Tbilisi: Coup threat or internal political struggle?
    Georgian experts on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  25 September 2023 - 17:01

    Samir Ibrahimov

    The Georgian State Security Service has said a violent change of power is planned in the country with the coordination and financial support of foreign countries, using a scenario similar to the Ukrainian "Euromaidan".

    Well-known foreign experts shared their thoughts on this issue with Caliber.Az.

    Are there any prerequisites in Georgia for organizing and leading mass anti-government demonstrations that could lead to a change of power?

    Georgian diplomat and analyst Mamuka Gamkrelidze believes that the statement of the Georgian State Security Service pursues several goals at once.

    “The point is not even whether any opposition party wants or does not want a violent change of power, but whether it can achieve this. We must also take into account that the opposition in Georgia is currently weaker than ever. It’s not like they can’t organize a revolution, but they can’t even bring their supporters onto the streets in such numbers as to create discomfort for the authorities,” he noted first of all.

    So what does this statement serve?

    “I think that the government pursues two goals. One is the traditional accusation of the opposition of wanting to plunge the country into chaos and even cause a war with its northern neighbour. The authorities are well aware of the negative mood of Georgians, who have already gone through both wars and a coup and no longer want such a fate for the country. It must be admitted that a fairly large part of the population perceives such baseless accusations at face value, which gives the authorities a certain advantage.

    The second goal is to prevent real unrest. The fact is that the only thing the authorities are afraid of is a spontaneous protest of citizens and subsequent unrest. There were several such protests not organized by the opposition during the reign of the Georgian Dream and each time the government retreated. As well, these were the apology of the interior minister, and the resignation of the prosecutor general, and changes in the electoral code, and the refusal to adopt a law rewritten from the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

    Today our country is waiting for a decision from the EU to grant Georgia candidate status for EU membership. Considering the fact that the authorities implemented only three out of 12 recommendations and simultaneously accused the EU of bias, it would be overly optimistic to expect a positive solution. And with this statement, the authorities are signalling that if protests begin, they will use force and accuse the protesters of a coup. And this may be followed by arrests of opposition politicians,” the diplomat admits.

    According to Doctor of Military and Political Sciences, Professor Vakhtang Maisaya, this statement by the State Security Service sounds extremely frivolous.

    “Because no specific details, relevant documentary or video evidence are provided. Moreover, it contains signs of black PR in relation not only to Ukraine but also to Poland. It is written that some saboteurs are being trained near the Polish-Ukrainian border, and that a coup is being prepared with the help of foreign states. This is not true, because Poland and Ukraine are strategic partners and friends of Georgia. They are now fighting our enemy Russia,” the professor notes.

    He is sure that what is happening should be assessed as an element of a political information war and that it is aimed more at domestic consumption.

    “The goal is to block the impact of unpleasant facts that could greatly influence the course and results of future parliamentary elections in Georgia, not in the interests of the ruling party. Firstly, this is a corruption scandal associated with the name of Prime Minister Garibashvili, who used Air Force One for his own commercial and personal purposes. Secondly, the noise associated with the fact that the former chief prosecutor of Georgia, whom the State Department and American intelligence services accused of being a resident of Russian intelligence in Georgia, fell under US sanctions.

    That is, I believe that the statement of the State Security Service was made to distract the attention of society. By the way, this is very similar to the Kremlin’s propaganda methods of waging information warfare. The technology is the same. The Kremlin also uses dirty information and propaganda methods for internal consumption. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this was prepared not in the State Security Service of Georgia, but in the building of the FSB of the Russian Federation on Lubyanka,” concluded Maisaya.


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