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Lonely Planet: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/dest/eur/geo.htm
USSD: http://www.state.gov/www/background_notes/georgia_9811_bgn.html The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi.
1.8Mil BC Hominid fossils and crude stone
tools of this time were found in the former Soviet republic of
Georgia in 1991 beneath the ruins of a medieval castle at Dmanisi.
The tools were similar to ones in China dating at 1.66 million. A
3rd smaller skull was found in 2002. All 3 were tentatively
classified as Homo erectus. One skull of a man indicated that he had
been almost toothless for at least 2 years before death. In 2013 a
study of the findings was published in Science.
(Arch, 9/02, p.10)(SFC, 5/12/00, p.A5)(SFC,
7/5/02, p.A5)(SFC, 4/7/05, p.A3)(SFC, 10/18/12, p.A4)
33000BC Ivory carving dating to about this time
depicted a busty woman. It was found in 2008 in a German cave and
was unveiled in 2009 by archaeologists who believed it to be the
oldest known sculpture of the human form. The carving found in six
fragments in Germany's Hohle Fels cave depicts a woman with a
swollen belly, wide-set thighs and large, protruding breasts.
8000BC Wine was produced in the region known as
Colchis (later Georgia) as early as this time.
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.100)
600BC Lazica dates back to at least the 6th
century BC when the first South Caucasian state in the west was the
Kingdom of Colchis which covered modern western Georgia and modern
Turkish provinces of Trabzon and Rize. The Laz are a
Kartvelian-speaking ethnic group native to the Black Sea coastal
regions of Turkey and Georgia.
500-600 The monastic complex of David Gareja was
founded in the 6th century by David (St. David Garejeli), one of the
thirteen Assyrian monks who arrived in Georgia at the same time. His
disciples Dodo and Luciane expanded the original lavra and founded
two other monasteries known as Dodo's Rka (literally, "the horn of
Dodo") and Natlismtsemeli ("the Baptist"). Part of the complex is
also located in the Agstafa rayon of Azerbaijan and thus became
subject to a border dispute between Georgian and Azerbaijani
632-661 The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the
Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in
Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height,
the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant,
Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and
Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in
history up until that time.
683-685 Khazars invaded Transcaucasia and
inflicted much damage and stole much booty. The Khazar invaders
killed the rulers of Armenia and Georgia.
1014 May 7, Bagrat III (b~960)
of the Georgian Bagrationi dynasty, died. He was King of the
Abkhazians from 978 on (as Bagrat II) and King of Kings of the
Georgians from 1008 on. He is known to have constructed a
magnificent cathedral, the Bagrati Cathedral, at Kutaisi, western
Georgia. Its ruins named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
1089-1125 David the Builder, a king who increased
Georgia's wealth and prestige after, at age 16, taking the reins of
a country beset by attackers.
1172-1216 Shota Rustaveli, a Georgian poet, lived
about this time. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest
representatives of the literature of the medieval world. His
literary work included “The Knight in the Panther's Skin”
("Vepkhistkaosani" in Georgian), the Georgian national epic poem.
1178 The wise King Giorgi III
of Georgia had his daughter, Tamara (19), crowned as his co-ruler to
provide an orderly succession.
1204-1205 Georgia’s Queen Tamara marched with her
men to the rousing victory over the Turks at the Battle of Basiani
where she is hailed with the cry, "Our King Tamara."
1212 Jan 18, Queen Tamara of
Georgia in Transcaucasia died after a 24-year reign during which her
soldiers proclaim her "our King."
1236 Queen Rusudani (41), the
daughter of Queen Tamara, fled Georgia as the unstoppable Mongol
hordes ravished the area. She had been proclaimed "King" at the
death of her brother.
1258 Feb 10, Huegu (Hulega
Khan), a Mongol leader and grandson of Genghis Khan, seized Baghdad
following a 4-day assault. Mongol invaders from Central Asia took
over Baghdad and ended the Abbasid-Seljuk Empire. They included
Uzbeks, Kazaks, Georgians and other groups. Some 200 to 800 thousand
people were killed and looting lasted 17 days.
(ATC, p.91)(AP, 2/10/99)(SFC, 4/12/03, p.A1)
1265 Mongols sacked the
monastic complex of David Gareja in Georgia.
1395 Tamerlane, a Turkic
conqueror, swept into Southern Russia and Georgia driving locals
into the hills.
(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1615 The Persians sacked the
monastic complex of David Gareja in Georgia.
(Econ, 8/28/10, p.50)
1722 Peter the Great exploited
the chaos in the Persian Empire to lead an expedition into
Transcaucasia, he struck an alliance with Vakhtang VI, the Georgian
ruler of Kartli.
1769-1772 A handful of Russian troops of General
Totleben battled against Turkish invaders in Imereti and
1783 Jul 24, Georgia became a
protectorate of tsarist Russia.
1795 Georgia’s Narikala
Fortress and the buildings of Old Tbilisi suffered at the hands of
1798 Jan 11, Erekle II
(b.~1720), Georgian monarch of the Bagrationi Dynasty, died. He had
reigned as the king of Kakheti from 1744 to 1762, and of Kartli and
Kakheti from 1762 until 1798. His name is frequently transliterated
from the Latinized form Heraclius.
1801 South Ossetia was absorbed
into the Russian Empire along with Georgia.
(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1876 May, Residents in Tbilisi,
Georgia, found a collection of ancient gold jewels in the muddy
streets following a downpour. The objects were dated from the 5th to
the 1st century BC when the region was known as Colchis.
(Econ, 11/15/08, p.100)
1890 The Marxist Armenian
Revolutionary Federation, called the Dashnaks, was founded in the
Russian Empire, in Tiflis (Georgia).
1905 Mar 8, The peasant revolt
in Russia was reported to be spreading to Georgia.
1906 Apr 10, A report from
Russia said 7 soldiers were killed during a rebellion at the
garrison in Tiflis (Tbilisi, Georgia). On April 17 it was reported
that 315 soldiers were killed in a fight between mutineers and loyal
(SFC, 4/18/06, p.A15)
1907 Stalin (1879-1953)
organized an armed robbery on 2 coaches carrying treasure to the
state bank in central Tbilisi, Georgia. He delivered his gains to
Lenin. In 2007 Simon Sebag Montefiore authored “Young Stalin.”
(Econ, 5/19/07, p.88)
1918 South Ossetians made a bid
to break away from Georgia and thousands fled in the ensuing
violence. Menshevik Georgia waged a brutal war to absorb Abkhazia
and South Ossetia. In 1921 the Red Army regained control and
absorbed all three into the Soviet Union.
(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)(Econ, 10/23/10, p.102)
1921 Feb 12, Soviet troops
invaded neighboring Georgia.
1922 South Ossetia became an
autonomous region within the Soviet Republic of Georgia.
(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1928 Jan 25, Eduard
Shevardnadze, foreign minister of USSR, was born in Soviet Georgia.
1931 USSR leader Joseph Stalin
turned Abkhazia into an autonomous region of Georgia. Beria, his
secret police chief, later resettled Georgians from the western part
of the country in Abkhazia.
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.64)
1936 Dec 5, Armenian SSR,
Azerbaijan SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR & Kirghiz SSR became
constituent republics of Soviet Union.
1986 The Georgian film
“Repentance” was directed by Tengiz Abuladze. It was an allegory
about a small town mayor who gradually becomes a despot. The film
was about the crimes of Stalinism and was banned by censors.
(SFC, 9/23/98, p.A10)(Econ, 7/12/14, p.82)
1987 Sep 13, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevardnadze arrived in Washington for talks aimed
at a possible superpower summit; Shevardnadze carried with him a
letter from Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to President Reagan.
1988 Jan 6, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevardnadze was quoted by the Afghan news agency as
saying the Kremlin wanted to pull an estimated 115,000 soldiers from
Afghanistan in the coming year.
1989 Apr, Troops of Russian
General Igor Rodionov killed 29 demonstrators in Tbilisi. Troops
under Russian Gen’l Lebed killed 18 protestors, including 16 women
and children, in Tbilisi, Georgia. Colonel Gen’l. Igor Rodionov
ordered the troops to break up anti-Kremlin protests in Tbilisi.
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A12)(SFC, 6/26/96, p.A11)(http:
1989-1982 South Ossetia defended itself from
Georgia with aid from Russia and about 1,000 people died in the
fighting. Some 25-40,000 people fled the area.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A10)
1990 Aug, South Ossetia, a
region of north central Georgia with a population of about 100,000,
declared itself sovereign. Ethnic Ossetians speak a language similar
to Persian. Georgia abolished South Ossetia’s autonomous status
following the attempted break. Georgian leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia
declared South Ossetia part of Georgia and marched on Tskhinvali,
the declared capital.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1990 Dec 20, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevardnadze shocked Soviet lawmakers by announcing
his resignation, warning that "dictatorship is coming."
1991 Apr 9, Georgia SSR
declared independence from the USSR.
1991 Apr 29, More than 100
people were killed and some 100,000 were left homeless when a strong
earthquake struck Soviet Georgia.
1991 Jun, Georgian leader Zviad
Gamsakhurdia, a noted author and scholar of the iconic Georgian poet
Shota Rustaveli, was elected president of Georgia.
1991 Sex selective abortions
began increasing in the Caucasus region as ultrasound equipment
became available from the West. By 2013 over 115 boys were born in
Armenia and Azerbaijan for every 100 girls. In Georgia the ration
was 120 to 100.
(Econ, 9/21/13, p.54)
1992 Jan 6, After two weeks of
fighting, ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia fled the
1992 Jul, Russia brokered a
cease fire between South Ossetia and Georgia.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1992 In Georgia Eduard
Shevardnadze, former Soviet foreign minister, was elected speaker of
Parliament and the became the country's leader.
(WSJ, 11/6/95, p.A-1)(SFC, 11/24/03, p.A11)
1992 In Tbilisi, Georgia, the
central-heating system went out of service. Carbon-monoxide
poisonings began as residents turned to wood and gas stoves.
1992-1993 Separatists in the northwestern province
of Abkhazia took over control by war. War between Abkhaz forces and
Georgians killed 10,000 and left the Black Sea region as a de facto
independent but unrecognized state. In the siege of Sukhumi Abkhaz
rebels encircled the capital of the region.
(SFC, 2/21/98, p.A10)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.A8)(WSJ,
1993 Mar 19, Georgia shot down
a Russian warplane over the separatist Abkhazia region, killing its
pilot and heightening tensions.
1993 Aug 8, Freddie Woodruff
(b.1947), CIA agent chief in Tbilisi, Georgia, was shot and killed
during an outing with friends. Georgian authorities charged Anzor
Sharmaidze (20), a volunteer soldier, with the murder. Sharmaidze
confessed under torture and later said he was framed for the murder.
In 2008 Sharmaidze was granted parole from prison.
10/18/08, p.A1)(WSJ, 10/27/08, p.a12)
1993 Sep 22, An aircraft
operated by Transair Georgia was shot down by Abkhazian separatist
forces. It crashed onto the runway and caught fire, killing 108.
1993 Dec 3, Georgia became a
member of Russia's Commonwealth of Independent States; Russia, in
return, backed Shevardnadze against Abkhaz rebels.
1993 Dec 31, Former Georgian
President Zviad Gamsakhurdia (b.1939) died on New Year’s Eve. He had
returned to lead an uprising in western Georgia, but the fighting
was quickly put down and Gamsakhurdia was surrounded. His body was
then taken to Chechnya. In 2007 His body was returned for burial in
1994 Nov, Abkhazia declared
independence from Georgia and set up its own government. No other
country gave recognition. Residents of the area numbered about
200,000 and spoke their own language. Vladislav Ardzinba became
1994 Georgia reached a
cease-fire with Abkhazia.
