09.01.2023 Author: Henry Kamens

“I Speak For The Georgian Legion – We Don’t Take Russian Soldiers Prisoner!”

Reports of Georgian soldiers dying in the fight for Ukraine’s independence are at first impression heartwarming, at least for the naïve. BUT when you dig deeper into this story, you soon realise that their plight is of their own choice, and motivated by financial considerations, not solidarity or standing up for a fledgling democracy.

As one recent headline in Georgia reads, Five Georgian Fighters Killed in Ukraine, on or around 3rd December while fighting near the city of Bakhmut, marking the deadliest day for Georgian fighters since Russia went in to Ukraine on 24 February. Since then, approximately 40 Georgians have died in the fighting. Prior to this one, other headlines, which were later removed or met with denials, claimed that the Georgian Legion had summarily executed captured Russian POWs.

Georgian Legion Commander Denies Involvement in Russian PoW Incident

The work of the Georgian Legion is highly suspect, as is its Commander, Mamuka Mamulashvili. He told Civil.ge that the Legion “has nothing to do” with the filmed incident [execution] involving Russian prisoners of war in Makiivka village, in the Luhansk region of Ukraine.

Mamulashvili stated that the claim represents “Russian disinformation”, and that this is “not the first such case.” However, a few days prior Mamulashvli had bragged in a video that executing prisoners was standard practice amongst the Georgian Legion.

The day after, he confirmed that they had committed the executions. The IDs of some of those involved, including a confession from Mamuka, are in the above-linked.

Yes, we tie the hands and feet of Russian soldiers. I speak for the Georgian Legion – we don’t take Russian soldiers as prisoners, nor Kadyrovites (Chechens) – not one!

The New York Times reported the veracity of the videos, but tried to dismiss them and claimed that they showed grisly before-and-after scenes of the encounter earlier this month, in which at least 11 Russians, most of whom are seen lying on the ground, appear to have been shot dead at close range after one of their fellow fighters suddenly opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers standing nearby. There are other allegations of those units, and the regular Ukrainian army, routinely executing POWS, which as Russian media outlets have written, “Are being ignored by international institutions”…

It is also reported that a representative of the United Nations Office for Human Rights asked Kyiv to ensure that such allegations were “promptly, fully and effectively” investigated, adding that the UN was looking into the available evidence. The UN Human Rights Commission has stated that “prisoners of war must be treated humanely at all times – from capture until release & repatriation.

We call for an end to torture & ill-treatment, full access to prisoners of wars & accountability.” Its Twitter page also shows human rights abuses consisting of civilians being duct taped to utility poles, although such instances of blatant violation are being ignored by the mainstream Western media.

Is Georgia directly involved?

Recent media reports have lamented the deaths of the most recent group of Georgian mercenary fighters, who were killed after their detachment was attacked by a group of Kadyrovites, which is how the Georgian media describes Chechen detachments fighting on the side of the Russian Federation.

It is interesting to note that Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, who grew up in France and whose family played all sides prior to escaping to there 100 years ago, immediately offered her condolences to the families, friends, and relatives of “all Georgian fighters who have died in Ukraine.”

The number of dead Georgians now stands at 40, and counting, and it is thought that nearly 2,000 Georgians are engaged in the fight. Zurabishvili’s condolences seem more than a bit strange, considering she must know the history of the group, and its actual funding source, admitted war crimes, and how it exists outside of any official policy or approval by the elected Georgian government.

That Georgian government also realises that the Georgian Legion, which had once found a safe haven in Ukraine, is no longer safe there, and its members will soon be returning to Georgia dead or alive, with the help of other foreign fighters, where those with the skills may consider staging a violent coup.  Warnings of this eventuality have been widely discussed in the Georgian print media, Georgian TV being under the control of outside influences.

The Georgian presidency is now only a token position, with the real power vested in parliament and the PM. Their active participation in a foreign war, and how their funding has been from the CIA and other foreign sources, is what raises eyebrows. It is also becoming very difficult to have alternative views of situation in Ukraine, even for US officials, due to threats which may prove terminal.

The French-Swiss Connection

Let us not forget that Nona Mamulashvili, and her infamous brother’s, French education was provided by Dominique Saudan, a Swiss ex-serviceman who worked in the OSCE mission in Tbilisi during 2000, sent by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dominique openly spoke with colleagues about young Nona Mamulashvili, and how he had fallen in love with her and given her money and his house in Paris to live, and despite his admitted sexual problems.

Likely such self-inflicted gossip was part of the subterfuge. We can be fairly certain that both Nona and Mamuka Mamulashvili took advantage of his attention and used him for years.

However, they themselves were the ones actually being used by a foreign intelligence agency or agencies. It is no coincidence that Saudan gained part of his education in Russia, and did a tour of duty in Kosovo, naturally as a peacekeeper.

In the opinion of her former colleagues, “Even after living in Paris Nona Mamulashvili was the same faceless and rustic-looking girl without any semblance of high society and fashionable taste, but somehow after she returned to Tbilisi she immediately started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. In fact, she       was personally brought there by Salome Zurabishvili when she was the minister. This was indeed very strange, as Nona demonstrated little to no competence, and did nothing, several of her former co-workers claimed.

Nona was eventually dismissed from the Ministry just after Salome herself was. But Saudan’s money, connections to others in France, and free apartment made it possible for her brother Manuka, now head of the Georgian Legion, to come to France. With the change in government Nona was a liability and no longer needed, but she found a home as an MP representing the UNM, the party of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.

