Georgia

“Zurabishvili and the GD should be worried”: American analysts speak on Georgian elections

By | November 7th, 2018|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Paul Stronski. (VOA) Voice of America’s Anna Kalandadze discussed aftermath and fallout of the first round of presidential elections in Georgia with leading Eurasia analysts in Washington. Anna Kalandadze is VOA Georgian chief and can be followed on twitter @anavoa. VOA: Latest Presidential elections were marred by dozens of procedural irregularities, inappropriate media coverage, [...]

Georgian, Ossetian athletes facilitated release of a woman from Tskhinvali jail

By | October 23rd, 2018|Categories: Conflict news|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Maia Otinashvili (Photo: Goga Aptsiauri, RFE/RL). Several wrestlers and possibly other acting and retired athletes had played a key role in the release of 37 y/o Georgian woman from Tskhinvali prison, the family says, which was confirmed also by Georgia’s State Security Service (SUS). […]

Margvelashvili won’t run for president again, slams GD for animosity

By | August 31st, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Facebook.) President Giorgi Margvelashvili has announced his decision not to run for the presidential seat in the fall and slammed Georgia’s ruling party for attempts to ‘discredit’ him. […]

Georgia bows to Turkey’s Erdogan again, cracks down on Gulen-linked university in Tbilisi

By | August 21st, 2018|Categories: Education, News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia keeps on cracking down on educational institutions linked to the Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara has accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. […]

It was inevitable, if not in 2008 it would erupt later: Hamilton on August War

By | August 11th, 2018|Categories: Interviews|Tags: |

Robert Hamilton. Anna Kalandadze of Voice of America/Georgia spoke to Robert Hamilton, Professor of Eurasian Studies at US Army War College on his recollections of Russo-Georgian war of 2008 and where the country is going ten years after.  […]

Drug control: time to right the wrong policies

By | July 31st, 2018|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

Michel Kazatchkine is former Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, and member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The Parliament of Georgia is currently engaged in a promising debate to reform its drug laws, possibly by ending the criminalization of drug use and possession, and seeking alternatives for low-level actors in the drug trade. This would go a long way to enacting an effective drug control framework that puts individuals first, with great benefits for communities in terms of security and public health. […]

Georgia on its way to less punitive, more human drug policy?

By | June 13th, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

Commissioners Pavel Bém (left) and Michel Kazatchkine. Two commissioners visiting Tbilisi urge the government of Georgia to go ahead with bold reform of drug policies, insisting that ending punishment does not mean encouraging or condoning the use of drugs, but rather it empowers individuals and communities […]

Paul Stronski: Georgia has carved out as much independence as possible against very large and aggressive neighbor

By | June 6th, 2018|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , , , |

Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Voice of America’s Ani Chkhikvadze sat down with Paul Stronski, Carnegie Endowment fellow in Washington DC to discuss Georgia’s domestic and foreign affairs. […]

Feeling of insecurity grows among Azerbaijani activists in Georgia – the story of Khayal Azizov

By | May 29th, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Khayal Azizov (Facebook). Azerbaijani journalist Khayal Azizov, who has fled from his country, blames the Azerbaijani authorities in illegal persecution and psychological oppression in Georgia. […]

Integration of ethnic Azeris starts with language

By | March 24th, 2018|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , |

The Constitution of Georgia stipulates that the state language of country is Georgian. The status of the official language creates grounds for, on the one hand, the social isolation and exclusion from economic and political spheres of people who do not speak Georgian and, on the other hand, the banning on the use of a minority language in administrative domains. […]

Selective abortions still rife in Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijani community

By | February 2nd, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , , |

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

How cousin marriages affect Georgia’s ethnic Azerbaijani population

By | January 30th, 2018|Categories: Society|Tags: , , , |

“My elder daughter has thalassemia. When doctors diagnosed her, we learned that it is a genetic disease and mostly it happens with children when they are born as a result of cousin-marriages. I’m married with my cousin. If I were aware of the risk, I would not have married him; […]

