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:

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:

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:

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.

Georgian election part deux: the billboard war

Giorgi Lomsadze Nov 26, 2018
GD billboard "No to Nazis," reads a billboard by Georgia's ruling Georgian Dream party, targeting their rivals the United National Movement ahead of runoff presidential elections. (photo: Giorgi Lomsadze)

“No to the Nazis!” scream billboards across Georgia as they depict a malevolent-looking former president Mikheil Saakashvili, surrounded by his loyalists, their faces contorted in menacing grimaces against a blood-red backdrop.

For some Georgians, mooning is a continuation of politics by other means

Giorgi Lomsadze Nov 13, 2018

Members of an eccentric Georgian political group have collectively flashed their behinds at Russian border guards, and say they will keep doing so to protest Russia’s military presence in Georgia’s breakaway territories. With their attention-grabbing act, the libertarian Georgian party Girchi (Pine Cone) displayed – along with its members’ nether regions – its intent to keep pushing the boundaries of Georgia’s political no

Georgian government throws epic bridal shower

Giorgi Lomsadze Nov 9, 2018
Knight in Panther's Skin Copies of the epic poem, The Knight in the Panther's Skin, at a Georgian Ministry of Justice event rolling out a program to award the book to all newlyweds in the country. (photo: Ministry of Justice of Georgia)

If you are an eligible Georgian bachelorette with no dowry, worry not: the government has you covered. Under a new initiative from the Ministry of Justice, all newlyweds will get a copy of the national epic poem – The Knight in the Panther’s Skin – as a gift or, as the Ministry has phrased it, a “dowry,”