georgia. VoA: How do you assess the Anti-Russia protests that are ongoing in Tbilisi?  What are the protests all about? Robert Hamilton: The [...]

Several families in Georgia forced to leave their homes by Russian solders to make way for South Ossetia “border” fence

By | August 16th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Davit Katsarava/Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch--At least two families in Georgia were forced to leave their homes in a village near the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict line on Thursday. The families left after Russian troops approached them and asked them to vacate their homes within 72 hours. The village of Gugutiantkari belongs to Gori Municipality and is [...]

Two disappeared tourists from Belarus found dead in Svaneti

By | August 15th, 2019|Categories: Brief|Tags: , , , |

Mount Tetnuldi seen from Mestia, the capital of Svaneti. (1tv.ge) TBILISI, DFWatch--Two women from Belarus have died and one survived with injures in an hiking accident in Svaneti, on the slopes of Mount Tetnuldi, a 4,858m high peak in the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range.  The three tourists, aged between 36 and 60, departed from [...]

Tbilisi court imposes strict bail conditions on former Rustavi 2 director in corruption trial

By | August 11th, 2019|Categories: Interviews, Media|Tags: , |

Nika Gvaramia at Tbilisi City Court. (1tv.ge.) TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court has placed Nika Gvaramia under GEL 40,000 bail in a controversial corruption trial that the opposition calls politically motivated. Initially, the Prosecutor’s Office wanted even stricter bail conditions: GEL 80,000 bail and banning the former head of Rustavi 2 from leaving the country.  [...]

Georgia’s government and opposition trade accusations on 11th anniversary of Georgia-Russia war

By | August 9th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: |

Russian soldiers in Georgia in 2008. TBILISI, DFWatch--Members and supporters of Georgia's current and previous governments traded accusations on the 11th anniversary of the war between Russia and Georgia. Members of the incumbent government once again blamed the previous government and personally former President Mikheil Saakashvili of irresponsible actions which brought Russian troops on [...]

Fundamental human rights continue to be violated: EU statement on August War anniversary

By | August 8th, 2019|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

EU monitor in Georgia. (eeas.europa.eu) On the eve of 11th anniversary of Russo-Georgian War of 2008, the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia issues the statement saying that fundamental human rights of the conflict-affected population continue to be violated and Russia keeps on violating the ceasefire agreement by maintaining and even increasing its [...]

Tbilisi authorities ponder renaming Moscow Avenue

By | August 7th, 2019|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , , |

(PrimeTime.) On the eve of 11th anniversary of the 2008 August War between Russia and Georgia, Tbilisi city authorities are considering changing the name of Moscow Avenue. "I confirm that this issue is on the table and included in our agenda," Giorgi Tkemaladze, Chairman of Tbilisi City Council, said on Wednesday. "When the decision [...]

Tskhinvali closes “border” on the 11th anniversary of the August War

By | August 6th, 2019|Categories: In brief|

On the anniversary of the August war, the Tskhinvali regime temporarily closes the de facto border. The checkpoint, located near the village of Mosaburni (the so-called "Razdzhani" checkpoint), will close at 8 pm on Tuesday and open at 6 am on Friday, August 9. According to the de facto State Security Committee, which is in charge [...]

New study finds dangerous levels of toxins in the Black Sea

By | August 5th, 2019|Categories: Environment|Tags: |

The cancerous substance benzo(a)pyrene, commonly found in soot, is present in the Black Sea in levels exceeding its toxicity threshold. TBILISI, DFWatch--The Black Sea contains toxic concentrations of several pollutants, a new study has found. The dangerous substances include soot, pesticides, insecticides, mercury and flame retardants. In addition, 124 chemicals dangerous for the sea [...]

Another music festival in Georgia canceled after threats from priests

By | August 5th, 2019|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , , |

Orthodox priests demanded that the ruins must be protected from 'amoral' behavior. TBILISI, DFWatch--One more electronic music festival in Georgia has been canceled due to threats from clergy, this time in Kobuleti on the Black Sea coast.  Organizers of GR Fest wrote on Facebook that the youth festival, which is scheduled to start on [...]

Russian Duma to consider recognizing 1918-1920 Georgian-Ossetian conflict as a genocide

By | August 3rd, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Vyacheslav Volodin in the Russian Duma. (RIA Novosti.) TBILISI, DFWatch--The lower house of Russia's parliament will soon decide whether to recognize the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in the early 20th Century as a genocide. "The State Duma has paid due attention to the statement by the South Ossetian parliament on the recognition of the genocide of [...]