16.02.2023 Author: Henry Kamens

Reality and Reflux: Tug of War—Georgia, Ukraine and Russia

Lots of things are going on now in the nexus between Georgia and Ukraine. Different camps are being organised, as if sides are lining up for a tug-of-war over Georgia having friendly relations with both Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

The US government and some opposition parties don’t want Georgia and Russia to resume flights, and the US State Department is applying pressure. The resumption of flights between Georgia and Russia would come with the threat of sanctions for companies that serve Russian companies at Georgian airports.

The State Department has used the “Voice of America” information service to share its “concerns” about this possibility.

“Many Western countries, including the United States, prohibit Russian aircraft from entering their airspace. If flights between Russia and Georgia resume, given that companies at Georgian airports may be targeted for sanctions, we would be concerned if they serve aircraft subject to additional import and export controls.”

According to certain Georgian political parties, especially those with close links to the former ruling United National Movement, any friendly relations constitute collaboration with Russia across the board.

It is becoming clear, as the book by Stuart Kaufmann (Kaufman, S.J. (2015). Modern HatredsThe Symbolic Politics of Ethnic War. Ithaca: Cornell University Press) describes so well, Modern Hatreds are determined by elites and the masses are manipulated.

These Modern Hatreds are currently being updated. Already many political parties, NGOs and their Embassy backers have closed ranks by organising a large-scale rally in support of Ukraine, to be held in Tbilisi on February 24. The PR for the rally, as seen in some English language outlets, says that its goals, are to start “a new national liberation movement to end “collaborationism” in Georgia.”

Everyone in Georgia is aware that a pro-Ukrainian rally actually means an anti-Russian one. Some are predicting it might turn violent, and I am one of those.

But little is actually being reported in the West about the real things happening in this region, as in what the United States, Georgia’s sponsor, is doing there. This is not because current events, and present dangers, are not newsworthy but because there is a hidden agenda.

Take for example, one contradiction in the Georgian position. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has reacted to the possibility of resuming flights with Russia by saying that “she does not welcome this initiative.”

“I do not welcome the resumption of flights with Russia! At a time when all our partner countries, in word or deed, express their maximum solidarity with Ukraine’s self-sacrificing struggle, for me and I’m sure for the majority of the society, the position of the government and the ruling party is, to say the least, incomprehensible,” the president said.

In Georgia the president is now only a figurehead, with limited political powers. The official government is saying the opposite of the French spy imposed upon the electorate as the candidate of the ruling party she had never previously supported, as one of the quid pro quos for reining back some of the worst CIA abuses of the Saakashvili era.

Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition legally elected to office since 2012, made the possibility of restoring direct flights to Russia on January 19 look brighter, one day after the Russian Foreign Minister said he was looking forward to such a possibility. Kobakhidze told the Georgian based Imedi TV station that he had spoken to Russia about the restoration of direct flights, and how this would be important for the citizens of Georgia.

Not so friendly skies!

There is lots going on in the clouds, and under the clouds, concerning the relations between these countries, and between the Georgian Dream Party and the majority of society, with the former keen on improving relations with Russia, Ukraine, etc.

It is clear that Georgia does not want to be caught in the middle of a proxy war between the US and Russia, or let others use its territory or citizens in their own hostilities and sideshows. Many of the problems Georgia is facing are being inflicted upon it by outsiders who keen on their own interests and not Georgian ones.

There are complications in road transport too. Opposition parties are taking exception, likely taking their instructions from the usual suspects, to discussions to improve road connections between Russia, Georgia and Armenia, trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Grigory Karasin, chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russia, have discussed the construction of a new road linking Russia and Georgia. Abashidze has confirmed the authenticity of a voice recording indicating this, according to English language outlets in Georgia.

In the recording Karasin tells Abashidze that representatives of the Russian Transport Ministry are satisfied with a communication in which the sides expressed interest in solving the Zemo Larsi issue and other problems, describing them as productive.

He also noted that the Russian side wants to make this communication regular, hinting at a plan to construct a new corridor from the Krasnodar District to the west of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

So much more not getting discussed

Some other stories which have clouded relations but are not being reported include illicit bio labs and support facilities, the impact of the “migration” of laboratories from Ukraine and Georgia and  how these are now being redistributed to other parts of the world to reduce the risk of compromising bio materials, some with the potential to be weaponised, falling into the hands of the Russian army and its allied forces.

It is well-established that the United States is actively moving bio materials and researchers out of Ukraine, transporting them from country to country under the guise of civilian research. Some are allegedly being relocated to the Baltic States and Poland, where there are already functional bio research facilities. However these allegations may be a Red Herring, as their actual destination may be US-funded and operated labs in Asia, Africa, Georgia, etc.


