RUSTAVI2 Rustavi2 TV News Portal RSS Feed Rustavi2 Broadcasting Company Five people killed in a road accident near the entrance to Samtredia

Five people died as a result of a traffic accident near the entrance to Samtredia.

According to the existing information, trailer and minivan collided. All the passengers in the minivan died.

Emergency and patrol police are on the scene.

25-02-2020 16:27 +0400
At least seven people were killed and more than 100 injured in clashes in India

New violence erupted in the Indian capital on Tuesday, a day after at least seven people, including a police officer, were killed and more than 100 others were reportedly injured in clashes between hundreds of supporters and opponents of a new citizenship law that excludes Muslims.

Protesters in several areas of northeastern New Delhi defied orders prohibiting the assembly of more than five people and threw stones and set some shops and vehicles on fire, a police officer said. Some homes were attacked with rocks.

The clashes occurred as U.S. President Donald Trump held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the second day of a visit to India.

The police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters, said the situation was tense but under control. Police and paramilitary forces sent reinforcements to quell the clashes.

25-02-2020 15:10 +0400
Levan Gelbakhiani receives European Shooting Starts Award

Levan Gelbakhiani, the main actor of Levan Akin’s “And Then We Danced” received the European Shooting Stars Award 2020 as part of the programme to Berlin International Film Festival. 
The plot of “And Then We Danced” tells about Merab (Levan Gelbakhiani) who is training at the National Georgian Ensemble with his partner Mary (Ana Javakishvili). However, when Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) arrives, he becomes both his rival and strongest desire.
A Georgian party for the guests of the Berlin International Film Festival will be held today.

25-02-2020 14:21 +0400
Four Georgian sailors remain in captivity

Four Georgian sailors still remain in captivity. Pirates kidnapped them from Libyan-flagged tanker in Lagos, the city in Africa, reports Georgia’s Maritime Transport Agency.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Maritime Transport Agency are in active communication with both the ship owner and the country in which the tanker was sailing.

According to the agency, the armed pirates have kidnapped 10 sailors including Georgian citizens on February 20. The agency constantly contacts with the ship-owner company

25-02-2020 09:57 +0400
The 99th anniversary of the Soviet occupation - flags at half-staff in Georgia

The Georgian national flags are flying at half-staff at the government buildings in Georgia to mark the day when the Russians Red Army took over Tbilisi in 1921.

On February 25 in 1921, Georgia lost its independence after the Russian Red Army took over Tbilisi. The Day of Soviet Occupation is officially marked in Georgia after the Parliament unanimously passed a relevant resolution in 2010.

25-02-2020 08:25 +0400
Today is the day of Soviet occupation

Today is the day of Soviet occupation. Three years after the National Council of Georgia declared independence in 1921, the Soviet leadership decided to invade Georgia by force. The Russian Red Army invaded the country on February 12.

Georgian Army, the People’s Guard and volunteers stood by the outskirts of Tbilisi.

The main battles took place in the vicinity of Kojori and Tabakhmela.

25-02-2020 08:15 +0400
Embassy of Georgia in Italy issues instructions regarding coronavirus

The Embassy of Georgia in Italy issued instructions regarding coronavirus for the citizens who are currently in the Lombardy and Veneto regions.

According to the Embassy, citizens’ cooperation is fundamental for combating the virus.

“Instructions for the Lombardy region: The citizens living in the Lombardy Communes (the municipalities listed in the February 21 decree), who have flu symptoms, should not go to the emergency medical service center, but should call the region"s hotline: 800.89.45.45 or 112 or 1500 for getting general information. For detailed information, please visit the website of the Lombardy region!

Instructions for the Veneto region: The citizens, who might have contact with infected persons, but do not have symptoms or have mild symptoms, such as fever and/or cough without respiratory complications, should not call 118 or seek hospital treatment, but should call hotline: 800.46.23.40. In case of suspicions, call 1500! Do not go to hospital in case of having symptoms, but call 118! Follow the region’s social networks e

For detailed information, visit the website of the Veneto region!”, - reads the statement of the Embassy.

24-02-2020 17:56 +0400
Dollar price becomes GEL 2.8079 – National Bank

The National Bank of Georgia has set a new exchange rate.

According to it, starting from tomorrow, February, 25, 1 USD will cost GEL 2.8079, while the previous rate was GEL 2.8299.

As for the euro, its exchange rate is GEL 3.0370, while the previous rate was GEL 3.0571.

24-02-2020 17:49 +0400
“If the agreement fails, then the elections will be held under the existing electoral system” - Kakha Kaladze

If the agreement fails, then the elections will be held under the existing electoral system. Such a statement made Kakha Kaladze.

“We have stated that we are ready for dialogue. Consequently, what kind of electoral system we will have - the decision will be made after the dialogue is held. If the agreement fails, then the elections will be held under the existing electoral system”, - concluded the Mayor of Tbilisi.

24-02-2020 15:47 +0400
Rain, snow and for – weather forecast for tomorrow

There will be rain and snow in the mountains and highlands of Georgia tomorrow, on February 25.

In some places there will be fog and wind, as well as 4-6 degree storms at sea.

According to the National Environmental Agency, from time to time, there will be strong winds from the west. Heavy rainfall can increase water levels on the rivers of western Georgia, and form avalanches in the mountainous zones.

24-02-2020 15:19 +0400
The Financial Times writes about Black Sea security issues, based on an interview with Davit Zalkaliani

The Financial Times publishes an article on Black Sea security issues based on an interview with Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani.

Talking to the author, the Foreign Minister emphasized the strategic importance of the Black Sea region and said it was very important to reduce the military and political influence of the Russian Federation.

The FT believes, by this statement, Zalkaliani accentuated Western powers’ urgent involvement in this process to increase military investment to fight against Russia.

Author claims that Georgian Minister’s “feedback spotlights the rising battle for an energy-rich commerce route that counts two EU members on its shores and hyperlinks Europe to Asia and the Mediterranean finish of the Center East.”

Moreover, the FT touches upon the cyberattack carried out by Russia’s GRU intelligence agency.

As the article says, before news of the cyberattack emerged, Davit Zalkaliani said that Russia continues to set up an up-to-date anti-ballistic missile system and the radar in the occupied territories of Georgia. For that, in Zalkaliani’s words, “Georgia needs more attention and more engagement from EU and Nato partners.”

The Financial Times wrote that “Russia significantly upgraded its Black Sea fleet, prompting NATO to increase its sea patrols in the area. Moscow has also raised its presence in the Mediterranean through support for Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship in Syria and its intervention in Libya on the side of Khalifa Haftar, the military strongman aiming to topple the government in Tripoli”. 

According to the author, the Georgian minister “called for more investment by the EU - whose members Bulgaria and Romania have Black Sea coasts - in areas such as undersea electricity and fibre optic cables, and ferry boats to link to Georgian ports.

“It can be one of the effective ways to shorten the route between Europe and Asia,” he said, in a nod to the EU’s strategy to build Eurasian trade routes. “Georgia at the same time is a gateway to eight landlocked countries of central Asia.” Zalkaliani admitted Tbilisi was “concerned” by tensions between the US and Turkey over Syria and Ankara’s purchases of a Russian missile system. Turkish officials have insisted that the defence purchase will not be affected by growing strains with Moscow over the conflict in the opposition-held Syrian province of Idlib.

The minister said Georgia was “carefully watching” the relationship between Moscow and Ankara, but insisted Turkey was still solidly behind Georgia’s ambitions to join NATO and reclaim the territory seized from it by Russia in 2008.

24-02-2020 13:45 +0400
Georgia is strengthening the pandemic alert regime - Amiran Gamkrelidze says virus risk increased worldwide

Georgia is strengthening the pandemic alert regime. Such a statement made Amiran Gamkrelidze, the Head of the National Center for Disease Control.

According to him, all the agencies within the Coordination Council are acting within their competence and enhancing their work.

Gamkrelidze notes that due to the increased risk of epidemics, Georgia is launching specific measures not only in relation to Chinese citizens, but those who have travelled to Iran for the past two weeks.

According to him, the measures are likely to be taken also in relation to persons arriving from other risk-zone countries.

“The risk of epidemics has increased in Iran. As you know, the flights, which were quite intense, have been suspended. Other restrictive steps will also be taken. We are currently in the containment phase to minimize the import of infection to the country. Therefore, we are strengthening the pandemic alert regime”, - said Gamkrelidze.

24-02-2020 13:40 +0400
Today Giorgi Sanaia would have turned 45

Today Giorgi Sanaia would have turned 45 years old.

Family members, friends and colleagues of the journalist will traditionally gather at the cemetery of Giorgi Sanaia.

Journalist of Rustavi 2 was found murdered in his apartment on July 26, 2001.

