As of lately South Ossetia and Abkhazia have nothing in common with Kosovo, they are similar to Northern Cyprus, and Turkey's decision to recognize Northern Cyprus as a nation of its own. Decades later, what Cyprus is going through is just pitiful. Russia calls for others to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and rallies countries like Cuba, Belarus and Venezuela. They even dared ask Turkey. I am sure there will be Syria there too, showing gratitude for recently purchased "defense" systems. I bet Syria will get some freebies for this recognition. Turkey is very unlikely to go along though. I have pretty bad record for predicting things, but I do not think Turks have given up their European aspirations, and their business in Georgia is way more than a hotel in Sokhumi.

All of the anti-Russian talk aside, I pity Ossetians and Abkhaz who followed their leadership. Will they live better in Russia than they would in Georgia? I question that. Look at Chechens, they had aspirations and they were shot at.

Neither South Ossetia, nor Abkhazia has been what would be called "independent" last 15-17 years. They were told what to do by Moscow, and that's what they did. Why? Because Moscow paid pensions and salaries in both statelets.

Ossetia is a pasture land that survives on 60% Russian "donation" and the rest robbing people as they exit the tunnel. Lenght of Ossetia-Russia relationship's history can be easily summed up by the fact that Russians use a Georgian word to refer to the ethnic group. In Georgian, Ossetians are called "osi", "-eti" is added at the end to identify the place where people live/come from (e.g. Rusi/Ruseti, Turqi/Turqeti). Russians "conveniently" took Georgian Oseti, and by adding an -a, turned it into Ossetia and Ossetians became Ossetinets. Yet, they tout their "closeness" to each other.

Georgia has lost the war, but future will see how happy Abkhaz and Ossetians will be "independent" and at the same time dependent on Russia.


If there is no word Democracyphobia, there should be one!

By the way, I would like to link to a blog entry by jibs called Why Russia is wrong to attack Georgia. I personally agree with jibs on everything he says there and is very well written. Thanks jibs!


I cannot talk about this without pain. Since my last post, many things changed. I discovered the anger in me towards every party involved in this conflict. A few people who usually check this blog out know about Caucasus more than just a few Wiki articles' worth of cliff notes. They know that this is not a conflict that was started on 8/8/8. What happened on 8/8/8 was a result of Russian policies, Ossetian stubbornness and Georgian stupidity. Ossetians blame Georgians, while they let their government get them to this end result, which themselves acted like the boy who cried wolf. For months they screamed "Georgia will attack next week", "Georgia will attack next month", finally in power to avert this figured that there was no reason to do anything. In the wolf version of the story, boy gets eaten. In our story, it's not the Ossetian government that gets "eaten", but rather the innocent people instead.

Russians care less about South Ossetian people, or any Caucasian people for that matter. All you have to do is look at the immediate North East of Georgia to see that Russians are not in this game to save innocent minorities.

We are all to be blamed for this tragedy. I am not an apologist, i just realize that this is not comparable to America's invasion of Iraq - Georgians and Ossetians will have to live next to each other for years to come, there are no seven sees separating us. Once US leaves Iraq, it will be "out of sight, out of mind". We on the other hand will still be here, and they will still be here. Centuries of intermarriages and friendships have been destroyed and all for what?

I want peace, not just ceasefire. I want people to realize that Caucasus is too small to have half a dozen conflicts in less than two decades. It's not like a family that cannot agree on things, we cannot get a divorce.

My thoughts go to those who died, but did not have to. My thoughts go those who are dying as I write this, but don't have to.


It is not finished, and I am not sure if I will finish it. I will try, but figured that as topic is current, I will just upload it as is.

Day after day it is becoming obvious that the separatists have no desire to settle the conflict - even when at the brink of the war, they refuse to have discussions. They are not even firm on their position, last three days they managed to change their decision at least twice. Meanwhile, there was more shooting this afternoon...


I am posting a new cartoon after a few weeks of inactivity. Even though it was not a vacation, let's call it that way. Things took place that I would love to comment about during that time, but I think I needed some recuperation time.

Well, one of the news these days is Tskhinvali demanding that North Ossetia be part of any talks that take place. Well, here's my take on that.

nation of thugs

I find it painful to look at immediate consequences of elections. All the "nasty" stuff that would definitely disturb the National Movement's reelection was introduced right after new parliament took oath.

