2012 Timeline of Georgia


Jumpstart Georgia created a visual timeline of events from 2012 in Georgia. Viewers can submit events that they feel should be included in the timeline using the submission form at the top of the website. After careful consideration, Jumpstart Georgia will add qualified events to the timeline.

Shalva Pailodze dies in Afganistan


Corporal Shalva Pailodze from the 31st infantry battalion of the third brigade, deployed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, was killed as a result of a fatal injury during the attack by Taliban insurgents.

Three Georgian Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan


As announced by the Ministry of Defense of Georgia Corporals Valiko Beraia, Ruslan Meladze and Paata Kacharava serving in Helmand province, Afghanistan were killed in combat.

Georgia-Russia 46-0


Georgia crushed Russia 46-0 in a rugby match in Tbilisi. It was the 16th meeting between the two sides out of which Georgia has a total of 14 wins, one draw and one defeat against Russia. The 17 March match was part of the European Nations Cup tournament.

Ivanishvili launches a political party


Billionare Bidzina Ivanishvili launches a new political party 'Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia'. As Ivanishvili is deprived of his Georgian citizenship, Manana Kobakhidze, a lawyer and former head of human rights advocacy organization 'Article 42 of the Constitution,' is elected as an interim chairperson.

Valerian Khujadze dies in Afghanistan


As announced by the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, Sergeant Valerian Khujadze died while on patrol following an improvised explosive device attack in Helmand, the southern province of Afghanistan. Khujadze, born in 1976, had been serving in the Georgian Armed Forces since 2004. He also participated in a peacekeeping mission in Iraq. In 2011 Sergeant Khujadze was awarded the "Medal for Participation in Peacekeeping Operations".

Tbilisi hit by floods, five dead


Five people were killed and dozens hurt after a river burst its banks in Tbilisi, flooding parts of the city centre. Later City Hall acessed damage as several million Lari.

Gay activists attacked in Tbilisi


Activists of a Georgian Orthodox anti-homosexual group attacked gay supporters marching on Rustaveli Avenue to mark the International Day Against Homophobia.

Police intervened and made several arrests to stop the clashes between Orthodox Parents’ Union activists and gay rights defenders.

Zestaponi becomes a football champion after a 4-hour debate


Zestafoni finished tied with FC Metalurgi Rustavi with 55 points at the Georgian summit, but secured the top spot thanks to a greater number of victories over the course of the season. It took the Football Federation 4 hours to decide which team to award as the winner.

New Parliament Building


The Georgian Parliament Building in Kutaisi became the home of the Parliament of Georgia, replacing the Parliament building at 8 Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi. The building is in the form of a 100-metre by 150-metre oval-shaped glass dome. As of 17 December 2012, the cost of the building and surrounding complex was GEL 360 million (~ $217 million) and was still not completed.

Disaster hits Kakheti


Heavy rain and hail caused serious damage in the Kakheti region of Georgian. Towns and villages were particularly affected. The loss was accessed to be more than 150 million Lari. The Georgian Government promised to provide compensations to those affected.

London Olympics

07/27/2012 08/12/2012

Soldier Givi Pantsulaia dies at Gori Hospital


Corporal Givi Pantsuala received injuries as a result of a mortar shell explosion in Afghanistan in January 2012 and the US side immediately rendered medical assistance. He was transferred to a US military hospital in Germany where he remained in a comatose state with neurological damage. On 3 March, Corporal Givi Pantsulaia was transferred to Gori Military Hospital in Georgia. Despite 6 months of highly qualified doctors working tireously to save the life of Corporal Givi Pantsulaia, he passed away in July.

Gold Medal at Olympics


Lasha Shavdatuashvili won a gold medal in men's 66 kg Judo.

Silver Medal at Olympics


Revaz Lashkhi won a silver medal in men's 60 kg Greco-Roman Wrestling.

Bronze Medal at Olympics


Manuchar Tskhadaia won a bronze medal in men's 66 kg Greco-Roman Wrestling.

Bronze Medal at Olympics


Dato Marsagishvili won the bronze medal in the men's 84 kg category.