(SFC, 11/24/03, p.A11)
1995 Aug 29, In Tbilisi,
Georgia, the motorcade of Eduard Shevardnadze was attacked as he
left for the ceremonial signing of the new constitution.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.A12)
1995 Eduard Shevardnadze was
elected president of Georgia for a 5-year term after the country
adopted a new constitution.
(SFC, 11/24/03, p.A11)
1996 Apr, Shevardnadze signed a
cooperation agreement with Azerbaijan and Armenia.
1996 Jul 19, Peacekeeping
mandate of Russia in the Abkhaz conflict was due to expire.
1996 Jul, After having secured
a new resolution of support from the United Nations Security
Council, Shevardnadze started talks to Abkhaz leader Vladislav
1997 Jan 9, The government
informed the US that diplomat Georgui Makharadze would be recalled
following his involvement in a car crash that left a 16-year-old
Washington girl dead. Police evidence strongly suggested that he had
(SFC, 1/10/96, p.A2)
1997 Oct 8, Gueorgui
Makharadze, a diplomat from the Republic of Georgia, pleaded guilty
in Washington to charges stemming from a car crash that killed
Maryland teen-ager Jovianne Waltrick. Makharadze was sentenced to
seven years in prison; he initially served his term in a US prison,
but was later transferred to Georgia, where he was paroled in 2002.
1997 Former Soviet republics
(Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) formed Guuam
to seek cooperation outside Russian influence.
(WSJ, 3/4/05, p.A13)
1997 Rocket-propelled grenades
slammed the armor-plated Mercedes of Pres. Shevardnadze and 2
bodyguards were killed.
(SFC, 8/31/98, p.A8)
1998 Feb 9, In Tbilisi armed
attackers ambushed Pres. Shevardnadze (70). One attacker and one
bodyguard were killed.
(SFC, 2/10/98, p.A12)
1998 Feb 19, Gunmen kidnapped 4
UN observers and 6 civilians and demanded the release of 7 suspects
held for last week’s assassination attempt on Pres. Shevardnadze.
(WSJ, 2/20/98, p.A1)
1998 Feb 25, The UN prisoners
were freed and the leader of the kidnapping group escaped.
(WSJ, 2/26/98, p.A1)
1998 Apr 21, It was reported
that the US and Britain have begun a secretive removal of nuclear
materials near Tbilisi. Britain volunteered to accept the material.
(SFC, 4/21/98, p.A18)
1998 May 25, Fighting between
Abkhaz forces and Georgian irregulars raged inside a Russian
patrolled buffer zone despite an agreed 1993 cease-fire. Georgia
later claimed that 100 people died and that 38,000 Georgians were
driven from their homes.
(SFC, 5/26/98, p.A8)(WSJ, 5/26/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
1998 Oct 19, In Georgia an army
mutiny failed after 200 troops opposed to Pres. Shevardnadze
surrendered. 4 rebels and one government soldier were killed.
(WSJ, 10/20/98, p.A1)
1998 Oct 29, Five nations
endorsed the oil pipeline from the Caspian to the Mediterranean Sea.
Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan committed to
the 1,080 mile conduit with a push from the US.
(SFC, 10/30/98, p.A14)
1998 Dec 24, In Tbilisi,
Georgia, gunmen killed Greek diplomat Anastasius Mizitrasos.
(SFC, 12/25/98, p.A19)
1999 Oct 13, In Georgia gunmen
seized 6 UN observers and a translator as they delivered aid to
Abkhazia. 4 of the observers were released the next day and the
ransom was raised to $350,000. The last of the hostages were
released 2 days later.
(SFC, 10/14/99, p.A14)(SFC, 10/15/99, p.D3)(SFC,
1999 Nov 8, Pope John Paul II
stopped to "build new bridges" with the Orthodox Church and
Patriarch Ilia II. Separately Prime Minister Shevardnadze's party
won the recent parliamentary elections.
(SFC, 11/9/99, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/9/99, p.A1)
1999 Nov 17, Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Turkey agreed to a US-backed plan for a Caspian oil
pipeline from Baku to Ceyhan to be completed in 2004. The 1st
shipment was made in 2006.
(SFC, 11/18/99, p.C6)(AFP, 6/4/06)
1999 Nov 23, An agreement
between Georgia and Russia was announced to cut the number of
Russian forces over the next few years.
(SFC, 11/24/99, p.C5)
2000 Apr 9, In Georgia Pres.
Eduard Shevardnadze won re-election with some 82% of the vote.
Dzhumber Patiashvili, ex-Communist leader, trailed with 17% and
charged that there was widespread vote rigging.
(SFC, 4/10/00, p.A16)
2000 Jun 1, Abkhaz officials
reported that 5 members of a UN observer mission were missing.
(SFC, 6/3/00, p.A12)
2000 Aug 4, In Georgia three
Red Cross workers were believed to have been kidnapped. Their car
was found the next day near the border with Chechnya.
(SFC, 8/7/00, p.C16)(WSJ, 8/7/00, p.A1)
2001 May 25, In Georgia some
400 National Guard mutinied over improved living conditions at a
base 25 miles northeast of Tbilisi.
(SFC, 5/26/01, p.A10)
2001 Oct 8, In the Abkhazia
region of Georgia a UN helicopter was shot down and 9 people were
(SFC, 10/9/01, p.B4)
2001 Oct 9, Abkhazia accused
Chechen and Georgian fighters of killing 14 villagers and mounting a
(WSJ, 10/10/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 30, In Tbilisi the
state security ministry sent 30 agents to the independent Rustavi 2
TV station, ostensibly for a tax investigation. The director refused
the examination of financial files and put the standoff on the air
which prompted 5-10 thousand people to gather in protest. Security
Minister Vakhtang Kutateladze was later fired by Pres. Shevardnadze.
(SFC, 11/2/01, p.D2)
2001 Nov 1, In Georgia Pres.
Shevardnadze fired his government as demonstrators took to the
streets and demanded changes.
(SFC, 11/2/01, p.D2)
2001 Dec, Abandoned Soviet
nuclear batteries were found by woodsmen in the mountains of
Abkhazia near Dzhvari filled with strontium 90. Experts removed the
devices Feb 5.
(SFC, 2/1/02, p.A14)(SFC, 2/5/02, p.A6)
2001 An expedition to the
Krubera cave in Voronja, Georgia, measured its depth at 5,610 feet,
making it the world's deepest known cave.
(NG, Feb, 04)
2002 Feb 26, It was reported
that the US has begun providing the former Soviet Republic of
Georgia with military aid to counter terrorist threats in the
Pankisi Gorge region. Some 100-200 US soldiers were included in the
$64 million program to begin in mid-March.
(SFC, 2/27/02, p.A8)(SFC, 3/2/02, p.A11)
2002 Mar 21, It was reported
that Georgian fighters expected to use their US training against
secessionists in Abkhazia, which was unofficially protected by
(SFC, 3/21/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 12, Russia sent troops
into the Kodori gorge of Georgia to watch the Abkhazia border. The
move was condemned by Georgian officials and troops were soon
(SFC, 4/13/02, p.A11)(WSJ, 4/15/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 25, An earthquake in
Tbilisi, Georgia, killed at least 3 people.
(SFC, 4/26/02, p.A15)
2002 Apr 29, The 1st 20 of some
2000 US soldiers landed in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
(SFC, 4/30/02, p.A14)
2002 May 19, A team of 50 US
Green Berets landed in Tbilisi for a 2-year training program for
(SFC, 5/20/02, p.A14)
2002 May, Pres. Shevardnadze of
Georgia issued a decree ordering new measures to insure the rights
of worshippers. He denounced the last 3 years of violence against
new religions including Jehovah’s Witnesses. Only the Orthodox
Church had special status and tax exemption.
(SFC, 8/17/02, p.A8)
2002 Aug 23, Pres. Shevardnadze
accused Russia of bombing inside Georgia’s border. One person was
(SFC, 8/24/02, p.A7)
2002 Sep 11, In Russia Pres.
Putin threatened military strikes on Georgia to defend itself from
(SFC, 9/12/02, p.A7)
2002 Sep 23, Georgia's
president sought to defuse an explosive war of words with Russia,
offering to let Moscow send unarmed military observers to the
mountain valley where Russia says terrorists are operating.
2002 Oct 22, It was reported
that special forces in the Pankisi Gorge of Georgia had captured 15
Arab militants linked to al Qaeda.
(SFC, 10/22/02, p.A7)
2002 Nov 3, Dzhumber Lezhava
returned to Tbilisi, Georgia, ending a nine-year trip around the
world by bicycle.
2002 Russia changed its
citizenship law to allow massive distribution of passports to people
in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia.
(Econ, 10/3/09, p.65)
2003 Mar 24, In Georgia Pres.
Shevardnadze confirmed that the US was flying U-2 spy planes over
the Pankisi Gorge area to help fight Chechen rebel infiltration.
(WSJ, 3/25/03, p.A1)
2003 Aug 18, All of Georgia was
without power for the entire day, and officials in the impoverished
former Soviet republic were struggling to determine the cause of the
2003 Sep 19, The government of
Georgia scrapped an accord guaranteeing religious freedom for
Catholics. The next day the Vatican issued an unusually strong
rebuke to the former Soviet republic and its dominant Orthodox
2003 Nov 2, Georgia held
parliamentary elections and opinion polls said the opposition would
take control unless there was massive fraud. Parliamentary
candidates allied with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze held a
slim lead in elections that European monitors said were marred by
(SFC, 11/3/03, p.A3)(AP, 11/4/03)
2003 Nov 5, In Georgia
opposition parties protested for a 2nd day, accusing President
Eduard Shevardnadze's government of rigging the results of
2003 Nov 22, Opposition
supporters broke into Georgia's Parliament and took it over,
scuffling with lawmakers and forcing President Eduard Shevardnadze
to flee as thousands of protesters outside demanded his resignation.
2003 Nov 23, Georgian President
Eduard Shevardnadze signed his resignation papers as leaders of
protesters already occupying parliament urged tens of thousands of
supporters to seize more organs of state power and some military
units defected to the jubilant protesters thronging the capital's
streets. Nino Burdzhanadze, leader of the United Democrats
opposition, declared herself acting president and announced a new
election within 45 days.
(AP, 11/23/03)(SSFC, 11/23/03, p.A3)
2003 Nov 25, Georgian lawmakers
set a new presidential election for Jan 4. The foreign debt stood at
$1.8 billion, the unemployment rate was 30% and the average monthly
salary was $20.
(AP, 11/25/03)(SFC, 11/26/03, p.A13)
2003 Nov 26, In Georgia Mikhail
Saakashvili (35), a US educated lawyer, said he would run for
president as the sole candidate of the opposition National Movement
party. His campaign later became known as the “rose revolution.”
(SFC, 11/27/03, p.A9)(Econ, 11/17/07, p.16)
2003 Dec 10, Aslan Abashidze
(65), a former Soviet bureaucrat who has ruled the region of
Adzharia since Georgia's 1991 independence, refused to accept
Georgia's interim leadership or parliament.
2003 Dec 29, A Georgia rocket
attack damaged offices of an independent TV station.