24-02-2020 13:17 +0400
Attitude towards LGBT community, religious minorities and gender issues in Georgia still problematic - Ombudsman’s 2019 report

Despite the creation of legislative safeguards, unfortunately, the situation of the realization of the right to equality is still critical in Georgia and the state agencies do not have a specific policy on the principle of equality. Such a statement made the Public Defender of Georgia while presenting the 2019 special report on equality.

According to Nino Lomjaria, during 2019, the Ombudsman reviewed 155 new cases of alleged discrimination, and launched proceedings on their own initiative into 13 cases.

“Gender-based discrimination had the highest rates, which was followed by discrimination on the grounds of religion, different opinion, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability, and different political views.

The number of applications regarding alleged discrimination on grounds of different and political views has not changed significantly compared to the previous years”, - said the Public Defender.

24-02-2020 12:46 +0400
Miners go on strike in Tkibuli, protesting temporary new working conditions

About 200 miners of the Dzidziguri mine went on strike in Tkibuli after the employer demanded they use the tunnel of Mindeli mine to reach their regular work site, which they say “takes too much time and effort”.

According to the miners, the alleged reason for the change in route was a mandatory check of the apparatus miners use to descend into Dzidziguri mine. 

Miners think that the company plans to reduce the number of employed people noting that “the new investor says it needs more than one month for the mandatory check of the rope, while earlier this process needed less than a week”.

They added that the new investor, Steel International Trade Company, has not improved working conditions and has not fulfilled its obligations. Some of the miners say that they will go to the mine and stay there until their requirements are fulfilled.

Miners in Tkibuli stopped their protest on September 26, as they were promised to be paid their salaries on September 30.

24-02-2020 12:07 +0400
Embassy of Georgia addresses Georgian citizens in the Republic of Korea regarding Coronavirus

The Embassy of Georgia addresses Georgian citizens residing in the Republic of Korea regarding Coronavirus.

The Embassy calls on Georgian citizens residing, travelling or studying in the Republic of Korea to comply with the recommendations of the country.

“The number of people infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased significantly in the country in the last two days.

Accordingly, on February 23, the authorities of the Republic of Korea declared the highest level of caution.

In view of all the above, the Embassy of Georgia calls on Georgian citizens residing, travelling or studying in the Republic of Korea to observe and comply with the recommendations made by the host country; refrain from visiting public places; observe safety and hygiene measures”, - reads the statement of the Embassy.

24-02-2020 11:31 +0400
Police of Samegrelo detained two people for robbing cemeteries

Police of Samegrelo detained two persons: B.L. 9 (DoB 1999) and A.D. (DoB 1999) for illegal appropriation of other’s property.

Investigation established that detainees robbed 10 graves located in Choga, Napichkhovo, Kurzu and Chkhorotsku. Detainees stole steal fences installed around graves and sold them to the scrap metal dealers operating in Zugdidi and Senaki.

Police seized fragments of the stolen fence and metal plates from the scrap metal dealing point in Senaki as evidence. Both of the detainees have already pleaded guilty.

Investigation is in progress on the fact of illegal appropriation of grave items, article 258 envisaged by the Criminal Code.

24-02-2020 10:15 +0400
Paravani River will overflow as a result of the planned emptying of the Paravani HES basin

Today, on February 24, starting from 10:00, Paravani River will overflow because of the planned emptying of the Paravani Hydro-electric station basin. This will cause the 30/40 cm increase of flow height.

“Consequent from the risks of the river overflow, any movements in the river proximity is strictly prohibited.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs warns local population, fishers, tourists to be cautious and avoid risking their life and health”, - reads the statement of Emergency Management Service.
The Apindza Department rescue team will carry duty raids across the river-banks to prevent risks of the river overflow.





24-02-2020 08:36 +0400
Human rights violations in occupied territories - Davit Zalkaliani to deliver speech at UN

Human rights violations in the occupied regions. This is the main theme of the Minister of Foreign Affairs speech on today’s UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Along with David Zalkaliani, the gathering will be addressed by the UN Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the EU Special Representative, the Foreign Ministers of Norway, Indonesia and Colombia.

Davit Zalkaliani is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the heads of international organizations in Switzerland.

24-02-2020 08:24 +0400
Georgian sailors remain in captivity

Pirates kidnapped them from Libyan-flagged tanker in Lagos, the city in Africa, reports Georgia’s Maritime Transport Agency.

According to the agency, the armed pirates have kidnapped 10 sailors including Georgian citizens on February 20.

The agency constantly contacts with the ship-owner company

24-02-2020 08:08 +0400
Coronavirus death toll in China reaches 2 442

150 more people have died of coronavirus in China and the total death toll reached 2 442.

According to the National Health Commission of China, 409 new cases were reported in the country and the total number of infected people reached 77 150.

As of the global statistics, coronavirus has killed 2 619 people worldwide and the number of infected has reached 79 356.

The Venice Carnival and sporting events have been postponed because of the threat of the virus. The train from Italy to Munich was not allowed by Austria. According to local authorities, two passengers on the board had symptoms of coronavirus.
EU health ministers will discuss the issue of Coronavirus this week. Coronavirus cases have been reported in Taiwan, Lebanon and Israel.

24-02-2020 07:47 +0400
34 Georgian citizens to be evacuated from China

Thirty-four Georgian citizens will be flown from China to Tbilisi today due to coronavirus threats.

Tamar Gabunia, First Deputy Minister of IDPs, Labor, Health and Social Affairs, says that they will be quarantined near Sachkhere Hospital.

“We are expecting 34 Georgian citizens. The quarantine will be in a hotel complex adjacent to the Sachkhere Hospital. This is an ideal area if they need medical help”, - said Gabunia.

21-02-2020 20:06 +0400
The building of Parliament in Kutaisi to be sold

The Government plans to sell the former parliament building in Kutaisi. The Prime Minister already confirmed this information.

“The Ministry of Economy has already started an appropriate process. Kutaisi will soon become a huge educational center, much more important to the city than Parliament. What could and what should be the future of Kutaisi? Education, medicine, logistics and etc, not just the Parliament”, - said Giorgi Gakharia.

Previously, it was reported that the Government planned to turn the Parliament building in Kutaisi into the regional police hub.

21-02-2020 17:36 +0400
16-year-old boy killed his father in Sachkhere

A 17-year-old boy killed his father in Sachkhere. According to existing information, the man died as a result of the gunshots.

As the Ministry of Internal Affairs told Kurieri, the investigation is in progress under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which implies premeditated murder in aggravating circumstances.

The police detained the suspect on the spot.

21-02-2020 17:00 +0400
Nika Gvaramia’s trial postponed

The hearing of the case of Nika Gvaramia, former Director General of Rustavi 2 and Founder of the Mtavari Arkhi, postponed at Tbilisi City Court due to his health condition. 
“Today’s hearing has been postponed because Nika Gvaramia was not been able to attend it. The court has set a timetable for the next hearings and the process will continue next week”, - explained his lawyer, Dimitri Sadzaglishvili.
Gvaramia is accused of embezzling Rustavi 2 property. He was charged once in August by the Prosecutor’s Office for abusing his power and making decisions that were harmful to Rustavi 2 TV Channel.

21-02-2020 15:20 +0400
Trees are burning on Temqa

The fire burned trees and bushes in Temqa Settlement near the Mematiane Memorial.

Three fire crews are working at the scene.

According to the Emergency Management Service, no one got injured as a result of the fire, which spread on around 3-4 hectares. The cause of the fire is unknown.

21-02-2020 14:08 +0400
Tbilisi tops “European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21”

FDI Magazine has published an annual report in which Georgia falls into two leading categories.

Tbilisi tops “European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21” – the capital of Georgia is in the first place.

As for other data, Georgia ranks third in terms of cost-effectiveness category of the European regions.

21-02-2020 13:03 +0400
February 21-24 weather forecast

Warm and mostly dry weather is expected on February 21-24 in Georgia. The daytime air temperature will be +11, +16 degrees Celsius.

According to the National Environmental Agency, rainfall is forecast on February 23 in western Georgia, the air temperature will drop to +7, +12 degrees. It will be relatively warm on February 24 and the air temperature will rise to +13, +18.

Rainfall is forecast in certain districts of eastern Georgia on February 23-24. The air temperature will be +13, +18 on February 24.

Dry weather is expected in Tbilisi, the air temperature will be +14, +16

21-02-2020 11:44 +0400
Accident in Bobokvati – 1 dead, 1 injured

A man, 60, died in a car accident in the village of Bobokvati. The car veered off the road and hit the pedestrian.

A vehicle passenger has sustained multiple injuries and was hospitalized. 

According to MIA, the investigation is in progress under part 6 of Article 276 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, envisaging violation of traffic rules and road safety, resulting in death. 

