The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Friday, July 3
Another Georgian fighter dies in Ukraine

Konstantine Lashkhia, a Georgian volunteer fighter, has perished in Ukraine. According to Rustavi 2 TV, his body was found in the Azov Sea, in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone.

The body has been transferred to the morgue of Mariupol.

The date of transferring the body to Georgia is not known yet. The circumstances of his death are also unknown.

Konstantine Laskhia left for Ukraine 8 months ago. He is from Sokhumi. He has a wife and two children. (IPN)

Ukraine’s Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili allegedly resigns

“Health Minister of Ukraine Alexander Kvitashvili has written a letter of resignation, as stated by MP Igor Kononenko,” Ukrainian media writes.

According to Kononenko, the Rada has already discussed the case but no final decision was made so far. The Cabinet of Ministers has not reviewed the case yet.

Kvitashvili had previously claimed that he is not afraid of leaving his office and if it happens, he does not plan to stay in Ukraine.

As the Governor of Odessa, former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, wrote on his Facebook page, it’s time for Kvitashvili to leave the post.

According to him, people in Odessa are not satisfied with the healthcare system. Bribes are still accepted in hospitals and nothing has been improved at all. “It’s time to tell Ukrainian people they have big problems in the healthcare system. Kvitashvili knows what to do, but it seems he could not manage to do it,” Saakashvili said.

Ukraine’s Healthcare Ministry has not yet confirmed the information about Kvitashvili’s resignation. (IPN)

Six-month target: Georgia’s state budget has 252m GEL surplus

Georgia has ended the first six months of the year on a financial high – the country fulfilled its tax revenue plan and the state budget experienced a significant surplus.

Georgia’s Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance announced all four categories of state budget revenues (revenues, privatisation, decline in financial assets and increase in liabilities) ended the first six months of 2015 in surplus, compared to what was planned.

From January-June 2015, the state budget revenue increased by 105.6 percent, or 252 million GEL, amounting to 4,787,100,000 GEL. This amount was projected to reach 4,535,100,000 GEL.

In the same time budget tax revenues amounted to 3.5 billion GEL which was 102.2 percent of what had been allocated in the Government’s six month plan. This figure was 378.1 million GEL higher than the funds accumulated in the same time in 2014.

Consolidated budget tax revenues amounted to 3,814,400,000 GEL which was 106.2 percent more than planned. This year’s figure exceeded last year’s corresponding data by 11.9 percent or 405 million GEL.

As for expenditures, in the first six months of 2015 budget spending reached 4,572,700,000 GEL. This was 96.2 percent of the six-month plan.

Now, at the end of the first half of the 2015, the state budget balance has a balance of 253.5 million GEL, which was 427 million GEL more than what was initially planned. (

Dead zoo animals pulled out of river in Tbilisi

Rescue workers on Tuesday pulled a number of dead animals out of the river Mtkvari in Tbilisi, while looking for victims of the June 14 flood.

Nineteen people are confirmed to have died in the flood, while three are still missing.

Apart from the human victims, also many animals perished, as the city’s zoo was hit by a tsunami-like flood wave.

Among the animals discovered were a bear and a pony from the city’s zoo, as well as 18 dogs.

A tiger which has been missing since the night of the flood was not found in the river.

Tbilisi Zoo lost more than 50 percent of its animals, and part of the compound was entirely destroyed.

The zoo has been searching for a missing hyena and tiger. The hyena was found dead earlier, but the tiger is still missing.

Much mud and dirt remains in the zoo’s enclosures where predators were kept. It is therefore a possibility that the tiger is dead and buried in mud.

But uncertainty lingers over the tiger’s whereabouts. A few days after the flood, a white tiger which was thought to be dead attacked and killed a man in a warehouse and was quickly put down. (DF watch)