|National motto: For people, country, and land|
|Prime Minister:||Gia Bavadeli|
|Others:||Armenian, Azeri, Russian, Ossetian, Abkhazian|
|Capital:||Tbilisi (1.3 million)|
|Other:||Kutaisi (235,000), Rustavi (160,000), Batumi (136,000), Suhumi (120,000)|
|Population:||4.9 million inhabitants|
Georgian history dates back more than 2,500 years, and Georgian is one of the oldest living languages in the world. Tbilisi, located in a picturesque valley divided by the Mtkvari River, is more than 1,500 years old. Much of Georgia's territory was besieged by its Persian and Turkish neighbors along with Arabs and Mongols over the course of the 7th to the 18th centuries. After 11 centuries of mixed fortunes of various Georgian kingdoms, including a golden age from the 11th to 13th centuries, Georgia was forcibly absorbed into the Russian Empire in 1801, its people supressed by Tzarist regime and its royalty exiled.
However, pockets of Georgian resistance to foreign rule continued, and a renewed Kingdom of Georgia was established on May 26, 1918, after the collapse of Tsarist Russia. Both the Bolshevik Red Army and the Tzarist White Army made efforts to reoccupy the country, but as they only mutually each other mutually, Georgia managed to remain independent.
During the Second Great War, Georgia was briefly occupied by Russia. At the end of the hostilities, Russia withdrew, leaving behind desolation and a pro-snorist regime. King Alexa Dadiani was murdered, and because the new leader declared the old house "debased and unfit to rule", his wife and only surviving son became refugees, moving from one sympathetic country to the next and finally ending up in Australasia. Between 1945 and 1954 a fascist/SNORist regime was installed with General Nogiadeli as fascist leader. The king-to-be, Beria overthrew him and gave him the death penalty. King Beria's disputed reign was found to be more despotic than Nogiadeli's. The media was routinely controlled, government funds were misappropriated, and genocide occured in the 1970s.
Despite all the SNORist regimes being overthrown by 1990, Georgia's remained for a few years. On September 7, 1992, late-night Georgian TV showed a recording of King Beria offering a senator $15,000 so he would force through a bill to open nuclear energy. A revolution in March 1993 unseated Beria's monarchy, when Zurab Kantavis, a senator, stormed the Senate with several thousand supporters as the King made a speech. They demanded his abdication because of his rampant corruption. The senator used the late-night broadcast as evidence. King Beria decided to abdicate, and then hanged himself in Tblisi town square.
Georgians (72%), Armenian (8%), Azeri (6%), Russians (3%), Ossetes (3%), Abkhaz (2%), other (4%).
Eastern Orthodox (75%), Muslim (11%), Armenian Apostolic (8%), other/unknown (6%).
In the History part of the article, there is a mention of a TV broadcast unveiling corruption in Georgia which ultimately overthrew King Beria. This was an episode of the discussion show "Affairs" which broadcast at 11:15 p.m. on September 7, 1992. The show's presenter was given a tape that was filmed secretly inside the palace of King Beria, where a meeting between a senator and the King took place. The King gave the Senator $15,000 (or, at the time, 789,124 lari) with which to bribe officials to approve a bill supporting nuclear energy in an already enviromentally fragile country. The broadcast was ultimately burned, and the few amateur recordings that exist (as video recorders were, and still are effectively, a status symbol) are kept in the National Archive. Georgian TV chose this as the #1 TV moment of all time.