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The News in Brief

Monday, August 21
Saakashvili announces plan to return to Ukraine via Poland

The Georgian-born former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili, announced on Wednesday the time and date of his return to Ukraine despite being stripped of that country’s citizenship.

Saakashvili, who recently launched a new political party in Ukraine to try to enter the Verkhovna Rada, was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in late July. His native Georgia, of which he was president from 2004 to 2013, revoked his citizenship in 2015.

Speaking live from Warsaw via the social networking site Facebook, Saakashvili proclaimed that he will cross the border from Poland to Ukraine on September 10, at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing.

Ukraine’s chief prosecutor’s office has warned that the ex-governor will be sanctioned should he attempt to enter Ukraine without a visa.

“Any actions involving […] an illegal border crossing give absolute legal grounds for bringing [Saakashvili] to administrative sanctions,” Deputy Prosecutor General Eugene Enin wrote on Facebook earlier, quoted by Xinhua.

But in his online press conference, held in the Ukrainian language, the once popular Georgian reformer and leader of the 2003 Rose Revolution called on his supporters to facilitate his return and offered a hotline that they can call to get appropriate instructions. He asked his supporters to establish a human corridor to help him cross the border.

Kazbegi, Georgia among ‘100 trips everyone should take in their lifetime’

Mountainous Kazbegi area of Georgia has been named among "100 trips everyone should take in their lifetime”, a list of destinations based on recommendations from the world’s top travelers.

The list was compiled by British online newspaper The Independent.

The newspaper said that no matter how many countries you have been to, there's always somewhere new to discover. But with so many cultures, countries, and landscapes to explore, it is hard to prioritise one dream destination over another.

They asked 20 top travel bloggers and writers/editors from the likes of Lonely Planet, Suitcase, and Airbnb for the top five destinations they've ever visited — or the ones that are at the top of their bucket list. Based on their advice, a list of "must-see places across the globe that everyone should visit in their lifetime” was compiled.

Camp in the Caucasus Mountains in Kazbegi, Georgia was recommended by India Dowley, Digital Editor of Suitcase Magazine.

"This small town in the Caucasus Mountains is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been”, Dowley said.

"Tbilisi locals go in the summer months to camp among wild horses on the lush carpet of the mountains, with vertiginous views of waterfalls and towering peaks”.

Other places that made it into the list included locations in Scotland, Norway, Finland, Turkey, the United States, Japan, Cambodia, Malta and more.

Investigation Service releases information about launch of investigation into alleged GEM fest-related financial violations

The Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance has launched an investigation into the alleged financial violations during the music festival GEM fest held by Art Platform Ltd in the Zugdidi Municipality from July 14, 2017, to August 14, 2017. The investigation is underway under subparagraph "b” of Article 185 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, pertaining to damage of property by cheating.

According to the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance, based on court decisions and relevant resolutions, the documents and computers containing information related to the organization and conduct of the festival have been seized in order to establish the factual circumstances of the case in the course of investigation. At this stage, the festival organizers are being questioned. On August 18, Giorgi Sigua, director of Art Platforms, was interrogated as a witness.

According to the agency, based on the study and analysis of the obtained information, as well as the testimonies of witnesses, all relevant investigative actions will be carried out.

Taking into consideration the high interest of the society towards this case, the Investigation Service will periodically inform the public of the progress and results of the investigation. In addition, the Investigation Service expresses its readiness to transfer copies of specific documents to Art Platform.