Syria formally recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Giorgi Lomsadze May 29, 2018
Syria A delegation of Abkhazian officials, including de facto foreign minister Daur Kove, visits the People's Council of Syria in Damascus in August 2017. (photo: MFA Abkhazia)

The Syrian government recognized the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia in a gesture of thanks to its largest patron of late, Russia. Georgia responded by severing diplomatic relations with Syria.

Small gay rights rally held in Tbilisi amid fears of violence

Giorgi Lomsadze May 17, 2018
Gay rights groups in Georgia called off a planned rally on May 17 after threats of violence, but individual activists still came out to rally.  Gay rights groups in Georgia called off a planned rally on May 17 after threats of violence, but individual activists still came out to rally. (Photo: George Gogua)

Gay rights groups in Georgia called off a planned rally on May 17 after threats of violence and continued tensions following riots in Tbilisi over the weekend, effectively ceding the city to religious conservatives and small neo-Nazi groups. But individual activists, defying the LGBT groups’ decision, still came out to rally.  

Armenia and that post-Soviet trick with prime ministers

Giorgi Lomsadze May 11, 2018
chess President of the Armenian Chess Federation Serzh Sargsyan plays with President of the World Chess Federation Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in Yerevan in 2014. Sargsyan's attempt to castle himself into the prime minister's position, however, was blocked by a wave of popular protests. (photo: president.am)

Two Russians are having a conversation following the peaceful revolution in Armenia, goes a recent joke. “Wouldn’t it be great if people came out to the streets to kick out Vladimir Putin like what happened in Armenia?” One says. “Yes, but we don’t have enough Armenians in Russia,” replies the other.

Georgia’s condemned condoms

Giorgi Lomsadze May 7, 2018
condoms A condom involving a sign of the cross that has gotten into legal trouble in Georgia. (photo: Aiisa)

Safe sex has become the latest battleground in Georgia's culture wars after a court effectively outlawed a brand of condoms featuring religious jokes.

Georgia witnesses second coming of Bidzina Ivanishvili

Giorgi Lomsadze Apr 26, 2018
Bidzina Ivanishvili during the 2013 Georgian presidential election Bidzina Ivanishvili at Georgian Dream headquarters during Georgia's 2013 presidential election. (Photo by Marco Fieber/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 — bit.ly/2JuvOIm)

Georgia’s richest man Bidzina Ivanishvili has emerged from seclusion to take back the reins of the ruling Georgian Dream party in an apparent attempt to iron out bitter divisions that have emerged in the party that he created six years ago.

Five remarkable things about Azerbaijan's unremarkable election

Giorgi Lomsadze Apr 13, 2018
Aliyev President Ilham Aliyev votes in presidential elections on April 11. As predicted, Aliyev easily won a fourth term, but the state-managed vote nevertheless produced a number of curiosities. (photo: president.az)

Azerbaijan's presidential election was, as predicted, a non-event. Ever-incumbent leader Ilham Aliyev won his fourth consecutive term with an 86 percent landslide, while his token rivals got crumbs of voter support – in the low single digits – according to early official results. Nevertheless, the vote did manage to produce a number of oddities.