The Fast and the Furious occupies Tbilisi

Giorgi Lomsadze Sep 6, 2019
The Fast and the Furious in Tbilisi Screenshot from RFE/RL footage of filming of the latest installment of film franchise The Fast and the Furious in Tbilisi.

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.

For Sale: Georgia’s main opposition TV station

Giorgi Lomsadze Aug 13, 2019
The man with a TV station to sell: Kibar Khalvashi (photo: Mzia Saganelidze RFE/RL) The man with a TV station to sell: Kibar Khalvashi (photo: Mzia Saganelidze RFE/RL)

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.    

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.