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    Russian troops have been deployed near the border with Georgia today even as the Kremlin tries to stamp out rumours that Putin is about to introduce martial law and ban people from leaving in order to avoid being conscripted into the army.  Footage geolocated to the small town of Chmi, on the main highway from Russia into Georgia's South Ossetia region, shows at least six soldiers sitting on top of an armoured vehicle passing a queue of cars in the direction of the crossing.  Troops arrived to set up a checkpoint, sources told the Russia's RBC network, with the FSB saying they were sent to stop people storming the crossing after miles-long queues of men trying to dodge the draft built up.  But it raised fears that Putin is preparing to seal Russia's borders to stop men fleeing the draft, amid reports that 260,000 have fled in just five days. Russian troops have deployed to the border with Georgia where huge queues have built up as men try to flee the country to avoid Putin's draft order The FSB said the...
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — International Criminal Court judges have issued arrest warrants for three men wanted on suspicion of committing war crimes during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, the court announced Thursday. The Hague-based court opened an investigation in 2016 into the conflict, which killed hundreds and left thousands of civilians displaced. Russia invaded Georgia after violence broke out between separatist groups and Georgian forces. In 2021, the European Court of Human Rights concluded that “grave human rights abuses” occurred on Russian-held territory. The three wanted men — Lt.-Gen. Mikhail Mindzaev, Gamlet Guchmazov and David Sanakoev — served in the governments of the Russian-backed self-declared republic of South Ossetia. In a June 24 ruling that was released Thursday, a panel of judges concludes that there are “reasonable grounds to believe that each of these three suspects bears responsibility for war crimes.” Mindzaev and Guchmazov held the top positions at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of South Ossetia, while Sanakoev served as the Presidential Representative for Human Rights of the breakaway region. “There are reasonable grounds to believe that civilians perceived...
    Georgia says it’s determined to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as soon as it fixes its “territorial problems” with Russia. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili made the announcement at an economic conference in Qatar on Tuesday, telling the crowd that the country’s “motivation is to become a member of NATO.” But he said Georgian leadership is “not naive” in its ambitions, and that it understands it must first “resolve” issues with its breakaway regions before joining the alliance. The country has long sought to join NATO, and although it’s considered a close partner to the Western alliance and regularly takes part in allied military drills, plans for accession have largely been viewed with skepticism because thousands of Russian troops are currently stationed in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. “Our government’s policy is to restore territorial integrity and sovereignty through peaceful negotiations. We have not been in contact with [Moscow] since we came to power. We have not had any political consultations since 2012, we have only trade and economic relations,” Garibashvili said. His comments seem...
    CAROLINE Crouch’s killer husband has been sent to a new hardcore prison after he was brutally beaten in a revenge attack. Babis Anagnostopoulos, 34, who was jailed for life for the murder of his Brit wife, had initially blamed a violent foreign gang for her death. 3Anagnostopoulos has been moved to a "tough, hardcore" prison 3Anagnostopoulos had blamed a foreign gang for Caroline's deathCredit: Tim Stewart He had claimed at the time that 20-year-old Caroline died in a botched robbery by "foreign" raiders who broke into their home in Glyka Nera, Greece. He had said he believed the attackers were from Georgia and Albania, going so far as to back up his claims by listening to taped recordings of dialects from both countries. A Georgian man with a history of burglary was arrested and brutally interrogated by police, but there was no forensic evidence to link him to the crime.  The 34-year-old kept up the charade for weeks but his elaborate web of lies was eventually uncovered after police pulled together a stack of digital evidence that disrupted his timeline of the alleged...
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced late Thursday that he is seeking arrest warrants for three men suspected of committing war crimes during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. All three — Lt.-Gen. Mikhail Mindzaev, Gamlet Guchmazov and David Sanakoev — served in the governments of the Russian-backed self-declared republic of South Ossetia. In a press release, chief prosecutor Karim Khan said his application focuses on the “unlawful confinement, ill-treatment, hostage taking and subsequent unlawful transfer of ethnic Georgian civilians” in August 2008. Mindzaev and Guchmazov held the top positions at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of South Ossetia, while Sanakoev served as the Presidential Representative for Human Rights of the breakaway region. The Hague-based court opened an investigation into the conflict, which killed hundreds and left thousands of civilians displaced, in 2016. Russia invaded Georgia after violence broke out between separatist groups and Georgian forces. In 2021, the European Court of Human Rights concluded that “grave human rights abuses” occurred on Russian-held territory. Khan noted in his statement that...
