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The Daily Beat: 9 February

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova commented on the Georgian State Security Service’s statement over the alleged transfer of explosives from Ukraine to Russia via Georgia. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Georgia and its territory are being used by all those who want to destabilize the situation in the post-Soviet space and resort to terrorist methods,” said Zakharova at the press conference, blaming Ukraine for organizing terrorist acts against Russian civilian targets.

Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili published a lengthy letter accusing the Georgian CSOs of “lack of transparency” and “political bias,” proposing steps to solve this “double challenge” by creating portals for their financial transparency and making donors accountable for the activities of the organizations they fund.

General Robert Brieger, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, is on a two-day visit to Georgia, where he has met the Chief of the Armed Forces, Giorgi Matiashvili, and visited the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center. According to the Defense Ministry, the parties discussed the EU-Georgia military partnership and the reform process in Georgia’s armed forces during the meeting. General Robert Brieger will also meet with the parliamentary Defense and Security Committee Chair and visit the occupation line.

Imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili plans to actively participate in the United National Movement‘s campaign for the 2024 parliamentary elections. “I intend to head the United National Movement’s political activity committee if the party members support it, … and I am fully ready to be on the frontline of our political struggle in the 2024 elections,” claimed Saakashvili from Viva Medi clinic, appearing via video link at the court session.

The Interior Ministry confirms that four people were killed during the shooting at Rustavi marketplace. A man armed with a firearm burst into the Rustavi marketplace and started shooting at the employees, killing four and wounding one, including his uncle and cousin, reported the interior ministry. A Rustavi shooter was arrested shortly after the shooting incident by police.

An anti-corruption watchdog, “Transparency International – Georgia,” published a “Corruption Map” prepared on the analyses of alleged corruption facts, indicating that regional-level corruption is totally out of control. TI-Georgia believes that the relevant state authorities on the regional level reacted insufficiently or have not reacted at all to the facts of alleged corruption.

Following the death of the 19-years-old girl, allegedly caused by a drug overdose, the rector of Tbilisi Vake Cathedral, Shalva Kekelia, along with hundreds of parishioners, gathered at “Basiani” nightclub, performing prayer service and criticizing the drug policy. Allegedly, a 19-year-old girl visited “Basiani” nightclub shortly before her death. A popular nightclub asks the public to refrain from disseminating inaccurate information and fully cooperates with the investigation.

Misha Peikrishvili, head of the information unit of the ruling Georgian Dream party’s mouthpiece, Imedi TV, will replace Nino Giorgobiani as head of the government’s strategic communication department. “Good luck to Misha in his challenging but exciting work. I wish him many positive news and successful days,” said Nino Giorgobiani in a Facebook post.


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