· January, 2009

Stories about Georgia from January, 2009

Georgia: Opposition Unites, Kind Of…

  31 January 2009

Dateline Tbilisi comments on news that twelve opposition parties have agreed to unite to call for Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's resignation. The blog says the party believes Saakashvili will be forced to resign by the end of 2009 but points out some of the many factors which will determine if...

Georgia: Armenian Activists Detained

  31 January 2009

Blogian comments on the arrest of two ethnic Armenians in the Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti allegedly for espionage and the formation of an armed gang. The blog says calls for autonomy or independence from Georgia are once again being heard.

Russia: Conscript Seeks Asylum in Georgia

  29 January 2009

Aleksandr Glukhov, a 21-year-old Russian conscript, has asked for asylum in the Republic of Georgia to escape the "unbearable conditions" in the Russian army. One of Glukhov's media appearances took place as he was dining at a McDonald's restaurant in Tbilisi. Russian officials claim that Glukhov was captured by Georgian armed forces in South Ossetia, where he was performing his compulsory military service, and taken to the Georgian capital. Quite a few people in Russia seem to consider Glukhov "a traitor." Below are some of the reactions from the Russophone blogosphere.

Georgia: Uneasy Reading

  26 January 2009

This is Tbilisi Calling comments on a new report released by Human Rights Watch detailing war crimes committed during the August war between Georgia and Russia. The blog says that the report is uneasy reading, but essential nonetheless. Meanwhile, while both sides violated international humanitarian law, The Tbilisi Blues says...

Ukraine: “The EU Neighbour ‘Reality’ Problem”

  24 January 2009

Wu Wei writes about the EU and “the Ukrainian (or Georgian) reality”: “I speak from experience in working on oil stocks in Ukraine, where the Ukrainian “reality” apparently required to set up an agency for oil stocks first, then worry about what it would do later (legislation, finance, ownership of...

Georgia: Beautiful Tbilisi

  18 January 2009

Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines, the blog of an Azerbaijani political analyst based in Baku and Istanbul, pays its first visit to Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia. The blog says that the city is beautiful and has preserved it historical charm while it also notes some of the...

Georgia: U.S. Strategic Partnership Charter

  10 January 2009

Dateline Tbilisi reports that the outgoing Bush administration in Washington has signed a strategic partnership charter with Georgia which supports its territorial integrity and aspirations towards NATO membership. Although non-binding, the blog notes that the charter reportedly marks a shift towards direct military assistance for the South Caucasus republic and...

Georgia: IDPs

  5 January 2009

Swapping Purley-on-Thames for Tbilisi, Georgia pays a visit to collective centers for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the August war with Russia. Visiting with an ethnic Armenian Santa Claus and toys for the children, the blog says that conditions have improved in time for Winter, but there is little sign...

Caucasus: New Year, Christmas

  3 January 2009

With Christmas and the New Year usually accompanied by lavish television spectaculars and decorations in the center of most cities worldwide, celebrations in countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are the same to some extent, but usually more low-key and family-orientated. A number of expat workers and Peace Corps Volunteers in all three countries offer an outside eye on proceedings.

Georgia: New Year, Christmas Feasting

  2 January 2009

The Tbilisi Blues comments on preparations for the New Year festivities in Georgia. Although events started at the beginning of December, the New Year will lead into Christmas celebrated on 7 January. From the beginning of the year, however, Georgians will visit relatives until 14 January and particularly enjoy their...