Jun 26, 2012

US cadets trained at Georgia's Sachkhere Mountain Training School

Cadets of the United States Military University finished Basic Mountain Training Summer Course. A course graduation ceremony was organized at the base of Sachkhere Mountain Training School. American cadets were granted certificates and special badges.

28 cadets of the U.S. Military University underwent the course of study within the frames of cooperation between the United States and Georgia. Basic Mountain Training Summer Course lasted from 4 till 23 of June. During a three week-long summer course the foreign cadets adopted mountain-technical skills.

The Sachkhere Mountain Training School instructors trained future military servicemen in crossing technique over mountains, high mountains, rivers and ravines. They also practiced in providing first medical care and got familiar with evacuation methods.

In the scope of the course, with the help of the Georgian instructors, trainees carried out technical climbing and descending from rocks.

The solemn graduation ceremony was attended by Deputy Chiefs of Joint Staff of GAF Colonel Arsen Tsukhishvili, Lieutenant Colonel Lasha Beridze, representatives of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia and Diplomatic Corps. 

Source: The US cadets trained at Sachkhere Mountain Training School

Apr 11, 2012

Georgian doctors save Abkhazian children

TBILISI, GEORGIA - An 11 year-old girl from the occupied Abkhazia will be operated on her heart in Tbilisi. Georgian news channel Rustavi2 reported.

Iana Iashfba from Tkvarcheli has problems on her heart and will undergo surgery at the Joen Hospital in Tbilisi.

She was taken from the breakaway region a few days ago; the surgery is planned for tomorrow. The surgery will be funded by the government of Georgia.

The head of the Abkhazian legitimate government Gia Baramia visited the young patient at the hospital today and presented her with candies and Easter gifts.

This is not the first case in which Georgian doctors have saved the life of an Abkhazian child. Over the past years, many desparate Abkhazian parents have come to Tbilisi to get much-needed medical help for their childeren, which they cannot get in Abkhazia.

Mar 8, 2012

How the President of "Independent Abkhazia" gives his vote to Russian President

On March 4th, the day of the Sovietization of Abkhazia, the day of the death of the first Abkhazian pro-kremlin leader Vladislav Ardzinba, and the birthday of the late second pro-Moscow leader of the puppet regime Sergey Bagapsh, the current "President" of "Independent of Abkhazia" Alexander Ankvab elected Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Abkhazia knows what choice it should make. I am sure that Abkhazia is voting for Vladimir Putin, "- Ankvab said yesterday voting for Putin.

The fact that calls in support of one of the candidates is itself a violation we will not mention. And the call to vote en masse for a candidate, too, is a confirmation of the closed society. But the vote of "the president of one state" for the president of another probably will go down in the annals of world history. One cannot even comment on this..

In 1992-1993 and in 2008, Russia organized an ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia. More than 400,000 Georgians were driven out of Abkhazia & South Ossetia and are not allowed to return to their homes until today. Instead, the region is becoming more and more militarized.

Read more about Abkhazia: The Abkhaz government has officially distanced itself from the Circassian genocide.

Feb 24, 2012

Thousands of Georgians call on Russia to pull out its troops from Georgian territory

By Robert Moore

Thousands of Georgians call on Russia to recognize Georgia`s territorial integrity, pull out its troops from Georgian territory and facilitate repatriation of IDPs to their homes in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.

Soviet(Russian) occupation has changed the names into South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the period 1921-1992). The historicaly correct name of South Ossetia is: Shida Kartli or Samachablo). The historically correct name of Abkhazia is Apkhazeti. These regions were always Georgian and never independent states before the August 2008.

In 1992-1993 and in 2008, Russia organized an ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More than 400,000 Georgians were driven out of Abkhazia & South Ossetia and are not allowed to return to their homes until today.

Two Georgian regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, remain under Russian occupation and are being militarized further and further. There is no form of human rights whatsoever in these two regions. Neither Russia nor the pro-Russian regimes allow Georgians to return to their homes and property in the regions. Both regions are closed to international organizations and observers. There is no form of economy, no press-freedom.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been declared independent by Russia and some dwarf island nations that were paid by Russia to do so. The independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is absolutely illegal and was declared after large-scale ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population. In Abkhazia for example, the number of ethnic Abkhazians was 1% of the total population in 1989. This group has been given the right by Russia to make fundamental decisions for the other 99% of the population, like independence.

Georgian refugees demand from the Russian state to stop the occupation, to let them return to their homes and live a safe life there.

Feb 17, 2012

The illegitimacy of Abkhazia's independence

The push for Abkhaz statehood makes a mockery of international law -- and recognition would represent a chilling validation of ethnic cleansing.