    HISTORY will be made as Ireland and Italy face off in the Six Nations. With Italy having not won in the Six Nations since 2015, there is an endless debate about whether they should have a guaranteed spot in the competition or whether countries like Georgia should get to participate. 3Nika Amashukeli takes charge of Ireland vs ItalyCredit: Getty And this weekend, a Georgian will be participating in the competition but not as a player. Nika Amashukeli will referee his first ever Six Nations match. JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply) Who is Nika Amashukeli? Nika Amashukeli was born in 1994 in Tbilisi. At age 11, he joined a local club called Jiki, where he played as a centre. However, he was forced to retire aged just 20 due to knee injuries. Amashukeli became inspired to become a referee from watching Wayne Barnes officiate Georgia's match against Ireland in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. In 2013, Georgian Rugby Union began a relationship with the IFRU, which...
    Luge is Saba Kumaritashvili’s family business. His great-grandfather is credited with bringing the sport to their homeland, the former Soviet republic of Georgia, more than a half-century ago. His father runs the national federation, as his relatives have for decades. At home, his family is synonymous with sliding. At the Olympics, his family is synonymous with sadness. He qualified for the Beijing Games with hopes of changing that. It’s been 12 years since his cousin, Nodar Kumaritashvili, died in a training accident at the Vancouver Games, a death that still haunts the sport, especially so every four years when the Olympics roll around and the memories get rekindled. Nodar was 21 when he would have made his Olympic debut; Saba is 21 now, about to make his Olympic debut. Put simply, Saba slides for his country. For his family. And for Nodar. “Every generation of our family had at least one luge sportsman, and now my father and I are continuing this tradition and following Nodar’s footsteps,” Saba Kumaritashvili said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Thinking about him...
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Thousands of protesters rallied in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Monday to demand the release of the country’s jailed former President Mikheil Saakashvili. Saakashvili has remained behind bars since his arrest on Oct. 1 following his return from Ukraine in a bid to bolster opposition forces ahead of nationwide municipal elections. The elections were eventually swept by members of the ruling Georgian Dream party, but the opposition alleged fraud. Saakashvili left Georgia in 2013 following the end of his presidency due to term limits. He later was stripped of his citizenship and sentenced in absentia to six years in prison on abuse-of-power convictions. Saakashvili and his supporters reject the accusations as politically motivated. Supporters contend that Saakashvili’s health has seriously deteriorated as he launched a hunger strike while in prison, but Georgian authorities insist that his vital signs are normal. Justice Minister Rati Begradze said last week that Saakashvili has been consuming cereal and fruit juices. Saakashvili’s supporters have pushed for his transfer from a prison in Rustavi, 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of the...
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has signed an agreement to continue American support for Georgia’s military for six years. The current agreement for such support is to expire at the end of the year, but Austin and Georgian Defense Minister Junasher Burchuladze signed the replacement agreement Monday during Austin’s visit to the country. Austin said the U.S. support will help the former Soviet republic on the Black Sea build “effective deterrence and defense.” U.S. support has included participating in military exercises with Georgian forces. Georgia and Russia fought a short war in 2008 that ended with Russia gaining control of two separatist republics that account for about 20% of Georgia’s territory. In a meeting with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Austin said “the United States condemns Russia’s ongoing occupation of Georgia and its attempts to expand influence into the Black Sea region through military coercion and malign activities.” Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The former president of Georgia wrote that he was able to see Padumi and Kudaisi, as well as eat Kachchapuri. In Tbilisi, he ordered Kinkali, but was unable to complete them before arrest Former President of Georgia Mikhail Sakashvili said he had returned to his homeland due to unavoidable and boundless depression. He is about it Said In an interview with the Georgian TV channel Mtavari TV. So, when asked about his reasons for returning, Sakashvili replied: “It’s inevitable, boundless depression. Every night I dream about different places in Georgia. I think when we look at democracy, geopolitics, the destruction of internal institutions, we think we have crossed the line of no return. Sakashvili writes that this is not his first attempt to come to Georgia. “It didn’t go exactly as I had planned. Something was done to make the first attempt almost a tragic end,” he said. During his four-day secret stay in Georgia, he traveled to Batumi, Kudaysi, Bodi, and Lanchkudi, and “ate ribs in the Rikotsky Sea,” Sakashvili said. “In Tbilisi, I was ordered to...
