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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 26
93 years since Georgia’s invasion by Red Army

February 25th is one of the most tragic days in the history of Georgia - the invasion of Georgia by the Red Army in 1921.

93 years after the tragic page of the nation’s history, the national flags have been lowered to half mast at state buildings throughout the country.

A number of events have been planned to commemorate the Georgian soldiers who died for their country’s freedom in the war against the Red Army. The President of Georgia and the members of the government paid tribute to the memory of Georgian Cadets at the Kojori memorial. (Rustavi 2)

Boundary work continues on Georgian territory

Barbed wire fences are still being installed at the border between Georgia and South Ossetia, in the village Atoci in Kareli district.

Border guards appeared at the boundary lines yesterday and started construction work to divide the regions today.

Part of the local population’s agricultural land is located in the occupied area.

As a result of the changing boundary, Georgian territory changed by 100 to 500 meters, local people claim.

Georgian Government members have already made an assessment of the incident.

"Work has temporarily resumed, the reason is unknown, but soon it will become obvious," Georgia's Regional Development and Infrastructure Minister Davit Narmania said.

"Several days ago I was at the breakaway region and saw local residents. The situation is stable and in this regard,” he said. (Agenda.Ge)

U.S. president supports Georgia’s aspiration for improving relations with Russia

U.S. President Barack Obama said he appreciated the aspiration of the Georgian side to improve relations with Russia, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze told the media in Washington on February 25.

The Georgian Foreign Minister is in the United States as part of a delegation led by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

"The American leader considered our efforts to improve relations with Russia as a positive step," Panjikidze said. "President Obama has called on us to be constructive in the future."

The representatives of the new Georgian authorities, who came to power following parliamentary elections in October 2012, announced the normalization of relations with Russia as one of its priorities. (Trend)

Georgian MFA comments on developments in Ukraine

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that it welcomes “steps undertaken with the purpose to normalize difficult processes” in Ukraine.

The MFA expressed hope that it will be possible to “overcome the crisis with firm will and unwavering efforts of the Ukrainian people, with active support of the international community and by taking into consideration country’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and rule of law.”

It also expressed hope that “in the wake of the Ukrainian people’s legitimate democratic and European aspirations, all the relevant efficient reforms will be implemented and Ukraine will take a worthy place in large European family.”

The Georgian Foreign Ministry also said that it “reaffirms readiness to further continue successful close partnership cooperation with traditionally friendly country, Ukraine, both in bilateral and multilateral formats, including in frames of the EU Eastern Partnership initiative.” (Civil.Ge)

President Margevlashvili expresses condolences for Georgian citizen’s death in Kiev

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has expressed his deep condolences to the family of Dato Kipiani – the Georgian citizen shot dead in Kiev.

Kipiani, 33, was a supporter of the Ukrainian opposition and was reportedly killed by snipers during the protest rallies in the Ukrainian capital on February 20.

"Dato’s death has torn the hearts of Georgians and Ukrainians apart. That is why both of the nations say their last farewells to him,” Margvelashvili said in a statement.

"Kipiani’s son and other family members will always be proud of him. I express my condolences, and offer my support to Dato’s family and his friends,” reads the statement by the President’s administration.

Kipiani was an activist of the "Free zone” movement, supported by the United National Movement – the party of the former president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Kipiani’s body has already been returned to Georgia. His burial will be financed by Tbilisi City budget. Kipiani is not the only Georgian found dead during the clashes in Kiev. Another citizen, Zurab Khurtsia, died in Kiev after suffering from a heart attack on February 18.

At least 75 people have been killed in Kiev during the violent clashes since the protest rallies began in November 2013. (Agenda.Ge)

Gharibashvili awards Sergeant Johnny Topuria in the US

During his three-day visit to the US Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili visited the newly purchased building designated to be Georgian Embassy to the US. Prime Minister awarded Johnny Topuria, a member of the 31st of battalion and a sergeant of the Georgian armed forces, and granted him the Devoted to Native Land medal. Sergeant Topuria served in the Peacekeeping Mission in Iraq in 2006-2007 and in Afghanistan in 2010.

Topuria was injured in an explosion on March 6, 2012 as a bomb exploded while patrolling. (Georgian News)

Crane driver died in an accident on Kazbegi Avenue

A driver of a crane died in an accident which occurred at 34 a Kazbegi Avenue. The crane standing at a construction, fell down on four vehicles. Eyewitnesses say the crane driver fell from about 45 meters in height. The driver was hospitalized, but the doctors failed to save him.

The head of the emergencies management center, Temur Giorgadze says one more person was lightly injured and provided first medical aid at the place of the accident.

The police have already launched an investigation over the accident. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian soccer development commission to be headed by PM

A resolution on the establishment of a soccer development commission was approved at a government meeting, the Georgian Ministry of Sports reported on February 24.

It will work on the implementation of projects aimed at the revival of soccer in Georgia.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is the chairman of the commission, which also includes Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze, Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Levan Kipiani, Deputy Minister of Sport Akaki Lodiya, Soccer Federation President Zviad Sichinava, general secretary of the federation Revaz Arveladze, a member of the executive committee, head coach of the youth national team Alexander Chivadze, honorary vice-president of the federation Murtaz Khurtsilava, representatives of soccer clubs - Roman Pipia, Tariel Khechikashvili and Ilya Kokaya.

The representatives of other agencies and organizations may be involved in the commission's activity based upon a decision by the chairman.

"The main objectives of the commission are to develop a five-year plan for soccer development, to promote the involvement of private investors to increase financing of soccer clubs, to plan activities to promote soccer, to plan the events for amateurs and people with disabilities, to coordinate the preparatory work for the 2015 UEFA Super Cup, etc.," according to the statement. (Trend)