Russian communists declare war on khachapuri

Giorgi Lomsadze Jul 12, 2019
khachapuri The iconic Georgian cheese pie, khachapuri, would be renamed "pyshka" under a proposal by Communist members of Russia's parliament. (photo: David Trilling)

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.

Georgia manages, finally, to hold Pride event

Giorgi Lomsadze Jul 10, 2019
Tbilisi Pride A drone carries a rainbow flag over Tbliisi's skies to help celebrate the country's first, albeit small, Pride event. (photo: @tbilisipride Instagram)

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.

TV host’s profane anti-Putin diatribe vexes both Georgians and Russians

Giorgi Lomsadze Jul 8, 2019
Gabunia Screenshot of Georgian TV host Giorgi Gabunia delivering an obscene jeremiad against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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.   

Georgians hope Tbilisi-Moscow war of words doesn’t escalate

Giorgi Lomsadze Jul 5, 2019
images of Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili and Russian MFA spokesperson Maria Zakharova giving talks Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili and Russian MFA spokesperson Maria Zakharova are at the center of a war of words between the two countries. (Salome Zourabichvili/Facebook and mid.ru)

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 People” party established in Georgia

Giorgi Lomsadze Jun 13, 2019
Okruashvili Then-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili on a visit to NATO in 2005. Since then he has changed political stripes multiple times and has now formed a party pitched at "angry Georgians." (photo: NATO)

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.

19th-century warrior’s body escapes from Azerbaijan, head remains in Russia

Giorgi Lomsadze Jun 3, 2019
Hadji Murad P. Pinkisevich's illustration of Haji Murad, 1984. "Pravda" Publishing House.

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.

Another comeback for Misha

Giorgi Lomsadze May 29, 2019
Saakashvili passport Mikheil Saakashvili's new travel documents on which he entered Ukraine on May 29. He had been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship but newly inaugurated president Volodymyr Zelensky restored it. (photo: Facebook)

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.

Georgian government undertaking tattoo removal campaign

Giorgi Lomsadze May 14, 2019
tattoo Georgia's government is paying ex-convicts to remove their tattoos. (photo: Creative Commons, Theo Paul)

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.