Davit Batashvili

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Articles

What Putin Teaches Us

At the end of July 2008, I took a vacation and travelled to Israel for 10 days. I returned to Georgia in the early morning of 8 August. Before that, on 7 August, when still in Israel, a fellow Georgian tourist had talked with her relatives in Georgia on the phone and expressed extreme concern about rising tensions in the Tskhinvali region. I knew that there had been gunfire there in June and July and thus tried to calm her down by saying that shooting would not necessarily degrade into war.In...

Russia’s Economic Levers of Influence in Europe

It is no secret that the key priority for Russia’s foreign policy is to maintain control over the post-Soviet space. This has been manifested in, inter alia, forcing Armenia to join the Customs Union; pressurizing Moldova to halt its process of European integration; adopting a hostile policy towards Ukraine and Georgia; and the project of establishing and expanding the Eurasian Union.In conducting its aggressive policy towards post-Soviet states, Russia wants minimal opposition toward its...

The Fight for Ukraine

The events unfolding in Ukraine are decisive from many standpoints. First of all, the way things will develop and the final results that will come about will determine the historical fate of Ukraine itself. Moreover, these events will largely determine the level of success the Kremlin's project to reinstate control over the post-Soviet space will have. In this regard, the developments in Ukraine are extremely important for Georgia – a country that the Kremlin views, alongside Ukraine, as an...

The Georgian Government’s Attitude towards the Russian Problem

It is abundantly clear that the biggest foreign factor affecting Georgia's situation is Russia. This point is so clear that no one would deny it. It is no less clear that this factor poses a threat to Georgia. One of manifestations of this threat is the occupation of Georgian territories – this is certainly the most conspicuous circumstance, but the threat emanating from Russia is not limited to that alone. Consequently, how the Georgian government manages the Russian factor can be regarded as...

A Political Project

Recently, Levan Vasadze, a Georgian businessman who amassed his wealth in Russia, has frequently been at the center of attention. He says that he is not, and does not want to be, a politician. At the same time, however, he acts like a politician and the media covers his activities and statements accordingly. Although some people have viewed certain episodes of his recent activity as nothing more than matters for ridicule; the ongoing attempt to increase Levan Vasadze's popularity and influence...

Stalin’s Cult in Georgia

Since October 2012, Georgia has witnessed an unwelcome revival of a long-forgotten phenomenon – the installation of statues to Stalin. First, a Stalin statue was erected in the village of Zemo Alvani in November, then, in December, the same thing happened in the village of Akura. Whilst on 1 September 2013, a statue of Stalin was erected in the city of Telavi. Representatives of Telavi municipality promised shortly thereafter that the statue would be dismantled, however, at the time of writing...

2012

W e remember the autumn of last year mainly because of the domestic political developments of that time: the aggressive election campaign and the extremely polarized society, followed by the results of the election and the transfer of power – all of which consumed our attention back then. But the decisive processes for Georgia underway at that time were not limited to domestic politics alone.Iran and the Russian "Corridor to Armenia"On 19 August 2013, a former adviser to the Israeli government...

Planning Offensives

The title of the third chapter of Sun Tzu's The Art of War can be translated from the original Chinese as either "Attack by Stratagem" or "Planning Offensives." The main idea of the chapter is that the greatest success in any effort to impose control over a state would be that attained without resorting to the use of military force. According to Sun Tzu, this can be achieved by thwarting a country's plans and intentions and by isolating it from the rest of world through disengaging it from its...

The War We Did Not Start

During a press conference held on 10 April 2013, Georgia's Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili made a couple of remarks about the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war. The Russian media seized upon these the very same day, amply quoting Ivanishvili in articles with such catchy titles as: "Georgia admits to having started the war in 2008," "Georgia admits its inadequacy during the 2008 war," "Georgia acknowledges being wrong in the 2008 war with Russia," and the like.Those few sentences articulated by...

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