2018 in Georgia (country)

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Georgia (country)

See also: Other events of 2018
List of years in Georgia (country)

The following lists events in 2018 in Georgia.



Autonomous republics



Disputed territories


South Ossetia



  • 3 January – Protests erupt in breakaway Abkhazia over the de facto president Khadjimba's decision to pardon and hand over to the Georgian authorities the region's ethnic Georgian native serving a 20-year prison term for the kidnapping and murder of Abkhaz officials. The region's legislature convenes in an emergency session to set up a commission to investigate the legality of Khadjimba's move.[1]
  • 5 January – The Tbilisi City Court sentences the former President Mikheil Saakashvili to three-year imprisonment in absentia for abusing power in pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials convicted in the 2006 Sandro Girgvliani murder case. Saakashvili, the opposition United National Movement party, and the incumbent President Giorgi Margvelashvili denounce the decision.[2]
  • 30 January – Ceiling collapse at the Tbilisi Metro station Varketili, renovated in August 2017, injures at least 14. An investigation into possible violation of safety norms is launched.[3][4]


  • 22 February – A Georgian citizen, Archil Tatunashvili, dies while in custody of the Russian-backed South Ossetian authorities in Tskhinvali, leading to an outrage in Georgia and concerns expressed by the EU mission and foreign embassies.[5][6] Despite continued requests from Tbilisi, backed by the West, de facto South Ossetian authorities continue to refuse to hand over body, citing need for post-mortem by Russian experts until 20 March, about a month after reported death.[7]


  • 18 March – De facto Abkhazia and South Ossetia take part in the Russian presidential election, 2018, showing record turnout in voting, with local authorities organizing vote and campaigning for Vladimir Putin. Tbilisi condemnes the polls as illegal.[7]
  • 19 March – Russia launches large-scale military drills including in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, involving some 8,000 troops.[7]
  • 21 March – The Parliament of Georgia adopts a bipartisan resolution condemning "gross human rights violations in the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region", including the deaths of two Georgians, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili in the conflict zones in May 2016 and February 2018, respectively.[8]
  • 23 March – The Parliament of Georgia adopts with the third and final reading amendments to the new constitution, incorporating several Venice Commission-recommended changes to the original amendments.[9]


  • 4 April – Georgian government unveils a new peace initiative for the breakaway entities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, consisting of new package of laws and project papers in the areas such as simplified registration, increased trade, and education opportunities for people living in these regions. The proposal is rejected by Russia and the de facto authorities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[10]


100th Anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. A commemorative coin issued by Georgia in 2018.
  • 11 May – Facing internal splits, the ruling Georgian Dream party elects its influential founder and the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to chair the party.[11]
  • 12–13 May – Thousands protests in front of the Parliament building in Tbilisi following heavy-handed police raids on the city's leading nightclubs, including the internationally famed Bassiani, for search of suspected drug dealers. The demonstrators, dancing to club music, denounce excessive use of force by police and the government's repressive drug police.[12][13][14]
  • 18 May – The Federal Customs Service of Russia signs a contract with the Geneva-based testing and inspection company, SGS, on carrying out cargo monitoring through three "trade corridors" between Georgia and Russia, two of which run through the breakaway entities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the third one on the Zemo Larsi-Kazbegi border crossing point in the undisputed section of Georgia–Russia border. This comes as part of the Swiss-mediated agreement between the two neighboring countries signed on 9 November 2011.[15]
  • 18 May – The United States and Georgian officials inaugurate the US-sponsored Georgia Defense Readiness Program, envisaging training of nine Georgian battalions over the next three years with the stated aim to "add to Georgia's interoperability and strengthen its territorial defense capabilities."[16]
  • 26 May – Georgia celebrates the 100th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the First Republic of Georgia. More than 20 high level delegations arrive to attend the event, including the presidents of Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Finland, Armenia, and the European Commission.[17]
  • 29 May – The Bashar al-Assad government of Syria recognizes the independence of Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia retaliates by severing diplomatic relations with Syria and calls for international support.[11] The Syrian opposition leader Naser al-Hariri condemns the move by Syria's government.[18] Two Syrian airlines are barred by Georgia from accessing its airspace, one of which used to transport private Russian military contractors to take part in the Syrian conflict.[19]
  • 31 May – A wave of demonstrations starts in the streets of Tbilisi to protest a perceived miscarriage of justice following the killing of two teenagers in a street brawl in December. The protests continue sporadically until June 11, when the police dismantle camps erected by the protesters in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi.[20] Georgia's chief prosecutor Irakli Shotadze resigns over the case,[21] while the government establishes a special parliamentary fact-finding commission chaired by an opposition politician.[22]


