The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, July 31
Georgian Schools to be Abolished in S.Ossetia

The Russian-backed authorities in the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia will abolish Georgian language schooling in the region’s ethnic Georgian populated areas beginning from the 2017/2018 academic year.

On July 26, the region’s ‘deputy minister of education’ Elisa Gagloeva said that “the ministry of education has done preparatory work this year for transferring the Georgian schools of the republic [of South Ossetia] to the state educational standard”.

“This means that the Russian and the Ossetian language components have been significantly strengthened in the curriculum and that all subjects [from now on] will be taught in Russian,” Gagloeva also noted, adding that the change concerns Georgian schools in Akhalgori Municipality (six schools), as well as one school each in the occupied portions of Sachkhere and Kareli Municipalities.*

As a result of the change, the Georgian language will be reduced to a single subject.

On June 9, new South Ossetian leader Anatoly Bibilov visited Akhalgori Municipality, where he expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that education in some local schools was conducted in the Georgian language and tasked his officials with transferring the schools to the same educational system as in the rest of the region.

The move follows the pattern established in the Gali District in Abkhazia, where 31 Georgian schools remaining after the war of 1992-1993 were gradually moved to Russian-language schooling. The last 11 Georgian schools in the Gali District were abolished in 2015.

* The areas were under the jurisdiction of the central government before the 2008 Russian-Georgian War. (

Georgian MP fined for wearing pistol at rally against extremism

A Georgian opposition member of parliament was fined 200 USD on Wednesday for demonstratively wearing a pistol in his belt during a rally against far right extremists.

Otar Kakhidze, a lawyer who represents European Georgia in the national assembly, was fined 500 lari (USD 208) and given a one-month ban on wearing a gun outdoors.

Kakhidze said he would comply with the judge’s ruling, which he referred to as ‘fair and legitimate’.

Earlier, after videos emerged about him wearing a gun, Kakhidze conceded that it was his mistake but he wanted only to protect himself.

Kakhidze’s European Georgia held a rally on Sunday to protest against what they call ‘Russian fascism in Georgia.’

It was conceived as a counter-rally to the one held a week earlier by ultra-nationalists who demanded stricter immigration rules, kicking out illegal immigrants from the country, banning the financing of NGOs from abroad and prohibiting United National Movement and its spin-offs.

European Georgia, which consists mainly of former UNM members, was one of the ultra-nationalists’ primary targets.

Their gathering on July 14 was viewed by many as either directly orchestrated by the Kremlin or serving its interests.

During the EG rally, which was supported by some other minor pro-western political groups, ultra-nationalists gathered on the side of the street and bombarded the participants with eggs, plastic bottles, brooms and other objects. However, hundreds of police officers amassed on the spot and managed to prevent serious clashes. (dfwatch)