Carpenter: Not only sanctions… the US & NATO can take military steps to gain advantage over Russia in the region

By | January 13th, 2018|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , , |

Michael Carpenter (PennBidenCenter.) To assess the US national security strategy issues, efficiency of the Trump administration and threats coming from increasingly assertive Russia, Voice of America’s (VOA) Nana Sajaia interviewed Washington-based Michael Carpenter, Senior Executive Director at Pen Biden Center. […]

Saakashvili supporters in Georgia demand his release from Kiev prison

By | December 11th, 2017|Categories: Brief|Tags: , , , , |

Nika Melia, the head of UNM ruling body, surrounded by party members, reads the address at Saturday briefing. Georgia’s former ruling party expresses solidarity against the “political persecution” of its leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, who is under arrest in Kiev, Ukraine. […]

Tskhinvali regime closes single checkpoint with Georgia proper for two days

By | November 23rd, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Razdakhan checkpoint near Akhalgori (cominf.org). De facto authorities of South Ossetia shut down the single checkpoint connecting the breakaway republic with Georgia proper due to the recently introduced public holiday, […]

One policeman, three suspects killed in Tbilisi anti-terror operation

By | November 22nd, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

(1tv.ge) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three suspects and one police officer have been killed in a massive anti-terror operation in a Tbilisi suburb against suspected Chechens. Four police were also wounded in the standoff, which lasted over 20 hours, a spokesperson for the State Security Service of Georgia (SUS) said at a briefing Wednesday evening. […]

Damon Wilson: The victory makes GD fully responsible for where Georgia comes out

By | November 11th, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , |

Damon Wilson is an American foreign policy advisor and the current executive vice president at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a foreign and public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. To assess the past local elections in Georgia, , Voice of America’s (VOA) Nana Sajaia interviewed  Washington-based Damon Wilson, Executive Vice-President of US Atlantic Council. […]

CSOs Seek Involvement in Public Defender’s Selection Process

By | October 19th, 2017|Categories: NGO news|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

We would like to respond to the statements related to the selection of Georgian Public Defender and call on the Parliament of Georgia to ensure civil society participation in the process of selecting the main human rights defender of the country. It is well-known to everyone that according to legislation, a Public Defender may be nominated [...]

Either school or hijab – “my daughters will not go to school without hijab!”

By | October 18th, 2017|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , |

According to official statistics 10,7% of the Georgian population – about 399,000 persons – are Muslims. 333,000 of them are ethnic Azerbaijani. Part of them thinks that in accordance to the Muslim tradition, a girl shall wear a hijab over 14. “I want to learn and become a teacher. If I do not study, I know in future I will have hard life. I was not allowed into the school because I am wearing a hijab. I do not know what will happen now. […]

Leaving behind “post-Soviet” politics in Georgia

By | October 12th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

For years democratization is seen as a top down process of constitutional engineering, nation-building, and market reforms. Until the early 2000s, states in former Eastern Europe saw their membership of NATO and the European Union as the final stage of consolidating their democracy. […]

Abduction of Mukhtarli Abated Trust of Ethnic Azerbaijani Population towards Georgian Authorities

By | October 11th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , |

Khayal Azizov Ethnic Azerbaijani people make up 6.3% of the Georgian population that is 233,000 persons. It is the biggest ethnic minority community in the country though their voice is least heard here. […]

William Courtney: Russia might seek to annex Abkhazia

By | August 18th, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , |

William Courtney (rand.org) William Courtney, former US Ambassador to Georgia told Voice of America’s Anna Kalandadze that “President Putin’s August 8 visit underlined Moscow’s apparent determination to retain control of Abkhazia despite the costs to Russia’s international reputation. But the Kremlin […]

I hope there will be a dialogue about selling Georgia anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons: policy specialist

