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CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

Latest round of Geneva International Discussions (GID) talks 10-11 Dec, main forum to resolve conflict over Georgia’s breakaway republics, went badly amid continuing crisis around contested Georgian police outpost near South Ossetian separation line, which led to closure in Sept of main crossing point with Georgia-controlled territory. GID co-chairs reported “deteriorating situation on the ground” and participants’ “diverging positions on key issues of the agenda have become further entrenched”, with rising tensions leading to increase in incidents including detentions. Several prominent figures appealed to Moscow to support release of Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili, held in South Ossetian prison since 9 Nov; de facto South Ossetian court 20 Dec sentenced him to 1 year and 9 months’ imprisonment; de facto leadership 28 Dec granted him pardon, paving way for his immediate release. In positive development, following diplomatic efforts of GID, de facto South Ossetian leadership 2 Dec relieved restrictions on leaving territory for retired people and those with serious health conditions, although entrance to region still restricted; leadership also released local residents detained for accidental or first-time crossing into breakaway region. In Abkhazia, following fatal Nov shooting in central Sukhumi café, de facto govt 2 Dec dismissed interior minister and prosecutor general, same day as mass street protests by local opposition and activists. Elsewhere, united opposition parties and activists 6 Dec held anti-govt protest in western city Kutaisi calling for fully proportional parliamentary elections in 2020; ruling Georgia Dream party organised pro-govt rally in Tbilisi 14 Dec attended by tens of thousands, mainly employees of state-run organisations.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

13 Jun 2018
The Georgian government has been in crisis for quite a long time. Mr. Ivanishvili’s comeback and popular protests are just symptoms of this process. The New York Times

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
12 Mar 2018
Over the last three years, we have been seeing a serious decline in the situation in the districts [of South Ossetia] mainly populated by ethnic Georgians. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood
5 Feb 2018
There was a social media campaign two years ago [in Abkhazia] encouraging people to boycott the funerals of anyone who died after seeking medical care in Tbilisi. EurasiaNet

Olesya Vartanyan

Analyst, Eastern Neighbourhood

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