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October, 2018

  • 31 October

    Georgian Dream Ponders Strategy, as Ivanishvili Meets Party Council

    Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) is meeting the party leadership, the media reported. The political council of GDDG is expected to hash out the strategy for the second round of Presidential polls. In the first round, Georgian Dream’s favorite candidate Salome Zurabishvili, has failed to capture …

  • 18 October

    Subeliani Tapes Scandal: A Summary

    Series of recordings made in prison and involving the former Prosecution Office official, Mirza Subeliani, is developing into a major scandal, affecting the ongoing Presidential campaign, but also bringing into focus what seem to series of flaws in governance by the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG). Below is the summary …

  • 9 October

    Russian military press bio-warfare claims, refuse to visit “suspect” Tbilisi facility

    Officials from the Health Ministry’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) say their Russian colleagues have declined an invitation to visit the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory (CPHRL), just as Moscow has stepped up its scaremongering campaign against this lab, which was built with the U.S. assistance …

  • 4 October

    Georgian Dream Tries to Steamroll CSOs, Retreats

    The ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GDDG) officials have launched a coordinated broadside against Georgian civil society groups, having been irked at the statement of Georgian watchdogs  condemning “a severe crisis in the governance system, clear signs of high level corruption and informal, clan rule.” Pressing an apparently orchestrated …

September, 2018

  • 13 September

    Timeline of Salome Zurabishvili’s Remarks on August War

    Salome Zurabishvili, whose presidential candidacy has been endorsed by the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party, has triggered public criticism over her controversial Russo-Georgian war-related remarks. Below, Civil.ge offers a compilation of these remarks by date.  

July, 2018

  • 30 July

    Those Suspicious Georgians

    Mistrust is becoming a key societal characteristic of democracy Back in 1990s, an optimistic argument was widely held, that during democratic transition a country like Georgia would overcome the Soviet-era estrangement between the state and the citizens and enhance interpersonal as well as institutional trust. But twenty years down the …

  • 26 July

    Georgian Orthodox Church: Whither the foreign policy role?

    Liberal minority of the Georgian population views the Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) as an obstacle to country’s progress. Overwhelming majority of GOC’s influential clerics are (fairly) seen as resistant to the idea(l)s of equality between sexes and gender, individual liberties and generally to critical thinking. The majority of Georgians considers …

  • 4 July

    In Pankisi, Georgia should wake to preventive approaches

    by Eto Buziashvili: Data on radicalization, collected at the national level in Europe is sobering. According to the recent report by the EU High-Level Commission Expert Group on Radicalization, approximately 20.000 individuals have been radicalized in France, over 20.000 in the United Kingdom and 11.000 in Germany. The report recommends …

June, 2018

  • 29 June

    After Assad Debacle, Syrian Opposition backs Georgia

    Precisely a month after Georgia has severed diplomatic relations with the Damascus following Assad regime’s decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Tbilisi has scored a point by achieving the backing of the Syrian opposition for its territorial integrity. Georgian Public Television has quoted Nasr al-Hariri, President of the Syrian …

May, 2018

  • 9 May

    Wave of Drug-related Deaths Reignites Drug Policy Debate

    A wave of drug-related deaths over the past two weeks has reignited the nearly year-long debate on Georgia’s drug policy reform, pitting conservative politicians with activists advocating more liberal drug policy. So far, the government dithers, but is leaning towards the hard line. In recent weeks, at least five young …

April, 2018

  • 27 April

    Does Tbilisi’s Peace Step have a Future?

    Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili presenting the details of the new peace initiative, April 4, 2018. Photo: smr.gov.ge On April 4, the Georgian government presented a new peace initiative under the title of “A step to a better future.” The document was mostly received positively in Georgia, but what future does …

February, 2018

  • 23 February

    Preaching or Teaching?

    Patriarchate of Georgia. Photo: Eana Korbezashvili/Civil.ge Georgia debates teaching religion at school The ways of the lord are impenetrable. Rather than spur the government into action to prevent bullying in schools, the fate of two underage schoolboys, stabbed to death by their peers in downtown Tbilisi in December 2017, brought …

January, 2018

  • 24 January

    From White Noise to Public Voice

    On 25 January many Georgians are expected to hit the streets in protest for 8 years prison sentence handed down by the Georgian court to Giorgi Giorganashvili for the possession 0.375 grams of Burprenorphene (Subutex), an opiate. Giorganashvili claims the drugs were planted to exert pressure. The protest will be …

  • 8 January

    Misha and the oligarchs

    Grab from video footage showing Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko (left) granting Ukrainian citizenship to Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili (right) after announcing his appointment as governor of Odessa region in southwestern Ukraine. May 29, 2015. People are speaking a lot – perhaps too much – about Mikheil Saakashvili these days, whether …

November, 2017

  • 27 November

    Georgia’s Zig-Zag Progress

    Thomas de Waal. Photo: Larissa Wilson  Civil Georgia interviewed Thomas de Waal, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe, Brussels-based think tank on European foreign policy analysis. In your mind what are the chances for the Georgian democracy to develop further in the coming years?  I should make a few general observations about …

August, 2017

  • 6 August

    President Margvelashvili: Georgia Confident of U.S. Support

    VOA Interview with President Giorgi Margvelashvili in Tbilisi. Photo: VOA Voice of America’s Nana Sajaia sat down with President Giorgi Margvelashvili in Tbilisi to discuss different aspects of Georgia’s foreign and domestic policies, as well as to talk about U.S.-Georgia relations and assess the importance of Vice President Mike Pence’s …

July, 2017

  • 18 July

    Labour rights back on activist radar

    Over 1,000 workers were killed or injured in occupational accidents in Georgia from 2011–2016, according to data compiled by the Applied Research Company, a consultancy. Almost every month, yet another worker plunges to his death from Tbilisi’s shockingly unprotected highrise construction sites or a story of worker humiliation or exploitation …

  • 12 July

    Georgia Youths Take to the Streets

      Students lead the way In March 2016 Georgia’s oldest and largest university, Tbilisi State University (TSU) was shaken by a week-long student protest which grabbed national headlines. Sparked by alleged mismanagement of university  funds by the officially sanctioned Students’ Union, their demands soon encompassed fundamental reform of the higher …

  • 3 July

    The Race for the Fertile Crescent

    Events of historic consequence are occurring in Syria’s eastern desert and the Euphrates valley. Out of the countless events of the Syrian war so far, the present moment may be the most important one in deciding the near geopolitical future of the Fertile Crescent. Daesh—the so-called Islamic State—is falling. Chances are, it will remain …

June, 2017

  • 19 June

    Georgia-Russia: Getting Security Right

    This past spring, the observers of largely anemic diplomatic talks in Geneva were exited to hear the reluctant confirmation by the Georgian foreign ministry of the “minor progress” regarding the non-use-of-force (NUF) agreement. This followed on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s “expectation” that such agreement was becoming “realistic…in the foreseeable …