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The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 27
Russia to Transfer Two Medical Rescue Helicopters to South Ossetia

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations will grant two medical rescue helicopters to Tskhinvali, local authorities announced on December 22, two days after the meeting of Russia’s Emergency Minister Vladimir Puchkov with Anatoly Bibilov, the region’s Moscow-backed leader.

“There is an urgent need of sanitary aviation so that we are able to quickly transport those requiring emergency medical treatment, who we usually send to the south of our republic (to Georgia proper), to medical facilities in North Caucasus, in North Ossetia,” Alan Tadtaev, head of Tskhinvali’s emergency management agency told the local television station on Friday.

Tadtaev also noted that the helicopters would be based in the region, and that the “all infrastructure for maintaining and servicing the aircraft” would be developed “with the assistance of our Russian colleagues.” Tadtaev added that Moscow would also help the region in training “local specialists so that they are able to maintain and use the aircraft themselves.”

The announcement came slightly over a month after Moscow signed a medical cooperation agreement with Tskhinvali, extending its compulsory medical insurance program to Russian citizens living in South Ossetia.

The new agreement, head of the local “parliament’s” health committee Alan Kozonov contemplated on December 17, would “allow if not to absolutely eradicate, then at least to significantly decrease” the growing number of Tskhinvali residents getting medical treatment in the Tbilisi-controlled part of Georgia.

According to Tamaz Bestaev, healthcare minister at the Tbilisi-based Provisional Administration of South Ossetia, as of December 25, there were around 400 residents of the region who used the Georgian state-funded medical service program in 2017. The corresponding figure for 2016 stood at 679, Bestaev also told Civil Georgia. (

Tbilisi Mayor says 132 families officially register real estate for symbol price

Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze has announced that 132 families living in capital Tbilisi and nearby Tskneti settlement have had their accommodations officially registered.

The families had faced problems with registering their real estate for many years.

Many of the people are internally displaced.

Kaladze said that the families had to pay a symbolic price, GEL 1, for registering their property.

Tbilisi Mayor has also summarized his activities in the role for the last half month and spoke about the planned rehabilitation-reconstruction of Orbeliani Square.

The square will be one of the best places in Tbilisi. The cost of the project is 52 million GEL and it will employ up to 2,000 people,” Kaladze said.

Kaladze also announced stricter regulations for construction businesses and stated that the Mayor’s Office relevant agencies have issued 216 warnings over the violation of safety norms in the constructions.

We have also revealed 500 illegal constructions and legal disputes have been launched for 270 such constructions,” Kaladze said.

Tbilisi Mayor repeated that the New Year concerts will be held in three locations, in Old Tbilisi, Gldani and Varketili and public transport will be free on December 31 and January 1.

Metro will be open until 4am on December 31. (