21-02-2020 08:28 +0400
Georgian Foreign Ministry – A large scale cyber-attack was carried out by Russia

The Spokesperson of MFA – The cyber-attack was targeted at Georgia’s national security

On 28 October 2019, a large scale cyber-attack was launched against the websites, servers and other operating systems of the Administration of the President of Georgia, the courts, various municipal assemblies, state bodies, private sector organizations and media outlets. As a result, the servers and operating systems of these organizations were damaged. Such a statement made Vladimir Konstantinidi, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As he said, this cyber-attack was targeted at Georgia’s national security and was intended to harm Georgian citizens and Government structures by disrupting and paralyzing the functionality of various organizations, thereby causing anxiety among the general public.

“The investigation conducted by the Georgian authorities, together with information gathered through cooperation with partners, concluded that this cyber-attack was planned and carried out by the Main Division of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russia.

Georgia condemns this cyber-attack, which goes against international norms and principles, once again infringing Georgia’s sovereignty in order to hinder the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and democratic development.

This incident emphasizes the importance of the Government’s efforts to strengthen cyber security at the national level and again demonstrates the need to build international partnerships on cyber-security.

Georgia, for its part, will continue close cooperation with partners, strengthening cyber-security at the national level in order to minimise such risks and potential threats in the future”, - concluded Vladimir Konstantinidi.

Michael Pompeo - The U.S. condemns Russian cyber attack against Georgia

The United States condemns the Russian cyber attack against the state of Georgia. Such a statement made the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and it was released by the US Embassy to Georgia.

“On October 28, 2019, the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Main Center for Special Technologies carried out a widespread disruptive cyber attack against the country of Georgia. The incident, which directly affected the Georgian population, disrupted operations of several thousand Georgian government and privately-run websites and interrupted the broadcast of at least two major television stations. This action contradicts Russia’s attempts to claim it is a responsible actor in cyberspace and demonstrates a continuing pattern of reckless Russian GRU cyber operations against a number of countries. These operations aim to sow division, create insecurity, and undermine democratic institutions.

The United States calls on Russia to cease this behavior in Georgia and elsewhere. The stability of cyberspace depends on the responsible behavior of nations. We, together with the international community, will continue our efforts to uphold an international framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.

We also pledge our support to Georgia and its people in enhancing their cybersecurity and countering malicious cyber actors. We will offer additional capacity building and technical assistance to help strengthen Georgia’s public institutions and improve its ability to protect itself from these kinds of activities”’ - reads the statement.

UK condemns Russia’s GRU over Georgia cyber-attacks

The UK, Georgia and international partners have exposed the GRU’s – Russia’s military intelligence service – responsibility for a number of significant cyber-attacks against Georgia last year. Such a statement released the Embassy of the United Kingdom to Georgia.

“These were against a range of Georgian web hosting providers and resulted in websites being defaced, including sites belonging to the Georgian Government, courts, NGOs, media and businesses, and also interrupted the service of several national broadcasters.

These cyber-attacks are part of Russia’s long-running campaign of hostile and destabilizing activity against Georgia. The UK is clear that the GRU conducted these cyber-attacks in an attempt to undermine Georgia’s sovereignty, to sow discord and disrupt the lives of ordinary Georgian people. The UK remains unwavering in its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, reads the statement.

The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, also responded to the above, saying that:

“The GRU’s reckless and brazen campaign of cyber-attacks against Georgia, a sovereign and independent nation, is totally unacceptable.

The Russian Government has a clear choice: continue this aggressive pattern of behavior against other countries, or become a responsible partner which respects international law.

The UK will continue to expose those who conduct reckless cyber-attacks and work with our allies to counter the GRU’s menacing behavior”, - reads the statement of Raab.

Davit Zalkaliani thanks Michael Pompeo for his support


The Foreign Minister of Georgia thanked Michael Pompeo for his support.

“We highly appreciate support we have just received from Secretary Pompeo and his strong condemnation of Russia’s attempt to infiltrate Georgia’s cyberspace - action amounting to infringement of Georgia’s sovereignty. We will continue close cooperation with the US minimize such risks and threats”, - tweeted Davit Zalkaliani.

Salome Zourabichvili - The cyber-attack is a blatant violation of international norms by Russia

“With the cyber-attack on the official website of the President of Georgia on October 28, 2019, Russia directly attacked the sovereignty and national security of the country, trying to paralyze the activities of state institutions. This cyber-attack is a blatant violation of international norms by Russia and a visible manifestation of a hybrid war against Georgia”, - reads the statement of the President of Georgia.


Giorgi Gakharia - This was an intolerable act attempting to undermine our sovereignty

“Last October, Georgia suffered a reckless cyber-attack affecting state, media and business entities. This was an intolerable act attempting to undermine our sovereignty. We deeply appreciate the vocal support from our partners and allies around the world”, - tweeted Giorgi Gakharia.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister responds to Georgia"s statement on cyber-attack

“Russia was and is not going to interfere with Georgia"s home affairs, in any way. For this comment, we hold accountable those representatives of Georgia who have made it. Russia does not intend and has never intended to in any way meddle in Georgia"s internal and foreign affairs”, - said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told the RIA Novosti news agency.

20-02-2020 17:38 +0400
Giorgi Shengelaia buried in Didube Pantheon

Georgian film director Giorgi Shengelaia was buried in Didube Pantheon today. Artists, relatives, and politicians bid farewell to the filmmaker.

“The death of this great Georgian filmmaker is a heavy loss for his family and country. Indeed, he has left his mark on Georgian cinema, and now we all bid him farewell together. Giorgi Shengelaia’s death is a great loss for Georgian culture. It is a heavy loss for society and the country alike-for his family, above all else-and for Georgian culture”, - Giorgi Gakharia said at the funeral of film director.

“I would like to extend my condolences to his family, friends, relatives, the whole of Georgia. Our country lost another prominent and worthy person”, - Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said.

Georgian film director, Rustaveli Prize winner, People’s Artist Giorgi Shengelaia, passed away at the age of 82 on February 17.

20-02-2020 15:50 +0400
Georgia ranks 49th in Global Militarisation Index

Georgia ranks 49th out of 154 countries in the Global Militarisation Index 2019.  The Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) has published this report.
It should be noted that in the previous 2018 survey, Georgia was on the 52nd place.
According to report, in this year’s Global Militarisation Indix ranking, the ten countries that provided the military with markedly large amounts of resources in relation to other areas of society are Israel, Singapore, Armenia, Cyprus, South Korea, Russia, Greece, Jordan, Belarus and Azerbaijan.
The United States ranks 31st, China ranks 94th, and Turkey 19th.

20-02-2020 09:27 +0400
A confrontation between eleventh-grade pupils in Samtredia

An 11-grade pupil has been severely beaten in Samtredia. He was transported to the hospital with injuries.

According to the witnesses, the gang of six assaulted and callously beat the minor. Reports fly that the conflict between the teenagers occurred because of a girl.

The beaten pupil has already been examined. The parents of the teenagers involved in the altercation questioned.

The investigation is launched.

20-02-2020 08:31 +0400
Mississippi Governor declares emergency amid rising floodwaters

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency due to heavy rain that is expected to raise the state’s Pearl River to historic levels. 

“This is a historic, unprecedented flood. With projections showing the potential of this being the 3rd worst flood in our state’s history, I’ve declared a state of emergency to deploy the necessary resources to take care of all Mississippians impacted”, - tweeted Reeves.
The Pearl River, which runs through the state’s capital city of Jackson, is expected to crest at 38.8 feet.

19-02-2020 12:59 +0400
The Public Defender responds to the current events on Public Broadcaster’s Adjara TV

The Public Defender of Georgia expresses concern over the ongoing developments in the Public Broadcaster’s Adjara TV and Radio. The Ombudsman says that these developments threaten media pluralism and negatively affect freedom of expression in the country.

“It should be borne in mind that the TV company has been distinguished by a free and impartial editorial policy for a long time, which has been repeatedly confirmed by the reports issued by local and international authoritative organizations. However, after Natia Kapanadze, Director of the TV company, was impeached by the Board of Advisors, maintenance of a critical editorial policy has been questioned.

Specifically, on November 22, 2019, while visiting the Adjara TV’s main news programme, the newly elected director disapproved the critical tone of the channel. Later, the TV channel’s staff released a statement, referring to the director accusing them of impartiality. In addition, at the meeting with the Public Defender, the journalists cited some facts, alleging that critical broadcasting and editorial independence of the channel were in jeopardy.

Reportedly, inter alia, the unilateral changes made by the director to the employment contract with Deputy Director Natia Zoidze were aimed at changing the editorial policy of the TV, since as a result of the changes, Natia Zoidze was removed from the management of editorial policy on the broadcasting platforms and eventually quit her job. It is noteworthy that Zoidze’s resignation was evaluated negatively by the Reporters Without Borders, an international organization, which linked the above to the increased political pressure on the state-owned media in Georgia.

Recent reports of planned staff changes in the TV company, disciplinary proceedings against the head of the news service and the expected removal of one of the presenters of the Hashtag programme are particularly worth noting.