So-called presidential elections took place last month in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia. The fact that the European Union and the United States rejected them as totally illegitimate, however, did not prevent the proponents of the Abkhaz "cause" from continuing their campaign to achieve recognition as an independent state. Russian ministers, of course, praised the ballot. The international community, however, should not be fooled.

The Abkhaz regime exists only because Russia backs it with military might and financial support. Calls for international recognition conveniently overlook how it was established: through the killing of around 10,000 civilians in the 1990s and the expulsion of more than 300,000 people from Abkhazia over the past two decades.

It is for the international courts to define the legal nature of the atrocities committed by the Abkhaz militia and their Russian allies. But no one should ignore these acts while considering the future of a region that has been forcefully emptied of the overwhelming majority of its population.

The 1992-1993 conflict and the 2008 Russian invasion -- together with the constant harassment and intimidation of the non-Abkhaz civilian population -- have radically altered Abkhazia's demographics. According to Soviet census data, ethnic Abkhaz comprised 17.8 percent of the 525,000 residents of Abkhazia in 1989, while ethnic Georgians accounted for 45.7 percent, numbering roughly 240,000. By 2003, the ethnic Georgian population had decreased by 81 percent to just 46,000 (mostly in the Gali and Tkvarcheli districts); Armenians had been reduced by 41 percent, Russians by 69 percent, Greeks by 87 percent, and others (Ukrainians, Belarusians, Estonians, Jews) by 81 percent.

In the same period, the Abkhaz were the only ethnic group whose ranks increased -- from the prewar tally of just 17 percent to about half the population. The outrageous process by which this occurred has been denounced as "ethnic cleansing" by the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and many others.

The Georgian side that participated, mostly in the form of militias, in the war that raged during the early 1990s, was also involved -- like the Abkhaz -- in abject crimes. But since then, Georgia, as a government and society, has held its criminals to account. The militias were dissolved and banned, and their leaders jailed. Nothing similar has happened on the Abkhaz side. Nobody was prosecuted, and criminals were rewarded with fame, medals, and stolen property. Not a single person among the Abkhaz presidential candidates has ever even acknowledged -- let alone condemned -- the ethnic cleansing.

Meanwhile, proponents of the Abkhaz cause ask a powerful question: Why not apply the precedent of Kosovo, which achieved international recognition after a violent separation from Serbia, to Abkhazia?
But replicating Kosovo (a process of recognition that can hardly be described as flawless) is not applicable. The differences between the two cases are stark. First, the most heinous crimes in Kosovo were committed by Serbians, the adversaries of secession; in Abkhazia, they were committed by the secessionists and their Russian allies. Second, the right of return of refugees to Kosovo was a precondition for self-determination; in Abkhazia, the so-called self-determination is linked with the refusal to allow the return of internally displaced people.

Put simply, Kosovo's independence was a way of punishing ethnic cleansing. In Abkhazia, such recognition would represent a chilling validation of ethnic cleansing, and a reward to its authors.

And there's more that makes the Kosovo parallel problematic. The processes leading to independence and recognition also could not have been more different. Abkhaz leaders have refused several peace plans proposed by the Georgian government, the United Nations, and Germany. In Kosovo's case, however, it was the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic that rejected peace efforts. After the war, Kosovo came under U.N. administration for nine years before its independence was recognized by a vast coalition of countries, including the United States and most European nations. In Abkhazia, international organizations have been denied entry, and its so-called independence has been recognized only by Russia and three other non-European countries, which all receive Russian financial support.

But the illegitimacy of Abkhazia's independence is not solely due to the failure of the international community to accept its sovereignty. It stems from deeper problems: the past and current actions of Abkhazia's leaders, their ideology of ethnic supremacy, and the Russian military occupation of its territory.

The Abkhaz people do need cooperation with Europe, and they deserve to be part of the world community. But the manner in which this happens is crucial. It cannot be done by validating ethnic cleansing, by ignoring the annexation of Georgia's sovereign territory, or by recognizing elections held in a society that is built on apartheid -- where a vast majority of the population has been expelled and most ethnic Georgians still remaining are not allowed to vote.

Instead, the international community should insist on the implementation of the 2008 cease-fire agreement between Georgia and Russia brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, which stipulates the withdrawal of Russian troops. The next steps must be security guarantees and arrangements provided by international organizations, including ensuring the right of return of all internally displaced people.

Anything short of this throws international law in a waste bin. And any election held before the return of the people who have been expelled can only be a tragic farce.

