What happened in the Pankisi gorge on the 21st of April?
22 April, 2019
What happened in the Pankisi gorge on the 21st of April?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents protesting the construction of a hydropower plant Khadori 3 on the 21st of April. The locals threw stones and sticks at police, who used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them. Several locals and police officers were injured and hospitalized. Police vehicles, as well as the cars owned by citizens, were also damaged.

Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia arrived in Pankisi Gorge. He
said that said 15 officers had been injured in the clashes. According to Giorgi Gakharia, the construction of the Hydro Power Plant will continue in Pankisi Gorge in case it is supported by 90 percent of the population. At the same time, the Minister once again reiterated that throwing stones was not the way out.
“What's going on today is not suitable for our brotherhood. Today we are not going to decide guilt or innocence here. Now, we all should calm down and then found out, where did we make a mistake and who did the mistake,” Giorgi Zakaria said.

Construction of a hydropower plant Khadori 3

The capacity of the Khadori3 hydroelectric power plant, which is planned to be built on the Alazani River, is 5.4 megawatts. Construction is due to be completed within 12 months. Local residents claim that it will harm the local environment. The protestors said that they will not allow the construction of a power plant to continue.

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili comments on the clash in Pankisi Gorge

"I am following the recent developments in Pankisi Gorge closely. I am ready to do everything within my competence to ensure that all legitimate interests of the entire state, as well as each citizen, be protected. The agreement is the only way, " Salome Zourabichvili wrote on her Facebook page.

Importance of the Pankisi Gorge for Georgia

Why has it happened that clashes broke out in the Pankisi yesterday, on the Orthodox Palm Sunday? this is a question many has asked. We turned to Mamuka Areshidze, an exepert with this question.

“Nobody in the world can answer that question, not even the government”, Mamuka Areshidze said. “Pankisi is a region with many difficulties. There have been many examples how some groups wanted to spread provocations from outside of the country. I have an impression, that there is someone within the government, who does everything to discredit their country and the government. Enemies will definitely use this and will try to further escalate situation.

I suspect that there are several organizations in Georgia, at least one which I cannot name. They receive money from our neighbor to ensure that hydropower plants will not be built in Georgia. I do not speak about large hydro plants, I doubt their future in Georgia, but small and average size plants are vital, otherwise country can dive into economic collapse. Deficit of electricity becomes more and more visible, old hydro plants cannot meet increased demand. To ensure energetic independence of Georgia, indeed, it is possible, we need to increase number of small and average size hydro plants.

Someone needs to stop development of energy sector in Georgian and first of all, the government must fight this trend. There were indications in the Georgian press about such organizations several times, but the government did not pay attention to it. There have been clashes between the police and residents in every country, but I am sure, it is not the end. Subsequently, hydro plant may never be built, what will be an additional headache for the country.

Today there are several religious and social groups in the Pankisi gorge. Their views differ and not always coincide with each other. There are some groups the government should hold negotiations with. There are people outside of Georgia who have meaningful influence. If they were involved, events would be more peaceful”.

Related stories:

“In Georgia, the threat is external, not internal” - The Pankisi Conundrum

The woman who found happiness in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge

A Trail of Death: from Pankisi to Syria

“TBC Bank” co-founder Mamuka Khazarade says he received threatening letter from Interior Minister

Other Stories
German President arrives in Tbilisi, welcomes dialogue between Georgian, Russian FMs
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes resumption of dialogue between Georgia and Russia at the level of Foreign Ministers.
Rose Gottemoeller visits Georgia
This visit is an opportunity to deepen and strengthen our cooperation with Georgia even further.
Georgia needs to find peace to evolve, former Swiss ambassador says
One year before the elections the former Swiss ambassador Lukas Beglinger is sure that the country will soon face big changes.
Georgian MP slaps colleague, an argument erupts in the Parliament
Eka Beselia, the lawmaker who left the Georgian Dream party, hit majority MP Vano Zardiashvili at the sitting of the Legal Issues Committee.
Georgia will use all available means to rise up to the new Russian challenge, says Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
Georgia will use all available means to give a proper assessment and to stop Russia doing such things, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vladimir Konstantinid said
Swiss State Secretary: “Georgia is safe, we do not grant asylum”
2500 Georgians have sought asylum in Switzerland since 2016. Not one request has been granted. Now Switzerland wants Georgia to tackle irregular migration.
"Georgia has a long way to go in Tourism"
Because of the booming tourism industries, the Georgian government starts to implement regulations. “But this happens not fast enough, not efficient enough and not rigorous enough”, says Stefan Meister from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
Former US diplomat Matthew Bryza discusses Georgia, NATO membership and Trump’s presidency with GJ
How can we explain the statement made by the former Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rassmussen about the possibility for Georgia to join NATO?
NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Madeleine Moon visits Khurvaleti village
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Madeleine Moon has arrived in the village of Didi Khurvaleti, in the Gori municipality, located near the Administrative Boundary Line.
“Georgia could soon be ready for regulations”
“With big money you can either build or destroy something”, says Vano Vashakmadze. The consultant for development in tourism helped to work out the new zone planning implemented by the government.
Mamuka Khazaradze establishes Lelo movement
The public movement of TBC Bank's founder Mamuka Khazaradze will be called Lelo.
TBC Bank founder Mamuka Khazaradze to establish social movement in Anaklia
The presentation of the social movement of the founder of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze will be held tomorrow, September 12, in Anaklia. The event begins at 12:00.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen offers Georgia a way to join NATO
Georgia should start an internal discussion of whether it would be acceptable to join NATO without Abkhazia and South Ossetia, - Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secreatry General of North-Atlantic Teaty Organisation, said.
“These protests are different”
«In Georgia protesting is almost a tradition», says the historian Simon Janashia who works at the American School in Tbilisi. But the current demonstrations are profoundly different.
Kelly Degnan nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia
President Donald Trump has submitted the nomination of Kelly Degnan to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia.
Development of the Anaklia deep sea port should be in the interest of every Georgian, says Kurt Volker
Importance of the Anaklia deep sea port is huge for Georgia and the Georgians have heard about it from many politicians inside or outside of the country.
Clashes and whistling in the Georgian Parliament after nomination of new PM
Clashes took place at the entrances to the Parliament building today, as protesters held the "Shame on You" event.
“Georgian Dream” Party introduced Georgy Gakharia as Prime Minister
“Georgian Dream” party has introduced Interior Minister Georgy Gakharia to the post of Prime Minister.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned. Bakhtadze released the relevant statement on the social network.
There will be no war with Georgia, says De-facto official
Georgia's provocative actions at the "borders of South Ossetia" are just an attempt by the Georgian authorities to divert their population's attention from acute domestic problems
After the summer Tbilisi is expecting another hot season
Every evening in June and July hundreds of protesters came to the parliament to demonstrate.
Why so called South Ossetian delegation gave ultimatum to the Georgian side?
Representatives of de-facto regime of the Tskhinvali region gave ultimatum to the Georgian side to abolish the Georgian police block post near Tsnelisi until 6:00am, August 30th.
Former Russian Duma member sees theoretical chance of solution the Abkhazia problem
Former member of the Russian Duma, Ilya Ponomarev, believes that there is a theoretical chance of resolving the problem of occupied Abkhazia
Georgian president calls Brexit new opportunity (Watch video)
Georgians feel that they are Europeans. It is not something they are striving for. They are European, President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili said in her interview with Euronews.
So called elections in Abkhazia go into second round
The “Presidential elections” in Abkhazia do not bring a clear leader. Nor are they recognized by a variety of states, among them the US, the UK, Ukraine and Latvia.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
October 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31