By | July 30th, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , |

Daniel Kochis (Heritage Foundation) Voice of America’s Anna Kalandadze spoke to Daniel Kochis, a Europe policy specialist in the Margaret Thatcher’s Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, a US Conservative think tank, ahead of US Vice President’s visit to Tbilisi. […]

Former president of Georgia stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship

By | July 26th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Mikheil Saakashvili in November, 2016. TBILISI, DFWatch–Ukraine has stripped former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili of his citizenship, shortly after a visit to Georgia by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. A Ukrainian member of parliament first reported it on Facebook, and the information […]

Helmut Kohl was a great friend of Georgia

By | June 20th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , |

Helmut Kohl (wikiwand.com) Helmut Kohl, in hand with Edward Shevardnadze, Michael Gorbachev, and George H.W. Bush, convinced Europe to rise to the occasion and believe that history can progress, that unity and national sovereignty can go hand-in-hand, and that conflict is not inevitable when Germany is united. […]

Coffey: Trump’s finally come to the realization that Russia is not partner for U.S.

By | May 27th, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , |

Luke Coffey To assess the visit of NATO Parliamentary assembly to Tbilisi, Georgia, discuss future of Transatlantic relations and Pres. Trump’s visit to Europe Voice of America’s Anna Kalandadze spoke to Luke Coffey, Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, […]

Alexandra Hall Hall: Georgian PM explores getting a free trade agreement with the U.S.

By | May 15th, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , |

“Georgia is not a post-Soviet state. It is a European state […] So, looking at a free trade agreement with the U.S. is kind of a maturing of the relationship.” To assess the recent visit of Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to the U.S., Voice of America’s (VOA) Anna Kalandadze interviewed British diplomat and a political observer Alexandra Hall Hall. […]

Constitutional Reform in Georgia – a Step Forward

By | May 6th, 2017|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

Tamar Chugoshvili is Parliament’s First Deputy Chairperson. In 2010-2012 she was the Chairperson Georgia’s of Young Lawyers’ Association. In total, 33 amendments have been made to the Constitution of Georgia, adopted in 1995, however, only two rounds of these amendments have been of fundamental importance […]

CSOs’ statement on alleged revocation of self-governing status from seven Georgian cities

By | March 29th, 2017|Categories: NGO news|Tags: , , |

Statement of Civil Society and Media organizations against alleged revocation of the status from the-now seven self-governing cities in Georgia […]

Sen. McCain encourages Georgia to preserve pluralistic media

By | March 15th, 2017|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , |

Georgian court's decision regarding Rustavi 2 looks like 'an attempt to silence opposition voices', US Senator John McCain said to Voice of America's Georgian service. "I am deeply concerned that the Georgian Supreme Court’s decision regarding Rustavi 2 appears to be an attempt to silence opposition voices in the press and curtail the country’s vibrant, pluralistic, [...]

State Oil and Gas Company Spending Questioned

By | February 22nd, 2017|Categories: Economy|Tags: , , , , |

Georgia Oil and Gas Corporation building on Kakheti av. (Ifact.ge) Between 2012 and 2014, the Georgia Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) spent 3.8 million lari (about $US2.26 million) to finance patrols watching to make sure nobody was stealing gas from oil or gas pipelines. […]

Target of Georgia Church poisoning attempt was patriarch’s adviser

By | February 16th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Shorena Tetruashvili (1tv.ge). TBILISI, DFWatch–Top prosecutors in Georgia now say the target of an assassination attempt within the Orthodox Church was not the patriarch, but one of his advisers. In an interview with the newspaper Rezonansi, POG spokeswoman Natia Sukhiashvili specifically […]

Paul Goble: I fear that Trump will largely ignore countries like Georgia

By | January 22nd, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , , , |

Paul A. Goble. (VoA.) To assess the latest developments in the domestic and foreign affairs of Georgia, Voice of America’s (VOA) Anna Kalandadze interviewed Washington-based long-standing Eurasia observer Paul Goble. The Georgian-language interview first appeared on VOA.  Here is an English version: […]