According to the Public Defender, the above circumstances raise doubts about an attempt to change the editorial policy of the critical media outlet. This is particularly worrying given the large number of criminal cases directly or indirectly related to the owners of independent TV companies.

The Public Defender stresses the vital role of healthy media in a democratic society and hopes that the recent developments will not affect the media environment or the independent editorial policy of Adjara TV, while the channel’s journalists will still be able to carry out their professional activities free of influences. In this regard, it is particularly noteworthy that Adjara TV is a publicly-funded broadcaster, which was founded with the aim to air impartial and diverse programmes that would be free of influence and would serve public interests. In order to ensure this function, the TV channel has a number of obligations under legislation, full fulfillment of which is essential given the polarized media environment in the country.

Thus, the Public Defender calls on the Board of Advisors of Adjara TV to critically review the proposed staff changes and make a reasoned decision aimed at dissolving doubts and ensuring smooth functioning of the TV Company.

The Public Defender’s Office will continue to study the events developed in the TV Company and will periodically provide information to the public”, - reads the statement of the Public Defender.

19-02-2020 12:53 +0400
Femicide - “We see women being killed precisely because they are women”

Another victim

The officers of Samtredia police division as a result of operative-investigative activities detained G.A. (date of birth - 1992) for premeditated murder of his wife.

According to the investigation, the detainee inflicted injury with a cold steel to his wife – Salome Bokhua (date of birth - 1994) in the hall of the Public Registry Samtredia branch, before initiating divorce procedures.

Due to the received traumas, 26 years old woman died at the place of crime.

Law enforcers detained G.A. immediately at the hall of Public Registry Samtredia branch. The weapon of murder was seized by police as evidence.

This crime envisages from 13 to 15 years of imprisonment.

Nino Lomjaria - As of 2020 three women were killed through domestic violence

“According to our data, three women were killed through domestic violence and there were three cases of attempted murder in 2020. We need additional measures to prevent violence against women. The fragmented efforts made by the government to prevent violence against women are not enough. There is still a lot to be done in terms of education, changing societal stereotypes, supporting and empowering victims, and reporting femicide through  gender-sensitive approaches”, - wrote the Public Defender of Georgia Nino Lomjaria on her Facebook page.

NGOs – We need to tighten the law on femicide

“The real problem is still with the implementation of the law. We do not have prevention, we cannot prevent more severe family crimes. There is no social worker’s institute, which must be directly involved in prevention. Prevention is not well developed for the police either. Education also has nothing to do with it”, - said Baia Pataraia, the executive director of the union “Saphari”.

“This is not an ordinary murder because we see women being killed precisely because they are women. The worst thing of all is that this murder is often done in public places. As an indicative punishment. That’s why it’s so important – women’s organizations have been talking about it for a long time – to criminalize femicide, set separate article. Accordingly, we will also have separate statistics on femicide”, - said Elene Rusetskaya, founder and director of the Women"s Information Center.

Louisa Vinton - The issue of femicide needs a qualitative approach.

 “I think that the issue of femicide needs a qualitative approach, because sending criminals to prison is not the way out with regard to this issue. Of course, we must fight for equal rights between women and men from the beginning. This excitement, anger that can be caused by jealousy must be eradicated by introduction of the principle of equality”, - thinks Louisa Vinton, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Georgia

19-02-2020 12:12 +0400
The prohibition of Georgia-produced medicines in Tskhinvali – the President addresses International Organisations

The President of Georgia informed Director-General of World Health Organisation, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Commissioner of Council of Europe for Human Rights in the occupied territories of Georgia on prohibition of Georgia-produced Medicines in occupied Tskhinvali.

“The so-called Akhalgori crossing point is locked, which is the direct cause of the humanitarian crisis.

Residents of the occupied territories, and especially retirees, those suffering from chronic diseases are in a difficult position. By blocking the so-called crossing point and banning the use of medicines, fundamental human rights, such as the right to health, the right to life and freedom of movement, are restricted. 

Also, imposing ban on medicines restrict fundamental human rights, including the right to health, the right to life and freedom of movement.

We called on the Commissioners to focus on the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia”, - reads the statement of Salome Zurabishvili.

19-02-2020 11:27 +0400
Police detained at Sarpi the citizen of Azerbaijan for illegal purchase-keeping and import of drugs

Police detained at Sarpi state border crossing point the citizen of Azerbaijan- I.J. (date of birth - 1995) for illegal purchase-keeping and import of drugs to the territory of Georgia.

The committed crime envisages from 8 to 20 years of imprisonment.

During the personal search of the detainee, law enforcers seized 1702 pills and two pieces of “MDMA” drug, 490 capsules of psychotropic drug “Lirika” (containing “Pregabalin”) 72 gr. of amphetamine and 237 gr. of dried marijuana as evidence.

Investigation is in progress on the fact of illegal purchase-keeping and import of drugs to the territory of Georgia, article 26 VI part, sub-paragraph “A”, article 262, IV part, sub-paragraph “A” of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

19-02-2020 09:43 +0400
NATO calls on Russia to withdraw troops from eastern Ukraine

NATO expresses concern about the escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The Spokesperson of organization Oana Lungescu released a statement, saying that NATO fully supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.

Lungescu underlined that NATO calls on Russia to withdraw its forces, stop supporting the separatists and make real efforts to implement the Minsk agreements.

19-02-2020 09:15 +0400
Georgia’s judicial system, which now seems to be politically motivated - Lithuanian MP

Lithuanian MP responds to the arrest of Gigi Ugulava. Laurynas Kasciunas talks about “reasonable questions about Georgia’s judicial system” and dialogue between the parties:

“The situation raises reasonable questions about Georgia’s judicial system, which now seems to be politically motivated and this brings a bad influence for a successful continuation of the dialogue between Georgia’s governing party and opposition representatives”, - tweeted Laurynas Kasciunas

19-02-2020 09:14 +0400
Tskhinvali faces food deficit

Tskhinvali is facing shortage of food products. According to the local information agency “Res”, no cargo has been imported in Tskhinvali from Russia for two weeks now.

The de facto authorities are negotiating with Russia and is trying to resolve the problem.

Locals do not exclude that prices for other products may increase in the near future.

The Georgian side has been talking for a long time about such situation in the region.

19-02-2020 09:13 +0400
Death toll from coronavirus rises to 2004 in China

The death toll in China from novel coronavirus outbreak has risen to 2,004, with 136 new fatalities reported in the past 24 hours, the Chinese state health committee said.

The number of confirmed cases has gone up by 1 749 to reach 74 185. The number of people who have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals has risen by 1 824 to 14 376.

The novel coronavirus disease, dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, was first detected in Wuhan, China’s Hubei Province, in late December 2019 and has since spread to more than 25 other countries.

19-02-2020 08:52 +0400
Civic activists’ rally in front of the office of the European Georgia

Activists have staged a protest rally outside the office of the European Georgia party. They require suspension of deputy mandates of Irma Nadirashvili and Elene Koshtaria, who played the Soviet Union anthem in the parliament.

“Khoshtaria Go!” this is one of the loudest cries from protesters.

A minor verbal confrontation also occurred at the rally, with a street resident asking activists to end protest chants.

Another rally was held in front of the office of Labor Party. For a similar reason, the students demanded the removal of Elene Khoshtaria and Irma Nadirashvili from the opposition.

According to the youth, the members of European Georgia have violated the law on occupation.

Yesterday during the annual report of Archil Talakvadze, MPs from the parliamentary opposition Elene Khoshtaria and Irma Nadirashvili turned on the anthem of the Soviet Union in the session hall in protest.

19-02-2020 08:11 +0400
The Synod should introduce the toughest ecclesiastical sentence for men subjecting women to violence - Deacon Tamaz Lomidze

Deacon Tamaz Lomidze urges the Synod to introduce a stiff sentence for men prone to violence. He posted on his Facebook page, that the Orthodox Church of Georgia must adopt a firm stance against men inclined to violence.

“I have reiterated this, and once again, I repeat that in addition to a strong and consistent response of the Government, the Orthodox Church of Georgia should adopt a firm stance against men inclined to violence. It must condemn and denounce any violence against women and immediately introduce the toughest ecclesiastical sentence for men subjecting women to violence.

Besides, all dioceses must start raising public awareness when it comes to men’s obligations before women and their spouses, even if their spouses no longer want to live with them under one roof.

Today, a great number of self-centered men know next to nothing when it comes to dealing with women. The Church must change this with no ifs, ands, or buts as changing this is paramount today”, - wrote the Deacon.

18-02-2020 18:31 +0400
Kelly Degnan today hosted opposition leaders

Ambassador Kelly Degnan today hosted opposition leaders to meet them and discuss Georgia"s political environment.

Ambassador of U.S. to Georgia reiterated the importance of all sides actively participating in the ongoing political dialogue and wider electoral reform process to address OSCE / ODIHR recommendations.

