Ketevan Tsikhelashvili has served as Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, responsible for coordinating the country’s conflict resolution policy, since 2016. Tsikhelashvili sat down with OC Media to discuss the ministry’s successes and failures, her new peace initiative, and the barriers to and prospects for peace.
Georgia’s national wrestling team made headlines on Friday after a photo was published online of the team wearing T-shirts of a North Ossetian MP to the background of the Russian flag. The backlash follows a series of controversies around the 10th anniversary of the August War, including in restaurant chain Machakhela, nightclub Bassiani, and with Radio Free Europe’s Georgian service. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, commemorations were held in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), and elsewhere commemorating the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 War. As the presidents of three countries gathered in Tbilisi, Georgian presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili described the war as ‘recklessness, the obsessions of a deranged president, or confusing collusion with a centuries-long enemy’. [Read more…]
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has accepted an invitation to visit Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), South Ossetian president Anatoly Bibilov announced in a Monday press conference. The Georgian government condemned the announcement, calling it a ‘gross violation of international norms’.
M M, 47 years old, the village of Dvani, Kareli municipality
‘The cost of conflict is enormous. Everyone paid that cost. I personally paid with my damaged psychology. The most precious part of what I had — the best period of my life — my young age was claimed by this conflict. This is going to haunt me all my life.’
An autopsy on the remains of Archil Tatunashvili, a Georgian citizen who died in South Ossetian custody in February, says that he suffered over 100 separate injuries before dying. South Ossetia claims that Tatunashvili, whose remains were transferred to Tbilisi almost three months ago, died after falling down a flight of stairs while trying to escape. [Read more…]
Enterprising young people in South Ossetia have lots of ideas for improving their homeland but the challenges are many. Few opportunities to develop a career at home, even fewer opportunities to travel abroad, a lack of cultural and recreational facilities, and a dearth of funding for youth initiatives mean the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Nevertheless, many are willing to try.
A D, 34 years old, Tskhinval
‘It was in November 1989. I was seven. I remember it was a gloomy day. The whole town was alert. I was little and could not understand anything. What I would hear was that some Georgians came shooting. And then everything started spinning: a blockade began, we would hear that they burnt a village and then another, kidnapped some people and shot some others. Barricades started popping in the town and cross-shootings followed.’
South Ossetia has handed over the body of Archil Tatunashvili, a former Georgian soldier who died in prison in South Ossetia ‘in unclear circumstances’, to the Georgian authorities, 26 days after his death. [Read more…]
The Georgian PM’s statement last Friday calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’ and improving relations with Russia has come under fire from opposition parties. The EU’s Ambassador to Georgia said PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s statement ‘argues for sensible steps’ while Russia said it was ‘satisfied’ with the statement. [Read more…]