Atlantic Council Vice-President: Perhaps it’s time to go on the offensive

By | January 9th, 2017|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , , |

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice-President of the US Atlantic Council. To assess the visit by three top US Senators, John Mccain (R- AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Amy Klobucher (D-MN) to Georgia and Ukraine, Voice of America’s (VOA) Anna Kalandadze interviewed  Washington-based Damon Wilson, Executive Vice-President of US Atlantic Council. […]

Georgia’s Public Broadcaster selects new head who has links to Ivanishvili

By | January 7th, 2017|Categories: Media|Tags: , , , |

New GPB director Vasil Maglaperidze. (Channel 1.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The supervisory board of Georgia’s Public Broadcaster (GPB) on Thursday selected as new director a candidate with close ties to the ruling party and personal links to billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. The decision to appoint Vasil Maglaperidze […]

19.3 percent more tourists so far in 2016

By | December 3rd, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , |

(Georgian Tourism Administration photo.) Almost 5.9 million international visitors arrived in Georgia during 2016, which is 7.9 percent more than in the same period last year, the head of Georgian National Tourism Administration said on Friday. Out of these tourists (who stayed in the country during 24 hours and longer) […]

Georgian lari drops again, approaching important benchmark

By | November 3rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finance, insists ‘this is really a temporary decline.’ TBILISI, DFWatch–The opposition in Georgia is blaming the government of impoverishing the country after the lari dropped in value again and is approaching a ‘psychological’ benchmark rate of 2.50 against the US dollar. Its official rate against USD was set as 2.4195 […]

Tourism jumps by one fifth, statistics

By | October 3rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia had a 19.5 percent growth in tourism in the nine months in 2016, according to the data released by National Tourism Administration on Monday. […]

John Kerry’s statement on August War 8th anniversary

By | August 9th, 2016|Categories: In brief|Tags: , , , , , |

(official photo) Tbilisi, DFWatch – US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned occupation of Georgian territories by Russia by issuing a short statement on 8th anniversary of Russo-Georgian war. […]

Abkhazia won’t hand over murderer of Georgian IDP

By | July 6th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Raul Hajymba (Ria Novosty) TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto president of Abkhazia Raul Hajymba (Khadzhimba) told Russian media that the murderer of Georgian IDP Giga Otkhozoria won’t be handed over to the Georgian side. […]

Mshybzia! Futile activism serves the interests of elites

By | June 27th, 2016|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , |

A screenshot from the project’s website (mshibzia.com) The new Georgian social media campaign aimed at reaching out to Abkhaz society is an example of a futile activism informed by nationalist narratives which are being used by Georgian political elites to distract society from the core issue of unresolved ethnic conflict […]

Georgia’s score declines in Global Peace Index

By | June 8th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is ranked 85th among 163 of the world’s countries in the latest Global Peace Index published by the think tank Institute for Economics and Peace. Seven more European countries scored lower than Georgia, including all of Georgia’s […]

Georgia marked Independence Day [photo]

By | May 27th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Oath taking ceremony on Freedom Square (DFWatch) As a tradition, an oath taking ceremony was held on Freedom Square, however for the first time it was also held in other places – in Kakheti, Samegrelo, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Imereti and Adjara. Totally 432 recruits all over Georgia took an oath. […]

Georgian Dream wins seven, UNM two seats in by-elections

By | May 23rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Logo of Election Administration of Georgia. TBILISI, DFWatch–The Central Electoral Commission (CESKO) announced the preliminary results of the by-elections to Sakrebulos (‘municipal assemblies’), which were held on 22 May in nine majoritarian electoral districts. […]

Georgian IDP killed by Abkhaz guards at checkpoint

By | May 21st, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Russian-Abkhazian checkpoint between Khurcha and Nabakevi. (Sputnik) An ethnic Georgian man was fatally wounded by an Abkhaz border officer in an incident that occurred at the Khurcha-Nabakevi checkpoint at the de facto border with Abkhazia, inside the territory under control of Georgian authorities. The video (+18) from a surveillance camera distributed by Rustavi 2 [...]