We learned after elections that the building next to the city hall that in any other country would be considered a historical monument is being demolished to give way to another bank headquarters. Bank Republic does not like the "ultra modern" building they have on Ateni street any more it seems, they want to be closer to Gigi. What pisses people off even more is that according to some sources owners of the deelopment company involved are two men who happen to be fathers of MPs from the National Movement.

And, all of a sudden street vending is an offense again after four months of a break. Worst of all, police started acting like thugs. Incident that I witnessed does not take place in a democratic society.

Old woman was selling herbs on the street, while dealing with a client policeman knocks off hrebs from her hand and grabs the bag with the produce to walk off with it. As the customer shouts "do you have no shame", he shouts back "go deal with your family, or I will round you up with them". People stood and stared. People did not dare speak up during communism, and they do not dare to speak up now either.

In defense of an old woman who is forced to live on a pension that would not buy her more than bread and butter for the whole month, she is probably not even making 10 dollars a day after she pays for gas and electricity and phone and sanitation. What can profit margin on herbs be?

As policemen get paid steady 500-600 GEL salary, they start to forget what those people go through. And leave their sense of respect of elders at the last supra they visited.

Street vending is unclean and gives the city an "oriental" feel that "we" are apparently very strongly opposing. First of all, Tbilisi was never a "European" city - it has a meidan, it has a karavansarai, it has a middle eastern feel to it. Never mind European or not, when you demolish a market and force people into space that is one tenth of the original space, you will have rogues that either cannot efford expensive spots in the new market or simply cannot find any. These rogues supply to us food that is either overpriced elsewhere or cannot be located easily. I will not go to Goodwill to buy cilantro and dill.

Oh, you have to see the export grade cilantro and dill Georgia produces. It is something completely different. We just do not deserve them, you simply cannot get them, they go to Ukraine, Baltics and Eastern Europe...

Welcome to the nation of thugs!

opposition in denial

I have not actually drawn anything for couple weeks. This one is almost thee weeks old one that ran in the Georgia Today. I don't think much needs to be said about it. Opposition has been and still is childish and that's it in a nutshell.

symbol of prosperity

We officially have a symbol of prosperity, it's a four hundred year old olive tree.

A 400 year-old olive tree planted on Rustaveli Avenue

A 400 year-old olive tree has replaced a young plane tree in the center of Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi. The tree has a long history and it is a present which Georgia's Catholicos Patriarch has recieved from Italy. ''This tree is a symbol of Georgia's prosperity,'' Catholicos-Patriarch, Ilia II announced today. His Holiness blessed the olive tree and attended the process of planting today.

Winston called me a cynic when I said that the tree does not have much left to live. There are many ways that may happen, and that is not the point of the post. Just to make things clear, I have no intention of taking any part of assisting the tree's demise.

Point I am trying to make here is about the symbol itself. It is un-Georgian. We have to stop clinging to other nations' core values and making them ours. We should develop our own instead. Georgian language has a word for olive, and it's a very interesting word ზეთისხილი (zetiskhili). Literally, it means fruit of oil. But ზეთი (zeti) itself is a borrowed word and source of the borrowing is olive in Turkish. It is probably because we are not Mediterranean, and probably because preferred grease of Georgia has been ერბო (erbo), same thing that Indians call ghee, and is known in the West as clarified butter.

Why would one establish a tree that is clearly non-Georgian as a symbol of anything? Is that because we already sold every forest that bears traditionally Georgian trees, and we are forced to import symbolism? Or is it because the only way we see ourselves as a part of the European family is to have same symbols?

First we favor word ტოლერანტობა (tolerantoba) instead of already existing Georgian word შემწყნარებლობა (shemtsknarebloba), then we overlook Amirani in favor of Prometheus, now we adopt Olive tree as the symbol of prosperity. What is next?

who shall clean it up?

One of the most repulsive parts of Georgian election process is the campaigning one. In a rare interview, Vano Merabishvili, Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia declared that one of the main reasons National Movement won was because they campaigned better than others.

To me this translates into:

  • We lied the best

  • We spent most money on billboards and posters

I have nothing to say about the first one, at least for now. It's the second one that I find bothersome. I stopped questioning the source of all their money, and decided to accept that business owners donate for one reason or another.

