"A coup à la Euromaidan is being prepared in Georgia" - Security Service
Security Service alleges coup
On the morning of September 18, the Georgian Security Service issued a statement saying that there are plans to repeat the Ukrainian Euromaidan in Georgia.
According to the SBG, behind this plan are “certain groups of individuals acting on the territory of Georgia and beyond its borders,” specifically ethnic Georgians working in the Ukrainian government and residing in Ukraine. The statement mentions three people:
Giorgi Lortkipanidze, deputy head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, who was deputy interior minister under Saakashvili’s government, is named as the author of the plan. A former security guard of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, Mikhail Baturin, is also mentioned. Another figure is Mamuka Mamulashvili, a member of Saakashvili’s closest entourage and commander of the Georgian Legion operating in Ukraine.
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According to the SBG, the training of young people who will take part in the riots is taking place near the border with Poland:
“According to confirmed and verified information, the plan developed by Lortkipanidze is to use a rather large group of persons of Georgian origin fighting in Ukraine and a part of Georgian youth under the influence of interested parties, whose training is being conducted near the Polish-Ukrainian state border.”
The agency also names several Ukrainian organizations, which, according to its information, are also involved in the process:
“To prepare youth groups for use in the revolutionary scenario, the Kanvas organization is used, the core of which is the Otpor organization. These are the organizations that took active part in the revolutionary processes that unfolded in Serbia in the past, and, accordingly, are regularly used in different countries to train young people and involve them in destructive processes.”
According to the Georgian security service, all these individuals and people close to them are planning to stage mass riots in October-December. “The ultimate goal of this is to change the government by violent methods.”
October-December were not randomly chosen as the date for the start of destructive processes, the statement goes on, as this is the period when the interim and final conclusions of the European Commission [on Georgia’s obtaining the status of an EU candidate country] are to be published.
“The expectation of the conspirators preparing for the overthrow of state power is calculated that the published conclusion will be negative, which, with the information networks at their disposal, artificially attached to the government with the slogan of ‘pro-Russianity’, will create fertile ground for public unrest and further disturbances.”
“As for the scenario, according to the information of the SGB, several scenarios for the development of events are being considered, including the creation of the so-called “tent city”, erection of barricades on the central avenues and near strategic objects of Georgia, occupation and barricading of government buildings, as well as other illegal actions containing elements of serious provocation. In particular, it is confirmed that the organizers are considering the possibility of repeating in Georgia the Euromaidan that took place in Ukraine in 2014.”
The statement also stressed that this plan was planned with the coordination and financial support of foreign countries.
Associate Professor of Ilia State University Giorgi Meladze responds to the statement of SBG that the group “Kanvas” is engaged in preparing young people for such an event.
According to the director of “Kanvas”, no coup d’état is planned by the group, and the purpose of SBG is to intimidate people.
“SBG talks about coups… Which it always does, but this time it is adding the Kanwas organization to all this. I am currently the director of Kanvas-Georgia and I am not planning any coup. The only purpose of the statement is to intimidate people!
The statement against me was published in the spring. The author of the statement was [Irakli] Kobakhidze [chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party], and even then he called me an “extremist.” I have worked with many groups and with various activists over the past 20 years, and it is very important for me to work together with active people in civil society to create better systems of governance. What the SBG is saying today, I have heard similar statements from authoritarian states before. No matter what, I will continue my work spreading knowledge about non-violent campaigns!”, said Giorgi Meladze.
Last year, the European Union granted EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, while Georgia was given 12 preconditions that the country can expect to fulfill. In October 2023, it will be known whether the European Commission will make a recommendation on granting Georgia EU candidate status. After the European Commission’s conclusion, by the end of 2023, European Council leaders will assess the progress of Georgia and other countries.