Visit to Abkhazia, election campaign – what Russian consultants have planned for Georgia’s Alliance of Patriots
Investigative journalism platform Dossier founded by opposition leader Mikhail Khodorkovsky recently published a document that shows that the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia party asked for financing from Russia before the elections, and their election campaign is planned by persons connected with the Russian authorities, who, in turn, are accountable to state structures
What did the Dossier report find?
According to Dossier, prior to the 2020 parliamentary elections, the Alliance of Patriots paid the consulting firm Politsecret $700,000. In this company, the case of the Alliance of Patriots is supervised directly by the political strategist Sergei Mikheev.
According to the platform, Mikheev, in turn, is supervised by subordinates of General Chernov, these are FSB reserve colonel Valery Maksimov and GRU officer Valery Chernyshev.
The Alliance of Patriots’ four-month campaign budget, requested from the Kremlin, is $8.5 million.
Visit to Abkhazia
The publication of the first part of the Dossier investigation coincided with the visit of the leaders of the Alliance of Patriots to Abkhazia, which caused great indignation of a significant part of the Georgian public.
One of the leaders of the European Georgia party, Elene Khoshtaria, appealed to the prosecutor’s office and demanded issue of the financing of the Alliance of Patriots be studied. The Lelo for Georgia party demanded that the Alliance be removed from participation in the elections.
Moscow again offered help in dealing with the accumulated dissatisfaction with the Alliance of Patriots. Russian PR technologists offered Georgian politicians messages and ready-made answers that they were supposed to use when communicating with the media.
“The purpose of the visit was charity”
“We have interviewed more than a million people and 70 percent are supporters of a direct dialogue with Sukhumi, Tskhinvali and Moscow, with civil diplomacy we serve the national interests.”
“There are people who don’t like civil diplomacy. They take up arms, and we are accused of treason. Who is doing this and why? Those who want to cash in on the war, who would be happy with the death of our children. “
“But they won’t succeed. The Alliance of Patriots will ensure that the possibility of involving the country and the people in a disastrous war is ruled out forever. To do this, we propose to include military neutrality in the constitution.”
The strategy, drawn up by Russian PR technologists, details the activities that the Alliance of Patriots should conduct before the elections:
In late August and early September, residents of Adjara are to hold a picket in front of the parliament building. The organizer of the action may be some new force – for example, the “Informal Committee for the Defense of Adjara”.
Majority MP candidates should hold a “Send the Children to School” campaign and donate school supplies to children from poor families.
The Alliance of Patriots should come up with a new legislative initiative so that all Georgians living abroad, including in Russia, can participate in elections and demand the opening of polling stations in Russia.
On August 28, on the day of the Holy Virgin Mary, the leaders were to go to a monastery, to which one of the leaders of the party, David Tarkhan-Mouravi, will present an icon:
“Give the monastery / church a gift from the Georgian church in Russia (can be given through Archil). In response, they will give a similar gift to the Georgian church in Moscow … The goal is to show that the Alliance of Patriots and the Georgian Orthodox Church share positions on key issues – in the issue of restoring relations with Russia and Russians as fellow believers and brothers,” the document says, which says that in this way it is possible to attract new supporters from among church goers.
They can be both supporters of the opposition and the authorities.
Election campaign planned in social media
According to this plan:
Until September 5, the Alliance of Patriots is to find young bloggers who will meet with representatives of the party activists, and then write about the meeting on social media.
Until September 27, a patriotic song contest and an online flash mob “Let’s Sing Together” should be held.
By October 1, a new flash mob should be launched on social media – the Support March, in which famous personalities, athletes, doctors and actors will take part and openly support the Alliance of Patriots.
Alliance of Patriots response
Regarding the pre-election clips, the Alliance of Patriots’ response says that they will gather up to 80 people and shoot videos with their participation.
“Among them are the poet Sagliani, poet Otarashvili, composer Sepiashvili, composer Mzhavia, singers Tamarashvili, Gelashvili, Mamaladze, actor Chichinadze, artists Herkiladze and Sirbiladze, ballerina Nioradze, football player Inalishvili, karate player Kakabadze from the Union of Writers of Gonashvili former Ombudsman Devdariani and others”.
According to Dossier, this document was stolen by them from the secretariat of General Vladimir Chernov.
Intelligence general, former KGB agent Vladimir Chernov is a member of Sergei Ivanov’s inner circle, he currently heads the presidential department for interregional and cultural relations with foreign countries – a structure created to fight ‘color revolutions’.
On August 24, Dossier published a detailed investigation, which refers to the direct support of the Alliance of Patriots from the Kremlin, both financially and in terms of the election campaign.
One of the leaders of the Alliance of Patriots, Irma Inashvili, confirmed on August 24 that the party is indeed cooperating with a Russian consulting firm, but denied receiving US $8 million from the Russian authorities.
“This is absolutely absurd. The eight million dollar budget was not discussed at all. Eight million was named because our electoral number is 8,” Inashvili said.
Inashvili called the disseminated information “a dirty attack by Saakashvili and Bokeria” (the former president of Georgia and one of the leaders of the opposition) and stated that “the information or conclusions made by the Dossier should not be regarded as facts.”
Irma Inashvili did not name the Russian company with which she and her party are cooperating before the elections.
The State Audit Office has begun an inquiry into the legality of the financing of the Alliance of Patriots.