    The Paralympic Games start on August 24. Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon A Paralympic athlete from Georgia is suspected of assaulting a security guard at a Tokyo hotel. They reportedly pushed the guard to the floor after being asked to keep the noise down while partying. Japanese media reports that the guard broke a rib and has filed a criminal complaint. Business Insider: A daily selection of curated stories Loading Something is loading. Email address By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. A Paralympic athlete from the nation of Georgia is suspected of assaulting a security guard at a Tokyo hotel. According to The Japan Times, the athlete, who competes in judo, attacked the guard in the early hours of last Thursday morning. The guard had reportedly asked him and his teammates, who had been drinking in a quarantine hotel, to keep the noise down. The Georgian Paralympic team is quarantining at the hotel after an athlete tested positive for COVID-19,...
    Carballés was outscored 6-3 and 6-2 by the Georgian in his debut in the men’s Olympic competition Roberto Carballés, eliminated at the Tokyo Olympics Kai Fösterling / Kai Fösterling / . 07/24/2021 08: 04Updated to 07/24/2021 11:24 The Spanish tennis player Roberto Carballés fell into the first round of the tournament of the Tokyo Olympics before the Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, by two sets to zero. Carballés was surpassed by 6-3 and 6-2 by the Georgian in his debut in the men’s Olympic competition, played at the Ariake Stadium, in a match that lasted one hour and 13 minutes. It may interest you The Canarian tennis player thus says goodbye to the Tokyo Games, in which he continues Alexander Davidovich, after winning in the first round, while they have yet to debut Pablo Andújar and Pablo Carreño, the main medal candidate for the Spanish team. Show comments {“allowComment”: “allowed”, “articleId”: “0f7c05e8-ec43-11eb-84dd-5adf680808ce”, “url”: “https: / / www.mundodeportivo.com / Olympic-games / 20210724 /410653267638/carballes-se-despide-de-tokyo-al-caer-ante-basilashvili.html”,”livefyre-url”:”0f7c05e8-ec43-11eb-84dd-5adf680808ce “} Loading next content …
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgia edged closer to ending a months-long political crisis after several opposition parties signed a deal Monday that was brokered by the European Union. However, the biggest opposition force, the United National Movement, refrained from signing the document proposed by European Council President Charles Michel. It said it would decide whether to sign when Michel visits the ex-Soviet nation Tuesday. The political situation in Georgia has been tense since the Oct. 31 parliamentary elections. The governing Georgian Dream party won the vote, but the United National Movement charged that the vote was rigged and refused to concede defeat, demanding a rerun. By signing the document Monday, several opposition parties agreed to enter parliament, which they have been boycotting since the elections. The agreement offers reforms of the Central Election Commission and the prosecutor’s office. It also envisages that if the Georgian Dream party fails to receive at least 43% of the votes in this year’s municipal elections, it will agree to hold new parliamentary elections. The document also implies the release of Nika Melia, the...
    Protesters on Wednesday laid siege to the restaurant in Tbilisi that hosted a Russian birthday party and pelted it with eggs – Davit Kachkachishvili/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images The Kremlin has warned Russians not to travel to Georgia after protesters pelted eggs at the holiday party of a Russian news anchor on his birthday. An angry mob on Wednesday night laid siege to an upscale hotel in central Tbilisi where Vladimir Pozner, a prominent Russian TV host, was having dinner the night before his birthday. Protests were spurred by several Georgian politicians who insisted that the 87-year-old journalist was not welcome in Georgia after he said in 2010 that people of the breakaway region of Abkhazia do not seem to want to be part of Georgia. The Kremlin on Thursday condemned the attack, raising concerns about the safety of Russian tourists. The neighbouring country is a popular getaway destination for Russians. “Georgia is dangerous for Russian citizens, and Russians should be fully aware of it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, thanking Georgian police for providing security for the...
