July 8 was a busy day for Levan Vasadze, a homophobic Georgian knight. Gay Pride was coming to Georgia for the first time, and he had made it his life’s goal never to let that happen.
A popular Georgian talk-show host’s elaborate, obscene diatribe on live TV against Russian President Vladimir Putin sparked a national furor and fears of retaliation from Moscow, as well as worries about an overreaction from the Georgian government itself.
Thus far, the ongoing dispute between Tbilisi and Moscow has been a war of words – Moscow is calling Georgia rude and Tbilisi labelling Russia an “occupier” – and a war on tourism, as the Kremlin has banned flights to Georgia and declared the country unsafe for Russian tourists.
But with some ominous remarks by a senior Russian diplomat, some Georgians now worry about the prospect of a real war.
Angry Georgians now have a political party committed to representing their core emotion in the public sphere. “Our ambition is to create a large movement of a lot of angry people,” said Irakli Okruashvili, a controversial former government minister, as he announced the establishment of a new political party, Victorious Georgia.
June 9 was a big day for small South Ossetia: It won a soccer European Cup of sorts and elected a new parliament, though both accomplishments occurred in the parallel world of unrecognized states.
If Leo Tolstoy were alive, he could have written a sequel to his famous novel, Haji Murad. The headless body of the title character, a real-life 19th-century warrior, has been exhumed from his grave in Azerbaijan and buried in his native Dagestan. Murad’s head, meanwhile, remains stored away in a museum in St. Petersburg.
Naturalized, denaturalized and naturalized again: Former Georgian President Mikheil (Misha) Saakashvili has come back to Ukraine after a rollercoaster ride of gaining, losing and re-gaining Ukrainian citizenship. The nomadic politician and self-styled scourge of post-Soviet oligarchs and Russian imperialism indicated that he plans to insert himself back into Ukrainian politics, potentially as an adviser to new President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Many Georgians who have made unfortunate tattoo choices are getting their skin back, thanks to a government initiative. The program specifically targets convicts who had decided to wear their commitment to criminal life on their sleeves or elsewhere on their bodies.