(WSJ, 12/30/03, p.A1)
2004 Jan 4, The former Soviet
republic of Georgia voted for a successor to President Eduard
Shevardnadze. Mikhail Saakashvili, Georgia's young firebrand
opposition leader, declared himself the victor in presidential
elections with some 85% of the vote.
(AP, 1/5/04)(SFC, 1/5/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 8, Authorities in
Georgia's autonomous region of Adzharia imposed a state of
emergency, fearing the newly elected Georgian president may try to
rein in the province.
2004 Jan 18, In Georgia an
explosion at a scientific institute in Tbilisi killed two people and
injured two others. It occurred during a transfer of nitrogen, an
indication that a canister of the gas could have blown up.
2004 Jan 25, Mikhail
Saakashvili was inaugurated as Georgia's president.
2004 Feb 26, Mikhail
Saakashvili, the new president of Georgia, said he is ready to
negotiate full autonomy for the separatist Abkhazia region to end
the decade-long conflict.
2004 Mar 14, Georgia's
President Mikhail Saakashvili put the country's military on alert
after the restive Adzharia region barred him from entering.
2004 Mar 15, Georgia's
President Mikhail Saakashvili put trade restrictions on Adzharia
(Ajaria) after Aslan Abashidze ignored a deadline to accept federal
2004 Mar 18, Georgia's
President Mikhail Saakashvili met with Aslan Abashidze in Batumi,
Ajaria, to settle misunderstandings.
(Econ, 3/20/04, p.54)
2004 Mar 19, Georgia's
authorities lifted sanctions against the defiant Adzharia (Ajaria)
region, carrying out a new agreement aimed to avert tensions.
2004 Mar 28, Georgians voted in
the country's third election in less than six months. Supporters of
President Mikhail Saakashvili swept to victory in Georgia's
parliamentary election, according to early results.
(AP, 3/28/04)(AP, 3/29/04)
2004 Apr 2, Georgian
authorities reported that they had detained four men on suspicion of
plotting to assassinate the president, and officials accused the
autonomous province of Adzharia (Ajaria) of being behind the alleged
2004 Apr 19, The annual
environmental Goldman Prizes were awarded in SF. Winners included
Manana Kochladze of Georgia for winning concessions to protect
villagers and a pristine gorge from an oil pipeline.
(SFC, 4/19/04, p.B5)
2004 May 2, Adzharian (Ajaria)
forces blew up the three major bridges connecting their recalcitrant
province with the rest of Georgia in what their leader said was a
preventive measure against Georgian military action.
2004 May 5, Russian foreign
minister Igor Ivanov helped ease Aslan Abashidze out of Adzharia
(Econ, 5/8/04, p.49)
2004 May 6, The leader of the
breakaway region of Adzharia fled after street protests, and
Georgia's president flew into the restive province, vowing to pursue
the integration of two other separatist regions.
2004 May, Georgia’s Pres.
Saakashvili asked Kakha Bendukidze (48), industrialist, to return to
Georgia from Russia and serve as the new economy minister.
Bendukidze returned in June and began work.
(Econ, 7/31/04, p.56)
2004 Aug 15, Sporadic gunfire
and shelling took place overnight in the disputed Georgian region of
South Ossetia in violation of a fragile ceasefire, wounding seven
2004 Aug 17, Georgian President
Mikhail Saakashvili appealed to world leaders to convene an
international conference on the conflict in breakaway South Ossetia,
where daily exchanges of gunfire threaten to spark a war. The
province operated as a conduit for smuggling between Georgia and
(AP, 8/17/04)(Econ, 8/21/04, p.40)
2004 Aug 18, In South Ossetia 3
Georgian peacekeepers were killed in overnight shooting.
2004 Dec 5, In Abkhazia
(Georgia) the two candidates vying for the region's presidency
agreed to conduct new elections and run on a joint ticket.
2004 Irakly Okruashvili,
Georgia’s interior minister, sacked some 12,000 police officers as
part of a major anti-corruption drive.
(Econ, 9/18/04, p.56)
2004 Georgia’s Pres.
Saakashvili installed Levan Varshalomidze to replace Aslan Abashidze
as head of the Ajaria region.
(Econ, 8/20/05, p.42)
2005 Feb 1, In Gori, Georgia, a
car bomb exploded outside a police station, killing three policemen
and injuring 13 other people.
2005 Feb 3, PM Zurab Zhvania,
who helped lead Georgia's revolution that toppled the
corruption-tainted regime of Eduard Shevardnadze, died in a friend's
apartment from what officials claimed was an accidental gas leak
from a heater.
2005 Feb 17, Georgia’s
parliament approved Zurab Nogaideli as premier.
(WSJ, 2/18/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 10, Georgia lawmakers
voted unanimously for Russia to withdraw troops from soviet-era
bases by Jan 1.
(WSJ, 3/11/05, p.A1)
2005 May 9, In Tbilisi Pres.
Bush, before a cheering crowd of tens of thousands of people, said
that the former Soviet republic of Georgia is proving to the world
that determined people can rise up and claim their freedom from
2005 May 10, Cheered by tens of
thousands in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, President Bush
urged the spread of democracy across the former communist world and
2005 May 25, In Azerbaijan
officials opened the first section of a $3.6 billion, 1,100-mile
pipeline that will carry Caspian Sea oil to Western markets. The
presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Turkey were on
hand for the ceremony at the Sangachal oil terminal.
(AP, 5/25/05)(WSJ, 5/25/05, p.B2)
2005 May 30, Russia agreed to
begin withdrawing its troops from two Soviet-era bases in Georgia
this year, resolving one of the most serious disputes between Moscow
and its pro-Western neighbor.
2005 Aug 2, Georgia’s Pres,
Saakashvili said he is counting on US help to facedown Moscow and
reassert control over Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia.
(WSJ, 8/2/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug 12, Leaders of Georgia
and Ukraine called for an alliance that would champion democracy in
the former Soviet lands.
2005 Sep 10, More than 500
U.S.-trained Georgian soldiers left for Iraq as part of a regular
rotation of troops by the former Soviet republic.
2005 Nov 23, Georgian President
Mikhail Saakashvili predicted his country will become a member of
the Western military alliance NATO by 2009.
2006 Jan 11, In Georgia a court
convicted a man of trying to assassinate President Bush and the
leader of Georgia during a rally last year, and it sentenced him to
life in prison. Vladimir Arutyunian (27) also was convicted of
killing a policeman during a shootout while authorities were trying
to arrest him several weeks after the May 10, 2005, grenade
2006 Jan 22, Explosions hit
pipelines running through southern Russia, cutting the natural gas
supply to Georgia and Armenia during a cold snap.
2006 Jan 22, Georgia began
receiving natural gas late in the day from Azerbaijan following
explosions on pipelines in southern Russia that cut off delivery of
gas to Georgia and its neighbor Armenia during a cold snap.
2006 Jan 24, Georgia’s energy
minister said Iran has expressed a readiness to export natural gas
to Georgia to make up for a sharp drop in Russian deliveries.
2006 Jan 27, Georgia's
president said that Iran had agreed to start providing emergency gas
supplies to the Caucasus mountain nation as early as this weekend,
signaling an end to an energy crisis made worse by an extreme cold
2006 Jan 29, Russia resumed
sending natural gas to Georgia after finishing repairs to a major
pipeline damaged by mysterious blasts a week earlier.
2006 Mar 9, About 8,000
Georgians took to the streets for the capital's biggest
anti-government demonstration since President Mikhail Saakashvili
was swept to power after leading the Rose Revolution protests more
than two years ago.
2006 Mar 26, Georgian police
stormed a prison in Tbilisi after inmates rioted in an escape
attempt from Ortochala prison, sparking a gun battle that left two
guards and an unknown number of inmates dead.
2006 Apr 6, It was reported
that Russian health and sanitary officials had imposed a ban on
Georgian and Moldovan wines effective May 1. Authorities said the
wines contained pesticides and heavy metals. The ban was soon
extended to brandy and sparkling wines.
2006 May 28, A new $4 billion
pipeline from Baku, via Georgia to Ceyhan, Turkey, began pumping
(Econ, 6/3/06, p.48)
2006 Jun 3, The long-awaited
first shipment of Caspian oil from the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)
pipeline got on its way from a Turkish port.
2006 Jul 5, Pres. Bush met with
Pres. Saakashvili and backed Georgia’s bid to join NATO.
(WSJ, 7/6/06, p.A1)
2006 Jul 6, Four former
officers in Georgia's Interior Ministry were convicted of causing
bodily harm leading to death in the case of a banker, Sandro
Girgvliani (28), whose beating and stabbing death became a political
scandal in this former Soviet republic.
2006 Jul 13, The presidents of
Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia formally opened a pipeline designed
to bypass Russia and bring Caspian oil to Europe, a route that
President Bush said would bolster global energy security.
2006 Jul 26, Georgian
authorities reported sporadic fighting in a mountainous region where
police are trying to subdue a defiant militia leader, the latest
confrontation in a volatile former Soviet republic plagued by
2006 Jul 27, Georgia’s Pres.
Saakashvili said his troops had established control over the Kodori
Gorge area after Emzar Kvitsiani, a former presidential envoy, said
he was reactivating a local militia.
(SFC, 7/28/06, p.A3)
2006 Aug 10, Rights activists
said at least nine inmates have died in Georgian prisons in the past
10 days as the Caucasus Mountains nation suffers through high
temperatures not seen in two decades.
2006 Sep 11, Leaders of the
breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia said they would hold a
referendum on independence in November, a move likely to infuriate
the government in Tbilisi and stoke already spiraling tensions.
2006 Sep 29, Georgia charged
four Russian military officers with spying, while Russian government
planes evacuated dozens of diplomats and their relatives as the
diplomatic dispute worsened between Moscow and the former Soviet
2006 Sep 30, Russia said that
it has suspended plans for further withdrawal of its troops from
Georgia amid worsening relations between the two neighbors.
2006 Oct 2, Georgia released
four Russian officers whose arrest on spying charges prompted Moscow
to announce sweeping travel and communications sanctions in the
worst bilateral crisis in years.
2006 Oct 3, Russia suspended
all transport and postal links with Georgia until further notice,
sharply escalating their dispute. The blockade caused economic
problems for Armenia, Georgia's landlocked southern neighbor, since
Russia is its main trading partner.
(AP, 10/3/06)(AP, 10/7/06)
2006 Oct 5, Georgians voted in
municipal elections seen as a crucial test for President Mikhail
Saakashvili during a diplomatic crisis with Russia.
2006 Oct 5, Russia froze
Georgians’ work permits and nearly doubled its gas bill.
(WSJ, 10/6/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 6, Opposition leaders
alleged that Georgia's local and regional elections were riddled
with fraud, but international monitors said the balloting was
conducted "with general respect for fundamental freedoms."
2006 Oct 12, Georgia blocked
the next round of talks on Russia's bid to join the World Trade
Organization in retaliation for Moscow's blockade of its small
2006 Oct 24, Georgia's Foreign
Ministry said it had protested to the UN about Russia's crackdown on
illegal Georgian migrants, demanding a stop to what it called
"persecution on ethnic grounds."
2006 Oct 26, A Georgian man was
killed and another was wounded when they stepped on a mine in a
volatile area near the breakaway province of South Ossetia.
2006 Nov 2, Russia's
state-controlled natural gas monopoly said that it would more than
double the price it charges Georgia, further heightening tensions
between the ex-Soviet neighbors.