WHO: Georgia at high risk of Zika virus outbreak

By | May 19th, 2016|Categories: News, Society|Tags: , , , , |

The carrier mosquito, Aedes, is present in Georgia, but the disease is not, NCDC representative was quoted as saying. Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia’s Black Sea coast is among the European regions which are at the highest risk of a Zika virus outbreak during late spring and summer, a statement made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) reads. […]

Ombudsman call on public agencies ‘to do their best’ to prevent hate-motivated violence

By | May 17th, 2016|Categories: Minorities, Society|Tags: , , , |

Ucha Nanuashvili (Ombudsman.ge) The Public Defender of Georgia released a statement on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), May 17, in which he deplores that “no effective measures have been taken for raising public awareness or establishing the culture of tolerance in the country.” “A timely, efficient and accountable investigation of hate crimes [...]

Ethnic and religious minorities affected by population decline: Census

By | May 4th, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , , , , |

43% of the population of Kvemo Kartli is Muslim, 40% in Achara , and 12% in Kakheti (DFWatch) TBILISI, DFWatch–The 2014 census sheds light on issues related to ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities in Georgia. The size of all ethnic minorities fell drastically. While Georgia has lost 15% (658 thousand) of its population since the 2002 census, the number […]

Three cases of homophobic violence reported last month

By | May 3rd, 2016|Categories: Minorities|Tags: , , |

Jemal Beridze (Facebook) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian media reported about three cases of homophobic violence which took place last month in Tbilisi. The Facebook user, Jemal Beridze wrote on 23 April that he was assaulted by three unknown attackers for wearing an earring. […]

61 more villages abandoned in Georgia in 12 years: Census

By | May 3rd, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–There are 223 deserted villages in Georgia, according to the census conducted in 2014 and published last week by the  National Statistics Office (GeoStat). In 2002, when the previous census was conducted, […]

North & East European foreign ministers support visa-free travel for Georgia, Ukraine

By | April 25th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Photo by MFA of Latvia TBILISI, DFWatch–Foreign ministers of Europe’s northern and eastern countries call on EU member states to go ahead with a plan to allow 90 days visa-free visits for Georgian and Ukrainian citizens. On 21–22 April, a meeting of foreign ministers of Baltic, […]

ISIS’s Georgian-born commander ‘wounded, not dead’: Report

By | March 10th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Undated photo of Abu Omar TBILISI, DFWatch–The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced that according to its sources military commander of the Islamic State, Tarkhan Batirashvili, was seriously injured in an American airstrike on 4 March, yet not killed, Reuters reported. […]

Shots fired at Georgia’s ex-minister for Euro-Atlantic integration

By | February 26th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A former member of government and secretary of an opposition party was shot by unknown attackers on Saburtalo cemetery on Friday afternoon. His injuries are not life-threatening. Aleksi Petriashvili with his wife, journalist Eka Mishveladze (Facebook) Aleksi Petriashvili was shot at and wounded at the Saburtalo […]

Georgian PM expects ‘adequate assessment’ of his efforts

By | June 4th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , , , |

Tbilisi, Dfwatch – Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili hopes that a progress done by Georgia will be ‘adequately assessed’ on the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales, but he also thinks it is not advisable to speak of this issue in advance, as it raises false expectations among his fellow counterparts. […]

10 years after the peace plan

By | October 20th, 2011|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , |

Almost 10 years have passed since the UN, in an attempt to help solve the Abkhaz conflict, launched the Document on "Distribution of Competences between Sukhumi and Tbilisi". Basically, this was an effort to have the Abkhaz and the Georgian sides to the conflict sit down at the negotiating table and work out modalities for a [...]