    Dani Olmo, with a distant shot in the discount to which the goalkeeper Giorgi Loria could not respond correctly, allowed Spain to take a difficult victory from Tbilisi by 1-2 against Georgia in his second match of the qualifying phase for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. After drawing against Greece in their first game in Granada Luis Enrique’s team couldn’t afford another stumble. It was about to happen in another clash in which he lacked depth, precision and accuracy against a very close rival who created problems against him. In the Georgian capital he even went behind on the scoreboard with a both of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia at the edge of the break that could have been a hard blow for the Spanish team. However, after the resumption the Red knew the importance of the party of facing the qualification for the World Cup and came out with the knife between his teeth. A Ferrán Torres’s shot to the center of Jordi Alba in 56 it allowed him neutralize advantage local. After trying by all means with the very active...
    Getty The border between Georgia and Abkhazia is oddly desolate. A long, wide bridge crosses a narrow river that has almost run dry. There is nearly more water on the bridge than under it. And as the bridge is in the no-man’s-land that lies between the mother country and the breakaway republic, no-one takes responsibility for its upkeep. With every year that passes, the gaping potholes in the asphalt get deeper. A clutch of women clothed in black followed behind me, all weighed down with carrier bags laden with Georgian goods. Every now and then, a car emblazoned with the logo of some international aid organization crept across the bridge. Three thin horses passed us pulling a cartload of people who had paid so as not to have to cross the no-man’s-land on foot. I reached the three or four shacks that made up passport control, and waited in the queue. It is not particularly difficult for foreigners to get an entry visa to Akbhazia, you just have to remember to register on the official government website a few weeks...
    The border between Georgia and Abkhazia is oddly desolate. A long, wide bridge crosses a narrow river that has almost run dry. There is nearly more water on the bridge than under it. And as the bridge is in the no-man’s-land that lies between the mother country and the breakaway republic, no-one takes responsibility for its upkeep. With every year that passes, the gaping potholes in the asphalt get deeper. A clutch of women clothed in black followed behind me, all weighed down with carrier bags laden with Georgian goods. Every now and then, a car emblazoned with the logo of some international aid organization crept across the bridge. Three thin horses passed us pulling a cartload of people who had paid so as not to have to cross the no-man’s-land on foot.NEWSLETTERSBeast Travel DigestGet the entire world in your inbox.SubscribeBy Clicking "Subscribe" you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy PolicyI reached the three or four shacks that made up passport control, and waited in the queue. It is not particularly difficult for foreigners to get...
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — A top European Union official visited ex-Soviet republic Georgia on Monday and urged all of its parties to engage in a dialogue to resolve the country's political crisis. “My visit coincides with an aggravating political crisis in Georgia, which deeply worries the European Union, and I am also personally deeply worried by it,” European Council President Charles Michel said. The political situation in Georgia has been tense amid allegations of voter fraud in the country’s Oct. 31 parliamentary election. The ruling Georgian Dream party won the vote, but the opposition United National Movement has refused to concede defeat and demanded a rerun. Tensions escalated last week following the arrest of the United National Movement's leader, Nika Melia. He faces charges of inciting violence during protests that erupted in 2019 when a Russian lawmaker sat in the parliament speaker’s chair during a meeting of lawmakers from Orthodox Christian countries. Melia had been freed on bail, but was arrested again last week on charges of violating bail terms. Thousands of opposition supporters marched across the Georgian capital last...
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — A top European Union official visited ex-Soviet republic Georgia on Monday and urged all of its parties to engage in a dialogue to resolve the country’s political crisis. “My visit coincides with an aggravating political crisis in Georgia, which deeply worries the European Union, and I am also personally deeply worried by it,” European Council President Charles Michel said. The political situation in Georgia has been tense amid allegations of voter fraud in the country’s Oct. 31 parliamentary election. The ruling Georgian Dream party won the vote, but the opposition United National Movement has refused to concede defeat and demanded a rerun. Tensions escalated last week following the arrest of the United National Movement’s leader, Nika Melia. He faces charges of inciting violence during protests that erupted in 2019 when a Russian lawmaker sat in the parliament speaker’s chair during a meeting of lawmakers from Orthodox Christian countries. Melia had been freed on bail, but was arrested again last week on charges of violating bail terms. Thousands of opposition supporters marched across the Georgian...
