The chairman of the Russian Duma’s Defence Committee has warned that Russia will take ‘diplomatic and military measures’ over a US-funded lab in Georgia. He said the Lugar Centre in Tbilisi was ‘designing bio-weapons and viruses’, while Georgia called the accusation ‘absurd propaganda’. [Read more…]
Dozens of people gathered outside the Vere Palace Hotel in Tbilisi on Wednesday to protest the Russian government funded International South Caucasian Media Forum. Several of the forum’s organisers had been prevented from entering the country for ‘violating Georgia’s Law on the Occupied Territories’. [Read more…]
Georgia’s liberal rights groups, neoliberal political parties, and their supporters in the media have consistently tried to discredit neo-nationalists by simply labelling them ‘pro-Russian’ — a misguided claim that only mirrors the opposite claim that rights groups follow an anti-Georgian ‘Soros agenda’. To address growing far-right authoritarianism in Georgia, the underlying social and economic roots of the problem need to be addressed, as well as the legacy of authoritarianism of the previous ruling class. [Read more…]
On 13 February, the United States released its Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community. In it, the significance of Russian influence operations in Georgia were highlighted. Just eight days earlier, on 5 February, a coalition of Georgia’s leading non-governmental organisations made an official offer to support the Government of Georgia, the EU, and NATO in their efforts to counter anti-Western propaganda. [Read more…]
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.