Problem is not the posters they used, but rather how they used them. I know there are few rotten apples in every basket, and one may blame those for improperly placed posters. Yet, it is more or less systematic, and all across town, making it more widespread than not. I decided to take a few photos to document their campaigning efforts.

To start with, I find the whole poster business un-European. A nation that claims to be part of the West, both by religion and culture should have enough moral values not to destroy both private and public property for the sake of being reelected. Unfortunately, it does not hold up. After sticking posters to any usable space they could find, they have sent a cleaning crew around town. Last couple days seem to be the ones when the cleaning people went through extra effort to try and remove any markings that would hold resemblance to the party that financed those posters. It is quite depressing to see white glue and torn paper all over the city.

It seems that temporary wooden fences were not enough for them, they used street name plaques, building walls, telephone and lamp posts, anything that they could stick papers to.

In order to get their voice heard, they put their posters over other parties' posters. They even used extra strong glue, so that they would not be torn off. Maybe they were thinking ahead, and used enough glue so that in four years, they won't have to put up as many posters, a lot of posters from this time around will be still around. You might find it to be a laughing matter, but old town still has posters from four years ago here and there.

Police arrested people for stenciling "I remember November 7" on Leselidze street, yet posters that took same spots and now cannot be removed without redoing walls managed to get their doers into the Parliament. There is not freedom of expression in Georgia. You are free to express yourself, as long as you are willing to spend at least a few days incarcerated. Unless of course your expression coincides with the one of the government...

who's job is it to clean up?

who's job is it to clean up?

who's job is it to clean up?

who's job is it to clean up?

And this is their version of clean up:
their version of clean up

nothing says gutsy, like standing up to a bully

Not much to say here - Georgia asks for an apology and monetary compensation. As I expected, almost a week later, no one speaks of it. Not only that, Russians did not even bother responding to it, at least I did not see it in the breaking news section.

shooting foot, or more like chopping off whole leg

Before the news goes stale - opposition unity is already questionable. Actually, it's an eight party coalition now. How do you manage to lose a party within a few days after elections? Well, it's quite simple I guess. They suggested, and it seems that they are still actively pursuing the idea of an alternative parliament. Boycott turned out to be somewhat unpopular, majoritarian MP from on the the opposition parties refused to boycott, claiming that he has to server his electorate. At least there is one wise person in the bunch.

When asked what happened, leaders of the united opposition decided to blame voters. It is a known fact by know that some people in the opposition have pretty uncivilized ways of talking about the president, but calling voters "stupid" seems not only unfair, but also suicidal. Neither was the rephrased version cheerful - voters are apparently selfish and put their personal well-being ahead of that of the country.

What a surprise, people are selfish. I wish opposition said something new. Alas, they are drowning in the pit they decided to fill with tar themselves. They helped Imedi become popular, and Christian Democrats managed to pocket that popularity. They made November 7 happen, people pocketed 50 Lari vouchers for gas and electricity, and voted to Misha. We are back to square one. January elections gave me a hope, I thought that the Georgian politics was becoming more competitive and diverse. Surveys released prior to May 21 elections seemed to back the idea of diverse, hence strong legislative body, but reality turned out to be pretty grim.

People do not change easily, it takes generations to learn what democracy is. Unfortunately, many of those who got elected this time are the ones who managed to take advantage of unstability of the country during last decade to make money. Now, it seems that best way they found to retain the wealth is to be the ones to command the law. Georgians have to learn to leave their business interests behind when they join the legislative body, but that has yet to materialize. Most join to protect those interests, few have real motivation to help the people and the country.

single-party democracy

National Movement picked up enough votes to have the constitutional majority. Misha promised that each amendment will be talked over with all shades of opposition, but we will see that...


Here's what Bagapsh said according to article
Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh, instructed the breakaway region’s government to develop a comprehensive plan on how the authorities could help foster repatriation of ethnic Abkhazians.

“We do not need Abkhazia without Abkhazians,” he said at a meeting with senior Abkhaz officials from the executive and legislative authorities on May 6, Apsnipress reported.

He said that “numerous trips” by Abkhaz officials and representatives of the Abkhaz intelligentsia to Turkey failed to result into “mass repatriation” of ethnic Abkhazians to the breakaway region.

