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The Daily Beat: 27 January

Georgian-Polish defense venture successfully tested new drones at the Krtsanisi Support Center shooting ground. WB Electronics, a major Polish defense contractor, has partnered with state-owned Georgian Delta LLC to manufacture combat and intelligence unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The government said the joint venture will “manufacture hundreds of drones a year.” WB Electronics also makes the same drones for the Ukrainian army at a joint venture there. The Georgia Defense Ministry said it would launch the region’s first UAV training center with WB Electronics. On the same day, Sokhumi announced a decision to close airspace over essential locations and the state airport to “minimize military and terrorist threats.”

Georgia’s Justice Minister, Rati Bregadze convened a press conference and cited the National Forensics Bureau to say that the psychiatric, gastroenterological, and neurological diagnoses of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili made by the Tbilisi-based Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, Empathy, “are not reliable and authentic.” He threatened to submit the bureau’s conclusions to the court. Empathy’s director said the minister was exerting pressure on independent experts and was damaging Empathy’s reputation. He stressed that the Forensics Bureau had only looked at Empathy’s conclusion but did not assess Saakashvili’s health.

In the meantime, a British expert, Professor Cornelius Katona, testified before the court, confirming that Mikheil Saakashvili is severely and chronically ill. Professor Katona also stated at the court session that he had diagnosed Mikheil Saakashvili with post-traumatic stress disorder and dementia. According to a British professor, the lack of specific treatment for PTSD and an unsafe environment are among the critical factors in maintaining this diagnosis. The court has deliberated on the possible release or postponement of Saakashvili’s sentence on health grounds since December 2022.

Georgia’s European Date

On this day in history, Georgia had two important European dates. On January 27, 1921, the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers, which included France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, recognized the Georgian Democratic Republic de jure. Seventy-eight years later, on January 27, 1999, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Zurab Zhvania pronounced in Strasbourg hemicycle: “I am Georgian, and therefore, I am European” as the country joined the Council of Europe. Georgian officials made no mention of either of these historic dates today.


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