The loving brother often repeats in TV and print interviews that he has a French diplomatic education. However, he does not mention that his sister and a well-connected Swiss officer made all this possible. His present connections to US think tanks, as noted in a recent interview with Luke Coffey of the Hudson Institute, could only have been established from such a source.

Mamuka’s background is in Abkhazia, a network of railway criminals, links to former FSB and KBG networks of patronage and organised crime. That is just the sort of background that can be liability in civilian life. This is also true of others in the Georgian Legion;  there many contradictions in Luke Coffey’s “conversation with Commander Mamulashvili” where they discuss the current situation on the front lines of Ukraine’s heroic defence against so-called “Russian aggression” and what the future holds for the region.

Much of the information about Saudan dates back to 2003, and was well known in the OSCE mission to Georgia, and to the late 80s and early 90s, when Georgians controlled railway terminals and freight transit throughout the former Soviet Union. However, this information is disappearing from the internet, even in the Georgian Language. It is likely that several intelligence services are involved in this, some tasked with finding incriminating evidence, others with hiding or spinning it.

We have been able to glean some information that still exists about Saudan. He speaks 14 languages, including Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian. So he doesn’t need a translator to read and analyse information from all corners of the planet.

Live together, die together

Each and every word and action of Saudan continues to have a purpose, and often a long term one. He is not alone, as there are many useful idiots, even a former Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Giorgi Baramidze, involved in a BIGGER plan—not only to change the Georgian government by force but to involve Georgia directly in the military conflict in Ukraine.

One recent interview is revealing, much to the dismay of the Georgian government.

“I’m Giorgi Baramidze, a member of Georgian parliament, and a former vice-speaker of the Georgian Parliament. I am one of the volunteers from Georgia who is fighting on the side of Ukraine in the Georgian Legion. The current Speaker of the Georgian parliament said yesterday that there was no need to go to Kiev in order to see what’s going on. His speech made Ukrainian people angry; however, we want to say that the real Georgians are with us, with Ukraine, supporting not only with words, but also with deeds”.

Giorgi Baramidze is then asked by a Ukrainian journalist,   “what do you think about the Speaker and what are Georgian people’s thoughts on this topic?” He responds,

“Of course the whole country is worried about Ukraine. This war is actually a war against 21st century fascists. This is a war for Georgia, too. Despite the Georgian authorities’ actions, people are handling the situation well. No matter how bad these authorities are, I could never imagine that they would refuse to visit Bucha and show the whole world that Russians have committed genocide there. We are ashamed of the authorities, but at the same time proud of the warriors who are here in Ukraine. These warriors didn’t owe anyone anything, and even though they were obstructed and not allowed to come here, they are fighting and dying.

Connecting the Dots as to Sponsorship

Apparently, the above rant is scripted, likely from some of the staff from the backstopping organization, CASE, which has by happenstance set up shop in Georgia. It is not difficult to connect the dots is understanding who is calling the shots, at least when the time is right to Call for Fire.

All one has to do is research who is Nona Manulashvili, her brother Mamuka, who was the father, and then their connections with US intelligence, Georgian snipers, a wide and diverse range of sponsors. Authorities should investigate the Case Study as above, some of it dating back to 2014, and contingency plans to overthrow the Georgian government. Already enough “volunteers” have been trained up and equipped for this purpose, some in Ukraine, others in Georgia, and by great trainers.

Many of the weapons are warehoused in Georgia, still in containers and original packaging, thanks to the generosity of the US and NATO member countries, and many of the arms had been previously siphoned off from the Ukrainian and Georgian army for a rainy day, or left over from the 2008 Georgian-Russian military conflict.

A portion of the financial backing in provided in part by UAE, Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA). Such a spider web of sticky connections should also come as no surprise, especially with all the logistical and money transfer operations.

It should come as no surprise, as Nona Mamulashvili recently posted on her Twitter account that “Georgian government officials are criticizing Georgian soldiers fighting in Ukraine and calling them “mercenaries” and threatening to revoke their citizenship.”

Salome Zurabishvili must know everything about the Mamulashvilis and what is being [alleged here] and who they are working for, and even earlier when the brother and sister were sponsored in France through various links with French and US intelligence.

It is still an open question, at least in Georgia, which Foreign Service the “lame duck” president works for now, given that she has been censored in recent months for making statements which contradict the official policy of the Georgian government.  She is also in the damaged control mood over her intentions of pardoning certain high-value prisoners.

As a close observer, knowing personally some in this so-called military unit, Legion, I can aver that The Georgian Legion is a covert means to train killers to take over the Georgian government through bloodshed, as there is no other way back for members of the UNM, as they will never again achieve power by legal means.

– If the Russians are able to take some Georgian Legion fighters prisoner, top ones, we may soon have all the answers. In the meantime, however, enough open source information is available to draw some interim conclusions.

Read Between the Lines

Intelligence agencies, the Foreign Ministry and the NGO community are concerned about the rhetoric and actions of the Georgian Legion, and fully understand that it is helping the other side by discrediting Georgia in an attempt to spoil Georgian-Russian relations. Georgian pundits could even argue that its real sponsor is the GRU, which would explain why war crimes are being committed and openly admitted to and videos posted.

The Russian-Ukrainian military conflict is a result of the work of foreign intelligence services dating back to 2014, which includes the involvement of US trained snipers in Maidan, most of whom were Georgian. However part of the picture involves returning the UNM to power in Georgia, hence the moves to discredit the country and make an armed takeover appear inevitable.

I would suggest interested parties read the Mark Twain short story War Prayer. The Georgian Legion may have far worse consequences for Georgia than Ukraine when its’ militarised volunteers return home looking for new action, and these may be more fatal than the military conflict in Ukraine itself for the Georgian state and citizens.

Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

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