I wonder why repatriation would not take place. Would it have anything to do with the fact that parts of Abkhazia are militarized? Or is it that it has not been rebuilt yet, and buildings are in shoddy condition? Or is it that Georgians are threatening to take action against anyone who illegally comes into possession of IDP property? Or maybe it has something to do with Abkhaz in Turkey feeling better living in Turkey, compared to potential of a Russian dominated war-zone?

I really wonder...

who should resign?

Thanks to Greg, now I am aware that I have been accused of Misha-bashing and made a reason for failed efforts to unite Georgia... Se, here's an example of non-Misha-bashing cartoon I recently did.

I was telling a friend a few days ago that I am undecided about elections. In the US, undecided usually means "not sure which candidate". With me, it's "not sure if I will even go to vote". I probably will. I wish I could vote against certain people, rather than for some people. I just know who I don't like.

Going back to Misha-bashing, I don't think what I usually say (either using text, or by drawing) about Misha is anywhere near what the opposition says. And, even worst is their state of mind. They constantly change their mind. So, I am suggesting they print a single banner, and just fill in the ____ with the "name of the day". First it was Misha, then it was Nino, then it was the head of the CEC (whose name is escaping me). It seems that their silver bullet is someone leaving. But who will or should replace the person that leaves? In their opinion it has to be one of their people (the opposition). Should not they earn the right to appoint though?

They have yet to understand that bashing is not the way you get support of enough people to proceed. Maybe I am naive, but people are not as hateful as the opposition wants them to be.

million tourists

This one is from couple months ago as well, February 7, to be exact. Government made an announcement that Georgia was visited by 1 million tourists in 2007. Not 920 thousand, not million and 23 thousand, but exactly 1 million. While I do not have as big of a problem with rounding, I have a problem with the number. It just seems overly large.

Ok, let's step back for a second. Imaging there were 10 international flights a day to and from Tbilisi (I believe there are less than 5 daily flights) and out of 150-something passengers that fit in a plane (keep in mind that large planes do not fly to Georgia much), 100 are foreigners. It's very generous estimate, but still. That would only give us 365 thousand. So, where do 635 thousand come from?

World Tourism Organization includes people who travel on business in the definition as well, but would an Azeri farmer bringing over a truckload of pomegranates be considered a tourist? Russian border was closed I believe all of 2007, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey would be able to supply more than half a million foreigners without a problem, but how many of them should be considered tourists?

What about those Americans/Europeans who cross Armenian or Turkish border every 90 days, just to get a new Georgian visa? I've crosses Georgian border with my fiancee many times (close to a dozen in 2007) and only on couple occasions was she asked what the purpose of her visit is. Response is always the same, "she's my spouse". It seems to stop questions immediately.

Who is supposed to be so stupid to take that statement without questioning it, who was the target?

catching up is hard to do

I realized that I have a few cartoons that never made it to this blog for one reason or another. I will try to put them up one by one next few days and give some info along with each of them. This one does not need much commenting, but I would like to explain what drove me to do it.

Education situation in Georgia is somewhat fragile and confusing. I personally believe that when a country needs to have a decent access to books in order for education reforms to be counted as successful. Unfortunately, books are not very good for money laundering and they are not very profitable either.

At the point I drew this (December 2007), there were three main sources that a person could direct his attention to in order to find a book he desires/needs. There were (and still are) just a few new bookstores. While they are pretty from outside and pleasant inside, they have issues with the selection they provide. Propsero's tends to stock New York Times top three (could be two), odd selection of science dictionaries from the 20th century and cheap, but great out-of-copyright novels. Parnasus (and the like) tend to have current Georgian literature (unfortunately printed using crappy paper) and Taschen. One would think that with all the Taschen books out there, Georgians would get the sense of proper architecture...
There are also Old, Soviet-time bookstores that could not afford paying rent just by selling books and turned into a stores that sell all kind of goods, as well as books. Last one, and still more or less the best source is street vendors. They are the best, as they happen to be the only ones that have wider selection of books. Their selection is not limited to current Georgian literature, and includes older, out of print books, as well as books in Russian.

