Moscow stirs fear of American germs

Giorgi Lomsadze Oct 12, 2018
Lugar Lab he Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research, outside Tbilisi, is purportedly the mothership in a network of U.S. bioweapons labs in the post-Soviet space, according to Russian government officials. (photo: U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jamie Blow)

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 bans plastic bags, marking the end of an era

Giorgi Lomsadze Oct 8, 2018
plastic bag Goodbye old friend (Giorgi Lomsadze)

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.   

Armenia’s revolutionary bike ride

Giorgi Lomsadze Oct 2, 2018
Pashinyan bicycle Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan rides a bicycle in Yerevan. The event was interpreted as either a symbol of progressivism or a cheap PR stunt. (Photo: Prime Minister's office)

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.

Armenians exult over MMA victory against Azerbaijani foe

Giorgi Lomsadze Sep 26, 2018
Karapetyan Armenian MMA fighter Karine Karapetyan exults in her victory over Rena Safarova, the sister of one of Armenia's most hated Azerbaijanis. (photo: https://www.facebook.com/pak.sirt)

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.

Georgians propose naming Tbilisi street after John McCain

Giorgi Lomsadze Sep 3, 2018
President Margvelashvili pays his respects to John McCain at the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi. (president.ge) President Margvelashvili pays his respects to John McCain at the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi. (president.ge)

Outside the United States, the loss of Senator John McCain has been felt perhaps most deeply in Georgia, which lionized the late Arizona Republican as the best friend it had in the country Georgians regard as their closest ally. Now, some Georgians have proposed honoring McCain’s memory with a street bearing his name.

Merkel's visit to Tbilisi leaves Georgians disappointed

Giorgi Lomsadze Aug 24, 2018
Merkel goodbye Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze (center) and other officials wave goodbye to German Chancellor Angela Merkel after her two-day visit to Tbilisi. (Mamuka Bakhtadze/Facebook)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Georgia left many Georgians disappointed by her perceived lack of commitment to the country's NATO aspirations and for reintegrating the two Russia-backed breakaway territories back into the Georgian fold.

On anniversary of war, Georgians curse Putin

Giorgi Lomsadze Aug 8, 2018
Protesters held posters with photos of Georgia’s main antagonist in the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with a caption that translates, roughly, “go f--- yourself.” (Photos by Giorgi Lomsadze) Protesters held posters with photos of Georgia’s main antagonist in the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with a caption that translates, roughly, “go f--- yourself.” (Photos by Giorgi Lomsadze)

A rowdy rally was held in front of the former Russian embassy in Tbilisi on August 7 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war. Protesters held posters with photos of Georgia’s main antagonist, Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with a Russian caption that translates, roughly, “go f--- yourself.”