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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, December 3
An explosion in Moscow Orthodox Church

Interfax states that there has been an explosion in the St. Nikoloz Cathedral in Moscow, Sakartvelos Respublika reports. Two church caretakers hurt by the explosion were transferred to hospital.

The cause of the explosion has not yet been specified. According to some reports some 14-16-year old boys threw explosives into the church, but others state that two unknown men left a bag in the church, which exploded as the church caretakers were trying to take it out of the building.

Moscow churches have expressed their worries at the increase in criminal activity aimed at churches and religious entities.

Burjanadze can’t be my leader

Akhali Taoba reports that Levan Berdzenishvili has made the following statement concerning former Speaker of Parliament Nino Burjanadze.

“I personally respect Burjanadze as a person despite all her shortcomings. She doesn’t have a public image and it will be difficult for her to convince people. She has a chance to return to Parliament in future but her chance of becoming President is quite low.

“She has been President twice but will not manage it a third time. Nino Burjanadze won’t move mountains with her party. I will never recognize her as my leader because Georgia deserves someone better.

“She has clarified that she needs a party behind her but Levan Gachechiladze has his doubts. The leader of my party won’t become the leader of another one. To see Burjanadze with the Republicans is less possible, despite the fact that idea was much talked about because David Usupashvili has good relations with Burjanadze.

If the country needs it we will send Usupashvili to negotiate with Saakashvili about his resignation, because he will talk to him. People are fed up with famous faces. I have seen the comments people make and I know whom people believe in. Sozar Subari is really trusted but he won’t be chosen as President. Usupashvili and I are also in the top ten but people need new faces. They seek them even in Government bodies. Irakli Alasania for instance has both a high political status and popularity.”

Russia afraid of diversion

Sakartvelos Respublika writes, quoting Interfax, that according to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation Georgian Special Task Groups are preparing to mount an attack in Abkhazia against Russian soldiers.

“The Georgian Government hasn’t denied that it seeks to return South Ossetia and Abkhazia to its control. Deliberate steps to destabilize the situation have been taken in both republics. Intelligence against the Russian Army is becoming more active,” Vladimir Nosov, Deputy Chief of the Department of Military Counterintelligence, stated. He also suggested that Chechen warriors and the partisan detachment The White Legion may be withdrawn from the conflict zones.

Georgian soldiers return from Iraq

Mteli Kvira reports that, according to the US Embassy, a detachment of Georgian soldiers flew out of Iraq on American military aeroplanes on December 30. This was the one of the final acts of the withdrawal of the Georgian First Brigade from Iraq, where they had participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The main part of the brigade returned to Georgia during the Russian-Georgian conflict. Their plane flew from Kuwait and the soldiers took all their property with them.