Cruising aficionados take note. Starting next summer a new Russian cruise liner will be offering tours of an unlikely destination: the Caspian Sea.
“The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is almost upon us and in times like these it is imperative that the president of Georgia is the agent of God’s will on earth.” Such is the electoral platform of Mikheil-Gela Saluashvili, a candidate for president in Georgia.
“You have to feel sorry for our Western friends,” a prime-time host on Russia's First Channel said with evident irony. “Just think about it: You are friends with this nice Georgian guy; you call him Batono Mishiko; you drink wine together… and then it turns out that he is a murderer,” the host, Kiril Kleimyonov, said on the October 18 edition of the show Vremya.
The onset of fall has brought to Russia, as it often does, flu and conspiracy theories. Back in the news is Moscow’s seasonal talk of an imminent American biological attack, to be launched from medical research labs in Russia’s neighborhood.
Georgia is letting go something it has held dear for decades – the plastic bag – becoming the first former Soviet state to adopt a ban.
It’s not just that the Caucasus nation is catching up with global efforts to reduce plastic pollution. The move marks the end of an era.
In the post-Soviet neck of the woods, a convoy of black cars remains the preferred mode of ground transportation for prime ministers. The region's cutthroat roads make little accommodation for bicyclists, often leaving human-powered transport only for the fashion-forward or suicidal.
In Armenia and Azerbaijan, it's par for the course that sports competitions against the other side are treated as proxy battles. Boxers, wrestlers, and even chess players are enlisted into the war that the two neighbors continue to wage against one another over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
But when one of the competitors may be the sister of an Azerbaijani soldier who axe-murdered an Armenian counterpart in his sleep, the rivalry reaches a new level.