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The Daily Beat: 16 June

President Salome Zurabishvili attended the Ukraine Peace Summit in Switzerland on June 15 and 16. During the Summit, she met with her Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Moldovan President Maia Sandu, and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, as well as EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and European Council President Charles Michel.

At an event dedicated to presenting life stories of people who lived during the USSR regime at Ilia State University, the Ambassador of the U.S., Robin Dunnigan, spoke about the anti-Western disinformation campaign in Georgia, the EU accession process, and U.S.-Georgian relations. Speaking at an event, the Ambassador decried false narratives as “heartbreaking and disappointing,” reiterating the commitment of the U.S. “to the Georgian people’s aspirations to become a member of the EU, to strengthen the Euro-Atlantic trajectory.”

On June 14, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, published an article in which he argues, that the Western neo-colonialism has come close to Russia’s borders. In his article, Medvedev claims that the Western “neocolonialists” do not respect the well-known strategic borders of other states” and seek to “gain control” over Russia’s neighbors, including Georgia.

Russia’s FSB added the “Georgian National Legion” to the list of “terrorist organizations based on the decision of the Southern District Military Court, which came into force on May 4. The Georgian Legion is a prominent group of around 700 to 1000 fighters, mostly Georgian, but also other foreign volunteers who have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014, as the war in Donbas was started by Russia. In February 2016 the Legion was integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces structure.

In its June 14 statement, Tbilisi Pride said that Pride Month would pass without any physical events for Georgian queers, in line with its decision last fall and in anticipation that the pre-election period would be “filled with physical violence encouraged by the government and rhetoric filled with hate and hostility.” Last year’s Pride event, which was supposed to be held at the remote Lisi Lake in the capital Tbilisi, was dispersed by far-right, radical, and violent groups due to a lack of police efforts to ensure the security of the festival participants.

On June 14, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe published its decisions on the execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Merabishvili v. Georgia and decided to resume consideration of the case at their DH meeting in March 2025. Concerning the investigation of the case, the deputies “strongly urged” the authorities to ensure “timely and effective” implementation of all the necessary measures to fully address the shortcomings identified by the Court and “to rapidly finalize the investigation.

Activist Beqa Papashvili was beaten for calling Georgian Dream MP Beqa Odisharia a “Russian slave” and a “traitor” in a grocery store. According to Papashvili, Odisharia was in the store with his bodyguards, who wouldn’t let Papashvili get close to the MP, and after Papashvili came out of the store, three men surrounded him within minutes and started beating him. Papashvili says that one of the men proudly announced that he was Odisharia’s son.

Ivane Chkhikvadze, EU Integration Program Manager at the Civil Society Foundation and Georgia Country Consultant at the European Endowment for Democracy, who was one of the witnesses testifying at the June 4 U.S. Congressional Hearing, was confronted by propagandist TV representatives and government loyalists at the airport upon his arrival in Georgia on June 14. The video footage shows them, including one allegedly a member of the GD youth organization, calling him “Sergo Orjonikidze,” “slave,” “agent sold for Soros money,” and “traitor without motherland .”


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