2006 Nov 12, Voters in the
breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia declared overwhelming
backing for its independence drive in a referendum that underlined a
sharp split between Russia and the West and is likely to increase
tensions in the Caucasus region. A similar 1992 referendum
proclaiming the province's independence went unnoticed by the
international community, leaving it in limbo.
(AP, 11/12/06)(AP, 11/13/06)
2006 Dec 14, In Georgia the
last train carrying military hardware and property owned by units of
the Group of Russian Troops left the Tbilisi garrison for Armenia.
The last of Russia’s servicemen were to leave the next day. This
ended a 200-year-old Russian presence in Tbilisi.
2006 Dec 22, A top executive
with Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom said Georgia will pay more than
double what it pays now for Russian natural gas under a new
2006 Thomas Goltz authored
“Georgia Diary: A Chronicle of War and Political Chaos in the
(WSJ, 11/18/06, p.P11)
2006 A Georgian undercover
agent made contact with a Russian seller of uranium in North
Ossetia. The seller was arrested when they met in Tbilisi with 3.5
ounces of enriched uranium, which made it weapons grade material.
(SFC, 1/25/07, p.A18)
2007 Jan 18, President Vladimir
Putin ordered Russia's ambassador to Georgia to return to the
Georgian capital after recalling him four months ago, saying that
the two countries must "normalize" badly strained ties.
2007 Feb 7, Georgia signed a
regional cooperation agreement with Azerbaijan and Turkey which
included plans for a railway connecting the three countries.
(WSJ, 2/28/07, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/2gbbgg)
2007 Mar 5, Badri
Patarkatsishvili, one of the most famous Georgian oligarchs, left
Georgia. His departure was announced in London as the relocation of
his activities of "Georgia in the West," underscoring the desire to
leave the country definitively. The millionaire, who holds
first-rank influence in both finances and the media, co-holds one of
the most important Georgian media concerns, Imedi, which includes a
radio station and a television station.
2007 Mar 11, In Georgia’s
Kodori Valley Russian helicopters coordinated a ground and air
attack on 3 settlements and fired a guided missile at a Georgian
(WSJ, 1/5/07, p.A8)
2007 Apr, Georgia reported that
outbreaks of African swine fever began at the end of April in 10
regions across the country. 20,000 pigs were soon slaughtered. In
June the UN said that the outbreak could have a "catastrophic"
economic impact unless its spread is halted.
2007 May 11, Authorities in
Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia launched a blockade of
all ethnic Georgian villages in the province and demanded that the
central government withdraw its police troops from the settlements.
2007 May 20, Guram Sharadze
(67), the leader of a Georgian opposition movement, was gunned down
on a street in a central part of the capital, Tbilisi.
2007 Jun 19, Georgia border
agents blocked a car trying to smuggle radioactive plutonium and
beryllium from Azerbaijan.
(WSJ, 6/20/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 28, Hundreds of ethnic
Georgians confronted Russian peacekeeping forces in the breakaway
region of South Ossetia, throwing paint and gasoline on the troops
and forcing them to stop blocking a road project.
2007 Aug 7, Georgia accused
Russia of "undisguised aggression," saying two Russian fighter jets
intruded on its airspace and fired a missile that landed near a
house. Russia denied the allegation.
2007 Aug 24, Georgia said it
fired on a Russian plane flying over its territory. The Tbilisi City
Court, behind closed doors, convicted 13 people from minor
opposition parties for plotting a violent overthrow of the
government. Maia Topuria, the lead defendant and head of the
pro-Moscow Justice party, was sentenced to 8 ˝ years in prison.
2007 Aug 25, A senior official
of the separatist region said a plane of uncertain origin went down
over Abkhazia, a day after Georgia reported that its forces fired on
a plane believed to be Russian that had violated the country's
2007 Sep 14, Georgia’s defense
minister said Georgia will cut the size of its military contingent
in Iraq from 2,000 soldiers and other personnel to around 300 by
2007 Sep 20, A clash between
Georgian and separatist Abkhazian forces too place some 330 yards
inside Abkhaz-held territory. Several Abkhaz soldiers were wounded
and 2 former Russian military officers were killed.
(SFC, 10/30/07, p.A6)
2007 Sep 27, Irakli
Okruashvili, Georgia's hawkish former defense minister, was detained
on corruption charges, days after he alleged that President Mikhail
Saakashvili had ordered him to kill a prominent businessman.
2007 Sep 28, Thousands of
opposition supporters rallied in Georgia's capital, demanding that
the president step down following the arrest of Irakly Okruashvili
(33), a former defense minister who accused the leader of
involvement in a murder plot.
(AP, 9/28/07)(Econ, 10/6/07, p.58)
2007 Oct 7, Irakly Okruashvili,
Georgia's former defense minister, retracted allegations that the
president of this former Soviet republic was involved in a murder
plot and other corruption. Okruashvili's lawyer, Eka Beselia, said
the statements "were made under duress."
2007 Oct 10, Ministers from
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine signed a deal to
build an oil pipeline linking the Black and Baltic seas.
(WSJ, 10/11/07, p.A18)
2007 Oct 15, The Security
Council voted unanimously to extend the UN observer mission in
Georgia, expressing "serious concern" at violence that has escalated
tensions between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia.
2007 Nov 7, In Georgia police
forced dozens of opposition supporters from a site in Tbilisi, where
five days of protests had drawn thousands, but demonstrators later
returned and renewed their calls for the president's resignation.
Georgia’s Imedi television station, regarded by the government as an
opposition mouthpiece, went off the air after riot police entered
its headquarters. Imedi was owned by opposition tycoon Badri
Patarkatsishvili. The government declared a 15-day state of
(AP, 11/7/07)(AP, 11/8/07)(Econ, 11/10/07,
p.66)(Econ, 1/12/08, p.41)
2007 Nov 8, Georgia's
pro-Western Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili said that the country would
hold early presidential elections in January to defuse a crisis
fueled by protests against him. Troops armed with hard rubber clubs
patrolled the center of Tbilisi to enforce a state of emergency
imposed after a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.
2007 Nov 9, Georgian opposition
leaders said they would end streets protests against President
Mikhail Saakashvili after he called for an early presidential
election for January.
2007 Nov 15, Georgia’s
parliament lifted the country’s state of emergency imposed last week
by Pres. Saakashvili.
(WSJ, 11/16/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 15, A top Russian
general said that Russia has completed its withdrawal of troops that
had been based in Georgia since the Soviet collapse. He said
peacekeepers remained in Abkhazia along with forces in South Ossetia
with the participation of Georgia.
2007 Nov 16, Georgia’s
President Mikhail Saakashvili dismissed the prime minister and
nominated an influential banker for the post in an apparent attempt
to win votes ahead of a hastily called presidential election.
2007 Nov 21, The presidents of
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey launched the construction of a
railroad that will link ex-Soviet republics in the Caucasus and
Central Asia with Europe, bypassing Russia.
2007 Dec 26, Georgia's top
television station suspended its broadcasts, saying it was
protesting the pressure authorities have exerted because of the
station's links to a billionaire presidential contender challenging
2007 Kakha Bendukidze, Georgian
industrialist, founded the Free University of Tbilisi to teach law,
business and languages. Each graduate was expected to finance a new
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.41)
2008 Jan 5, Georgians voted to
determine whether to keep Mikhail Saakashvili as president in the
former Soviet republic, where he was once considered a symbol of
democratic reform but now faces accusations of authoritarian
leanings. Saakashvili's supporters poured onto the streets, tooting
car horns and waving white-and-red national flags, celebrating
victory based on exit poll results. Saakashvili received 52.8% of
the vote according to preliminary results.
(AP, 1/5/08)(AP, 1/6/08)(AP, 1/7/08)
2008 Jan 6, In Georgia several
thousand people rallied in Tbilisi, claiming early election results
that indicated Mikhail Saakashvili would narrowly win a second
presidential term were fraudulent.
2008 Jan 7, President Mikhail
Saakashvili said his re-election demonstrates that Georgia is on the
road to becoming a European democracy, while his opponents denounced
the vote as fraudulent and vowed to renew street protests.
2008 Jan 10, In Georgia
authorities formally charged Badri Patarkatsishvili, a billionaire
businessman, who ran in this month's presidential election with
plotting to overthrow the government. Patarkatsishvili left Georgia
in November and has spent time in Britain and Israel. He has
acknowledged offering large sums of money to police if they side
2008 Jan 13, In Georgia tens of
thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Tbilisi to protest
what they denounced as massive vote fraud that helped US-allied
Mikhail Saakashvili win a second presidential term.
2008 Jan 15, In Georgia tens of
thousands of people demonstrated in Tbilisi, pressing for a
presidential runoff but celebrating an agreement giving the
opposition more control over the main state-funded television
2008 Feb 12, Badri
Patarkatsishvili (52), a Georgian tycoon, was found dead in his
mansion near London. Police said they were treating the death as
suspicious. He had claimed he was the target of assassination plot
after helping lead anti-government protests in his homeland. He had
built his fortune in Russia, where he became Berezovsky's business
partner. However, the two men claimed in British court documents
that the Russian government forced them to sell their stakes in oil
company Sibneft, Russian Aluminum and television channel ORT for a
fraction of their value. Interim tests indicated that
Patarkatsishvili died of natural causes.
(AP, 2/13/08)(AP, 2/14/08)
2008 Mar 5, South Ossetia
appealed for international recognition as an independent nation,
further adding to simmering tensions in Georgia and throughout the
strategic South Caucasus region.
2008 Mar 6, A lawmaker said
Abkhazia, a region that broke away from Georgian government control
in the 1990s, intends to seek international recognition as an
independent nation, citing Kosovo as a precedent.
2008 Mar 25, Air travel between
Georgia and Russia resumed, more than 17 months after Moscow
suspended flights because of tension between the ex-Soviet
2008 Apr 3, President Bush won
NATO's endorsement for his plan to build a missile defense system in
Europe over Russian objections. The proposal also advanced with
Czech officials announcing an agreement to install a missile
tracking site for the system in their country. NATO decided not to
put Georgia and Ukraine on track to join the alliance after vehement
Russian opposition, but the alliance pledged that the strategically
important Black Sea nations will become members one day.
2008 Apr 20, A Georgian
unmanned reconnaissance flight was shot down over the Georgian rebel
region of Abkhazia. The next day Georgia's air force commander said
a Russian fighter jet shot down the spy plane as it flew over
Abkhazia, but Russia said it had been shot down by separatist forces
and that the flight violated UN ceasefire agreements. A UN report on
May 26 said a Russian jet shot down the spy drone.
(Reuters, 4/22/08)(AP, 4/22/08)(SFC, 5/27/08,
2008 Apr 29, Russia announced
it was beefing up its peacekeeping force in Georgia's breakaway
Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, saying it had evidence Tbilisi
was readying its forces for an attack.
2008 May 1, Russia said an
extra contingent of its troops had begun arriving in Georgia's
breakaway region of Abkhazia, a move Tbilisi said was an illegal act
of military aggression.
2008 May 4, Abkhazian
anti-aircraft forces shot down 2 unmanned Georgian spy planes. A
Georgian Foreign Ministry official, dismissed the claims as
"completely absurd disinformation" aimed at increasing tension in
2008 May 8, Georgia's breakaway
region of Abkhazia said it had shot down another Georgian spy drone.
2008 May 21, Georgia held
2008 May 22, Partial returns
and an exit poll showed President Mikhail Saakashvili's ruling party
heading for a strong majority in Georgia's parliamentary election.
