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The Week in Brief

Friday, May 30
Opposition supporters marched through central Tbilisi in protest of last week’s parliamentary elections, which they say the government rigged. Opposition leaders vow to physically stop the new parliament from convening.

The United Nations mission in Georgia concluded that a Russian fighter jet shot down an unmanned Georgian spy plane over breakaway Abkhazia last month. Tbilisi is using the report to push for replacing Russia’s peacekeepers in the conflict zone; Moscow points to the report’s scolding of Georgia for flying spy planes over Abkhazia in the first place.

The United Opposition became less so. The anti-government bloc lost one of its leading members, who opposed their plan for an ‘alternative parliament.’ Another member left earlier, complaining he wasn’t being consulted before decisions.

South Ossetia, Georgia’s other separatist region, has been rattled by days of shootings and a car bomb. Secessionist authorities and Tbilisi are trading mutual accusations of plotting acts of terror.

Belarus’ security service charged a lawyer for Joseph Kay, the self-declared heir of a dead Georgian billionaire, with drug smuggling. The charges are seemingly part of the shadowy battle over the last will and testament of the late Badri Patarkatsishvili, an oligarch who was accused of plotting to overthrow the state before dying of an apparent heart attack in February.