OVERBEARING It is in the nature of the Kremlin to remind its neighbors who the sheriff in town is. This includes periodic yanking the chain of its subjects in occupied provinces. But what is permissible for Jupiter (read: Putin) is not allowed to a bull… Sokhumi reacted with outrage to the proposal of a Russian party “For Pravda (Truth)” to hold a referendum on Abkhazia’s annexation to Russia. But it is also in the nature of the autocracy for its loyal servants to try and preempt the wishes of the Tsar. Sokhumi hopes Mr. Putin will pass on the offer, for this time.
CAPTAIN DISGRACED A painful pang felt by Georgia’s patriotically-minded basketball fans as country’s national team captain Tornike Shengelia announced his move from Saski Baskonia to CSKA Moscow. For those who don’t know – CSKA stands for “Central Sports Club of the Army” for a reason: army club in Soviet times, it is still presided over by an army colonel. The very same army that fought Georgia in 2008 and occupies its provinces still. Shengelia said he hoped for understanding since CSKA Moscow is one of the European basketball’s leading clubs. But many Georgians say Shengelia forfeited his right to bear the national colors. President Salome Zurabishvili called Shengelia’s move “saddening” and “unacceptable”. And since apparently, we are with Latin proverbs today – Sic transit gloria mundi!
NO, SERIOUSLY U.S. Appropriations Committee Approved the Fiscal Year 2021 State and Foreign Operations Funding Bill, dashing hopes of Georgia’s ruling party that conditioning 15% of earmarked foreign assistance on rule of law, human rights, and fighting graft were a mere warning. Only hours before, the Head of Legal Committee of the Georgian Parliament dismissed the amendments, saying they “can not be taken seriously.” He’d be eating his hat tomorrow.
MEMORY RESTORED The Georgian Ministry of Infrastructure reported the completion of a rehabilitation project in a village of Asureti (former Elisabetthal) in southern Georgia. Built by German colonists settled here by the Russian Empire in the XIX century, the village presents a rare sample of typical half-timbered (Fachwerkhaus) architecture, which has sadly fallen into decay after the locals were deported under Joseph Stalin in 1941.
That’s full lid for today!