The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 27
Saakashvili wants to honour soldiers by reviving the country

The best way of honouring the soldiers who died in the war with Russia will be to revive the country, Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, said at the official opening of Mukhatgverdi Cemetery yesterday. “We, like you, are ready to fight till the end, and if need be we will sacrifice ourselves,” the President stated, expressing his gratitude to each soldier.

According to Saakashvili Georgia was forced to respond to the aggression of Russia in August. He stressed that the same number of men and equipment entered Georgia in August 2008 as they did Afghanistan in 1979 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. The First Lady of Georgia and legislative and executive branch members also attended the ceremony.

Relatives of the dead soldiers have expressed their discontent with the fact that the Ministry of Defence collected them at 9 o'clock in the morning, with young children, while the ceremony began at 12.00. At the same time they declared that the death of their sons and relatives would be justified if the war ended positively for Georgia. (Interpressnews)

Independence Day celebrated in Kiev

The Independence Day of Georgia has been celebrated in Kiev, Ukraine. Georgian folk band Iberia sang at a special celebratory concert held in the Georgian Cultural-Educational Centre in Kiev on Monday night.

Iberia has been granted the title of Ukraine`s National Ensemble, despite being Georgian. Similar titles have been granted to Ukrainian ensembles Virski and Viriovka. (Rustavi 2)

Separatist Vice President resigns

Vice President of the Abkhazian puppet regime Raul Khajimba has resigned. It is reported that he has already signed a resignation letter, but it is not known as yet whether his resignation has been accepted.

It has been suggested that Khajimba has had a conflict with the current leader of the separatists, Sergey Baghapsh, however, Abkhaz de facto Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba has denied this. In an interview with Rustavi2, Shamba stated that Khajimba planned to run in the Abkhaz Presidential elections and his resignation might be linked with this. (Rustavi 2)

Benetton stores closed in Tbilisi

Benetton stores have been closed in Tbilisi in protest at the decision of Benetton Turkey to open stores in Abkhazia. The owners of the shops stuck protest posters on the shop windows declaring this.

A Turkish newspaper reported yesterday that Benetton Turkey was planning to open a store in Abkhazia. The head of Benetton Turkey has confirmed the report and specified that the store would open in Sokhumi.

The management of Benetton Georgia has sent a letter of protest to their colleagues in Turkey, in which they urge them to reverse this decision. Tbilisi stores of the United Colours of Benetton will be closed until Benetton Turkey changes its mind, Benetton Georgia says. (Rustavi 2)