United Opposition co-leader David Gamkrelidze alleged widespread
cheating and pressure on opponents by authorities in areas outside
2008 May, Georgia’s population,
as it aspired to NATO membership, was about 4.5 million.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.70)
2008 Jun 5, The European
Parliament called for the peacekeeping mandate for Russian troops in
the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to be revised. The chamber
also demanded the EU sends its own border mission into the conflict
zone in Abkhazia.
2008 Jun 6, Russia's new Pres.
Medvedev met with leaders of a fractious alliance of ex-Soviet
republics, warning Ukraine and Georgia not to lead their countries
2008 Jul 29, Russian proxies in
South Ossetia started shelling pro-Georgian villages there.
(Econ, 1/23/10, p.78)
2008 Aug 2, Overnight fighting
that included sniper and mortar fire between Georgian forces and
separatists in the breakaway South Ossetia region left six people
dead and 13 wounded.
2008 Aug 3, The breakaway
republic of South Ossetia began sending hundreds of children across
the border to its Russian ally amid increasing violence between the
republic and Georgian government forces.
2008 Aug 7, Heavy shelling
overnight in the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia
wounded at least 21 people. Cyber attacks from Russia began to
target Georgian government Web sites. An organization known as the
Russian Business Network was the leading suspect in the attacks.
Georgia’s Pres. Saakashvili ordered the shelling of Tskhinvali, the
capital of South Ossetia.
(AP, 8/7/08)(WSJ, 8/12/08, p.A9)(Econ, 8/30/08,
2008 Aug 8, Georgian troops
launched a major military offensive to regain control of South
Ossetia, prompting a furious response from Russia, which sent tanks
into the region. The convoy was expected to reach the provincial
capital by evening. Georgia said it shot down two Russian combat
planes. Separatist officials in South Ossetia said 15 civilians had
been killed in fighting overnight. Georgia later acknowledged that
it used M85 cluster munition near the Roki tunnel that connects
South Ossetia with Russia, while Russia denied use of cluster bombs.
(AP, 8/8/08)(AP, 9/1/08)
2008 Aug 9, Georgia, the third
largest contributor to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, said it's
pulling out its 2,000-strong contingent from Iraq to join the
fighting in the breakaway province of South Ossetia.
2008 Aug 9, Separatist forces
in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia launched air and
artillery strikes to drive Georgian troops from their bridgehead in
the region. The Abkhazian move was prompted by Georgia's military
action to regain control over another breakaway province, South
2008 Aug 9, Russia sent
hundreds of tanks and troops into the separatist province of South
Ossetia and bombed Georgian towns in a major escalation of the
conflict that has left scores of civilians dead and wounded. Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that some
1,500 people have been killed, with the death toll rising. The death
toll in South Ossetia was later put at fewer than 200. Russian
military aircraft bombed the Georgian town of Gori. Georgia's
President Mikhail Saakashvili proposed a cease-fire. As part of his
proposal, Georgian troops were pulled out of Tskhinvali and had been
ordered to stop responding to Russian shelling.
(AP, 8/9/08)(Econ, 8/30/08, p.49)
2008 Aug 10, Georgian troops
retreated from the breakaway province of South Ossetia and their
government pressed for a truce, overwhelmed by Russian firepower as
the conflict threatened to set off a wider war. Georgia said it has
shot down 10 Russian planes, including four brought down Aug 9. It
also claimed to have captured two Russian pilots, who were shown on
Georgian television. Ukraine warned Russia it could bar Russian navy
ships from returning to their base in the Crimea because of their
deployment to Georgia's coast.
2008 Aug 11, Swarms of Russian
jets launched new raids on Georgian territory and Georgia faced the
threat of a second front of fighting as Russia demanded that Georgia
disarm troops near the breakaway province of Abkhazia.
2008 Aug 12, Georgia's Pres.
Mikhail Saakashvili said his government will declare that its
breakaway regions are occupied territories and will designate
Russian peacekeepers as occupying forces. Russia ordered a halt to
military action in Georgia, after five days of air and land attacks
sent Georgia's army into headlong retreat and left towns and
military bases destroyed. A Dutch television journalist was killed
overnight when Russian warplanes bombed the central Georgian city of
Gori. Russia later counted 133 civilian deaths in South Ossetia.
Rights activists later said fewer than 100 civilians were killed in
South Ossetia. The war cost some 850 lives and left over 35,000
displaced civilians, mot of the Georgian.
(AP, 8/12/08)(Econ, 8/23/08, p.43)(WSJ, 9/12/08,
p.A1)(Econ, 10/3/09, p.65)
2008 Aug 13, Russian tanks
rolled into the crossroads city of Gori then thrust deep into
Georgian territory, violating the truce designed to end the six-day
war. Georgia said that 175 Georgians had died in five days of air
and ground attacks that left homes in smoldering ruins. EU foreign
ministers agreed in principle to send monitors to supervise a
French-brokered ceasefire between Russia and Georgia in the
breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia. Finance Minister Alexei
Kudrin said Russia will spend at least $400 million in 2008 on
restoring South Ossetia's battered capital Tskhinvali.
(AP, 8/13/08)(Reuters, 8/13/08)
2008 Aug 14, Georgian and
Russian troops faced off at a checkpoint outside the key city of
Gori, calling an already shaky cease-fire into question. An American
official said Russia appears to be sabotaging airfields and other
military infrastructure as its forces pull back. The Russian General
Prosecutor's office said it has formally opened a genocide probe
into Georgian treatment of South Ossetians. For its part, Georgia
this week filed a suit against Russia in the International Court of
Justice, alleging murder, rape and mass expulsions in both
2008 Aug 15, Russian troops
allowed some humanitarian supplies into Georgia’s city of Gori but
kept up their blockade of the strategically located city, raising
doubts about Russia's intentions. Relief planes swooped into Tbilisi
with tons of supplies for the estimated 100,000 people uprooted by
the fighting. An international rights group said it has evidence
that Russian warplanes dropped cluster bombs in civilian areas in
2008 Aug 16, Russian forces
pulled back from the center of a town not far from Georgia's capital
after Russia's president signed a cease-fire deal. Russia’s Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov later suggested there would be no immediate
broader withdrawal. Georgia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that
Russian-backed separatists from the province of Abkhazia had taken
over 13 villages in Georgia and a power plant. Russian troops blew
up a key railroad bridge linking the Caucasus to the Black Sea
(AP, 8/16/08)(SSFC, 8/17/08, p.A4)
2008 Aug 17, The Kremlin
promised to start withdrawing combat troops from Georgia on August
18, as Western pressure mounted on Russia to quit the ex-Soviet
2008 Aug 18, Russia said its
military began to withdraw from the conflict zone in Georgia, but
left unclear exactly where troops and tanks will operate under the
cease-fire that ended days of fighting in the former Soviet
2008 Aug 19, Russian soldiers
took 20 Georgian troops prisoner at a key port in western Georgia
and commandeered American Humvees awaiting shipment back to the
United States after taking part in earlier US-Georgian military
exercises. Georgia and Russia exchanged prisoners captured during
their brief war.
2008 Aug 20, A top Russian
general said 64 of the country's soldiers were killed and 323
wounded in this month's fighting with Georgia. Russia informed
Norway that it plans to suspend all military ties with NATO, a day
after the military alliance urged Moscow to withdraw its forces from
Georgia. Georgia later reported that 170 of its soldiers were killed
in the war.
(AP, 8/20/08)(AP, 8/21/08)(SSFC, 8/24/08, p.A10)
2008 Aug 21, Russian forces
blocked the only land entrance to Georgia's main port city, a day
before Russia promised to complete a troop pullout from its
2008 Aug 22, A Russian armored
column moved away from a base in western Georgia and Russian forces
also were leaving the key central city of Gori, the day that
Russia's president had said a pullback would be complete.
2008 Aug 23, A top Russian
general said his country's forces will keep patrolling the key
Georgian Black Sea port of Poti even though it lies outside the
areas where Russia claims it has the right to station soldiers in
2008 Aug 24, The USS McFaul, a
US Navy warship carrying humanitarian aid, anchored at the Georgian
port of Batumi, sending a strong signal of support to an embattled
ally as Russian forces built up around two separatist regions. In
central Georgia, an oil train exploded and caught fire, sending
plumes of black smoke into the air. A Georgian official said the
train hit a land mine and blamed the explosion on departing Russian
2008 Aug 25, Russia's
parliament voted unanimously to urge the president to recognize the
independence of Georgia's two breakaway regions, a move likely to
stoke further tensions between Moscow and the small Caucasus
nation's Western allies. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned
ex-Soviet Moldova against repeating Georgia's mistake of trying to
use force to seize back control of Transdniestria, a pro-Moscow
(AP, 8/25/08)(Reuters, 8/25/08)
2008 Aug 26, Russia formally
recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the breakaway Georgian
territories at the heart of its war with Georgia, heightening
tensions with the West as the US dispatched a military ship bearing
aid to a port city still patrolled by Russian troops. In a direct
challenge to Russia, the US announced it intends to deliver
humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Georgian port city of Poti,
which Russian troops still control through checkpoints on the city's
2008 Aug 27, A US military ship
docked at the southern Georgian port of Batumi. Meanwhile, Russia's
missile cruiser, the Aurora, and two missile boats, anchored at the
port of Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia. The moves by both sides
underscored an escalating standoff between Moscow and the West over
this small Caucasus nation devastated by war with Russia.
2008 Aug 27, The Group of Seven
(G7) industrialized democracies condemned Russia for its actions in
Georgia, underlining the country's growing estrangement from the
2008 Aug 28, Russian forces
turned over 12 Georgian soldiers on the border of Abkhazia.
Georgia's foreign minister said ethnic Georgians were being cleared
from their homes in South Ossetia. A joint declaration from the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization denounced the use of force and
called for respect for every country's territorial integrity.
Mikhail Mindzayev, the interior minister of South Ossetia, said an
unmanned Georgian spy plane was shot down over South Ossetia by
2008 Aug 29, A Georgian Foreign
Ministry official says Georgia is to recall all diplomatic staff
from its embassy in Moscow because of the Russian military presence
2008 Aug 30, The UN says
Russian soldiers are telling thousands of refugees in Georgia who
want to return to their homes that their security can't be
guaranteed. All hoped to return to villages that are in the
"security zones" that Russia has claimed for itself. Russian PM
Vladimir Putin urged the EU to ignore calls to punish Moscow over
the Georgia conflict as Tbilisi appealed for targeted punishment of
the Russian leadership.
(AP, 8/30/08)(AFP, 8/30/08)
2008 Aug 31, President Dmitry
Medvedev says Russia will follow the recognition of Georgia's
breakaway provinces with agreements on economic and military aid.
2008 Sep 1, Hundreds of
thousands of Georgians joined together in anti-Russian protests.
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.32)
2008 Sep 3, A US Navy ship
loaded with humanitarian aid steamed through the Dardanelles on its
way to Georgia, as the Bush administration prepared to roll out a $1
billion economic aid package for the ex-Soviet republic.
2008 Sep 4, In Georgia US Vice
President Dick Cheney condemned Russia for what he called an
"illegitimate, unilateral attempt" to redraw this US ally's borders
2008 Sep 5, The flagship of the
US Navy's Mediterranean fleet anchored outside the key Georgian port
of Poti, bringing in tons of humanitarian aid to a port still
partially occupied by hundreds of Russian troops.
2008 Sep 5, EU nations called
for an international probe to find out which country should shoulder
responsibility for starting the conflict between Georgia and Russia.
