The media in Kabardino-Balkaria parrots an extremely rosy picture of the republic. However, journalists and activists almost all admit privately — that with an eye towards the Kremlin (and Kadyrov’s growing army next door in Chechnya) — freedom of speech has been utterly decimated, and controversial topics go completely unreported.
On 6 June, the Yerevan City Hall informed the vendors of the clothing market on Ferdowsi Street that construction work would begin there on 15 June. The vendors were asked to move their improvised pavilions to other spots. They remain dissatisfied with the decision and have asked for six months to relocate. The negotiations have so far been fruitless.
There are over 2,000 people whose fate is still unaccounted for from Georgia’s conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, making it difficult for families to grieve and move on. While cross border efforts lead by the Red Cross are in full swing to find, exhume, and identify the bodies of the fallen — time is not on their side. [Read more…]
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Georgia’s economic struggles, infrastructure and support for people with visual impairments has all but evaporated. This — exacerbated by a lack of understanding — has created serious barriers in education, employment, and in life. [Read more…]
Karajala Kickboxing Club is a training facility in Karajala, a small village near Tbilisi. The club is located in the house of trainer and owner Isvahan Aliyev, a professional kickboxer. Aliyev, and all of the members but one, are ethnic Azerbaijanis born in Georgia. Saying that the facility lacks equipment would be an understatement — it has only one bench press and one punchbag — but despite this, Aliyev says that some of the children from the club are Georgian kickboxing champions. [Read more…]
Queer people in the Caucasus face a number of challenges — discrimination, physical and sexual abuse, and blackmail. For months, activists have watched in horror the persecution of gay men in Chechnya; however, their lives had already been in danger for some time. OC Media spoke to a transgender woman from Grozny, who shared some of her experiences and talked with us about what is happening in the republic. [Read more…]
Ceasefire violations are a regular occurrence on both sides of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the village of Kokhanabi, 300 metres from the front, is no exception. While life is made almost impossible by a constant hail of gunfire from across the border, the government has left villagers to fend for themselves. [Read more…]
Armenian identity is so tightly interwoven with religion that it can often be heard that the only true Armenian is a follower of the Armenian Church. Contempt, discrimination, and outright hatred towards religious minorities have led to a worryingly widespread perception of them as outsiders — a threat to Armenian statehood. [Read more…]
With between 60–80 road deaths recorded every year, Abkhazia has one of the highest traffic-related mortality rates in the world. Repeated government promises year on year to tackle the problem have come to nothing, and the death toll continues to rise.