Modern Melodies of Vera Quarter performed at Batumi Opera House


The theatre remake of the musical film directed by Giorgi Shengelaia, was staged by a French choreographer, Redha Benteifour, on Georgian stage in Batumi. The musical director and the author of the new versions of the songs was Nikoloz Rachveli and the scenographer was Santiago Fernandes.

Silver Medal at Olympics


Vladimer Khinchegashvili won the silver medal in 55kg freestyle wrestling.

Silver Medal at Olympics


Davit Mozmanashvili won the silver medal in the men's freestyle 120 kg.

Bronze Medal at Olympics


Giorgi Gogshelidze won a bronze medal in men's 66 kg freestyle wrestling. Giorgi also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Olympics close - Georgia leaves with 7 medals

08/12/2012 20:00

Georgia won 1 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The country had 3 gold and 3 bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

Rabati Castle restored


A renovated Rabati Castle consists of a mosque, a minaret, a synagogue, a Christian church, the Jakelis Palace, a museum and a citadel. The opening evening celebration was marked by a concert of the well known French singer, Chales Aznavour, and by the revealing of his star at the castle grounds. Restoration and reconstruction works on Rabati began in May 2011 and covered a space of seven hectares.

Special Operation at Lapankuri


Three Georgian special forces personnel and 11 armed men, who allegedly crossed from Russia, were killed in an exchange of gunfire in the deadliest violence near the border since the 2008 war. Georgia's Interior Ministery said the men died in clashes after it launched an operation to counteract the armed gang from Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Dagestan and taken hostages.

Georgian film in Venice

08/30/2012 09/08/2012

Among the twelve films selected from all over the world to be screened in parallel section of the Festival, Georgian filmmaker Rusudan Chkonia debuted her full-length feature film "Keep Smiling" in the section Venice Days.

Georgia qualifies for Eurobasket 2013

09/11/2012 19:00

Georgia achieved a 97-89 victory over the Netherlands in their final EuroBasket Qualification Round and will play in Eurobasket in 2013.

Pique tweets about Georgian footballers

09/11/2012 01:33

Spain - the team that won Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012 - struggled in the 2014 World Cup classification match against Georgia. Roberto Soldado was able to score the only goal at the 86th minute.

Restored Bagrati resumes divine service


After three years of restoration, Bagrati Cathedral was reopened. Scores of people, including politicans, assembled in the church to attend its consecration. The Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III. The church was regarded as a symbol of unity of Georgia. Due to changes made during the restoration process, UNESCO is debating whether to continue to list Bagrati Cathedral as a World Heritage site.

Prison Scandal

09/18/2012 09/28/2012

18 სექტემბერს ქართული ტელეარხების საშუალებით გავრცელდა გლდანის ციხეში პატიმართა წამების კადრები. მოსახლეობა გასაპროტესტებლად თბილისში, ბათუმში, ფოთში, ქუთაისსა და გორში შეიკრიბა. აქციის მონაწილეები სამართლიანობის აღდგენას ითხოვდნენ. 18 სექტემბერს, გვიან საღამოს, სასჯელაღსრულების მინისტრმა ხათუნა კალმახელიძემ თანამდებობიდან გაათავისუფლა სასჯელაღსრულების დეპარტამენტის ხელმძღვანელი დავით ჭაკუა.

Protest over prison scandal

09/18/2012 20:00 09/28/2012

The first protest started late at night after the first airing of the footage. Relatives and parents gathered at Gldani prison, where most of the prisoner abuse seen in the videos took place. Protests continued through the rest of the month.

Khatuna Kalmakhelidze leaves her position


Prison Minister Khatuna Kalmakhelidze resigns amidst a scandal spurred by the release of five videos showing prisoners being beaten and sexually humiliated.

Bacho Akhalaia leaves his post


Following the protests, Georgia’s Interior Minister, who served as a Prison Minister years ago, was forced to leave his post.

President appoints Ombudsman as Prison Minister


Giorgi Tughushi leaves his post as public defender to take over as Prison Minister.

Music clip 'System must be destroyed' released


The title of the song gave new direction to the student protests and replaced their slogan 'Do not Torture' with 'The system must be destroyed'.