Last fall was a breaking point. In the midst of grand scheme of things happened to be the Soviet-time bookstores and street vendors. Street vendors do not fit into the new vision of Tbilisi streets life. Same goes for the Soviet-time bookstores.

Results could have been pretty grave if not for the November events. I am not praising opposition, and neither condemn/praise the government. Street vendors happened to be the disenfranchised group that had only one desire, to continue their business. Fortunately, the government saw that using police to kick them out of the street would not help matters and let them be.

Soviet-period bookstores were not so lucky. One by one they were replaced by more profitable businesses, to name a few: Collezione (Italian? fashion store), Dolce & Gabana, BasisBank (one of too many banks), Bank of Georgia, Sony (that has not taken place yet, but rumor has it that the Justice ministry is offering Sony former Saunje bookstore to compensate for property they took away from them).

Now, unless you tell me that books are not part of the education, how does the government consider that their education reforms are good?

elections are coming

I can't believe, it's that time again. Didn't we just have elections? Sure, these are different, and I managed to avoid last ones. I think I will be in town this time, and I may even vote. Unfortunately, I do not believe in every vote counts theory - especially when it is more or less decided. In my mind it is already decided. In less than three weeks, I will know better.

Opposition did all its best to keep presence in the Media either by protests in front of the Parliament, or by breaking down doors of the CEC office, or calling for this or that's resignation. Meanwhile, most of Tbilisi's billboards are rented by the national movement. I have yet to see non-national movement bill board anywhere. As much as people might dislike the national movement, it is a constant reminder and it may even stick in some people's minds.

I am not going to go off what is wrong with "we do, while they talk" slogan.

Cartoon above is more or less what opposition accused national movement of. I am wondering if it really was a miscommunication from the CEC's part to blame. Following happened, on the day when all the party lists were due, opposition demanded to see national movement's list. CEC people said that it was in another room locked up in a safe. When they scrambled to find keys, person who had the keys was not available. Opposition immediate started protesting, saying that the national movement's plan was to fill in the list later, depending on how opposition parties fill in their's.

List turned up. It was in a different room. I am not sure if it was the same day, or the next. But what? Burjanadze refused to run anyway...

it's always about Misha

Well, it seems that stability post did not go well with Greg. I do not think that he mentioned anything in his blog, but somewhat heated debate took place.

At one point, I mentioned what I really (personally) think about the latest conflict - it's a pre-election stunt.

Dollar might might be having a comeback, and it might make things a bit more complicated than Misha's people thought, with all pre-election spending, how do you more than double the pension? It's 70 GEL right now, and he promised 100 dollars back when dollar was at 1.70ish rate. Of course, now it's only 1.47, but it will most likely go back up.

Oh, and he is obsessed by Dubai - it's always about Dubai of Caucasus, only better. To start with, don't we need a decent airport for that?..


I did this cartoon for the Messenger as an alternative to the one in the previous post (the map one). But it got refused. Refused is probably too harsh of a word. It was not found to be as humorous as expected. However, intention was not humorous, it was bitter sarcasm. It was a pun on lapse of judgment on the city government's part. One does probably need to have some prior knowledge of the situation to get the cartoon.

City hall is in the middle of the city, with side streets always crowded and building being quite small. Somewhat logical decision was made to move most of the city services to an office building in a different part of town that would be able to better accommodate those who work there. Unfortunately, there was a big (and I mean big) lapse in judgment - a huge office building, and no parking lot, a 14+ floors of offices, and people have to use street parking? Building is right by a round-about which in the middle of the day is more or less a makeshift parking lot. It is ironic that the office that is supposed to work on traffic congestion issues creates traffic jams, instead of trying to get rid of them.

There is a long list of lapses, it's not really suitable for just one post. I have an idea that I have to put down on paper. Another one is the airport roofing issue when Turks claimed that they were not aware of existence of strong winds in Tbilisi. It was already discussed in this post.

will it ever be stable?

I am wondering if stability is ever possible between Georgia and Russia. A friend suggested that Georgia would need to do some bending, and even that is quite debatable. It is not likely that Russia will get off Georgia's case even Georgia went along with Russia's absurd demands. Even if Georgia quit its quest for NATO membership and declared neutrality, it will change little if anything.