    TBILISI (Reuters) - European Council President Charles Michel on Monday called on the Georgian government and opposition to defuse tension in a political crisis that has led to street protests and the resignation of the prime minister last month. Georgian opposition supporters have taken to the streets in recent weeks to demand the release of opposition politician Nika Melia and call for fresh parliamentary elections after a contested vote last year. On Monday, a small group of protesters marched to the residence of former prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of the ruling Georgian Dream party, where they chanted and blared horns to call for a new parliamentary vote, according to the Sputnik Georgia news outlet. "The European Union calls on all sides to intensify their efforts to de-escalate the situation and get together to find common ground," Michel said alongside Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili at a news conference in the capital Tbilisi. Police last week detained Melia, chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, after storming its offices and clashing with his supporters. Melia had been accused of...
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Police in Georgia stormed the headquarters of the country’s main opposition party and arrested its leader on Tuesday. The arrest of Nika Melia, head of the United National Movement, aggravates that political tensions that have been rising since the October parliamentary election that the opposition is demanding be rerun. The move by police came hours after parliament named a new prime minister, whose predecessor opposed arresting Melia because of concerns that it would escalate the country's political crisis. Melia faces charges of inciting violence during protests in 2019. He had been released on bail and ordered to wear an electronic bracelet. But the bail was raised by 40,000 lari ($12,000) in November after he removed the bracelet; he refused to pay the additional bail. Georgian news reports say about 20 other people were arrested in the police action at the opposition headquarters. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Associated Press, elections, crime
    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Police in Georgia stormed the headquarters of the country’s main opposition party and arrested its leader on Tuesday. The arrest of Nika Melia, head of the United National Movement, aggravates that political tensions that have been rising since the October parliamentary election that the opposition is demanding be rerun. The move by police came hours after parliament named a new prime minister, whose predecessor opposed arresting Melia because of concerns that it would escalate the country’s political crisis. Melia faces charges of inciting violence during protests in 2019. He had been released on bail and ordered to wear an electronic bracelet. But the bail was raised by 40,000 lari ($12,000) in November after he removed the bracelet; he refused to pay the additional bail. Georgian news reports say about 20 other people were arrested in the police action at the opposition headquarters. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    “I have made the decision to leave my post”, declared Mr. Gakharia during a government meeting broadcast on television, saying that he saw in this judicial decision a “risk to the health and the life of our fellow citizens and which created the possibility of political escalation in the country “. This opponent, Nika Melia, leader of the Unified National Movement (MNU), a party founded by ex-president in exile Mikheïl Saakashvili, is accused by the courts of having organized “mass violence” in 2019. A Georgian court ordered his remand in custody on Wednesday. He faces nine years in prison. His supporters denounce political prosecution and have warned that they will resist any attempt by the police to arrest him. The opponent is in Tbilisi at the party’s headquarters, where the leaders of almost all of the opposition formations met on Wednesday to support him. Georgian television showed footage of riot police approaching the premises on Wednesday evening. The imprisonment of Mr. Melia risks aggravating the political crisis shaking Georgia since the legislative elections in October, marred by fraud according...
    THE wild adventures of Regency toffs and tarts in Bridgerton have entertained 63million viewers around the world. But real-life Georgian England was even more raucous than the show suggests. 10Bridgerton, starring Phoebe Dynevor, has entertained viewers with the wild adventures of Regency toffs and tartsCredit: Netflix Rod McPhee reveals the parallels between London in the late 18th and early 19th Century and storylines in the Netflix hit drama. Gossip AT the heart of Bridgerton are Lady Whistledown’s writings on scandal and affairs in upper-class London. And throughout the Regency era, magazines, “scandal sheets” and gossip columns in newspapers had similarly salacious tittle tattle. 10Theodore Hook launched Sunday newspaper The John Bull in 1820 Town And Country Magazine featured a monthly column profiling the love life and scandals of an unnamed “celebrity” couple who patrons of coffee houses and salons in London would try to guess the identity of. In 1820, Theodore Hook launched Sunday newspaper The John Bull. He kept his editorship secret and used his links in society to get as much gossip as possible. Hook even used it...