Patriarch calls on the nation to remain calm


While preaching at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Patriarch Ilia II called on the worshippers not to `use the situation for humiliating Georgia and its people`. One group of students protesting the prison abuse criticized Patriarch's words, which annoyed the other student protestors.

Student protesters are still angry

09/25/2012 15:00

Students protest prison torture again and ask for the release of people arrested for political reasons.

12 arrested for prison torture in Georgia


Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office reports that it had arrested 12 people so far for involvement in prison torture after a series of videos showing physical and sexual abuse by staff against inmates.

Students refuse to join 'Georgian Dream' protest


Students' Union 'Laboratory 1918' decided not to join the protest organized by the political party 'Georgian Dream'. This was the final protest over the prison scandal.

Parliamentary Elections 2012


Elections Day

10/01/2012 08:00 10/01/2012 20:00

61% of Georgians voted, 8 % more than those who voted in the 2008 Parliamentary elections. According to the election observers, the voting process was mostly quiet and transparent.

Exit Polls say 'Georgian Dream' wins

10/01/2012 20:00

Exit Polls in Georgia's parliamentary election show the opposition group, the Georgian Dream coalition, won a majority of the popular vote.

Georgian Dream supporters celebrate

10/01/2012 23:59

After announcing the exit poll results, Georgian Dream supporters started meeting at Liberty Square to celebrate their victory.

Early election results from CEC

10/02/2012 14:00

Preliminary results suggest the opposition Georgian Dream coalition, led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, had a clear lead in votes for Party Lists.

Saakashvili's announcement

10/02/2012 20:00

President Saakashvili concedes that his ruling party, United National Movement (UNM), lost the 2012 Parliamentary election. He added that UNM was now going into opposition to contribute to the constitutional process of convening a new Parliament and forming a new government by the Georgian Dream coalition.

Final election results from CEC


The Central Election Commission officially announced the final results of the 2012 Parliamentary Elections.
"Georgian Dream" coalition won 85 seats in the Parliament, while the National Movement earned 65.

Ivanishvili announces new cabinet


Ivanishvili named Irakli Alasania, a former Deputy Defense Minister and Georgian Ambassador to the United Nations, as Defense Minister; Irakli Garibashvili, for many years the head of Ivanishvili's charity foundation, Kartu as Interior Minister;
Maia Panjikidze, a former Ambassador to Germany and the Netherlands who also served as a spokeswoman for Georgian Dream, as Foreign Minister; Tea Tsulukiani as Justice Minister; Guram Odisharia as Culture Minister; Kakha Kaladze, a retired football player, as Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, though later on he was appointed as Energy Minister.
Ivanishvili named himself as Prime Minister in the new cabinet.

Ivanishvili and Saakashvili meet each other


They were accompanied by negotiators from President Saakashvili’s UNM party and Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition to participate in talks converning a smooth government handover.

Post election strikes

10/10/2012 10/24/2012

The results of the recent Parliamentary Election encouraged workers all over Georgia to protest against their harsh conditions and demand improvements. First to go on strike were Poti Port workers, followed Chiatura Mine workers, Borjomi plant workers and Tbilisi Depo workers.

Mindia Abashidze dies in Afghanistan


23 year old Corporal Mindia Abashidze was killed in Afghanistan while performing the peacekeeping mission. He had been serving in the armed forces since 4 August 2008. Abashidze had been participating in Afghanistan’s peacekeeping operation in 2010-2011. Mindia was from the Tkhilnari village of Khelvachauri.

Ivanishvili gets back Georgian citizenship


President Mikheil Saakashvili returned Georgian citizenship to Bidzina Ivanishvili after Ivanishili renounced his French citizenship. Ivanishili was deprived of his Georgian citizenship after he wrote an open letter stating that he was planning to go into politics and change the government through election. Four days after the letter was published, President Saakashvili issued a decree revoking Ivanishvili’s Georgian citizenship, which he had personally granted Ivanishvili in 2004 for special merits to the country.

