Thursday, August 25, 2016

Caucasus Report

Former Georgian Defense Minister, Chief Of General Staff Arrested

Bacho Akhalaia has been arrested in connection with alleged abuse of office. His lawyer dismissed the allegations as "absurd."
Bacho Akhalaia has been arrested in connection with alleged abuse of office. His lawyer dismissed the allegations as "absurd."
Bacho Akhalaia, who served as Georgia’s defense minister from September 2009 to July 2012, has been arrested after being questioned for four hours on November 6 in connection with alleged abuse of office.

Brigadier General Giorgi Kalandadze, who stepped down five days ago as chief of general staff, and the commander of the army’s 4th Brigade, Zurab Shamatava, were also arrested hours later in the presence of Prosecutor-General Archil Kbilashvili.

Akhalaia’s lawyer, Davit Kereselidze, said the former minister was arrested in connection with allegations by several unnamed former Defense Ministry officials that he had insulted them. Kereselidze dismissed those allegations as “obviously absurd.”

Parliament member Akaki Minashvili similarly characterized Akhalaia’s arrest as “a farce” and as “politically motivated persecution” by the new Georgian government that came to power a month ago after defeating President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement in bitterly contested parliamentary elections.

None of the three men has yet been formally charged.

Akhalaia’s appointment as defense minister was controversial insofar as while heading the penitentiary system in 2005-08, he was believed to have incited riots in two prisons by treating inmates with indiscriminate and unwarranted brutality. It is not clear whether investigators will also question Akhalaia about the video footage of abuse and torture in a Tbilisi prison that impelled him to resign as interior minister in late September.

Similarly unclear is whether Akhalaia may be questioned about the Defense Ministry’s huge budget deficit. Irakli Alasania, whom new Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has named as defense minister, said the ministry currently has a 113 million-lari ($68.5 million) deficit. Its allocation in the 2012 budget was 676.5 million laris, up from 660 million laris in 2011.

Alasania has vowed to make the Defense Ministry more open and more accountable to parliament and to “depoliticize” it. Independent expert Irakli Sesiashvili, who has been named to head the parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security, told journalists on October 18 that successive “unprofessional” ministers have seriously undermined the ministry’s capabilities. He particularly deplored the neglect of crucial infrastructure and the firing of many competent personnel, who he said were replaced by persons who lacked professionalism.
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Comment Sorting
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 07, 2012 12:01
So,they`ve arrested poor old Bacho for trying to pick up his St.Georgian nose.It`s a crying shame ,I say they should have arrested Vakhtang or The Con man from LA.All this goes to prove Bidzinadze is no better than Aakashvili!!!
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
November 12, 2012 23:06
Understandably Camel-persistant Anush is bitter with the Turk.
Why she is bitter with St.George? Or she is he, a little "muki",
Puting little crosses on homes of nations for Ivan-genocide?
Is it you Hachik, dressed Anush, from Griboedov's leurk?
She was nice girl, married to Georgian noble, Anaturk.

You overspitt even American political paparatcy trics.
They at list looking for scandalous stories of abuses,
While you put KGB camera in restrooms and offices
In all formar USSR and old "Eastern Block" countries,
Criminalize noses, ties and turn Poll's leaders wreck.

On more trivial note, you, as many Russia's crowds,
Eager express anticipation of invasion into Caucasus
Large Russia's army. In 41 Hitler said he would hang
On Kremlin wall Levitan and Stalin. Russia is canning
And say to arrest Georgia leaders and me, as "kazus".

They used same innuendo in Abkhazia till the "fe"-day,
Than Russia genocide and used Hachiks bestial geys.
I hope Ivanishvili don't go beyond softening on Russia.
Slaping military for 2008 shoting at invading "Prussia"?
Or is it dipper, behading military, as devil invading bay?

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 07, 2012 19:59
Mischa and his friends must be living through some tense moments these days: his hopes of having Romney elected president in the US have not materialized and more and more of his friends end up in prison. Sad, Mischa, sad...
By the way, I remember the Western media taking so many Mischa's interviews just four years ago - in August 2008. How about taking one right now? How about asking the guy about how he's doing? I reckon if the RFE/RL asked Mischa for an interview right now, the guy might have a lot of interesting stuff to share with the readership. I just hope that no one will tell me that such an interview right now would be "completely irrelevant" for the purposes of this site :-). Ah, Mischa, Mischa, where is your smile :-)))??
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
November 14, 2012 01:49
As Obama winning, the Rashka-Prashka-Austriyaka
Already insiting him, making imperial mean "shaika"
Behind back of Georgia - pointing finger at Saaka.
"Vityaz" mean "Good sproots - hit it with a kaka",
Resurrectors fool of it, as Eugenio's "baykas".