2008 Sep 7, Italy's foreign
minister, after meeting US Vice President Dick Cheney, said the EU
wants to work closely with the United States in resolving the
2008 Sep 8, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy pressed Moscow to honor its pledge to withdraw
troops from Georgia, while Russian soldiers prevented international
aid convoys from visiting Georgian villages in a tense zone around
the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Pres. Medvedev and Sarkozy
revised the EU-brokered deal to end the fighting between Russia and
Georgia. Medvedev said 200 EU monitors would deploy to regions
surrounding South Ossetia and Abkhazia by next month. After that,
Russian troops would pull out of those regions by Oct. 11 to a line
that preceded last month's fighting.
(AP, 9/8/08)(AP, 9/9/08)
2008 Sep 9, Russia said it will
station 7,600 troops in South Ossetia and in Abkhazia, announcing an
imposing long-term presence less than a day after agreeing to pull
forces back from areas surrounding the provinces.
(AP, 9/9/08)(WSJ, 9/10/08, p.A1)
2008 Sep 10, A Georgian police
officer was killed by gunfire that came from the direction of a
Russian checkpoint near separatist South Ossetia.
2008 Sep 10, Israeli defense
officials say the government has told all businessmen involved in
military sales to Georgia to immediately cease visits to the former
Soviet republic. The officials said the directive was decided upon
this week because Israel is concerned about damage to its relations
2008 Sep 13, Hundreds of
Russian forces packed up and withdrew from positions in western
Georgia. A Georgian official said Russia had met a deadline for a
partial pullout a month after the war between the two former Soviet
republics. A Georgian policeman at a post near Abkhazia was killed
by gunfire that came from the direction of a position where
Abkhazian and Russian forces have been based. Some 1,200 Russian
servicemen still remained at 19 checkpoints and other positions, 12
outside South Ossetia and seven outside Abkhazia.
2008 Sep 16, Georgia’s
government said intercepted mobile phone calls show that Russian
tanks and troops invaded before Georgia unleashed its offensive
against South Ossetia, pressing its claim that Russia was the
aggressor in the war last month.
2008 Sep 17, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev signed friendship treaties with Georgia's breakaway
regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and promised them the backing
of Russia's armed forces.
2008 Sep 22, Georgian forces
shot down a Russian drone near the breakaway province of South
2008 Sep 29, In Georgia almost
300 monitors from 22 EU nations were in place to oversee Russia's
promised troop withdrawal from the large swaths it has occupied
since the August war.
2008 Oct 1, EU monitors began
patrolling Georgian territory and Russian troops allowed some of
them into a buffer zone around the breakaway region of South Ossetia
despite earlier warnings from Moscow they would be blocked.
2008 Oct 3, A car exploded
outside the Russian military's headquarters in South Ossetia,
killing 7 people and wounding 3. The South Ossetian government said
a car, that had been confiscated in an ethnic Georgian village after
weapons were found in it, exploded near a building where leaders of
the Russian peacekeeping force were located.
2008 Oct 5, A Georgian Interior
Ministry official said Russian troops have begun dismantling
positions in the so-called security zones inside Georgia that they
have occupied since August's brief but intense war.
2008 Oct 8, Russian forces
pulled back from positions outside South Ossetia, bulldozing a camp
at a key checkpoint and withdrawing into the separatist region as EU
monitors and relieved Georgian residents looked on.
2008 Oct 22, Officials said the
EU, the US and other international donors have pledged more than
$4.5 billion for rebuilding parts of Georgia that were damaged in
its war with Russia.
2008 Oct 25, In Georgia an
explosion killed Gia Mebonia, mayor of the small town of Mujhava,
while he was inspecting a house damaged by overnight shelling near
the separatist region of Abkhazia. A villager was also killed and a
local police officer was seriously injured.
2008 Oct 27, Georgia's Pres.
Saakashvili dismissed PM Vladimir Gurgenizde and recommended Grigol
Mgaloblishvili (35), the country's ambassador to Turkey, as his
replacement. Saakashvili said Gurgenizde would now head a government
2008 Oct 29, Russia's
parliament quickly ratified treaties cementing close economic and
military ties with Georgia's two breakaway provinces.
2008 Nov 4, Human Rights Watch
reported that both Georgia and Russia used cluster bombs during
their brief summer war. Georgia’s bombs, purchased from Israel,
killed at least 3 Georgian civilians, including 2 who touched
unexploded bombs and died after the fighting ended. Many of the
bombs were said to have malfunctioned.
(WSJ, 11/4/08, p.A12)
2008 Nov 7, In Georgia
thousands of the United Opposition coalition demonstrated in the
first major protest against President Mikhail Saakashvili since the
August war with Russia. At least two significant opposition parties,
The Republican Party and the Christian Democrats, stayed away from
the protest, citing the need for postwar unity against Russia.
2008 Nov 10, An explosion
killed two Georgian police officers near the disputed region of
South Ossetia. EU monitors called the attack an unacceptable breach
of the cease-fire that ended the Georgia-Russia war.
2008 Nov 15, A Georgian
policeman was shot dead by a group of armed Abkhazians. The group
was said to have entered Georgian-controlled territory to plant land
mines. Abkhazian presidential envoy Ruslan Kishmariya said police
from the separatist side killed one and wounded two Georgian
"saboteurs" in the tense Gali district.
2008 Nov 19, Georgia and Russia
held their first major, mediated talks since their August war.
(WSJ, 11/20/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 20, Georgian officials
said Russian and separatist forces attacked a Georgian police
checkpoint near the village of Ganmukhuri, near the breakaway
province of Abkhazia. Anatoly Zaitsev, the chief of staff for the
Abkhaz armed forces, said that a group of Abkhaz troops patrolling
the area were shelled from the Georgian side and returned fire, and
no Russian troops were involved.
2008 Nov 23, In Georgia gunfire
that broke out as Pres. Saakashvili and Polish Pres. Lech Kaczynski
were traveling near a roadblock at the edge of Georgia-controlled
territory. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was no
gunfire from Russian or South Ossetian positions and suggested
Georgia engineered the incident to discredit Russia and South
Ossetia. In Tbilisi Nino Burjanadze, a former ally of Pres.
Saakashvili, founded a new party: the Democratic Movement-United
(AP, 11/24/08)(WSJ, 11/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Nov 29, Georgia said it is
cutting diplomatic relations with Nicaragua after the Central
American nation recognized the breakaway regions of South Ossetia
2008 Dec 13, Russian troops
retook Perevi village near the breakaway region of South Ossetia
just hours after withdrawing. The move drew criticism from Georgia,
the EU and US Senator John Kerry, who was on a half-day visit to
2008 Dec 22, OSCE talks on the
Georgia collapsed, when Russia demanded the group join Moscow in
recognizing the statehood of the provinces of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. The mission will expire on Dec 31.
2009 Jan 19, Russia released a
text by President Dmitry Medvedev ordering the government to
introduce economic sanctions against countries supplying weapons to
2009 Jan 30, Georgia's PM
Grigol Mgaloblishvili (35) resigned, citing health reasons after
just three months on the job as President Mikhail Saakashvili's
2009 Feb 18, Georgia and Russia
agreed to let monitors visit anywhere they want in Georgia and its 2
(WSJ, 2/19/09, p.A1)
2009 Mar 23, Georgian officials
released videotapes allegedly showing opposition members buying
weapons with the aim of sparking violence during demonstrations
against the president planned for next month.
2009 Mar 29, In Russia the film
"Olympius Inferno," was first broadcast on state television. It
offering the Kremlin's version of the August war with Georgia and
contained anti-American overtones, reflecting Russia's anger over US
support for Georgia.
2009 Apr 9, In Georgia tens of
thousands of protesters thronged the streets in front of the
parliament, calling on Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili to step down in the
largest opposition demonstration since last year's war with Russia.
2009 Apr 10, About 20,000
demonstrators kept up the pressure on Georgia's president to resign,
with some pelting his residence with cabbages and carrots on a
second day of protests.
2009 Apr 22, In Georgia
thousands of opposition supporters from the provinces poured into
the capital to join the protests aimed at forcing President Mikhail
Saakashvili to step down.
2009 Apr 30, Russia signed a
deal with Georgia's two breakaway regions giving Moscow the power to
guard the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a move sharply
criticized in Tbilisi.
2009 May 5, Georgia said it had
ended a brief mutiny at a military base near the capital that broke
out after the arrest of a former special forces commander accused of
planning to disrupt NATO exercises.
2009 May 6, NATO launched
military exercises in former Soviet Georgia after heavy criticism
from neighboring Russia and a brief mutiny in the Georgian military.
2009 May 7, In Georgia
opposition protesters clashed with police in Tbilisi in the first
outbreak of violence since demonstrations began in April.
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.55)
2009 May 7, The European Union
extended its hand to former Soviet republics, holding a summit to
draw them closer into the EU orbit despite Russia's deep misgivings.
Presidents, premiers and their deputies from 33 nations signed an
agreement meant to extend the EU's political and economic ties. The
six ex-Soviet republics to whom the “eastern partnership” would
apply are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and
(AP, 5/7/09)(Econ, 1/10/15, p.49)
2009 May 11, Georgia's
pro-Western president and four of his fiercest opponents failed to
agree on a way to resolve the country's political crisis, a
negotiator said, promising continued street demonstrations to demand
2009 May 21, In Georgia police
killed Giorgy Krialashvili, a former military officer accused of
plotting mutiny, and wounded two others in an overnight gunbattle.
Protesters condemned the shootings and blocked Tbilisi streets in
the seventh week of an anti-government campaign.
2009 Jun 15, Moscow vetoed a
Western-proposed resolution to extend the mandate of UN monitors in
the breakaway region of Abkhazia. It designed to buy time to
negotiate a long-term plan for the 16-year-old monitoring mission in
the Black Sea rebel region.
2009 Jul 23, US Vice President
Joe Biden pledged Washington's full support for Georgia a year after
its war with Russia and urged Moscow to abide by a ceasefire pact
and pull its troops back from two rebel regions.
2009 Aug 1, Authorities in the
separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia said two mortar shells
were fired into the territory from Georgia proper. Georgia denied
the claim and suggested it was a provocation ahead of the
anniversary of last year's war with Russia.
2009 Aug 8, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev hailed the Russian victory in a war with Georgia a
year ago, saying the war had redrawn the map of the Caucasus for
2009 Aug 12, Russian PM
Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Abkhazia and said Russia
will spend at least 15 billion rubles ($470 million) next year to
build Russian military bases in Abkhazia and tighten the separatist
Georgian region's borders.
2009 Aug 31, A Georgian court
sentenced a Turkish cargo ship captain to 24 years in prison for
smuggling and border violations.
2009 Sep 3, Russian’s Foreign
Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko warned Georgia that attempts to
block ships from reaching a Moscow-aligned separatist region of
Georgia could end in military intervention.
2009 Sep 10, In Russia
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez recognized the pro-Russian rebel
regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, a rare
boost to the Kremlin's campaign for their international acceptance.
2009 Sep 15, Russian news
agencies said the country's coast guard warned that it will detain
Georgian ships entering the territorial waters of Abkhazia. Viktor
Turfanov, the head of the coastal division of the border guards
service, said that Georgia this year has intercepted more than 20
ships in Abkhazian waters.
2009 Sep 30, An EU-commissioned
report said Georgia's attack on its breakaway South Ossetia region
marked the start of last year's war with Russia, which retaliated
with excessive force.