18-02-2020 16:20 +0400
Valeri Gelashvili replaced Karlo Kopaliani in the Parliament

The Parliament of Georgia endorsed the credentials of Valeri Gelashvili, a new MP from the Georgian Dream, with 82 votes in favor and none against.

Valeri Gelashvili replaced Karlo Kopaliani, who was suspended of his mandate at the Parliament’s, because was appointed as the Head of Administration of Georgian Technical University.

Businessman Gelashvili was a member of the Parliament of three convocations. He was Georgian Dream’s majoritarian MP from Khashuri single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of the 8th convocation.

18-02-2020 15:45 +0400
One sentenced to imprisonment for murder in Gudauri

One individual, who was charged with attempted premeditated murder in Gudauri, was sentenced to imprisonment. The decision was made by the Mtskheta District Court.
The trial took place at the clinic Geo Hospitals because of the defendant’s health condition.
During the trial the prosecution demanded that the detainee be remanded in custody, while lawyers demanded his release on bail.
One young man was killed and one wounded in a shooting in Gudauri on February 16.
Tariel Kakabadze, the lawyer of the detainee, disagrees with the accusation and says that his client was defending himself during the fight. 
“We cannot disagree with the accusation, given factual circumstances. However, several people committed violent acts against the accused, he was repeatedly beaten. They inflicted various injuries on him. He tried to get away, however, the attackers did not let him go and of course, we all know that a person has the right to defend himself. The right to self-defense is a right defined by law, by the constitution”, - said the lawyer.

18-02-2020 15:23 +0400
There is a verbal confrontation between the protesters and law enforcers near the Parliament

There is a noise near the Parliament. The representatives of the civil sector, opposition parties and NGOs are holding protest rally.

A minor incident between the rally participants and law enforcers happened.

According to the protesters, the police prevents them from moving freely, which resulted in a verbal confrontation.

Law enforcers told the protesters that blocking the entrance to the building is unacceptable.

18-02-2020 11:07 +0400
Protesters gathered near the Parliament – opposition id not going to picket a building

Opposition members and civil activists are gathering outside the Parliament, near the entrance from Chitadze Street.

The situation on the area is still calm and right now the number of law enforcers is small.

Civil activists and members of the opposition told Kurieri that the picketing of the entrances of the Parliament is not planned today. They will make shame corridor to the MPs of the parliamentary majority and the candidate for Prosecutor General Irakli Shotadze.

According to Anzor Bitsadze, one of the leaders of the United Georgia, said the rally would continue in a peaceful manner.

“Bidzina Ivanishvili appointed Giorgi Gakharia as the Prime Minister after the public had been demanding his resignation as Interior Minister; it was followed by the failure of transition to the proportional elections. Now we have about the same situation. Irakli Shotadze, who resigned as a result of the public outcry, has now been appointed as Prosecutor General, and it is hard to predict what the next surprise will be”, - concluded Anzor Bitsadze

18-02-2020 10:07 +0400
Zelimkhan Khangoshvili’s murder was planned by the Russian FSB - a journalistic investigation

The investigative journalism group Bellingcat says a probe into the 2019 killing of a former Chechen separatist commander in Berlin shows that the attack was planned and organized by Russian FSB.

In a report following a monthlong probe, Bellingcat said it found that preparations for the killing of Khangoshvili were supervised directly by Eduard Bendersky, chairman of the Vympel Charitable Fund for Former FSB Spetsnaz Officers, and other senior members of the fund.

Bellingcat said phone metadata it obtained shows that a plot to kill Khangoshvili with Krasikov as the assassin “was in the works no later than March 2019”.

Zelimkhan Khangoshvili was shot dead in broad daylight in a Berlin park on August 23 in a case that has prompted political fallout between Berlin and Moscow - including tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats - after Germany said evidence suggests either the Russian government or authorities in the Russian North Caucasus region of Chechnya likely ordered the killing.

Moscow denies the allegations of the German government.

18-02-2020 09:23 +0400
Public Defender talks about the problems in Tbilisi Mental Health Center

Public Defender visited Tbilisi Mental Health Center LLC. Nino Lomjaria viewed the men and women’s departments and the dining area. She met and talked to the inpatients and the staff.

Old infrastructure, overcrowding and poor sanitary-hygienic conditions were identified problematic as a result of the visit. The situation in the Center does not create a favorable therapeutic environment.

Patients are not provided with proper living conditions. They have no cupboards for personal belongings. There are no chairs or soft furniture in the Center. The smoking area is not isolated from the common area. There is a strong, specific smell in the building. Patients are not able to walk daily. There is no hot water in the bathrooms, so patients have to take care of their personal hygiene with cold water.

Funding for the inpatient service impedes the quality of proper care for patients or their psychosocial rehabilitation. Beneficiaries are often involved in conflicts and violence. There is no proper management of similar cases, no measures are taken to prevent violence.

The facility does not have sufficient staff. In addition, employees have no proper working conditions.

The Ombudsman calls on the state agencies to step up efforts to ensure a high standard of human rights protection in the area of mental health care, develop a deinstitutionalization strategy in a timely manner, and increase the number of community-based and psychosocial rehabilitation services.

17-02-2020 20:11 +0400
Man found dead inside burned car in Gardabani Municipality

A man has been found dead inside a burned-out vehicle in the Gardabani Municipality.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the investigation into the case has been launched under article 108 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, envisaging intentional homicide crimes.

17-02-2020 18:30 +0400
Russia’s focus will be on the US presidential, Georgian parliamentary elections - Estonian intelligence

The Estonian intelligence report of 2020 reads that this year “Russia’s focus will certainly be on the US presidential and Georgian parliamentary elections”. 

According to the report, the main goal of Russia is to ensure a more beneficial election result by favouring Russian-friendly candidates or those who have the most divisive influence in the West. 

The report states that in 2019, Russia “clearly stepped up” its military and security-political pressure on Georgia.

The report states that in addition to the use of hard power, influence activities are also part of the traditional arsenal employed by Russia in the South Caucasus. 

“A classic example of this is the Yevgeny Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Centre in Georgia, a local ‘branch’ of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, which acts as an instrument of Russian influence activities. In Georgia, the Primakov Centre organizes Russian language courses, introduces Russian culture and history, and organizes conferences and seminars. The real purpose of these seemingly innocent activities is to make Georgia’s current and future elite more receptive to Russia’s political and economic ambitions”, - reads the report 

It says that the recent years have also seen a “significant increase” in propaganda to promote so-called traditional values in Georgia.

17-02-2020 18:03 +0400
Georgian Patriarchate Delegation will not attend meeting convened by Patriarch of Jerusalem

The Georgian Patriarchate delegation will not attend the meeting of the heads of churches convened by Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III. The Patriarchate has already sent a corresponding letter to Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The Head of the PR Department of the Georgian Patriarchate father Andria Jagmaidze posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook page.

According to the letter, the Church of Georgia shares the desire of the Patriarch of Jerusalem to hold a meeting to discuss problems existing between churches, but since the Ecumenical Patriarch and some church leaders do not participate in it, the Georgian Church will refrain from participating.

17-02-2020 16:17 +0400
The construction of a hotel or restaurant in Vake park is unacceptable - Kakha Kaladze

Tbilisi City Hall will not accept the restoration of the Budapest Restaurant at Vake Park instead of the Budapest Hotel. Such a statement made the Mayor of Tbilisi.

According to Kakha Kaladze, they offered the investor to carry out the project in a different area.

“We are ready to replace the area with a different land plot if the investor wants it. The Tbilisi City Hall plans to renovate the Vake Park. The construction of a hotel or restaurant in the park is currently unacceptable. Tbilisi City Hall is an agency issuing permits. Therefore, we will decide whether to build anything there”, - said Kakha Kaladze.

17-02-2020 15:54 +0400
Filmmaker Giorgi Shengelaia died at the age of 82

Georgian filmmaker Giorgi Shengelaia died at the age of 82.

Since 1961 he has directed 14 films. His film The Journey of a Young Composer was entered into the 36th Berlin International Film Festival where he won the Silver Bear for Best Director.

Giorgi Shengelaia was a Rustaveli Prize Laureate and People’s Artist of Georgia.

17-02-2020 13:18 +0400
Air temperature will reach on Georgia 17 degrees

The National Environment Agency reports that there may be some precipitation in some areas of eastern Georgia on February 17-18, while no rain will occur on February 19-20 in most parts of the country.

The air temperature will rise to +12, +17 in the western part of Georgia and to +10, +15 – in eastern Georgia.

According to the Agency, slight precipitation is expected in Tbilisi today, February, 17. Day temperature will be +6, +8 degrees, while the temperature will rise to +12, +14 on February 18-20.

17-02-2020 11:00 +0400
Irakli Shotadze’s name is related to the restoration of justice - Vladimir Bozhadze

Vladimer Bozhadze, Head of the NGO “Civil Society and Democracy Development Center”, welcomes the appointment of Irakli Shotadze as chief prosecutor.