Meanwhile, Russians are slowly swallowing Abkhazia and results may not be pretty. It will turn ugly for both Abkhazia and Georgia.

post-"NATO summit" impressions

There is a saying that after battle people swing fists. In our case, I expected more of pointing fingers, rather then fists. Unfortunately it did not turn out as bad. At least the government managed to sell the result of the summit to Georgian public as a success. Blame whoever you want...

Russia does not veto NATO. Yeah, right... And Germany is willing to stop getting gas from Russia if Russia says that Georgia's NATO membership is a problem, right? Who are we kidding, they have more than a veto power, they have fuel.

That brings us to a logical conclusion - what happens to NATO when members cannot decide what the priorities are?

Wasn't it fun? Months and months, we were all preparing for the day when in Bucharest, at the NATO summit, Georgia would be presented the Membership Action Plan. All we got was a communique with a promise. What now?


There might be nothing ironic in what I will write here. Just a collection of thoughts more or less related to this blog. I started this blog to share my doodles with those who could not get their hand on printed versions. I don't even know if it is possible to get a printed version of the Georgia Today in the US. Back in December neither the Messenger, not GT posted cartoons on the web version of their paper, so it went live. I never intended this blog to be exclusively "political/editorial cartoon" blog, but rather a place to dump all those ink drawings I do.

I am going to try and put a very non-political one here, see if it blows up in my face :)

Irony however, is how some people end up on my blog. Comments section seems to be exclusively empty, so I resorted to Google analytics. There is an interesting part of those analytics that tells you about people who find your site through Google search. It gives you the term they used. Last couple months I have seen odd combinations, sometimes so odd that I am shocked that this blog come up in the list of results. Not this week. It seems a bit "normal" this week. However, here's the list of searches for last few days:

  • cartoon georgia maps

  • georgia khachapuri

  • georgia tuday

  • georgian diasporas

  • multiplex solutions + swiss

  • roofing cartoons

I am curious if any of those people meant to see my cartoons. But they did click the link as it came up. For most of those terms is actually on the first page. Roofing cartoons? Strange...


Bucharest summit is over and Georgia did not get the MAP. Maybe Georgia got a better deal, only time will show. My opinion is that Georgia wants NATO membership to resolve conflicts, while NATO would prefer Georgia resolve its conflicts before letting it join.

no hope

Story is at least couple weeks old, but still unresolved. It is not yet clear who the owner of Imedi is, and there is a likelihood that this battle will very adversely affect Imedi itself. Recently I noticed a poster with Public Broadcaster's crowd, one of them being former Imedi anchor. People do not wait around for months on, it's already been at least five months, will the public be interested to see it come back?

Khinkali for NATO

Couple more days and we will see what is boiling in the pot for Georgia. I have heard that it quite possible that Georgia will get the MAP, and Putin will not be in Bucharest during the summit. Instead he will meet Bush in Sochi. I was told, Mr. Putin does not want to be there when Georgia gets the invitation.

Hunger strike vs fasting

This cartoon ran in the Messenger last week. I felt somewhat uncomfortable touching religion, but feel justified taking into consideration the fact that the Patriarch got involved in politics himself. My personal opinion is that the religion should stay out of politics, period. What we saw was a very reason church has to stay out of politics - it ended up in the middle, both sides claiming something that was never really there.

Religion was first brought up by Tbilisi's mayor though, as far as I know. He has been out of media attention for quite a while, and after couple months he made a "hunger strike is un-Christian" statement. A friend asked if I knew why hunger strike is un-Christian, and I do not. I have theories, but none of them seem plausible enough to share.

This cartoon did cause a little trouble - not as bad as Danish Islam-related cartoon did - between the owner and the editor of the newspaper. Well, it ran and I have not received any threatening phone calls just quite yet...

Welcome to Bucharest

There are only couple weeks left before the summit and some have their hopes a bit too high. There are a few countries that oppose the idea of Georgia being handed MAP, some are neutral, some want it and will support it. The real question is, will Bush's support make real difference? Possibly they will create a new status for Georgia and Ukraine, or tell both to wait a couple years and "re-apply"? Whatever the option, it is not very likely that Georgia will be getting a MAP this time around...