Source: Abkhazia's Independence Farce

Feb 8, 2012

After banning products made in Georgia, Belarus and Moldova, Russia bans products made in Ukraine and Norway

Discontented with the policy of its neighbors, Russia uses its main tool to demonstrate it is prior. After banning products made in Georgia, Belarus and Moldova, Russian embargo has now been imposed on products made in Ukraine.

Russian consumer rights watchdog will impose a ban on imports of cheese produced by some Ukrainian companies that have taken an unconstructive position regarding a solution to problems surrounding the quality of this product, Rospotrebnadzor head and Russia`s chief epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko announced today. The ban will also refer to Norwegian providers.

Onischchenko said the laboratory tests found intestinal bacillus in the fish products made in Norway; the Norwegian providers have been already received corresponding letter from Onishchenko`s office.
Ukraine and Russia are currently locked in a lengthy row over the price and volume of Russian natural gas Ukraine purchases.

Feb 1, 2012

World Bank: Georgia a model for anti-corruption

WASHINGTON (AP) - The World Bank is praising Georgia's anti-corruption reforms, calling them unprecedented and suggesting they could be a model for other countries.

In a report released on Tuesday, the bank said President Mikhail Saakashvili's government has tamed corruption that once 'permeated every aspect of life in Georgia.' Georgia 'destroys the myth that corruption is cultural and gives hope to reformers everywhere,' it said.

Mr Saakashvili has often pointed to the reforms as a sign the country is moving in the right direction.
However critics have said the country remains authoritarian and restrictive of the media. Indeed, the World Bank notes that much of the country's success in reforms was achievable because power was concentrated at the top of the government.

Source: Georgia a model for anti-corruption

Jan 5, 2012

iPad helps Georgian police officers monitor the safety

TBILISI, GEORGIA - Five thousand Georgian police officers will be equipped with iPads. New police pads were produced in Georgia by the Algorithm Company.

Minister of Interior Vano Merabishvili observe the process of police pad production in the factory personally.

`I have an honor to inform Georgian society and the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, that in a few days five thousand police officers will be equipped with such field computers, which will allow the citizens and the police officers to provide services offered by the ministry to our citizens more comfortably,` Minister said adding Georgian police would soon become the most developed and modernized police in the world.

Dec 30, 2011

Julio Iglesias arrives in Georgia`s Black Sea town Batumi

BATUMI, GEORGIA - Famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias has arrived in Georgia`s Black Sea town of Batumi. His plane landed in the Batumi airport on Friday evening.

Prior to the singer`s arrival, a 25-member group of performers accompanying Iglesias, visited the town. The guests were accommodated in Radisson Hotel of Batumi.

They are expected to check the technical equipments installed on Batumi`s one of central squares where the concert by Julio Iglesias is supposed to take place at New Year`s night.

Iglesias is expected to perform together with a 15-member band during the show, which is expected to last for over two hours.

Eastern Promotion local company is organizing the preparation works for teh show together with foreign colleagues.

This would be the first performance in Georgia by the Spanish singer who has sold 300 million CDs throughout the world during his career.

Georgian participants of the concert have already checked the equipments.
All preparation works on the square in front of the Radisson have been completed. The stage and all technical equipments have been installed.

Dec 4, 2011

Abkhazians ignore the Circassian genocide

SUKHUMI, ABKHAZIA - The Abkhaz government has officially distanced itself from the Circassian genocide. The former government of Sergei Bagapsh already did this, but now the present government is doing the same.

It is not only the government, the Abkhaz people also feel harassed by this subject. In May 2011, Georgia, as the first country in the world, officially recognized the Circassian genocide. This recognition got severe criticism from the Abkhazians. They accused Georgia of trying to hinder the Sochi Olympic Games. They even stated that Georgia invented the whole Circassian genocide story.

Abkhazia hopes to boost its economy through these games. They have offered hotels, use of airports and other facilities to the organizers. And exactly at that point, Georgia interferes with their plans by making such a statement. The Abkhaz media avoid mentioning the subject altogether.

Sochi is a sensitive location in Circassian history anyway, because exactly at that location thousands of people were murdered by the Russian Empire. In fact Abkhazians also suffered in these acts. It is therefore strange that they are not supporting the Circassians now.

A large group of young Abkhazians gave irritated reactions when asked about the Circassian genocide: “Russia recognized our independence and has helped us liberate Abkhazia from the Georgians. This Circassian genocide of some 200 years ago should not be brought up. That was the past, today is a different time.”

