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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tycoon Blues


Georgian billionaire, Bidzina Ivanishvili has announced his plans to pit his business expertise and his 5.5 billion dollar bankroll against the Saakashvili government in the 2012 parliamentary elections.




The news hasn't been so well received by authorities...






Ivanishvili said that he wants to be Prime Minister and that he can transform the country into a democracy that will surprise Europe in two to three years. Then, he said, he will leave politics and return to his quiet life in the village and his Tbilisi mansion.




My Moscow Times piece HERE

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pankisi Blues


The Pankisi Gorge is back in the news — but this time not for harboring Chechen militants. In a display of Georgian overkill, witnesses say about 25 masked officers arrested English teacher Shorena Khangorshvili for possessing heroin on Sept. 16 as she was walking out of a pharmacy in Akhmeta. The incident risks destabilizing a defensive and traumatized community.