An extravagant rally in Tbilisi on December 14 was ostensibly a celebration of Georgia’s debut as the chair of Europe’s top human rights body and the new, continental role it brought the country. But all politics is local, and on closer look the massively attended rally was an effort by the ruling Georgian Dream party to show that it can outman its domestic opposition.
The very idea of mother is losing its meaning around the world, Georgian billionaire and political overlord Bidzina Ivanishvili has lamented in a recent interview, resulting in a growing global dependence on anti-depressants.
Once a Soviet response to Baden-Baden, the Georgian spa town of Tskaltubo, where ailing comrades used to bathe in warm mineral springs, is today a post-apocalyptic sight. The palatial sanatoria are now gutted, taken over by moss and ivy. Crumbling mosaics celebrating health and communism offer rare flashes of color amid clusters of grey, grand structures.
A truck plowed into a bus stop on Tbilisi’s main prospect just outside the handsome, cake-like Opera House, in a cacophony of explosions and gunshots. A massive, armored tractor-trailer followed, cars and a helicopter in hot pursuit.
Another Georgian village has been divided by Russian troops in their campaign to wall off the breakaway region of South Ossetia from the rest of Georgia.
This week Gugutiantkari became the latest victim of what Georgians call “creeping occupation.”
The Rustavi2 news channel, an embattled bastion of government criticism, went up for sale on August 12. Its newest owner put the station on the block just weeks after reclaiming it through a years-long legal battle and amid concerns the government is trying to gag the critical broadcaster.
As Moscow brainstorms ways to get back at its nettlesome neighbor, Georgia, some Russian politicians have proposed hitting where it hurts most: khachapuri, the iconic Georgian cheese pie.