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2008-09-09
2008 Grape Harvest Rotting-on-the-vine in Alazani River Valley
Georgian government has started a program for the subsidization of viticulture. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili announced the recent initiative during a meeting with grape producers in Telavi, (Kakheti region of East Georgia He stated that 8 million GEL will be allocated from the national budget for the purpose. The price of 25 tetri will be determined for each kilo of red grapes and 15 tetri for white grapes. “The state is capable of organizing an agricultural policy in order to protect peasants from damage,” stated the first official of the country. Despite his statements, the harvest is rotting in the villages of Samtatskaro, Firosmani, Sabatlo and other villages along the Alazani Embankment. The grapes ripen in the middle of august and now it is getting spoiled already. None of the wine-factories located in the region has started to accept grape.

2008-09-08
Georgian Military Intelligence Operative Disappeared in Zugdidi
On August 27 at 11:00 AM Paata Kardava, 45, disappeared under what may best be described as strange circumstances. Kardava worked on the Abkhazian division of the Military Intelligence Department within the Interior Ministry forty-five-year-old. The car driven by Kardava was discovered on the bridge linking the villages of Koki and Khurcha. There are several versions about the disappearance of Kardava but law enforcers and relatives have not found him in spite of all efforts.  According to one of the versions, he is being kept in an isolator run by the security service department in Sokhumi, and he was being interrogated by representatives of the Russian FSB.

2008-09-08
The government keeps in secret the process of humanitarian aid distribution.
According to the September 6 information of the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation amount of IDPs now living in Tbilisi is 39,596, in regions – 21,776 and their total number is 61,372. Four hundred shelters have been set up in Tbilisi; 118 in regions and 518 in total. By August 22, 121,167 IDPs were registered from Tskhinvali district and Shida Kartli region. 22,576 people lived in 670 shelters in Tbilisi; 89 shelters operating in the regions. The majority of IDPs are living with their relatives. Despite the huge amount of humanitarian aid, most IDP families could not get bread and sanitary items. Non-governmental organizations are not allowed to monitor the distribution of humanitarian aid.

2008-09-08
Hague Tribunal - What Should We Expect From?
From September 8-10, the UN International Court (Hague Tribunal) will have an open discussion on the submitted suit of Georgia against the Russian Federation. Officially Rosalyn Higgins, the chairperson of the International Court has already confirmed back to Georgia as to the scheduling of the hearing. Georgia requests the international court to take all measures to prevent Russia from the continued discrimination of Georgian civilians that are under occupation within Georgian territory and to force Russia to stop its policy of ethnic cleansing, (and even killing of peaceful civilians), looting of towns and villages in Georgia, support of separatism and suppression of Georgian residents of Gali district and forcing ethnic Georgians in the entire conflict zone to make them obtain Russian citizenship. It is now possible that The Hague Court will follow up and satisfy the request of Georgia to consider initial activities in assisting Georgia at the very first hearing, which means the court will intervene in preventing Russia from acting against peace, human lives and health.

2008-09-08
IDPs Camps in the Rain - Gori
The situation is changing rapidly on a daily basis. Approximately 50, 000 inhabitants of Gori have vacated the city all together. However, the total population has not changed, and has even increased by two fold with the latest wave of IDPs as a result of the Georgian-Russian war.  Tent city for IDP camps were erected in fields not far from the city center and designed to accommodate thousands of people.


 

2008-09-05
The Outcomes of Stupid Ambitions
The plans have changed: Levan Otkhvani, 7 can not go to school any more because his village was bombed by Russian bombers on August 10, 2008. The family of Otkhvani consisting of 5 members left the village last and went to Imereti as IDPs.

2008-09-04
Hundreds of Prisoners Suffering: “Penitentiary Department Administration Malfeasance
In the timeframe, January 1st to September 1st of 2008, a total of 53 prisoners died in Georgian jails and prison hospitals, the Penitentiary Department of the Ministry of Justice informs. The most common cause of death was mostly contributed to TB, severe cardiovascular insufficiency, complication of HIV/AIDS and other opportunist infections. The human rights protectors state prisoners’ high death rate is a direct result of negligence on the part of prison administrations, as it has blindly turned eye to immediate medical need of prisoners.

2008-09-03
“Human Chain” Broken by Drunk Driver in West Georgia, Deadly Results
September 1st, the day of national unity of Georgia ended tragically. The human chain was broken at the village of Rukhi when a fast moving car hit a protester. One man died and several others were severely injured. Doctors failed to save Nata Jichonaia, 23. The drunk driver was Paata Kiria, a police officer.

2008-09-03
“Peace is where we are!” Russian Helicopters Dropping Leaflets in Samegrelo
Russian military helicopters are bombing Samegrelo with leaflets. The Russians dropped leaflets in village of Rukhi, Zugdidi District several days ago. Meanwhile, Russian armored vehicles, moving towards Enguri Central Bridge distributed leaflets among the local population. It was written in leaflets with blue fonts on white sheets of papers: “Inhabitants of Zugdidi District! Your safety is now in the hands of Russian peacekeepers!” The main motto of the peacekeepers was “We are at Peace”.

2008-09-03
Вива Миша! Russia stop! Путин кмара!
 
All of Georgia is united against alleged Russian aggression, and in light of the capture of South Ossetia and parts of Abkhazia, and as part of a larger public relations campaign, a human chain surrounded the whole country on September 1st to show Georgian outrage.  There were no borders to this protest, and the action went far beyond the border of occupied Georgia. All the international community is charged with patriotic spirit. Those from all regions of Georgia prepared for this day in their own special way. We took a look over the action preparation process in Kutaisi, which is one of the largest cities in Western Georgia.

