ROADS CLAIM LIVES — PATRIOTS GAMES — OVERZEALOUS IN ABKHAZIA
MOURNING Georgia has announced a day of mourning on August 25 to commemorate a horrible car accident that took 17 lives. A mini-bus carrying local tourists plunged into the abyss in stormy weather, traveling from Georgia’s eastern, mountainous Khevsureti province. The tragedy brought road safety sharply into focus: activists say over 500 people die in Georgia annually in car accidents and more than 8000 are injured. They call the Prime Minister to give road safety a priority – speed limits, better infrastructure, the harsher imposition of the penalties, and more thorough technical control of the vehicles, especially those licensed to carry passengers. This must be done.
STRINGS ATTACHED The nativist “Patriots’ League” has been forced on defensive these days. First, they had to counter the reports about their mysterious visit across the ABL, to Gali by saying they did so out of pious desire to donate an icon to the local shrine (proof of donation was uploaded by one of the party leaders, Irma Inashvili herself). But it gets worse. The Dossier, an investigative project by Russia’s exiled and martyred ex-billionaire Vladimir Khodorkovsky, published an expose, saying the “Patriots” were remote-controlled by the Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) through an affiliated “political technologies” outlet, an aptly named POLITSECRETS. Ms. Inashvili parried this one by saying they employ services by two US and two Israeli firms. Does this mean, she asked, that we are stage-managed by Mr. Trump or by Mr. Netanyahu?! That is a moot point.
EXCESS OF ZEAL The Abkhaz political identity has been built around the idea of an endangered, ethnically defined nation. Still, a decree banning ethnic Abkhaz children (and only them) from entering schools that have any other language than Abkhazian as their main language of instruction was considered overzealous and overturned by Alexander Ankvab. Hard to say, whether this is because the notion was outrageously discriminatory, or since it would have chafed the Russian overlords – the foreign language schools would be, in the absolute majority of cases, Russian. In any case, seems like a step in the right direction. Another such step would be to allow Georgian-language instruction without impediment.
That’s full lid for today!