2009 Nov 26, Georgia’s foreign
minister said his country is very worried about the possible sale of
French warships to Russia and intends to press the issue of security
guarantees in France.
2009 Dec 12, Abkhazia held
elections. Preliminary results indicated that President Sergei
Bagapsh defeated four other candidates. About 70% of the 130,000
registered voters took part in the vote. The province is also home
to some 40,000 ethnic Georgians who are not eligible to vote because
they don't hold Abkhazian passports. An estimated 200,000 ethnic
Georgians fled Abkhazia in the 1990s.
2009 Dec 15, The tiny Pacific
island of Nauru recognized the rebel Black Sea region of Abkhazia,
throwing its weight behind a Russian drive to win international
recognition for Georgia's breakaway territories.
2009 Dec 19, In Georgia a woman
and her 8-year-old daughter were killed when a World War II memorial
was intentionally blown up in Kutaisi. The 46-meter (150-foot)
concrete and bronze war memorial stood on the proposed site for a
new parliament building.
2009 Dec 22, Hansjoerg Haber,
EU monitoring mission chief, said Russia has failed to fully observe
an EU-brokered peace deal that ended last year's war with Georgia.
He said Russia has not met an obligation to withdraw its forces to
positions held before the August 2008 conflict.
2009 Dec 23, Georgia's Foreign
Ministry reached a deal with Russia to open a border crossing that
has been closed for three years. The two sides agreed during
Swiss-brokered talks that the Verkhny Lars transit point will open
2010 Feb 12, The XXI Olympic
Winter Games began in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the
Olympics' first-ever indoor opening ceremony. Georgian luger Nodar
Kumaritashvili died in a horrific crash on a training run, casting a
shadow as Vancouver opened the Winter Olympic Games with a daredevil
snowboarder, an aboriginal welcome, and Wayne Gretzky lighting the
(AP, 2/12/10)(Reuters, 2/13/10)(SFC, 2/22/10,
2010 Feb 16, Georgia's
breakaway Abkhazia region said it would allow sponsor Russia to
build a military base on its soil for land troops, strengthening the
region's dependence on Moscow and provoking ire from Tbilisi..
2010 Mar 1, Georgia and Russia
reopened their only direct border crossing, more than three years
after it was closed amid rising tension that erupted into war in
2010 Mar 12, Georgian church
leader Metropolitan Theodor said convicts would be able to build or
maintain monasteries after clerics and prosecutors struck a deal
allowing criminals convicted of minor crimes to serve their
sentences in the monasteries.
2010 Mar 13, In Georgia a hoax
television broadcast said Russia had invaded and the president had
been killed. It sparked wide anxiety in the country still
traumatized by the August 2008 war in which Russian troops advanced
deep into the country.
2010 May 30, Voters in Georgia
chose local leaders in the first ballot since President Mikhail
Saakashvili led the country into a disastrous war with neighboring
Russia nearly two years ago. Candidates from President Saakashvili's
party dominated local elections, according to preliminary results.
(AP, 5/30/10)(AP, 5/31/10)
2010 Jun 25, Georgian police
cordoned off the central square in Gori and at night toppled a
statue of former Russian dictator George Stalin.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.41)
2010 Jun 27, Authorities in
Georgia tore down another monument to Soviet dictator and native son
2010 Jun 27, It was reported
that Vienna residents have become victims of burglary in recent
weeks. The Austrian interior ministry suspected that many of the
burglers were from the Republic of Georgia and were supported by the
Georgian Mafia. The alleged local head, a restaurant owner in
Vienna, has been arrested. Police suspected the burglaries were part
of plan to finance a coup against Geeorgian Pres. Saakashvili.
(SSFC, 6/27/10, p.A4)
2010 Jul 5, In Tbilisi,
Georgia, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged US
support for the former Soviet state.
2010 Jul 19, In Russia the
Khamovniki District Court in Moscow said in a statement it has
convicted Tariel Oniani (58) on extortion and abduction charges. The
native of Georgia had been convicted seven times and is wanted in
Spain since 2005 on money laundering charges.
2010 Aug 11, Russia said it has
deployed high-precision air defense missiles in the breakaway
Georgian region of Abkhazia, sending a defiant signal to Tblisi and
the West two years after a war with Georgia.
2010 Nov 5, Georgia's
government announced the arrests of 13 people, including four
Russian citizens, who are accused of spying for Russia's armed
forces. The arrests, which took place in October, were announced on
the day Russia's military intelligence agency celebrates its
professional holiday, Day of the Military Intelligence Officer.
2010 Dec 7, Georgia said it has
arrested six people, all of them Georgian citizens, suspected of
being agents for Russia and accused them of staging a series of
explosions, including one outside the US Embassy in the capital.
2010 Ronald Asmus authored “A
Little War That Shook the World: Georgia, Russia and the Future of
the West.” It covered the 2008 war in Georgia.
(Econ, 1/23/10, p.78)
2010 Thomas de Waal authored
“The Caucasus: An Introduction.”
(Econ, 10/23/10, p.102)
2011 Apr 1, The United Nations'
highest court threw out Georgia's complaint accusing Russia and
separatist militias of years of ethnic cleansing in two breakaway
Georgian provinces. The court said it had no jurisdiction in the
case because Russia and Georgia had never attempted to negotiate a
settlement to the dispute before Georgia brought it to the court.
2011 May 25, In Georgia some
3,000 anti-government protesters demanded the resignation of Pres.
Saakashvili and said they will try to block a May 26 military parade
in the capital.
2011 May 26, Georgian officials
went ahead with an Independence Day military parade along the
central avenue where two people were killed and almost 40 injured in
the violent breakup of an anti-government protest hours earlier.
2011 Jul 6, A Georgian court in
the Black Sea port of Batumi convicted a Russian citizen and eight
Georgians of espionage and gave them prison sentences ranging from
11 to 14 years.
2011 Jul 7, Georgian President
Mikhail Saakashvili's personal photographer was arrested on
suspicion of espionage, along with his wife and two other
2011 Jul 9, In Georgia Irakli
Gedenidze, Zurab Kurtsikidze and another photographer were charged
with espionage. Natia Gedenidze was released without charge.
Gedenidze, the personal photographer to the Georgian president,
confessed to giving another photographer, Zurab Kurtsikidze, details
of the president's itinerary, motorcade route and offices for
2011 Nov 13, Voters in
Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia chose a new president
for the first time since Georgia and Russia fought a brief war over
control of the territory in 2008. South Ossetia has been led since
2001 by Eduard Kokoiti, who has served two terms as president and is
now stepping down. Among those favored to succeed him is Anatoly
Bibilov, who heads South Ossetia's emergencies services and has the
support of Russia's dominant pro-Kremlin party. Anatoly Bibilov and
former education minister Alla Dzhioyeva each won about 25 percent
of the vote forcing a runoff in two weeks.
(AP, 11/13/11)(AP, 11/14/11)
2011 Dec 31, Georgia’s defense
ministry said a Georgian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, the
11th from the ex-Soviet state to die serving alongside NATO-led
forces fighting the Taliban.
2012 Feb 13, In India and
Georgia assailants targeted Israeli diplomats in near-simultaneous
strikes that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu blamed on archenemy Iran,
and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. The attacks wounded four people.
A hitman on a rented motorbike attached a magnetic bomb to the back
of an Israeli embassy car carrying the 42-year-old diplomat as she
went to pick up her children from school in New Delhi. The woman,
also the wife of the defense attache at the embassy, was left in a
critical condition with spinal injuries and was flown to Israel for
further treatment. 3 men of Iranian origin were later identified as
(AP, 2/13/12)(AFP, 3/15/12)
2012 May 26, Georgia’s Pres.
Mikhail Saakashvili inaugurated the country’s new Parliament
building in Kutaisi.
(SSFC, 5/27/12, p.A6)
2012 May 27, In Georgia tens of
thousands of people thronged the streets of Tbilisi to show their
opposition to President Mikhail Saakashvili, in the largest
anti-government demonstration in three years. It was organized by
Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire businessman who is Georgia's
richest man and leading philanthropist.
2012 Jun 30, Georgian President
Mikhail Saakashvili named veteran Interior Minister Vano
Merabishvili as the new prime minister ahead of an October
parliamentary election. Under constitutional changes approved in
2010, the prime minister will gain additional powers to rival those
of the president.
2012 Aug 29, At least 3
Georgian commandos and 11 militants from Dagestan were killed during
an operation to free hostages held along Georgia's border with
2012 Sep 20, In Georgia street
protests against the brutal abuse of prisoners escalated in Tbilisi,
fueling anger against the Western-allied government and possibly
boosting support for the opposition before a tight parliamentary
2012 Sep 29, In Georgia an
estimated 100,000 opposition supporters rallied in the capital in a
show of strength days before a parliamentary election that presents
the toughest challenge to the future of President Mikhail
Saakashvili's government since he took office in 2004.
2012 Oct 1, Georgia held
parliamentary elections. The Georgian Dream party led by billionaire
Bidzina Ivanishvili edged out the United National Movement of Pres.
(AP, 10/1/12)(SFC, 10/2/12, p.A3)
2012 Oct 2, Georgia’s President
Mikhail Saakashvili, a staunch ally of the West, acknowledged defeat
in parliamentary elections and called on Bidzina Ivanishvili to form
a new government. That puts the tycoon on track to be prime
minister, which will be Georgia's most powerful job under
constructional changes next year.
2012 Nov 22, Georgia's new PM
Bidzina Ivanishvili said he would move quickly to expand the
Cabinet's powers, a change that would take away even more influence
from the ex-Soviet nation's beleaguered pro-Western president.
2012 Dec 18, In Afghanistan a
coalition soldier went missing. Afghan police found the body and
turned it over to NATO forces on Dec 29. He was one of 1,560 troops
serving from the former Soviet republic of Georgia. 18 Georgian
soldiers have been killed since the country joined the international
military operations in Afghanistan in August 2009.
(AP, 12/21/12)(AP, 12/30/12)
2012 Donald Rayfield authored
“Edge of Empires: A History of Georgia.”
(Econ, 11/24/12, p.87)
2013 Jan 10, Georgia opposition
groups and NGOs announced that more than 1 million of Georgia's 4.6
million citizens have signed a petition calling for the resignation
of Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili.
2013 Jan 13, In Georgia 190
people considered political prisoners by the new parliament walked
free under an amnesty strongly opposed by Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili.
More than 3,000 other prisoners who had their sentences reduced
under the amnesty will be freed in the next two months.
2013 Jan 20, In Georgia more
than 1,000 people protested outside of the president's residence in
Tbilisi to demand that he immediately resign and hand over executive
power to the speaker of parliament.
2013 Apr 19, In Georgia some
10,000 supporters of embattled pro-Western President Mikhail
Saakashvili gathered for a rally testing their strength ahead of
October's presidential vote.
2013 Jun 6, The Afghan governor
of Kunar province alleged that an overnight NATO airstrike killed 3
civilians and wounded seven there, a claim the US-led coalition
flatly denied. A civilian was killed when a bomb exploded inside a
restaurant in the northern city of Sari Pul. Another 13 people were
wounded. In western Farah province insurgents gunned down two tribal
elders as they drove into the provincial capital. A suicide attacker
drove a truck into the entrance of a camp in Helmand province in
Now-e-Zad district and detonated it. 7 Georgian soldiers were
(AP, 6/6/13)(AP, 6/7/13)
2013 Jun 12, Georgia said that
it has closed two of its bases in Afghanistan after 10 of its
soldiers were killed by militant attacks within the last four weeks.
