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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 24
Speaker voices new initiative

Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze has proposed to grant a new legal status to the people injured or killed in the August war and their families. Under his proposal, their status should be that of warriors.

Bakradze announced at a Parliamentary Bureau meeting that the country fought for its independence in August 2008. The Speaker instructed Parliamentary Committees to prepare the relevant legislative amendments. The Speaker also expressed his hope that opposition MPs and the Anti-Crisis Council would get involved in drafting the amendments.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian border guards take positions along administrative borders

Russian border guards have occupied positions along the Abkhazian administrative borders for the first time in the 15-year occupation of Georgia`s breakaway region by the Russian Federation.

To begin with there will be 400 Russian occupiers at the so-called border checkpoints. 180 Russian soldiers have already been deployed in the villages of the lower Gali district. The deployment of Russian forces in Gali district will be a very serious problems for ethnic Georgians, who will have to feed them as the Russian Defence Ministry is not much interested in supplying its troops.

Georgian Foreign Ministry official Sergi Kapanadze has announced that the Russians’ next step will be to issue new Russian passports to the local population and thereby create a live wall separating Abkhazia from the rest of Georgia. Sergi Kapanadze says this Russian policy causes concern not only to the Georgian Government but the whole international community.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian political expert predicts war in the Caucasus

The Kremlin is preparing for a new war, Russian political expert Pavel Felgelgauer has told the Georgian media. He has even described the detailed plan of the Russian leadership, saying everything will begin with the death of some Russian soldiers, which will provide a good reason for starting war.

According to Felgengauer Moscow will not hesitate to seize the Georgian capital this time and the Russian Army will take positions in the Vaziani military base, aviation factory and airport in order to isolate the capital from the rest of the world. Then new attacks will begin from Akhalgori and Abkhazia.

Felgengauer says the source of this information is a senior Russian military official. The expert thinks Russia needs a new military campaign to detract attention from the Russian economic crisis.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia to have two new Ambassadors

Georgia has appointed two new ambassadors. Gocha Japaridze is the new Ambassador of Georgia to the United Arab Emirates and Giorgi Janjghava the Ambassador to Iran.

Giorgi Janjghava is the current Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, where he has been since 2006. Gocha Japaridze has been Ambassador to Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman.

The candidacies will be discussed by the Committee of Foreign Relations this week. Parliament will then approve them.

Ex-PM concerned about social problems of IDPs

Former Prime Minister of Georgia Zurab Noghaideli, who has moved into the opposition recently after some time since his resignation, is concerned with the social problems of refugees. Noghaideli, who now leads the Movement for Fair Georgia, has spoken about the hard social conditions in which IDPs have to live. He said at a briefing yesterday that some refugees have no electricity, while others are being forced to leave the places they have been housed in.

Zurab Noghaideli has also slammed the Government for its ineffective insurance policy scheme. He showed a video which he said depicted a refugee being refused the five GEL insurance package. Insurance companies have already denied the allegations of the former PM, saying that the registration of citizens for the programme begins in March 1, and therefore no one can access it prior to that date.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian lawmakers commemorate young cadets

Georgian lawmakers have commemorated the military cadets who died in the fight for Georgia`s independence in 1921. As a result of a proposal from Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze the relatives of cadets brutally killed in the last century were invited to the event in the Parliament building.

In the newly-opened church of the Annunciation in the grounds of Parliament a special service was conducted to the memory of the heroes. The Parliament speaker laid a wreath on the memorial to the cadets in the Parliament grounds.

In February 1921 Soviet troops crossed the Georgian border. This military campaign by the Soviet Russian (RSFSR) Red Army against the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG) sought to overthrow Georgia’s Social Democratic (Menshevik) Government and install a Bolshevik regime, and succeeded in doing so.

The last battle of the campaign was fought at the Kojori settlement near Tbilisi, where the cadets battled against Red Army units. Almost 300 cadets fell in this battle. The daughter of the author of the national anthem of Georgia, Maro Makashvili, was among the cadets who were killed and then buried in what is now the grounds of the Parliament building.
(Rustavi 2)