  • 13 June – Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigns following the May protests, citing differences with Bidzina Ivanishvili, the newly elected chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party.[23]
  • 14 June – The European Parliament passes a resolution demanding Russia reverse its "decision to recognise the so-called independence of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia".[23]
  • 20 June – Georgia's new Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and his government win the parliamentary vote of confidence with 99 votes in favor to 6 against.[24] The cabinet is reconfirmed by the parliament on 14 July after the previously announced structural reforms in the cabinet ministries are implemented.[25]
  • 26 June – Georgian government presents the Tatunashvili-Otkhozoria sanctions list for approval by the parliament. The list contains 33 names of suspects in crimes reportedly committed against ethnic Georgians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia since the end of the secessionist wars in the 1990s.[23]
  • 28 June – The governments of Georgia and Hong Kong, the special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, sign a free trade agreement aimed at expanding bilateral trade in goods and services.[26]
  • 28 June – The Tbilisi City Court sentences the former President Mikheil Saakashvili in absentia to six years in prison for the alleged abuse of power by trying to cover up evidence related to the 2005 beating of the opposition politician Valeri Gelashvili. Saakashvili denounces the verdict as politically motivated.[27]


  • 4 July – Zurab Pataradze, the head of the government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, steps down, triggering the resignation of the region's entire cabinet.[28]
  • 9 July – Police arrests a 19-year-old shepherd on suspicion of killing an American–Georgian family of three—44-year-old Ryan Smith, his 43-year-old wife Laura Smith, and their four-year-old son—vacationing in the Khada Gorge.[29]
  • 16 July – Four miners are killed and six others are injured in a mining accident at the Mindeli coal mine in Tkibuli, western Georgia. This is the second major mining accident in the same mine in 2018, the previous one killing six on 5 April.[30]
  • 21 July – Tornike Rizhvadze and his four-member cabinet of Adjara is approved by the autonomous region's legislature. The move was preceded by a controversy over the government formation process between Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili and the ruling Georgian Dream party.[31]
  • 30 July – The Constitutional Court of Georgia ruling outlaws administrative punishments, such as fines, for cannabis consumption, eight months after the court abolished criminal sanctions for cannabis use. Cultivation and selling remain a crime.[32] The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia unveils consumption regulations on 5 September.[33]


  • 23–24 August – German Chancellor Angela Merkel pays a two-day visit to Georgia as part of his South Caucasian tour, travelling to an occupation line near Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.[34] Meeting with students, she speaks about "injustice" in relation to continued Russian military presence in Georgia's breakaway regions, which she calls "occupation". She also downplays prospects for Georgia's membership of NATO and EU any time soon.[35] During Merkel's visit, Germany and Georgia sign development cooperation deals worth over €193 million, including projects to improve drinking water and sewage systems and to build a gas storage facility. Merkel says Germany will soon designate Georgia as a safe country of origin.[36]


  • 8 September – Breakaway Abkhazia's prime minister, Gennady Gagulia dies when his car is hit by a vehicle driven by a young Abkhaz man, allegedly "under the influence of narcotics".[37]
  • 16 September – Several hundreds of protesters, inspired by a sermon of Ilia II, head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, against cannabis legalization, took to the streets of Tbilisi after the government hints Georgia might cultivate and export cannabis for medical use.[38]


  • 20 October - Girchi Party activists hold Cannabis Legalization Festival in Deda Ena Park in downtown Tbilisi to protest aim of Parliament of Georgia to restrict consumption regulations for cannabis. 11 activists were detained during the event, but they all were released on the evening.


  • 25 November – One hundred thousand people gathered in Tbilisi to hold demonstrations against United National Movement candidate Grigol Vashadze competing in second round of Georgian presidential elections.
  • 28 November – Presidential runoff resulted in Salome Zurabishvili becoming the first female-president of Georgia.


  • 2 December – Several thousand United National Movement supporters gathered on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to demand resignation of parliament.


  • 16 December – Salome Zurabishvili occupies the presidential office.