According to him, Shotadze’s name is connected with the process of restoration of justice.

“Irakli Shotadze was the most prominent candidate among the candidates who participated in the competition. As for his return. First of all, the main reason is his professionalism and experience. Besides, his name is linked to the restoration of justice in the country, opening of many high-profile cases. I am sure that the Parliament will fully support him”, - said Vladimir Bozhadze.

17-02-2020 09:28 +0400
In China, the number of coronavirus deaths has risen by 105 in the last 24 hours

The death toll in China from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 1 771 the country’s National Health Commission said.

Authorities said 70 548 confirmed cases have been reported, while in the last 24 hours, 105 people have died and almost 2 048 new cases have been detected.

The number of those detected with the virus outside China’s mainland stands at 57 in Hong Kong and 10 in Macau. Both are special administrative regions.

The number of those under medical observation dropped to 150 539.

17-02-2020 08:29 +0400
The health condition of the man injured in the Gudauri incident is still grave

The health condition of the man injured in the Gudauri incident is still grave.

The 26-year-old was stabbed in the abdomen and hands and is still in a resuscitation department.

A young man was killed and another one wounded in Gudauri. As a result of the investigation operations, the officers of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti Police Department detained M.K., born in 1981, suspected in premeditated murder and premeditated murder attempt in the aggravating circumstances. The suspect was detained on the hot trail in Gudauri.

According to the information, the accused is facing a 16-20-year charge.

17-02-2020 08:01 +0400
A child injured in a car accident in Akhaltsikhe is in grave condition

An 8-year-old child, who was also injured in a car accident in Akhaltsikhe, was transported to Tbilisi.

According to doctors, child’s health condition is grave - a small patient is on artificial respiration.

Two other children were slightly injured as a result of the traffic accident.

17-02-2020 07:45 +0400
Warehouse burning on Beliashvili Street

A warehouse on Beliashvili Street is on fire.

According to the Emergency Management Agency, 12 fire brigades are trying to extinguish the fire.

The fire burned down the cardboard boxes and tires.

14-02-2020 16:35 +0400
Fire on Tbilisi-Zugdidi train - Georgian Railway released a statement

Georgian Railway released a statement on the fire on Tbilisi – Zugdidi train.

According to them, the reason of the fire in the passenger train was the short circuit.

“Today, on February 14, a short circuit on the train caused smoke at the Abasha station, on the Zugdidi-Tbilisi line. As a result of the accident, the train stopped, and the company used alternative means of transport to take the passengers to their destination. No passengers were injured.

The investigation is ongoing. Georgian Railway apologizes for the delay, and for any person who submits a travel document within two days, will return money for the ticket”, - reads the statement.

14-02-2020 14:09 +0400
Frost and wind are expected in Georgia - weather forecast for the next few days

According to the National Environment Agency cold and rainy weather will maintain in the country on February 14 (mainly in the western part).

There will be no rain on February 15-16. In the coastal areas, on the Kolkheti lowland, Zemo Imereti, and Gori-Surami road sections, there will be a strong wind. The air temperature will be +7, +12, in the daytime, and +3, +8 in the eastern part of Georgia.

On February 17 there may be small rainfall in some regions of Georgia.

In Tbilisi on February 14-16 mostly cloudy weather will take place. Temperatures will drop to -2, -4, at night and +5, +7 degrees in the morning. There may be little snow and fog in the daytime on February 17.

14-02-2020 13:34 +0400
Zugdidi-Tbilisi passenger train caught fire

Zugdidi-Tbilisi passenger train caught fire. The incident happened in Abasha.

The fire broke out in one of the train carriages.

According to the Emergency Management Service, three fire-rescue vehicles are operating at the scene. The firemen were able to localize it. No one injured.

14-02-2020 13:30 +0400
A case of rabies has been reported in Lagodekhi

A case of rabies has been reported in Lagodekhi municipality.

In one village, a homeless dog bit two people.

Laboratory studies have confirmed that the dog has rabies.

The information is also confirmed by Lagodekhi Public Health Center.

14-02-2020 13:00 +0400
The second phase of training of forestry-taxators has started

Under the initiative of the Forestry Agency, 15 young people have been trained through a special internship program.

They will be employed on forest inventory works.

14-02-2020 09:52 +0400
The Prime Minister of Georgia to participate in Munich Security Conference

The delegation of Georgia led by PM Giorgi Gakharia will participate in the Munich Security Conference.

Giorgi Gakharia will attend the 56th Munich Conference and hold high-level meetings within the Conference.

The event will take place on February 14-16, in Munich, Bavaria, with more than 800 delegates and 150 high-ranking politicians invol

13-02-2020 17:42 +0400
Georgian wine was presented at the Paris International Wine and Spirits Fair

Georgian wine was presented at the International Wine and Spirits Exhibition in Paris.

Georgian wine producers were able to present their products to professionals from different countries around the world.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness of wine and spirits. It was organized with the support of the National Wine Agency and Georgian Wine Association.

13-02-2020 09:32 +0400
Fire breaks out at the kindergarten of Ergeta village

Fire breaks out at the kindergarten of Ergeta village, Zugdidi Municipality.

No one has reportedly been hurt in the fire.

Four fire brigades were working on the scene, with firefighters combating the flames.

28 children were timely evacuated from the building. 

Investigation will determine the cause of the fire.

13-02-2020 08:52 +0400
Seven people, including the mother of the child, arrested for selling the baby

Officers of the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance arrested seven persons on the fact of trafficking of minors.

According to the Investigation Service, the detainees include the mother of the baby and two doctors. One of the detainees convicted of the same crime in recent years.

The defendants found a person who wanted to buy a baby and demanded USD 13 000. To cover up the crime, the mother of the child registered under the surname of another person during pregnancy.

The Investigation Service detained all persons involved in this criminal scheme.

The newborn baby is currently under the care of the State Care and Victim Support Agency for Victims of Trafficking.

The investigation is launched under the third part of Article 143, subsection 2 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The crime is punishable by imprisonment from 14 to 17 years.

12-02-2020 09:34 +0400
Another critical letter from Washington - Congressman warns Gakharia

Another critical letter from Washington. This time a Republican congressman wrote to George Gakharia.

Randy Weber expresses concern over the failure of the promised electoral reform and the persecution of political opponents.

As Weber wrote, foreign direct investment in Georgia is down by more than 50% from 2017, the unfavorable environment for American companies is created. He added that “because of the observed negative trends amidst significant annual foreign aid, calls for consideration of sanctions and other penalties are increasing in the U.S.”.

12-02-2020 07:30 +0400
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs congratulated "112" employees with the anniversary

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Butkhuzi visited Public Safety Management Center “112” and congratulated center employees with the anniversary.

Butkhuzi visited the call center and the training facility of the 112, where he got familiarized with the work specifics and environment of the operators and dispatchers.

In 2009, European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of Europe declared February 11, as the Day of “112”. On February 11, Georgia as well as more than 80 countries around the world, including EU member states, celebrates the “112” Day.

11-02-2020 18:41 +0400
NGOs respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Gigi Ugulava’s case

NGOs responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Gigi Ugulava, who was found guilty of misspending GEL 48 mln of public money from Tbilisi Development Fund. They issued a joint statement, saying that this ruling is a continuation of political persecution by the Government against its the opponents.

“There were significant violations in the case and it gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that the prosecution was politically motivated and its sole purpose was to distance the opposition leader from the political process. Before the 2014 local elections, Gigi Ugulava, while he was head of the opposition party’s election headquarters, was arrested and detained for more than 9 months without proper cause and in violation of the constitution. It is noteworthy that two of the judges of the Supreme Court, who brought the final verdict, have been recently elected by the authorities through untransparent process. One of them is Shalva Tadumadze, a former personal lawyer of the informal ruler of the country, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Parliamentary Secretary of the Government of Georgia and Prosecutor General. Obviously, his involvement is problematical and causes distrust towards the verdict.

In the light of the investigation, launched against Gigi Ugulava 7 years ago, as well as the criminal prosecution against several opposition leaders, including Irakli Okruashvili, Nika Melia and Mamuka Khazaradze, there is doubt that the government uses the criminal prosecution as the leverage to put pressure against its opponents.

The long-running investigations and trials against the representatives of opposition parties have become a widespread practice. As its seems the government uses this method to indirectly pressure its opponents. Gigi Ugulava’s sentencing may also be a message to other opposition leaders.

In the recent period, representatives of Georgia’s partner countries and international organizations have increasingly pointed to alarming trends in the country. Along with the electoral system, Western partners’ statements focus on the problems of independence of the judiciary and prosecution and prosecution of political opponents.

By this ruling, the Georgian government once again ignored the country’s interests and the recommendations of its Western partners. The recent actions of the authorities have left the impression of a demonstration of force, and they are increasingly distancing themselves from political rationality, increasing the nihilism in the society and the threat of isolation of the country.

