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Author: Shalva Dzidziguri

Georgia: Unpicking the Soviet past

Georgia is among those few former Soviet countries that fought for independence. The euphoric sense of freedom in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, started to slip away soon as the disturbing reality of the Soviet legacy took over before Georgians’ eyes. Living for nearly 70 years under the Russian yoke had completely incapacitated their ability to self-govern. Inexperienced in how to build up state institutions from scratch in a way which would safeguard the inclusivity and diversity of their traditionally heterogeneous society, Georgians became embroiled in a string of ethnic and civil wars throughout the 1990s. The initial attempt to embrace freedom of expression, market economy and other western values, so alien to the Soviet system, backfired as Georgia slowly descended into poverty and chaos.

March 16, 2017 - Shalva Dzidziguri

How Fidel Castro twice gave umbrage to Georgians

Only a few people outside Georgia, mainly fellow revolutionaries, historians or biographers may remember that the late Fidel Castro visited Georgia in 1963, back then one of the Soviet Republics.

December 19, 2016 - Shalva Dzidziguri

Is NATO ditching Georgia’s dream?

If you arrive in Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia – by plane, before you get to the city centre from the airport, you will have to drive along the George W. Bush highway. The former US President remains highly popular, especially with western minded Georgians, not least because of his staunch support for the democratic transition of the former Soviet country – and especially for his efforts to make Georgia a member of NATO. It was Bush who tried to convince his European counterparts in 2008 to grant Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) together with Ukraine, which would have put both countries officially on track to joining the military alliance. But due to resistance from France and Germany all he got was the binding promise that “these countries would become members of NATO” in the future, noted in the final declaration of the summit.

July 14, 2016 - Shalva Dzidziguri



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