The arrival of the Armenian crocodile

Giorgi Lomsadze Feb 11, 2019
Nile Crocodile A Nile crocodile, which may soon be seen in Armenia. (photo: Leigh Bedford, Wikimedia Commons)

Armenia has a lot to offer visitors. Natural spectacles? Check. Ancient history? Check. Vibrant culture? Check. If there is one thing that is missing it may be crocodiles, but this oversight is about to be corrected.

South Caucasus’ troubles set in stone

Giorgi Lomsadze Jan 29, 2019
bust Screenshot of a report from Georgia's Maestro TV of the unveiling of a bust to a Georgian-Armenian who died in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of the 1990s. Azerbaijan has strenuously objected to the monument.

When the Georgian village of Bughasheni, located in the Armenian-dominated region of Samtkhe-Javakheti, ceremoniously unveiled a bust to its native son Mikhail Avagyan, few in the rest of Georgia took notice. But in neighboring Azerbaijan, it made national news.

Georgia’s free president

Giorgi Lomsadze Jan 16, 2019
zourabichvili Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has announced that she will forego her official salary and instead live off her French pension. (photo: president.gov.ge)

Georgia’s president is already powerless. Now it appears President Salome Zourabichvili will be unpaid, as well.

Azerbaijan reporter wins sex tape case

Giorgi Lomsadze Jan 11, 2019
Ismayilova Azerbaijani investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova won a court case in the European Court of Human Rights against the government for failing to investigate a sex-tape blackmail against her. (photo: Facebook page of Khadija Ismayilova)

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Azerbaijan’s government to compensate corruption-busting reporter Khadija Ismayilova for its failure to investigate attempts to blackmail her with sex tapes. Ismayilova hailed the January 10 ruling, but does not have high hopes that it can help alleviate the roughshod treatment of journalists in Azerbaijan.  

Georgia and the stolen Orthodox Christmas

Giorgi Lomsadze Jan 10, 2019
Poroshenko and Bartholomew Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I at a Kyiv ceremony marking the formal granting of autonomy to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. (photo: patriarchate.org)

This year’s holiday season had a distinct lack of the Christmas spirit in the Orthodox world, as the eastern church was riven by a momentous split between the Ukrainian and Russian churches.

Georgia’s presidential office politics

Giorgi Lomsadze Dec 18, 2018
palace Georgia's former, unloved presidential palace. Constructed by former president Mikheil Saakashvili, the new president is moving into a smaller structure. (photo: president.gov.ge)

Georgia’s newly sworn-in President Salome Zourabichvili will spend her first months in office hot-desking as her new workspace remains the subject of controversy – as does her election itself.

Could cryptocurrency leave Abkhazia in the dark?

Giorgi Lomsadze Dec 12, 2018
Enguri The Enguri dam complex, a massive Soviet-built hydroelectric plant on the de facto border of Georgia and Abkhazia, provides much of Abkhazia's electricity. But cryptocurrency mining is taxing the power supply and authorities are trying to rein it in. (photo: Georgia’s Ministry of Energy)

Rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network in the tiny, mostly unrecognized republic of Abkhazia, forcing officials to call for putting regulatory shackles on the money-making scheme in order to stave off power supply interruptions this winter.