Latest Articles about The Caucasus

Ajaria Before Elections

The "Hand of Tbilisi" will be a greater presence in post-Abashidze Ajaria. On May 18, the Georgian Parliament overwhelmingly (117/5) voted for a resolution, which allows for a one-month public discussion on a bill concerning Ajarian autonomy. A special commission is expected to analyze what... MORE

Scandals Plague Saakashvili’s Party

The arrest of a 33-year old member of Georgia's Parliament on May 19 has seriously damaged the Saakashvili government's reputation. MP Giorgi Kenchadze, an activist in the National-Democrats ruling party, has been charged with influence peddling by extorting some US$100,000 from Ajarian businessmen.According to an... MORE

Georgian Troops Introduced In Tsalka

Georgia's Internal Affairs Ministry has deployed a 200-strong troop unit to the town of Tsalka, after at least 10 local residents were injured in clashes between ethnic Armenians and Georgians. The ministry plans to send in police reinforcements as well. Tensions and incidents of low-level... MORE

Council Of Europe Stumbles Over Ajaria

Georgia has requested the Council of Europe (CE) to recall its Tbilisi representative, and has severely criticized the CE's Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer in the wake of the events in Ajaria that resulted in the peaceful removal of local despot Aslan Abashidze. During those events, Schwimmer... MORE

The Scent Of Revolution Drifts To South Ossetia

Secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov paid an urgent visit to Tbilisi on May 17 to negotiate with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and other top officials on the position of the Georgian breakaway regions. Symptomatically, Ivanov's visit followed shortly after U.S. National Security... MORE

Abashidze Falls, Power Shifts In The South Caucasus

In the early hours on May 6, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili announced that Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze had fled the region and that the central government had restored control over the renegade republic. A long and potentially violent stand-off between the Saakashvili administration and Ajaria's... MORE

Ramzan Kadyrov: Maskhadov Is Surrounded And Wounded

Ramzan Kadyrov, the son of pro-Moscow Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov and the head of his father's presidential security service, told Interfax on May 3 that Aslan Maskhadov may be among a group of fighters surrounded by federal forces in Chechnya's Kurchaloev district and that the... MORE

Ajarian Crisis Threatens To Escalate

A conflict between Georgia's federal government in Tbilisi and the leadership of the renegade republic of Ajaria has reached a dangerous point over the past two days. On May 2, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili demanded that Ajaria's strongman, Aslan Abashidze, disarm his "illegal units" within... MORE