Reactions in Georgia are very different. In the 1992-93 conflict, over 300,000 ethnic Georgians were driven from their homes by Abkhazians with Russian military assistance. After this Russia indeed recognized Abkhazia’s independence and started to build and reinforce military bases there. Because of this, many Georgians feel a bond with the Circassians, as two peoples that suffered at the hands of the Russian empire.

However this may be, Abkhazia keeps its position on this matter.

© Robert Moore

Nov 26, 2011

GUAM urges international society to condemn so-called elections in South Ossetia

Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) calls on the international society to condemn the so-called presidential elections held in Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, Georgia, on November 13, 2011, the statement released by the bureau says.

The document says the organization supports Georgia`s territorial integrity and sovereignty in its internationally recognized border and any elections on the territory of Georgia should be held in accordance with the Georgian legislature and with direct participation of the region`s entire population.

The statement also says the so-called lections in the occupied territory of Georgia were held without participation of the absolute majority of the local population, mostly Georgians, who subjected to gross and mass violations and were forcibly expelled from their homes as a consequence of severe crimes against humanity - ethnic cleansing.

Elections in South Ossetia cannot be considered legitimate in any way, because:

1. after the occupation of the region, the Russian authorities have re-named this historically Georgian region of Kvemo Kartli to 'South Ossetia'. They have carried out assimilation politics, russification and have invented separatism.

2. After the Russian agression against Georgia in 2008, the local Georgian population was driven out of the region through ethnic cleansing.

3. For years, Russia has convinced the West that the war was intended to protect the Ossetian people. Only in November of this year the Russian president has admitted that the goal was to stop NATO enlargement and Georgia's membership of it.

4. Georgian refugees are not allowed to return to their legal homes in the Tkhinvali region. All rights have been denied to them. The region remains under Russian occupation.

Nov 25, 2011

Georgia celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to the "GHN", the public figures of Sakartvelo cannot miss such date.

In particular, the so-called "Women's Fund of Georgia" holds a charity evening in connection with this day in the Georgian capital. It is expected, it would be attended by such musical groups as Kung Fu Junkie and DJ Tomma. Everyone can get to the event for a nominal charity fee 5 GEL.

According to organizers of the evening, all proceeds from performances will be transferred to local human rights organizations that fight violence against women.

Nov 22, 2011

Mikhail Gorbachev: Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin must resign

The last president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Russian president and prime minister to resign.

Gorbachev made this statement during his visit to Germany. Former soviet leader called Putin and Medvedev the parts of corrupt clans in Russia.

`Dmitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin must resign. They have formed a clan, a corrupt network and system, which are based on internal ties. The society should be freed of this. Political changes now depend on a new force, which must come to the power via democratic and free elections. Country`s future is rather dramatic and it is in such a condition, when one day everything may explode,` Gorbachev said.

Nov 21, 2011

Medvedev tells the truth about the war in South Ossetia

VLADIKAVKAZ, NORTH OSSETIA - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev slipped up: he confessed that Russia waged war in Georgia in 2008 against the NATO enlargement. Medvedev visited Vladikavkaz to meet the soldiers. President said the NATO would have borders with North Ossetia unless Russia had launched war against Georgia in August 2008.

`If the war against Georgia did not happen, despite Russia`s opposition, several countries would be accepted in NATO together,` Medvedev announced. He said the geopolitical situation would be different without August war and several countries would be dragged into the alliance forcefully.

Earlier Medvedev already stated in an interview: 'we have prepared ourselves long and well for this war, because we knew that Georgia would start this war. We always wanted to be ready to protect the South Ossetian people.' And: 'The war against Georgia was the answer to NATO's actions in Kosovo'.

He also said the Russia evaded direct competition with the NATO, however, added that Russia had absolutely different approach to the security issues.

Medvedev has finally said the truth, but if real reason of the war was blocking Georgia's NATO ambitions, then it's obvious who was responsible for starting the war?

It is remarkable that the president of such a large country, always having declared that its goal was to save a small people from oppression, now confesses that the war was actually against NATO. It's a shame as well, because Russia has spent huge amounts of money on media campaigns trying to convince the world of its noble intentions.

Nov 17, 2011

Luke Harding's Mafia State - 'It's important to tell the truth about Putin's Russia'

Mafia State: How One Reporter Became the Enemy of the Brutal New Russia by Luke Harding.

Nov 2, 2011

Dutch journalist was refused by Russian authorities to observe the Russian legislative elections

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS - The Dutch journalist Alexander Munninghoff was refused by Russian authorities to observe the Russian legislative elections in December, the Dutch news portal NOS reported on Tuesday.

Munninghoff didn't get permission, despite seven earlier elections observation missions he took part in in Russia and over 20 missions in other parts of the world.