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CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

Tenth anniversary of August War with Russia provoked emotional public campaign against Russia, coinciding with launch of campaigning for Oct presidential election. Day before anniversary, PM Mamuka Bakhtadze called for peaceful resolution and reintegration of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, underlining that Tbilisi’s response to the continued conflicts would be a “bold peace initiative”. FMs of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and Ukraine’s vice premier visited Georgia 7 Aug to support its call for withdrawal of Russian army from breakaway republics, backed by similar calls in statements by EU, U.S., and other allies. No major events or commemorations of war in Abkhazia and South Ossetia; events took place late month to celebrate tenth anniversary of Russia’s recognition. During 22-23 Aug visit to Georgia, German Chancellor Merkel travelled to conflict zone near South Ossetia; meeting with students, spoke about “injustice” in relation to continued Russian military presence in Georgia’s breakaway regions, which she called occupation; also downplayed prospects for Georgia’s membership of NATO and EU any time soon.

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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

Latest Updates

Ukraine Flare-Up Lays Bare Fears in Europe’s East

Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine is quickly turning into a litmus test of Russia’s intentions in backing Ukrainian separatist rebels, and the real willingness of the West, in particular the United States, to support Kyiv. Fears over Washington’s wavering may also cause positions to harden in the protracted conflicts in Europe’s East, most immediately in Georgia. 

Georgia: Making Cohabitation Work

Whether the smooth transfer of power Georgia achieved after October’s bitter election sets a standard for democracy in its region depends on whether the new government can strengthen the independence and accountability of state institutions in what remains a fragile, even potentially explosive political climate.

Georgia's Constitutional Changes

Georgia is in the midst of transitioning from a presidential to a mixed parliamantary system, in which much power will lie with the office of the Prime Minister. Elections later this year will determine whether current President Mikheil Saakashvili's party, United National Movement, will retain control of government. Medea Turashvili, Caucasus analyst for the International Crisis Group, discusses what implications this might have on Georgia's domestic and foreign policy.