2008-09-01
Ganmukhuri –Seized Village and Residents Newest IDPs
The Abkhazian flag now flies over the Georgian village of Ganmukhuri. Three Russian-Abkhazian checkpoints are in place in Ganmukhuri and soldiers are patrolling this village several times a day. The Abkhazian checkpoint operates on the bridge that connects Shamgona and Ganmukhuri. Residents must pay a fee of 10 GEL, a kind of excise imposed by the Abkhazians in order to cross into the territory of the Zugdidi district. The Abkhazians do not take kindly to Georgian ID cards and advise the inhabitants of Ganmukhuri village to obtain Russian passports. The Abkhazian administration of Gali District is so “concerned” with the fate of Georgians that it takes care of feeding Ganmukhuri village inhabitants and brings wheat into the village. The situation has deteriorated and practically no one is now left in the village apart from a few old people. All the young people have left – many of them in IDP camps too frightened to come back. Many are still IDPs from the last war Abkhaz-Georgian war of 1992-93, and being under such dire circumstances is nothing new for them.

2008-08-29
Ossetians Celebrated Independence Day by Raiding Georgian Villages
Today, IDPs stopped returning to Gori from Tbilisi. Representatives of the Social Department of the Gori Municipality Board stated that Gori cannot accept anymore IDPs. Some of IDPs were sent to the villages of Shindisi, Phkhvenisi, Variani, Tkviavi, Mereti Marana, Dzevera, and Shertuli, which is now occupied by Russian troops. Ossetian marauders have since attacked the returned locals and they are under threat for the second time.

2008-08-29
IDPs Are Abused in Tbilisi Too
IDPs live in unbearable conditions in Public School # 48 in Tbilis. They have neither water, nor food. Besides that strange people force them to leave the building and move to Gori. The IDPs are against return because they do not have houses anymore and their security is not guaranteed.

2008-08-29
Treachery or Drugs: Soldier’s Widow Explain Special Unit Tortured and Killed Husband
Roin (Roman) Shavadze, sergeant of the 23rd battalion, was arrested on August 16 in Batumi by masked men from a special unit on the second day of his arrival from having participated in military operation in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia.  Witnesses claim that during the special operation it was claimed that they were arresting a traitor. Later, that evening, however, family members found Shavadze dead body in morgue. According to the official information the sergeant was arrested for the illegal storage and sale of drugs. It is claimed that he was killed when he tried to escape. Nonetheless, regardless of the ledger of guilt or innocence, his relatives claim Shavadze was brutally tortured and then murdered.

2008-08-27
Ramifications of Ten-Day-Blockade of Gori
The majority of the population in Gori still remains without humanitarian aid. Residents of several districts in Gori have not seen any of the food products delivered by countries that are friends of Georgia. There are a small minority of people who have received aid three times a day while others have not been able to obtain anything whatsoever.  Local authorities are blaming locals for the problem. According to the Human Rights Center’s information, high-ranking officials of the local government have even threatened people, who have expressed their discontent about the food distribution problem, claiming: “As soon as the Russian troops leave the territory we will teach you a very good lesson.”

2008-08-26
If There Were Radar Specialist at the Military Base, Reservists Would Not Have Been Killed
“Time will come and I will investigate the incident by all means! If radar operator had implemented his responsibility properly my son and other reservists would not have been killed!” said father of Goga Chitanava, one of the killed reservists at Senaki military base. In the morning of August 9, Tariel Chitanava, the father found the body of his dead son in the dissecting room of Senaki hospital after two-hour-long search in the military base.

2008-08-24
Casualties: 215 Killed 1, 469 Wounded in Georgian-Russian Conflict
As a result of Russian aggressive actions in Georgia, and based on current data, 215 people were killed and 1,469 are wounded; 70 people are still missing. Givi Targamadze, the chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Georgian Parliament reported this information to the journalists after the Commission for the Search of Killed and Mission during the Conflict was especially established. However, witnesses of the military operations claim that the number of victims is actually much larger.

2008-08-24
Russian Provide Safety to Residents of Anaklia from Bombing Raid
It might sound incredible but it is factual: residents of the Black Seaside village were escaping the fallen bombs from Russian aircraft and they were able to find shelter at the check point that belongs to Russian forces. On August 10, in parallel to Russian bombing raids, Russian soldiers deployed in the center of the village of Anaklia opened the iron gate of their checkpoint in order to provide protection to the locals. Russian soldiers were recording the event on video and photo cameras in order to demonstrate their human behavior. Residents of Anaklia, however, considered the display of mercy of Russian soldiers as being something that was not a true act of altruism, and was rather a cynic act more suited to PR than humanitarian grounds. 

2008-08-22
City of Ghosts, Bombing of Gori, and Georgian Villages: Carnage, Death and Destruction
Special Frontline Report

Life can only be experienced from 10:00 AM to 6:00 Pm in the abandoned city of Gori. Russian soldiers are strolling along the streets in Gori in the morning and in the evenings. People, who holed up in the basements of residential flats are jittery and react on the smallest noise, even a mouse.  During the day you can see an elderly woman or man hurriedly going home.  Regardless that the Russian occupants have not do anything harmful to innocent civilians during recent few days, people are still not content see Russian soldiers in Gori.

2008-08-22
Shot Not Fired in Defense, Total Retreat of Georgian Army in Kodori Gorge
What Really Happened in Upper Abkhazia? 

Nobody has been able or willing to answer the question as yet. In the meantime Georgian authorities and law enforcement bodies are avoiding this most important question. Moreover, not even those who live in the Kodori gorge are speaking opening about the reasons that they fled so soon as the first barrage of Russian fire and the bombing of their villages. However, there are some exceptions, as found with several ethic Svans (a sub group of ethnic Georgians who reside in mountainous region of Svaneti). They are honestly speaking out as why they left homes. 

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