One spring day in 2016 Giorgi Margvelashvili, then the president of Georgia, felt compelled to inform the Georgian public that he had “a very rich sex life” and intended to keep it that way. “There is nothing shameful about sex,” he added helpfully.
When the Georgian village of Bughasheni, located in the Armenian-dominated region of Samtkhe-Javakheti, ceremoniously unveiled a bust to its native son Mikhail Avagyan, few in the rest of Georgia took notice. But in neighboring Azerbaijan, it made national news.
Media appeared to have beat police to the punch in the hunt for a British man dubbed the “speedboat killer” by tabloids. The fugitive turned himself in to authorities in Georgia late on January 24 and is awaiting an extradition hearing.
Georgia’s president is already powerless. Now it appears President Salome Zourabichvili will be unpaid, as well.
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.
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 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.
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.
Can mayonnaise bring peace between two warring countries? Probably not, but it can certainly spread trouble: Georgian government officials are under fire for appearing in a Russian mayonnaise advertisement.