by: holger from: germany
November 08, 2012 13:08
We see Vendetta-politics but no rule of law. What a shame. Is that the democratic break through that Ivanishvili promised???
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 08, 2012 21:35
Sehr geehrter Holger, if you have any questions concerning Herr Iwanischwili and his democratic credentials - please do not hesitate to consult recent comments made by Andrew from Auckland. His latest point consists in that Iwanischwili is a new beacon of democracy for the entire post-Soviet space and that “he will forge on down the road of things the Russians… hate - rule of law, human rights, freedom of speech” :-))).
Source: (see the "Comments” section).
Cheers from Vienna, Holger, and do not criticize Iwanischwili too much - Andrew from Auckland might get upset :-)).
In Response

by: Nohchi from: Chechnya
November 09, 2012 04:47
Its "georgian dream". Ivan-shvilli (son of Ivan).
By the way, german, when Chechen children were killed in Grozny you were kissing Russians. So, you can stop your moaning about "democracy" now. you are mongolian chorde soldiers just like russians.
In Response

by: Terence from: Eurasia
November 09, 2012 07:21
Nohchi, you are right (I'm Georgian, not Chechen): I would add 40,000 Chechen children killed by Russians (among 250,000 plus Chechens out of about 900,000 general Chechen population (!), most of them civilians in two Russian Chechen military campaigns in 1996 and 1999-2000). Who raised a voice seriously among Europeans on behalf of Chechens struggling for a just cause?! Even worse, SOME in the West (UNFORTUNATELY) dubbed the Chechen worriors fighting for their national liberatioin from Russian rule the TERRORISTS!!! That left no room for desperate SECULAR Chechen fighters to turn to Jihad against Russian targets. Germans are great in almost everything but politics: amazingly most of the times they proved to be on the wrong side. History shows that the German-Russian "romance" lasts till they swallowed Poland and Belarus when they get a COMMON line of contact. Then they start killing each other on a massive scale. Unbelievable that as intelligent nation as Germany tends to fail to learn the lessons of history (in the light of current ongoing German-Russian "romance").
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 09, 2012 11:13
To Nohchi and Terence: Well, Terence and Nohchi, you are making some interesting comments, concerning the role of the Germans in recent Eurasian history. Just to add a couple of things to what you are saying about the Germans:
You see, in order to understand why the current German leadership cozies up to Russia, one needs to look at what is happening here in Europe: the last 30 or so years of the complete economic mismanagement by the global capitalist oligarchy led to that a number of EU member states (Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal etc) are going bankrupt AND this is a very serious PROBLEM for the German economy, as long as all those EU member states have been major export markets (Absatzmärkte) for the German products throughout the post-WWII period.
Now that people in those countries are getting ever poorer and thus can no longer afford buying expensive German products, the German industry has to look for new markets for those products - and in this context the Russian market, logically, is the one that can rescue the German industry: people in Russia have money (as long as the oil and gas price stay high) and would like to buy a lot of stuff "made in Germany".
This is why, if you ever seriously thought of the Germans wanting to spoil their economic (and political) relation with Russia because of anything that could be happening in the Caucasus (or in Syria or anywhere else), this was an ILLUSION of yours, guys.
Look, the only option that the people of Caucasus have - and it looks like Kadyrov and Iwanischwili would agree with this statement - is GETTING CLOSER TO RUSSIA and trying to look for COMMON solutions to whatever problems that might exist in relations between different peoples living in the Caucasus (Chechens, Georgians, Russians and all the others). No one coming from the outside - neither the US nor the Germans - will ever replace RUSSIA as the ONLY UNIFYING FORCE in the region.
Cheers from Vienna, guys, and make sure the next car you buy is a VW or a BMW - you'll just make Frau Merkel happy :-))!
In Response

by: Nohchi from: Chechen
November 09, 2012 14:46
Terence, we have to unite. We are not european-mongolians. We are Caucasians and we have Caucasian mentality, quite different from mongolian europeans. We have to unite and survive or we will die separated. Those mongolians are going to support each other no matter what. Germans will sell the technology for tanks, French will sell Mistrals to Russia. These weapons will be used against Caucasians just like that cell phone tracking equipment supplied to Russia from the USA to kill Dzhokhar Dudayev.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 09, 2012 19:20
Ah, Nohchi, whether you unite or not - you, guys, have no chance if you decide to antagonize Russia, you will all end up the same way Dzhokhar Dudayev did. And then: why are you being so anti-Mongolian? This is no good sign for you, as long the Mongols have dominated all the peoples they have come accross - except for the Japanese, because of one of those unpleasant tsunamis that destroyed the fleet that Chengis Khan built in order to invade Japan :-)).
Stay cool, guys, Nohchi, and please do call me if you come to Vienna for a visit :-))!
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
November 09, 2012 20:59
"We have to unite and survive or we will die separated." Well spoken Nohchi - one of the most sensible posts to come out of your part of the world. Don't be too worried about getting together and having to live in fear of major powers - Vietnam and Afghanistan did not fear major powers, and now major powers fear being "bogged down" in conflict in smaller lands.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
November 14, 2012 02:36
My message was destroyed.
OK, Eugenio, next time...