How to finance Misha's promises

They had to find a way to finance all those promises he made, did not they? It seems that slashing military budget is not an option, so new money was needed, so more property will be sold off - to finance at least some of the budget adjustments. There are a few problems with the change they introduced, they claim that economy will grow even more than expected, and inflation will stay at 8%. Last two months, inflation has been close to 12%, but annual will somehow manage to stick to 8%? Even with dollar taking a beating, inflation seems to be still high, what happens when dollar turns around and gets stronger? What happens when housing market blows in Tbilisi?

State of Opposition

Unfortunately, this is already outdated - opposition has fallen apart even more, and more new parties have been formed. They cannot agree whose resignation they want, about elections, about hunger strike, about this, about that...

Georgia in a nutshell


back to business, a bit over a year later, Tbilisi airport loses part of the roofing again. This is what Misha said on February 7th, 2007: "This is one of the best airports in Europe. Two years ago I promised to have it and we have done it. This airport is much better than the airport in Brussels, or the airport in Munich." Was he serious? Has he been to Munich airport at all? Well, I don't think Munich airport loses roofing on an annual basis.

Welcome to the domain of Turkish quality, sugar coated with Georgian lies.


I agree with Misha, “Regardless of the fact that Badri was accused of a grave crime against the State, every person’s death is a great tragedy,” but still can't resist the temptation to use the statement Stephanie's friend used to refer to Badri, wondering what the story is...

Rumors started floating around about his death, some accusing the government of misconduct, some claiming that Badri probably had some fatal disagreement with his pal Boris, London claims that it was a natural death...


To quote Winston (editor of the Messenger): Layered, like a fine achma...

Misha made his main priority for the second round of his presidency to be fight against poverty, yet first thing that he unveiled as a newly-reelected president of Georgia, was a new addition (or swap, to be exact) to military - M4 rifle. While advantage of M4 is debatable (not just simply compared to AK-47, but to other NATO ammunition options), such a commitment will be costly. I am not aware of all the details of the swap (e.g. scale), but it will not be cheap to purchase new rifles, all ammunition and equipment, and retrain soldiers. It is very likely that swap has been planned long time ago (months probably) and is was a logic continuation, but displaying new weapons at the inauguration ceremony does not fit into the whole "fight against poverty". If it were me, I would... Well, if I knew what would make sense both fiscally and politically, I would be the president, wouldn't I?

Going back to Winston's quote, he asked about Russia. It is indirectly referenced in the piece. Solution to Georgia's poverty is directly related to Russia, we may brag about our independence, but at the end of the day, grapes go sour, tangerines and oranges rot, and Georgians stay in poverty.


Georgian government and opposition are similar to an old married couple that cannot stand each other, but cannot get divorced (for one reason or another). Every time they try to make up, one of them flinches. So, it happened again, opposition is refusing to continue talks. They are being blamed by the majority for boycotting talks, but if we try to look for real reasons, leading party is not any better in this relationship - like a non-committal husband who either refuses everything, or only responds with "maybe".

To be honest with you, I see why the government is so reluctant to go for some demands in the list. Opposition got a bit pushy. Because they managed to gather 46% of votes (all of the candidates together, including Badri and Gia), they feel they are entitled to the greater fame and fortunes. I am wondering what would happen if one of them indeed got elected?


This is based on a story that popped up once couple months ago. It did not get much attention back then, and it appeared again now.

Here's a quote from Rezonansi article talking mostly about EU relation reforms.

This applies to the reform of the judiciary. Among other things, we intend to take an unprecedented step in this field. The president has urged the EU to send European judges to Georgia so that they consider commercial disputes and criminal cases together with Georgian judges. This is very important because, in spite of the many positive steps that have been taken, the trust in the judiciary remains low.

What a novel idea - ask foreign judges, who do not speak the language, who do not know the legal system, who do not know customs of the country to be judges. Europeans will most likely not go for this, and even if they did, it would not fix anything. People distrust the judiciary for a reason, it may not be corrupt, but it lacks transparency, they apply 2 month pre-trial detention too easily and signs that judges are independent are not there.

This reminds me of a piece I did for Georgia Today back in the end of December, it did not end up being posted here, so here it is.

Kakha's new sale

Georgia needs a strong parliament...

Straight from the mouth of mr. President: "We need a strong parliament"... article

One of the worst ones I've done in a while, maybe I will redo it.

Opposition demands

If you are interested what the demands are, follow the link to article...