    On New Year’s Eve of 2015, the government of Adjara, an administrative region in the southwest corner of Georgia, issued a decree granting a company called Zimo Ltd. permission to unearth two swamp cypresses and a 650-ton, 135-year-old tulip tree from the Black Sea coast. For a fee of 6,200 Lari (about $1,875), the company could haul the trees onto boats and ship them 25 miles north, to be replanted in an elaborate park owned by businessman and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. The decree was not well-received. On the day of the move, the diggers were flanked by 40 police officers, who would later detain five protesters from the activist group Guerilla Gardening Tbilisi for attempting to stop a tractor. When the barge pushed off from shore, an onlooker snapped a photo. The shot looks out at the gray water where, in the foreground, the massive tulip tree straddles a raft with absurdly slight proportions, like a clown on a tricycle. The photo instantly went viral, consuming the Georgian internet, which dubbed it “the swimming tree”—half in anger,...
    ATLANTA — A group of past, present, and future congressional leaders urged Georgians on Wednesday to vote Republican in the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff election, warning that Democrat candidates would only serve as a rubber stamp for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) political agenda. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), Rep.-elect Byron Donalds (R-FL), former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), former representative and former Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price (R), and others spoke Wednesday evening at artist Steve Penley’s gallery in Buckhead about the significance of the January 5 runoffs. “The secret to winning in my opinion is to reveal the individual that Raphael Warnock truly is,” Walker told Breitbart News. “If you can paint the picture of who he is, it ought to scare the hell out of every Georgian.” Walker and Democrat candidate Warnock are both pastors. Walker, who recently launched his bid for U.S. Senate in 2022, criticized fellow pastors for avoiding involvement in the Georgia runoffs. “I also want to call out some of these pansy pastors who have said, ‘You know, politically, I’ll let...
    By Margarita Antidze TBILISI (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters rallied in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Saturday to back opposition calls for a re-run of the Oct. 31 parliamentary election they say was rigged. According to official results, the ruling Georgian Dream party won 48.23% of the vote, with the largest opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), taking 27.18%. Yet the opposition accuses Georgian Dream and its supporters of vote buying, making threats against voters and observers, and of violations during the count. Eight opposition parties including the UNM have said they would boycott parliament. Georgian Dream leaders have denied the accusations. The opposition is demanding the resignation of Tamar Zhvania, head of the Central Election Commission, and the holding of fresh elections. "We will fight till the end and won't allow our country to be governed by an oligarch," Gigi Ugulava, an opposition leader, told thousands of protesters, referring to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the ruling party head and the country's wealthiest man. Critics say Ivanishvili, who does not hold a government post, runs the South Caucasus country of 3.7...
    By Margarita Antidze TBILISI (Reuters) - Thousands of people rallied in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Sunday to support opposition parties that have rejected the result of Oct. 31 parliamentary elections and called for a fresh vote. The Central Election Commission said the ruling Georgian Dream party won 48.23% of the vote, with the largest opposition party United National Movement (UNM) taking 27.18%. After the result gave the ruling party the right to form a government, eight opposition parties, including the UNM, said they would boycott the parliament. The opposition accuses the ruling party and its supporters of vote buying, making threats against voters and local observers and of violations during the counting process. Georgian Dream leaders have denied the accusations. "This regime and this government are illegitimate ... these [election] results are illegitimate," Nika Melia, a UNM leader, told thousands of protesters, most of them wearing protective masks due to the coronavirus concerns. An alliance of more than 30 opposition parties gave Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of Georgian Dream and the country's wealthiest man, a Sunday night deadline to...
    TBILISI (Reuters) - Unidentified gunmen took up to 20 people hostage in Georgia on Wednesday, in a branch of the commercial Bank of Georgia in the town of Zugdidi, police said, according to the TV channel Mtavari. Negotiations were under way and the gunmen were demanding a sum of $500,000, the channel reported. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Kevin Liffey) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags: crime, Europe, Georgia (country)
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