Imedi TV returns to the Patarkatsishvili family


Imedi TV opened its main news bulletin at 8pm by reading a statement from the Patarkatsishvili family: “The family of Badri Patarkatsishvili is glad that it has reached an agreement with current owners of Imedi TV to transfer the TV company to the [Patarkatsishvili] family. The process of handover started today and we will spare no effort for Imedi TV to be highly professional and unbiased TV company.”

New Parliament meets


The new Georgian Parliament met for the first time following the Parliamentary Election on 1 October.

Georgia has a new government


A new government was appointed by the Parliament of Georgia.

Religious controversies

10/26/2012 11/30/2012

Local Georgians protested against the muslim eco-migrants from Adjara and demanded them to stop praying in Nigvziani village in Guria. In November, another protest occurred in Tsintskaro village in Tetritskaro. The Prime Minister called this a provocation.

Presidential Palace turns off lights


The President’s spokesperson stated that a decision had been made to turn off the outdoor lighting, except of those required for security reasons, “because of reduction of funding of President’s administration under the new budget.”

Bacho Akhalaia arrested


Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili claimed Akhalaia was accused of physically and verbally abusing six soldiers when he was Defence Minister in October 2011.

Thousands of prisoners to get amnesty in Georgia

11/13/2012 01/13/2013

The Georgian Dream coalition presented a draft law on mass amnesty in Parliament, proposing about 3000 prisoners to be released. The amnesty law caused many controversies: Venice Commission advised the Georgian Parliament to postpone the adoption of the law, and the President vetoed the law later.

Changes at Rustavi 2 TV


51% ownership of Rustavi 2 was transfered to TV company 'Georgia.' Nika Gvaramia, former Minister of Justice and Education, was appointed as the General Director.

Robert Sturua returning to Shota Rustaveli Theatre


The Georgian Culture Minister re-appointed Robert Sturua the head of the Board of Governors of the Sturua Production Company. Robert Sturua worked at the Shota Rustaveli Theatre for half a century and was dismissed on 17 August 2011. Formally, Sturua was fired for his “xenophobic remarks”. However, Sturua himself believes that political differences with the country’s leadership were the root cause behind his dismissal. After the Parliamentary Elections in October, the writer Guram Odisharia became the Minister of Culture and Sutura’s return became possible.

Georgia comes 2nd at EUROVISION Junior


FUNKIDS represented Georgia at the 2012 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Ketevan, Nino, Luka and Elene performed the song 'Funky Lemonade' and got second place in the contest. 11 other countries participated in the contest. Georgia has performed at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since 2007.

Georgia has a new public defender


With a vote of 82-18, Parliament confirmed Ucha Nanuashvili as the new Public Defender with a five-year term.

Nanuashvili, 38, who served as Executive Director of rights watchdog group Human Rights Center, was nominated by the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority group.

Georgia meets Russia in Geneva


Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, and the Special Representative for Relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, met for talks in Geneva. These were the first direct official talks between representatives of the two countries since the Russian-Georgian war in 2008.The two politicians declared that dialogue would continue in the future and that it would cover issues linked with economic relations, including Russian investments in Georgia and the return of Georgian wines to the Russian market.

Nika Gvaramia and Aleksandre Khetaguri are arrested


Former Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri and Finance Minister Nika Gvaramia, now a General Director of Rustavi 2 TV, were arrested for alleged corruption.

Several days later they were released on bail.

Georgian Public Broadcaster gets a new Director


The supervisory board of Georgia’s Public Broadcaster (GPB) elected a new director as replacement for Giorgi Chanturia, who unexpectedly resigned.
The board chose Giorgi Baratashvili, who has had many different positions at GPB.

First Presidential Veto


President Mikheil Saakashvili vetoed a mass amnesty act arguing that the new government was about to release dangerous people into society.
The amnesty was passed by Parliament after much debate on 22 December and would see 3,500 prisoners released.

Giorgi Kikadze found dead in Afghanistan


After missing for 10 days, Sergeant Giorgi Kikadze was found dead in an empty house in the Musa Qala district of Afghanistan's Helmand Province. Kikadze was killed by multiple gunshot wounds.