Taking the general context of the country and the forthcoming election period into account and amid the ongoing negotiations between the authorities and the opposition, the arrest of one of the leaders of the opposition does indicate that the authorities have desire to continue the negotiations. Such rulings help to radicalize the situation and reduce the resources for dialogue and constructive relations between different political forces.

The verdict against Gigi Ugulava confirms the influence of the government on the justice system and the tendencies of selective justice. The political bias of the prosecution and judiciary endangers the country’s democratic development, further undermines public confidence in state institutions and the rule of law, and affects the pre-election environment.

We call on the Georgian authorities, the ruling party and the country’s informal ruler - Bidzina Ivanishvili, to stop exercising selective justice against their opponents and people with different views, to promote a constructive resolution of the political crisis and to prioritize the interests of the population and the development of the country instead of party interests”, - reads the statement.

The joint statement is signed by 12 NGO.

11-02-2020 17:37 +0400
Missing Ukrainian tourist found dead in Svaneti

Georgian rescuers have found the body of the Ukrainian tourist who was trapped in an avalanche after a two-day rescue-search operation in the winter resort of Tetnuldi.

According to Levan Kurdiani, the Head of the rescue team of this resort said that the Ukrainian tourist was skiing in the same location where four Czech tourists got trapped in an avalanche yesterday. 

“On February, 11, the Emergency Management Service received a message saying that the group of tourists failed to contact with one of the tourists who supposedly was at the slope of the mountain where the avalanche occurred. Having got the message, the rescuers at the Emergency Management Service headed for Mount Tetnuldi and, after carrying out search and rescue operations, discovered the Ukrainian citizen’s body”, - reads the statement of the Emergency Management Service.

11-02-2020 16:32 +0400
We are disappointed, because the sentencing of an opposition leader last night has put the dialogue at risk - U.S. Embassy

The U.S. Embassy responds on the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia on the Gigi Ugulava case.

“The U.S. Embassy supports the political dialogue between Georgia’s governing party and opposition representatives aimed at reaching agreement on an election system that best serves the Georgian people. The U.S. Embassy is disappointed that the timing and context of the conviction and sentencing of an opposition leader last night has put the dialogue at risk.

An environment conducive to the successful continuation of the dialogue requires an independent, transparent judicial system free of political influence. We call on all sides to remain committed to the political dialogue, as well as further refinements to the electoral code, as the best way to create the conditions for free and fair elections”, - reads the statement of the Embassy.

11-02-2020 16:30 +0400
100 Investment Offers for Business - Ministry of Economy launches new project

100 Investment Offers for Business - Ministry of Economy launches new project.

The ministry is offering the auction of licenses to extract minerals from the private sector. Minister of Economy Natia Turnava believes that recycling of minerals will significantly contribute to the budget and will create more jobs.

“In total, the whole package of offers consists of 100 licenses. This is at least 82 million GEL, which will go to the state budget. This is an investment of at least GEL 120 million and will create at least 1800 new jobs”, - said Natia Turnava.

11-02-2020 16:00 +0400
Zakaria Kutsnashvili appointed as Deputy Director of Gardabani Thermal Power Plant

Zakaria Kutsnashvili, a former MP and a member of the Georgian Dream, took a position of a Deputy Director of the Gardabani Thermal Power Plant.

The already confirmed this information to Rustavi 2.

Kutsnashvili left the Parliament on June 21, 2019, after he organized a session of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy led by Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov.

11-02-2020 11:58 +0400
Rescuers search for missing Ukrainian tourist

Rescuers are looking for a Ukrainian tourist who was trapped in an avalanche in the winter resort of Tetnuldi, in the western Svaneti region of Georgia yesterday.
According to Levan Kurdiani, the Head of the rescue team of Tetnuldi resort, the Ukrainian tourist was skiing in the zone where four other Czech tourists got trapped in an avalanche yesterday. 
Kurdiani added that the Czech tourists informed the rescue team about the disappearance of the Ukrainian citizen, as they could not find him in the hotel.

11-02-2020 11:52 +0400
MIA - Accused of wounding ex-wife arrested

The officers of Isani - Samgori police division under Tbilisi Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result immediate operative and investigative activities, detained G.B. (1983) in Tbilisi for attempted premeditated murder of the family member under the aggravating circumstances.

The committed crime envisages from 13 to 17 years of imprisonment.

Investigation established that on February 9, detainee inflicted injury to throat area with a cold steel to his former spouse - T.E. and fled from the place of crime.

Law enforcers managed to detain G.B. several hours after the crime took place. The weapon of murder- knife, was seized by the policemen as evidence.

Investigation is in progress on the fact of premeditated murder of the family member under the aggravating circumstances, article 19-109, II part, sub-paragraph “F” envisaged by the Criminal Code of Georgia.

11-02-2020 11:45 +0400
Tornike Shengelia recognised as “Best basketball player” at Spanish basketball championship

Another great recognition of Tornike Shengelia.

Georgian player of the Spanish Saski Baskonia basketball team has been awarded as the “giant of the year” (Premio Gigante del Año) by the liga Endesa, the top professional basketball division of the Spanish basketball league system.

11-02-2020 11:18 +0400
Trammo invests in Georgia – new terminal will appear in Batumi port

Trammo will invest USD 20 million in Georgia and build a new terminal in the Batumi port, which will connect the Asian and European markets via the Batumi port.

Archil Talakvadze, the Chairman of the Parliament, has met in New York with the Executive Director and the members of the Governing Board of the American Corporation Trammo.

During the meeting the Speaker talked about the investment environment, strategic cooperation with the US, standards of protection of property rights and reforms implemented in Georgia.

“The decision was made to invest because of Georgia"s geostrategic position, attractive business environment and stable governance of the country”, - said Trammo CEO Edward Weiner.

According to Forbes, Trammo ranks 58th in the list of the largest companies of the US.

11-02-2020 10:13 +0400
China coronavirus death toll exceeds 1 000

China has reported 108 new coronavirus deaths on February 10, the highest daily toll since the outbreak began in Wuhan late last year, as two senior officials in the hard-hit province of Hubei were removed from their jobs.

The total number of deaths on the mainland reached 1 016 in the 24 hours until midnight, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

Some 2,478 new cases of infection were confirmed, bringing the total to 42 638.

Of the most recent deaths, 103 were in the province of Hubei, including 67 in the provincial capital of Wuhan. 

11-02-2020 09:25 +0400
Foreign media responds on the arrest of Gigi Ugulava

Foreign editions published articles about Monday’s Supreme Court verdict against Gigi Ugulava, one of the leaders of the opposition in Georgia. Reuters, Deutsche Welle and The New York Times wrote about this issue.

According to them, the opposition calls the verdict politically motivated.

International media wrote that critics accuse Ivanishvili, a business tycoon and leader of Georgian Dream, of “running the country from behind the scenes”.

11-02-2020 08:15 +0400
Czech tourist saved in avalanche mountain rescue in Svaneti

Georgian rescuers have saved a Czech tourist after getting trapped in an avalanche in Tetnuldi. According to the Emergency Management Service, the rescuers are searching for one individual at the moment.

The tourist was injured during skiing, but his life is not in danger. He has an upper lamb injury. The ambulance transferred the injured tourist to a hospital in Mestia.

The search operation is underway in order to find another individual who was also trapped in an avalanche.

10-02-2020 17:45 +0400
Kobi - Gudauri road is blocked besause of the heavy snow

Heavy snowfall and a sharp drop in temperature have created problems across Georgia.

Kobi-Gudauri road is blocked and the citizens have to stay in their cars during all night.

Truck drivers have been waiting for the road to open. They do not have food supplies and ask for help.

The road is cleared to the Cross Pass at this time. Clearance work is still underway.

The problems caused by heavy snow are also being tackled in Adjara. A total of 84 units of special equipment are mobilized and still clearing the road.

10-02-2020 13:17 +0400
The trial of Mamuka Khazaradze, Badri Japaridze and Avtandil Tsereteli postponed till February 25

The trial of Mamuka Khazaradze, Badri Japaridze and Avtandil Tsereteli postponed till February 25. The judge made such decision because of Avtandil Tsereteli’s health condition and said he could not continue without him. The motion was filed by the defense.

Avtandil Tsereteli remains in the hospital. Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze were charged on July 24 of last yearfor “illegal income legalization”. As for Avtandil Tsereteli, he is accused of assisting. The defendants themselves claim that the case against them is political revenge.

10-02-2020 12:22 +0400
While progress was made, there would continue to be unresolved differences between the ruling party and the opposition - Adam Kinzinger

Congressman Adam Kinzinger responds to a meeting with Archil Talakvadze, the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia. The member of Congress posted a statement on his Twitter page.

