Moscow has banned the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables from Abkhazia, citing the need to prevent the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug, an agricultural pest, to Russia. They later blamed Georgia for spreading the pest, saying it ‘may be a part of biological sabotage’. Georgia has dismissed the claims.
The latest round of the Geneva discussions have ended with mutual accusations. Despite hopes from Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Russia, the parties failed to agree on a joint oral statement on the non-use of force.
The head of Russian rights group Memorial’s Daghestani office, Sirazhudin Datsiyev, was attacked on Wednesday morning outside his house as he left for work. Datsyiev remains in hospital in Makhachkala. [Read more…]
On Sunday 18 March, Russia held presidential elections. OC Media’s correspondent in Daghestan, Aida Mirmaksumova, was in Makhachkala as a member of the territorial election commission. Vladimir Putin was declared the winner in the elections, with the official results giving 90.73% of votes in Daghestan to him. [Read more…]
Far-right group the March of Georgians attacked three journalists from Rustavi 2 on Monday afternoon in Tbilisi. The attack was in response to an on-air joke by anchor Giorgi Gabunia about former Georgian Prime Minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, his tree-collecting hobby, and Jesus Christ. [Read more…]
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been reelected to a fourth term by a landslide majority, amidst widespread reports of electoral violations.
The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, has suggested Georgia should ‘of course […] have contacts with civil authorities’ in Abkhazia, and possibly in South Ossetia. He supported Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s appeal to Russia to improve relations and calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’. Kvirikashvili has come under intense criticism from the opposition since making the appeal last week.
Makhachkala’s Sovetsky District Court sentenced Muslimat Kurbanova, 25, to eight years in prison on Monday for ‘participation in an illegal armed formation’. Kurbanova, who returned from Syria last October, is to serve her sentence in 13 years time, when her daughter turns 14. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry ‘leaves space for conversation’. The PM has faced pressure for appealing to Russian authorities last Friday, and for the response it received from Russia.