  • 3 January – Valery Chalidze, a Soviet-era dissident and human rights activist (born 1938).
  • 4 January – Tristan Makhauri, a Georgian philologist and folklorist (born 1959).
  • 8 January – Mariam Lordkipanidze, a Georgian historian (born 1922).
  • 9 January – Mikheil Naneishvili, a Georgian philosopher and politician, MP (1992–1995, 1999–2004) (born 1934).
  • 10 January – Gia Chanturia, a Georgian diplomat and oil executive, ambassador to Azerbaijan (1994–1996), head of International Oil Corporation of Georgia (1995–2004) (born 1957).
  • 15 January – Samson Kutateladze, a Georgian businessman and former brigadier general, MP (2008–2012) (born 1964), shot.
  • 24 January – Otar Kajaia, Georgian linguist and lexicographer (born 1923).
  • 6 February – Pridon Sakvarelidze, Georgian politician and author, MP (1992–1995, 2012–2016) (born 1954).
  • 12 February – Tedo Uturgaidze, Georgian philologist and scholar of the Kartvelian languages (born 1927).
  • 26 February – Giorgi Maisashvili, a Georgian economist and politician (born 1962).
  • 1 March – Zurab Vadachkoria, Georgian illusionist (born 1961).
  • 8 April – Leila Abashidze, a Georgian actress (born 1929).
  • 22 April – Nino Khurtsidze, a Georgian chess player (born 1975).
  • 25 April – Dali Panjikidze, Georgian translator and Germanist (born 1937).
  • 29 April – Irakli Zhordania, Georgian metallurgy engineer, Minister of Science and Technologies (1990–1993) (born 1931).
  • 30 April – Zezva Medulashvili, Georgian writer and Orientalist (born 1939).
  • 13 May – Baadur Tsuladze, Georgian actor, film director, writer and broadcaster (born 1935).
  • 11 June – Giorgi "Gio" Khutsishvili, Georgian singer and actor (born 1962).
  • 25 July – Vakhtang Balavadze, Georgian wrestler (born 1927).
  • 31 August – Guram Tevzadze, Georgian philosopher, Vice-President of GNAS (2002–2018) (born 1932).
  • 28 September – Tamaz Chiladze, Georgian poet and writer (born 1931).


  1. ^ Fuller, Liz (31 January 2018). "Analysis: Is History Repeating Itself In Abkhazia?". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Saakashvili Found Guilty of Exceeding Authority". Civil Georgia. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Tbilisi metro station ceiling collapses injuring 14". JAMnews. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Varketili metro station reopens after last night's intensive works". Agenda.ge. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Majority, Opposition MPs Draft Resolutions Condemning Tatunashvili's Death". Civil Georgia. 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Georgia Vows To Repatriate Man Who Died In Custody In South Ossetia". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "CrisisWatch: March 2018". Crisis Group. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Parliament Adopts Bipartisan Resolution on Human Rights Violations in Abkhazia, S.Ossetia". Civil Georgia. 21 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Constitutional Changes Passed on Final Reading". Civil Georgia. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  10. ^ "CrisisWatch: April 2018". Crisis Group. 30 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b "CrisisWatch: May 2018". Crisis Group. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Police Raids Two Night Clubs, Arrests Eight". Civil Georgia. 12 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Thousands Protest Georgian Nightclub Raids In Tbilisi". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  14. ^ Dunbar, William (18 July 2018). "Bassiani's come down: the rise and fall of White Noise and Tbilisi's #raveolution". The Calvert Journal. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Moscow Signs Contracts on Georgia-Russia Trade Monitoring". Civil Georgia. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Eucom Commander Launches Readiness Program Training Initiative in Georgia". United States Department of Defense. 19 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Today Georgia marks the 100th anniversary since the First Republic of Georgia - what's in store?". Agenda.ge. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  18. ^ "After Assad Debacle, Syrian Opposition backs Georgia". Civil Georgia. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Georgia bans Syria airlines from entering its airspace". Middle East Monitor. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Georgian Prime Minister Resigns After Antigovernment Protests". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 13 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  21. ^ Antidze, Margarita (31 May 2018). "Georgia's chief prosecutor resigns over teenagers' murder case". Reuters. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Opposition MP will chair parliament commission on teenage murder case". Agenda.ge. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  23. ^ a b c "CrisisWatch: June 2018". Crisis Group. 30 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Bakhtadze's Cabinet Wins Confidence". Civil Georgia. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Parliament Confirms Bakhtadze's New Cabinet". Civil Georgia. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  26. ^ "Georgia, Hong Kong Sign Free Trade Agreement". Civil Georgia. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Saakashvili Convicted Of Abuse Of Power, Sentenced In Absentia". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Head of Adjara Government Resigns". Civil Georgia. 4 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Shepherd Suspected Of Killing American Family Of Three In Georgia". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 10 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  30. ^ "Four Killed, Six Injured in Mining Accident in Tkibuli". Civil Georgia. 16 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Adjara Supreme Council Approves Region's New Government". Civil Georgia. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Constitutional court outlaws all punishment for cannabis consumption in Georgia". OC Media. 30 July 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Marijuana consumption regulations unveiled by Georgia's Interior Ministry". Agenda.ge. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Merkel Travels to Occupation Line, Completes Georgia Visit". Civil Georgia. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  35. ^ "CrisisWatch: August 2018". International Crisis Group. 31 August 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Angela Merkel to designate Georgia as safe for migrant returns | DW | 23.08.2018". Deutsche Welle. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Abkhaz Government Head Dies in a Car Crash". Civil Georgia. 9 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  38. ^ "Georgian Orthodox Church Protests Against Marijuana Legalization". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
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