“After our meeting, I engaged in dialogue with various parties involved in Georgia’s political crisis. While progress was made, it became apparent to me that there would continue to be unresolved differences between the ruling party and the opposition.

Democracy is not easy and while protests are normal in a free country, they must remain peaceful. As well, citizens must live with the assurance that their justice system will be fair to all, independent and without regard for political affiliation.

In Georgia, compromises must be made by all parties involved to achieve the democracy and freedoms they seek. As co-chair of House Georgia Caucus, I remain steadfastly committed to the strong and enduring U.S.-Georgia relationship”, - tweeted Kinzinger.

10-02-2020 11:07 +0400
The case of jewelry shop burglary on Pekini Avenue is solved – one person detained

The officers of Vake-Saburtalo police division of Tbilisi Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as a result of operative-search and investigative activities solved the case of jewelry shop burglary on Pekini Avenue. At this moment one person is under arrest and three more identified. Previously convicted for theft-Z.S. (DoB 1984) was detained for theft committed with a previous consent in group, which caused a substantial financial damage.

The committed crime envisages from 6 to 10 years of imprisonment.

Investigation established that on February 7, the detainee, accompanied with three accomplices illegally penetrated the jewelry shop “Redbery” located on Pekini Avenue and misappropriated gold and silver jewelry items, worth of 10 780 GEL and fled from the place of crime.

Police managed to detain Z.S. as a result of immediate operative and investigative activities. During the search activities held in house temporarily owned by the Detainee in Batumi, law enforcers seized the stolen jewelry items as evidence.
As a result of the operative-investigative activities carried out in relation with the same case, police identified all three participants of the burglary. At this moment, various investigative and procedural actions are being taken to obtain additional evidence for bringing them to justice.

Investigation is in progress on the fact of the theft committed in group with a previous consent, article 177. II part, sub-paragraph “B”, part III of the same article, sub-paragraph “A” and part IV part, sub-paragraph “B” of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

10-02-2020 10:16 +0400
A car and a minibus collided in Guria – one of the injured is a minor girl

A car and a minibus collided in the village of Chibati in Lanchkhuti municipality. Four people injured, one of them is a minor girl.

The health condition of all injured is stable, their lives are not in danger.

As the Ministry of Internal Affairs said, the investigation launched under the second part of Article 276 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (the violation of traffic rules, causing minor damage to health). The crime is punishable by fine or house arrest for the term from 6 months to 2 years or imprisonment for up to 3 years.

10-02-2020 09:12 +0400
97 people have died in the last 24 hours from coronavirus

97 people have died in the last 24 hours - coronavirus death toll reaches 910.

More than 40,000 people are infected.
The majority of deaths from the novel virus happened in mainland China, one in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong.
A team of world experts will arrive in China to fight the virus that will help the country in the fight against coronavirus. The World Health Organization and Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, made the decision.
The country is slowly trying to get back to its usual rhythm. Citizens returned to businesses and offices this morning. Due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, there are some restrictions regarding work schedules, leaving home and movement.
The virus has spread to 24 countries.

10-02-2020 09:11 +0400
Svaneti is celebrating its traditional holiday “Lamproba”

At six o’clock in the morning, the elders, together with the youth, gathered at several specially selected places with their lamps in hand and meet the sunrise singing. 

“Lamproba” is celebrated 10 weeks before the Easter.

10-02-2020 09:05 +0400
Beka Basilaia does not rule out that Gigi Ugulava will be arrested today

Today the Supreme Court of Georgia will announce the verdict on the case of Gigi Ugulava. Beka Basilaia, his lawyer, does not rule out that Ugulava will be arrested today.

According to Basilaia, he has no positive expectations about the verdict.

The lawyer appealed to the Supreme Court on February 6 with the motion to dismiss Judge Shalva Tadumadze. He thinks that Tadumadze cannot be objective regarding this case.

“Shalva Tadumadze was the Prosecutor General at the time when the Court of Appeals discussed the case. It makes us think he cannot be objective. It is impossible to represent the Prosecutor’s Office, and to be a judge at the same time”. – said Basilaia.

Tbilisi City Court found Gigi Ugulava and four other persons guilty, regarding the so-called fund’s case in February 2018.

10-02-2020 08:59 +0400
Opposition to make updated election offer to ruling party - consultations before the meeting

Consultation with the authorities before the next round. The opposition will gather in the Labor Party office today. Their main topic of discussion is a revised proposal offered to the authorities regarding the electoral system.

According to European Georgian party MP Otar Kakhidze the opposition will make a new offer to the ruling Georgian Dream party on the election model for the 2020 parliamentary elections. 

He said that the opposition’s offer may be a 130/20 or 135/15 election model, in which most of the seats in the 150-member parliament [130 or 135] will be distributed per the votes received in proportional elections, while the remaining seats will be occupied by majoritarian MPs. The offer, if made, will be a response to the 100/50 offer of the ruling party for the 2020 elections. 

As Zaal Udumashvili, a member of the United National Movement’s political council said, during today’s meeting they discuss the action plan of the fifth round.

Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the Georgian Labor Party, said that their main goal is to fight the oligarch.

Irakli Kobakhidze, a member of the parliamentary faction Georgian Dream, said that the proposal of the ruling party is already known and they are waiting for the opposition’s response.

10-02-2020 08:09 +0400
Heavy snow, storms and avalanches are expected - road restrictions due to bad weather

Heavy wind and snow in some places, fog and snowstorm in the mountainous regions, storm at sea – such meteorological conditions will be in Georgia today.

The Kobi - Gudauri section of the road is still closed. Due to avalanche hazards and difficult meteorological conditions, no clean-up works are being carried out at the site.

10-02-2020 07:30 +0400
The EU published its 4th annual Association Implementation Report on Georgia

The European Union has published its 4th annual Association Implementation Report on Georgia. 

The report, prepared by the European External Action Service and the European Commission and covering the period since the last Association Council in March 2019, shows that Georgia remains committed to the obligations and undertakings of the Association Agreement.

“Georgia remains committed to the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. The months to come, however, will be key for Georgia to tackle increasing political polarization and to demonstrate its continued reform commitment, particularly in the areas of electoral and judicial reform, according to the report. 

Alignment to the EU acquis, as well as to European standards, particularly in the area of human rights, has effectively continued. However, challenges remain in the areas of electoral reform, political dialogue and reform of the judiciary. Going forward, it is essential that the parliamentary elections are held in a free and fair environment and that the selection procedure for Supreme Court Judges adheres to all recommendations made by the Venice Commission and is carried out in a transparent manner and in line with a genuinely merit-based nomination process. Legislative changes in line with international recommendations and implementation of the fourth wave of reforms will be important throughout 2020.

With the EU as Georgia’s largest trade partner, the country has further aligned its legislation with EU standards and norms to facilitate the trade of food and non-food products. Additional structural reforms are required to make Georgia’s economy less vulnerable to external developments and to enhance the investment climate. While efforts towards drafting energy sector legislation have continued, Georgia’s overall level of implementation of the energy acquis only amounts to 25%. In particular, given the growing urgency for climate action, the adoption of energy efficiency laws will be essential,” the report reads.

07-02-2020 21:30 +0400
4 missing Alaska children found protecting the youngest from the cold

Four children between the ages of 2 and 14 were found alive, but suffering from severe hypothermia, on Monday after becoming lost in a blizzard for 27 hours near Nunam Iqua, Alaska.
Alaska State Troopers have identified the children as 14-year-old Christopher Johnson, 8-year-old Frank Johnson, 7-year-old Ethan Camille, and 2-year-old Trey Camille. When the children were found they were “cold, hungry and tired”.

All four children were taken to Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel to be treated.
According to Karen Camille, the mother of three of the children and sister of the fourth child, the boys are expected to make a full recovery.

07-02-2020 17:47 +0400
Chairman of Georgian Dream hosts U.S. Ambassador to Georgia at business center

Chairman of the “Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia” party Bidzina Ivanishvili and his wife Ekaterine Khvedelidze hosted U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan and her husband Doug Morris at the business centre.

During the meeting participants talked about Georgia-US relations, strategic partnership and future cooperation plans.

07-02-2020 17:31 +0400
Didi Digomi – locals protest against the construction of a sports complex

In Didi Digomi some residents protest against the construction of a sports complex. According to them, the trees are being cut down illegally in the area and construction will damage the kindergarten and blocks on the site. The underground collector will also be damaged.

Another part of the population supports the construction of the sports complex.

Tariel Tkemaladze, head of the Digomi-Vashlijvari district department, is on the territory.

07-02-2020 16:18 +0400
We support Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course - French Ambassador

Dialogue between the parties is important - the French Ambassador to Georgia said in his assessment of the electoral system. Diego Colas hopes that the fifth round of negotiations will be successful.

“I welcome the dialogue so that political parties could engage in free elections of European standards. We support Georgia’s choice of western modernity and this included a dialogue among various political forces”, - said the Ambassador.

07-02-2020 15:50 +0400