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
November 10, 2012 03:05
All gentlemen are far from understanding the topic,especially camel, as always...
Mr. Saakashvili has fought against Georgian thieves in law, who actually controlled the life of Georgia.
Georgians, especially who are in business, tired of them.
So at first, Saakashvili received approval of the people in this war.
The war against the thieves in law, it is very hard war they do not abandon their beliefs through persuasion.
Saakashvili could not think of anything better than to apply the "old," "good" practices of Shevardnadze:
use action that degrade human dignity
blackmailed with the threat of rape..

This all works well in Russia (perhaps in caves of Kurdistan, from where escaped camel) where by Putin's order,bandits police tortured and humiliated people but for Georgians this is not acceptable..
Saakashvili and his team played a bad game, they forget that they are in Georgia, but not in Russia (or in Kurdistan,from where escaped camel..)...

In Response

by: Mohammed from: Ingushetia
November 10, 2012 21:45
If I was the president of Georgia, I would execute those thieves in law without trial. Saakashvili is too soft with the vermin and their masters from russia. Strange that you mentioned kurdistan their bandit communist leader found the refuge in Moscow.

by: Ben
November 10, 2012 13:32
"Georgian spring" flourishes and well-known fruits appeare.
Vile Obama`s policy towards this country is well supported by the same policy of the RFERL.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 10, 2012 19:20
... aha, but it does look more and more certain that this "vile policy" of the US in the specific case of Georgia is about to suffer another humiliating defeat - and the imprisonment of the members of the Mischa's team seem to point exactly in this direction.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
November 11, 2012 15:13
You are bloody right as always dear Benji- from Faukner`s Light in August and Eugenio onegin from under the big bridge on the Danube!!! Benny Hill couldnt have said it better than you both!!!

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 13, 2012 09:58
Dear Andrew from Auckland, dear "friends", I am sure that - given your ceaseless interest in issues related to Georgia - you have read the article published on this web-site today and entitled "NATO Chief Expresses Concerns Over Georgia Arrests".
It's just such a pity that the RFE/RL did not create a "comment" section for this highly interesting article, as long as - had they done so - this would have provided Andrew from Auckland with another (maybe the last :-))) opportunity to post his insights on how the recent change of guard in Georgia is inevitably going to strengthen the country's ties with US, EU and NATO :-))))).
Cheers from Vienna, guys :-))!!
In Response

by: Andrew from: Auckland
November 15, 2012 14:30
Ah Eugenio, it is always fun to have your queer statements pollute RFE/RL.

As usual you seem to show little understanding of reality, and have a deplorable lack of reading comprehension

"The NATO secretary-general addressed the issue at a news conference in Brussels on November 14 with visiting Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

"I am concerned [that] if these trials are perceived to be politically motivated, that could be damaging for the image of the country and the government," Rasmussen said. "Even if it's not true. That's my concern.""


"Ivanishvili told Rasmussen that Georgia would continue its full cooperation with NATO, including in Afghanistan, where about 1,000 Georgian soldiers are stationed.

The prime minister added that the trials of military officials in Georgia will be transparent and will be conducted in accordance with all legal norms.

He added that "Georgia's previous government will continue its attempts to present the ongoing investigations as politically motivated, but that will be hard to do."

Ivanishvili's trip to Brussels -- less than two weeks after taking office – is widely seen as a signal to the West that ties with NATO and Europe, rather than Russia, remain Georgia's top priority. "
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
November 15, 2012 17:56
Now that the RFE/RL has published its article entitled "Georgian Ex-Minister Transferred To Maximum-Security Detention", they did NOT provide it with "comment" section! Guys, why is it that all these latest articles on Georgia do NOT contain this "comment" section? Do you, guys, realize that by not creating this section you enfringe upon the HUMAN RIGHT of Andrew from Auckland that consists in freely expressing his opinion on that - no matter what the Secretary General of NATO has to say - the recent change of guard in Georgia is only likely to reinforce the Euro-Atlantic orientation of this republic :-))?
In Response

by: Rasto from: Wiener Christkindlmarkt
November 17, 2012 20:53
Genius(eu) are so clever - through your wisdom and deep insights you have already discovered that Georgia has no hope as according to you Ivanishvili is just a same jerk as Mischa. I do not know you but I shall say that I have started worrying about you as your comments are bearing signs that their author is likely sufferring from first stages of schizophrenia. Should you still wish to keep producing and posting GOD-equal comments about Georgian politicians and their actions, than please write at the end of your comments a disclaimer - something like - I am Genio from EU, I have never been to Georgia and I do not really understand anything about this country. Posting comments about Georgia is just a lot of fun and I always can wind up some other discuteurs with my childish comments...

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.