Whenever Ilya Beruashvili hears his dog bark, he knows the Russians are at the gate.
For the past five years, Beruashvili, 53, who lives on the outskirts of the Georgian village of Ditsi, has watched from his windows as Russian soldiers stationed in the neighboring separatist territory of South Ossetia have patrolled the fields he used to farm.
Orthodox Easter was celebrated on April 15 in Georgia. This year, Misha Tabatadze could not join in the traditional pilgrimage to visit the graves of loved ones. He could not light a candle in the cemetery where his daughter, Etuna, is buried, or place a brightly dyed red egg on her grave.
Since the Russo-Georgian war of August 2008 and the subsequent buildup of Russia’s military presence in the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, ￼relations between Moscow and Tbilisi have remained mostly consistent .
Three years after their war, Russia and Georgia are still fighting over the separatist territory of South Ossetia. Russia’s political supremo, Vladimir Putin, ignited the latest skirmish with a suggestion that South Ossetia may opt to join the Russian Federation.
Faced with a growing outcry over the arrest of three prominent photographers on espionage charges, the Georgian government on July 13 took action to counter criticism that a desire to stifle a press freedom is a major motivation for the spy case.
Hollywood’s treatment of the Russia-Georgia war in 2008 is about to hit movie theaters in the United States. The Georgian-funded action flick, titled Five Days of August, seems to blur the line between entertainment and propaganda.
The unexpected May 29 death of Sergei Bagapsh, the de facto leader of the breakaway region of Abkhazia, is certain to shake up Abkhaz politics, but some Abkhaz observers say that the underlying question is whether or not it will lead to instability in the territory.
In a jab at Moscow, Georgia on May 20 became the first country to recognize as genocide Tsarist Russia’s massive slaughter of ethnic Circassians in the mid-19th century. The decision constitutes part of Tbilisi’s ongoing argument that the Caucasus is a region where Russia comes as an outsider, not as a native with the right to rule.