It will not reduce the number of troops serving there.
2013 Jul 3, In Georgia a Turk
and a Moldovan were detained after crossing the border from Armenia
in a truck with tens of millions of dollars worth of heroin hidden
in a secret compartment.
2013 Jul 30, Georgia's culture
ministry said it will restore a towering monument to Soviet dictator
and native son Josef Stalin that was taken down three years ago. The
restoration is part of a rollback of Pres. Saakashvili's legacy
after his party lost a parliamentary vote last fall to a coalition
headed by a Russia-friendly billionaire.
2013 Oct 14, French authorities
detained Davit Kezerashvili, a former Georgian defence minister,
wanted in his homeland on corruption charges. Kezerashvili, who also
headed the financial police, was charged in January with taking a
bribe of $12 million (nine million euros) to facilitate alcohol
smuggling in the ex-Soviet nation.
2013 Oct 27, Georgia voted for
a new president in an election that will bring the curtain down on
Mikheil Saakashvili's decade-long rule but is unlikely to end
political uncertainty in the former Soviet republic. Former
university rector Giorgi Margvelashvili won 62% of the vote.
(Reuters, 10/27/13)(AP, 10/28/13)
2013 Oct 28, A Georgian court
convicted former defense minister Bacho Akhalaia and ordered him
sent to prison, in another blow for outgoing President Mikhail
Saakashvili the day after a presidential election that was won by
2013 Nov 2, Georgia's PM
Bidzina Ivanishvili named Interior Minister Irakly Garibashvili (31)
as his successor. Under changes to the constitution that will this
month transfer many of the president's responsibilities to the prime
minister, Garibashvili will become the country's most powerful
2013 Nov 17, Georgia
inaugurated philosopher and former university rector Giorgi
Margvelashvili (44) as the new president. He pledged to strengthen
ties with the West and maintain its commitment to NATO.
2013 Nov 29, Georgia and
Moldova signed important agreements on political cooperation, reform
and free trade with the EU at the summit of EU leaders in Vilnius.
2013 Dec 21, The mayor of
Georgia's capital Tbilisi was suspended from office after he was
charged with misspending public funds in a case he and his
opposition colleagues said was a witch-hunt against supporters of
former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
2014 Feb 17, In Georgia Vano
Merabishvili, a top ally of former President Mikhail Saakashvili,
was convicted of embezzlement and abuse of office and sentenced to
five years in prison.
2014 May 12, A European human
rights monitor urged Georgia to improve its justice system, promote
tolerance and avoid the selective prosecution of officials who
served former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
2014 Jun 27, European Union
leaders signed broad trade and economic deals with non-member
countries Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
2014 Jul 7, Eduard Shevardnadze
(b.1928), a former president of Georgia and Soviet foreign minister,
died in Georgia after a long struggle with illness.
(Reuters, 7/7/14)(SFC, 7/8/14, p.C4)
2014 Jul 15, In Georgia Erosi
Kitsmarishvili, the founder of the Rustavi 2 TV channel, was found
dead in his car with a bullet in his head.
2014 Jul 25, Georgia's interior
minister said that $400 million of heroin seized earlier this month,
in the country's biggest ever drugs haul, belonged to the Taliban
and was headed for Europe.
2014 Sep 7, The United States
and Georgia moved to expand their defense relationship, including
the possible sale of US Black Hawk helicopters to the former Soviet
2014 Nov 4, Georgia’s PM Irakli
Garibashvili, a Georgian Dream party member, fired defense minister
Irakli Alasania, a Free Democrats member, amid an investigation into
corruption in the military. European Integration Minister Aleksi
Petriashvili resigned in protest. A day later Foreign Minister Maya
Panjikidze and three of her deputies followed suit.
2014 Nov 13, Kakha Bendukidze
(58), the author of liberal reforms that overhauled Georgia's
post-Soviet economy, died in London where he was recovering from
heart surgery. In May he was appointed adviser to Ukrainian
President Petro Poroshenko who is pushing for liberal reforms.
Bendukidze had retired from public service in 2009 to invest in
education and found the Free University in Tbilisi which went on to
become the country's leading institution.
2014 Nov 15, In Georgia tens of
thousands of people rallied in the capital to protest a planned
agreement between Russia and Georgia's separatist province of
Abkhazia. A proposed agreement envisages the creation of joint
Russian and Abkhazian military forces.
2014 Nov 24, Russia further
tightened its control over Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia
with a new treaty envisaging closer military and economic ties, a
move that has drawn outrage in Georgia.
2015 Feb 19, Georgia condemned
the signing of a border agreement between its breakaway region of
South Ossetia and Russia, accusing Moscow of moving closer to
annexing a territory it supported in a five-day conflict in 2008.
2015 Mar 18, Russia’s Pres.
Vladimir Putin signed a new treaty with the leader of South Ossetia,
a breakaway region of Georgia, that called for nearly full
(SFC, 3/19/15, p.A5)
2015 Apr 1, Ukraine rejected
Georgia's request for the extradition of its former president,
Mikhail Saakashvili, who is facing a criminal probe at home.
2015 May 19, Georgia’s
President Giorgi Margvelashvili said that Russia is poised to use
its armed forces to expand further into former Soviet states and
called on the West never to accept any Russian aggression.
2015 May 31, Georgia threatened
to revoke pro-Western former president Mikheil Saakashvili's
citizenship after he was granted a Ukrainian passport and appointed
as governor of the strategic Odessa region.
2015 Jun 14, In Georgia lions,
tigers and even a hippopotamus escaped from a zoo in Tbilisi, adding
to chaos caused by flooding after the River Vere burst its banks
after hours of torrential rain. 20 wolves, 8 lions and an
unspecified number of tigers, jackals and jaguars were shot dead by
special forces or were missing. By June 19 at least 19 people were
dead with some still missing.
(AFP, 6/14/15)(SFC, 6/16/15, p.A2)(SSFC, 6/21/15,
2015 Jun 17, In Georgia a rare
white tiger that escaped from Tbilisi zoo in a freak flood mauled a
man to death before being shot dead by police. Another young tiger
and a hyena were still unaccounted for.
2015 Jun 19, Turkish
authorities arrested two Georgian citizens who tried to enter the
country with radioactive material, including 1.2 kilos of cesium.
2015 Aug 27, NATO opened a
training center in Georgia as it eyes closer partnership with the
Western military alliance. Russia called the move provocative.
(AFP, 8/27/15)(Reuters, 8/27/15)
2015 Dec 4, Georgia stripped
former leader and reformer Mikheil Saakashvili of his citizenship as
he had acquired a Ukrainian passport to serve as governor of the
strategic Odessa region.
2015 Dec 23, Georgian PM Irakli
Garibashvili (33) said he is resigning. President Giorgi
Margvelashvili now has seven days to name a candidate for the prime
minister's post, who then must be approved by parliament.
2015 Dec 25, Georgia's
president nominated vice premier Giorgi Kvirikashvili as the new
head of government after the surprise resignation of Irakli
2015 Dec 29, Georgian lawmakers
approved former foreign minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili as the new
head of government after the surprise resignation of Irakli
(SFC, 12/31/15, p.A3)
2016 Jan 12, The Council of
Europe told Georgia to improve its justice system, saying it was
worried by allegations the authorities were abusing the law to
conduct a politically-motivated crackdown on the opposition.
2016 Jan 27, Judges at the
International Criminal Court gave its prosecutor a green light to
launch a new inquiry into allegations of war crimes during a brief
but bloody 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.
2016 Mar 1, Georgian coal
miners ended their two-week strike after the coal company agreed to
2016 Mar 1, The Council of
Europe told Georgia to improve its anti-discrimination policies and
legislation, saying it was worried by an increase in cases of hate
speech and violence against religious and sexual minority groups.
2016 Mar 5, The Georgian
government announced that it had signed a deal with neighboring
Azerbaijan to increase gas supplies enough to fully cover demand.
2016 Mar 6, Thousands of
Georgians formed a human chain stretching for about 7 km (4 miles)
through the capital to protest negotiations between their government
and Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom.
2016 Mar 22, Georgia’s
President Giorgi Margvelashvili stopped his motorcade and jumped to
rescue a pregnant woman stuck in an overturned car.
2016 Apr 28, The former Soviet
Republic of Georgia said it has arrested five people have been
arrested for trying to sell more than a kilogram of uranium. Georgia
announced on April 18 that six people were arrested for trying to
2016 Jun 27, Georgia abolished
conscription, becoming one of the first former Soviet republics no
longer to require men to serve in the military.
2016 Jul 6, Georgia and the
United States signed a security deal in Tbilisi designed to shore up
the former Soviet republic's defences against Russia as it waits to
2016 Aug 20, Georgia’s State
Security Service detained five people who were planning to bomb a
section of an oil pipeline carrying Russian gas to Armenia. A sixth
person was detained for failure to report the crime.
2016 Dec 8, The European Union
said it will allow Ukrainians and Georgians to visit the bloc
without a visa after diplomats and lawmakers struck a deal to end an
internal EU dispute that had been holding up the plan.
2017 Feb 2, European Union
lawmakers sealed an agreement to allow Georgian citizens into
Europe's passport-free area without visas for short stays.
2017 Feb 13, Georgia's Orthodox
Church was rocked after police announced the arrest of a priest over
a suspected poisoning plot targeting a high-ranking Church figure.
Prosecutors said they caught archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze with sodium
cyanide on February 10 as he boarded a plane to Berlin, where
Patriarch Ilia II (83) was awaiting a gallbladder operation.
2017 Feb 19, Thousands of
Georgians rallied in the capital in support of Rustavi-2, the
country's opposition-minded television station, that they suspect is
about to be transferred to a more government-friendly owner.
2017 Feb 27, EU member states
approved visa-free travel for Georgia, after agreeing safeguards to
prevent any upsurge in arrivals from the former Soviet satellite.
2017 Mar 12, In Georgia at
least 21 people, including 11 police officers, were left injured
during a night of rioting in Batumi, the country’s second-largest
city. The confrontation reportedly started after police ticketed a
motorist the previous day for a traffic violation, sparking an
argument that attracted people nearby.
2017 Mar 14, RIA news agency
reported that President Vladimir Putin has approved a decree
allowing some troops from Georgia's breakaway region of South
Ossetia to be incorporated into the Russian army.
2017 May 30, Afgan Mukhtarli,
an Azeri investigative journalist and a human rights activist, who
had been living in ex-Soviet Georgia since 2015, went missing. He
was abducted in Tbilisi by a group of unknown men, beaten up and
taken to the Azeri-Georgian border, where he was detained by Azeri
2017 Jul 18, The presidents of
Ukraine and Georgia agreed to work together to further their
ambitions to join NATO and the European Union, in defiance of
threats from former master Russia.
2017 Jul 19, Ukrainian
President Petru Poroshenko said Ukraine and Georgia will coordinate
their efforts to reclaim areas captured by pro-Russian separatists.
Fresh clashes in east Ukraine left two soldiers dead in a spike in
fighting as a key rebel leader announced he planned to create a new
(AP, 7/19/17)(AFP, 7/19/17)
2017 Aug 1, US Vice President
Mike Pence pledged support for the former Soviet republic of
Georgia, his second stop on a European trip backing nations that
feel threatened by Russian aggression.
2017 Aug 8, Russian President
Vladimir Putin visited the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia and
assured it of Moscow's military support, an act of defiance to
Western governments that have condemned Russia's backing for the