Matters of Public Health and National Security

With disease outbreaks occurring in neighbouring countries, such activities are worth paying closer attention to, as these may be related to the activities of modern laboratories. But the most pressing issue for now is what the Georgian Legion is doing in Ukraine, and how this can potentially impact the Georgian government. There is even talk of the possibility of a coup d’etat, as some of those fighting in Ukraine, including foreign mercenaries, may be also related to Georgia for this insidious purpose.

One matter still clouding any discussion about Georgia is the plight of its former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, who is on hunger strike awaiting legal proceedings in Georgia over the many crimes committed during his watch.  Any inhumane treatment during his captivity would be a black mark against Georgian dignity and rule of law.

Many Westerners on Georgia social media sites are assuming the worst case scenario, “It’s pretty clear they have been poisoning him slowly. What right does the Georgian government have to kill him?”

No one will let him die, and make a martyr out of him, just do enough for him to exist in decrepitude. But the conventional thinking in Georgia is that the West is the villain of the piece,     as he committed these crimes under their collective watch, thinking he had a get-out-of-jail card.

Well, it did not work!!!

Saakashvili is more valuable for everybody alive than dead. This is why some are predicting something BIG happening on 24 February.

Former students and other contacts tell me that the United National Movement (UNM) and some pseudo-opposition parties will try to use the plight of Saakashvili and the BIG political protest on the 24th to try to get back into power, illegally if necessary.

Already money is being distributed to the regions by the bagmen of the UNM, Saakashvili’s party. It comes from crowd funding, the CIA, and other sources of dark money, and is designed to bring protestors into the capital.

However it is also funding the Georgian Legion—and much of it is likely proceeds from drugs and weapons. Such information, including war crimes committed by the UNM, is slowly being exposed.

But perhaps the most noteworthy is how the degree of perception of information that does not coincide with the officially accepted version in the West has changed. People are now beginning to wake up to the fact that most of the media they have been consuming has not their interests in mind.

Having been lied to by the West on many topics, it is becoming a problem for Georgians to know who to trust, especially in terms of international media sources—the very ones which claim to provide accurate and unbiased news. Therefore they will believe whatever gives them the greatest feeling of independence, which doesn’t mean freedom from collaboration, but freedom from being accused of it.

Tug of War

The crisis in Georgia could become a much greater threat to the world than the crisis in Ukraine, according to Jeffrey Silverman, a journalist and former adviser to Mikheil Saakashvili. In a February 2 interview with Russian TV Station Izvestia, he claims that some of the weapons Western countries supplied to Kyiv have found their way to Georgia and Turkey.

“Weapons which had gone missing in Ukraine have made their way to Turkey, to Georgia. They are located in different parts of the country. These Georgian fighters, who returned from illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, including members of the Georgian Legion operating in Ukraine, will return in search of money.”

He clarifies that the nationalists of the Georgian Legion who returned from those wars will be ready to do anything to earn money again because they are professional killers. It is possible, in his opinion, and how it is possible for those same nationalists of the Legion to return to Georgia for the purpose of overthrowing the current government.

“The crisis in Georgia can be a much greater threat to the world than the crisis in Ukraine. Everyone has forgotten about Georgia, but Georgia is a button, it is a hot spot. And very soon something very bad should happen there,” Silverman is convinced. He described how the situation has been heating up lately, but no one is in a hurry to talk about it.

“The situation is heating up; something will happen on February 24, I really hope I’m wrong.”

The Georgian Legion is not a Georgian organisation. It was founded by the US intelligence services. Its members are trying to present it as a patriotic organisation, but they are terrorists and nationalists like the Mkhedrioni of old.

“This is an al-Qaeda (banned in Russia) type organisation that teaches people not to fight in Ukraine, does not try to provide Ukraine with fighters to fight for democracy, but teaches people to return to Georgia to overthrow the legally-elected Georgian government,” Silverman said.

“Because the West, especially the US, knows that this war is lost, and all these fighters, all this equipment must be returned, but where should they go? Europe does not need these people; America does not need them either. Let them go back to Georgia, they will be accepted there with open arms, and then the problems will begin.”

The Georgian Legion has been working as mercenaries, taking part in the hostilities in Ukraine on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to various media outlets, from 500 to 800 nationalists of the Georgian Legion are fighting on the side of Kiev. In fact the Legion was officially made part of the Ukrainian army in 2016, according to its official Facebook page.

That page is very interesting, especially since it is not banned, and its members involved in admitted war crimes. There you will find some good pictures of Boris Johnson meeting its members. This should leave no doubt as to its roots, the insidious purpose for which it was formed, or its methods.

It is also interesting what great PR the Georgian Legion is receiving in the West, paid for by the US taxpayer, some of it highlighted (page 8) in Stars and Stripes, a US Military Newspaper; that is taking too many down a rabbit hole, or better said, along a proverbial road – and we know where that leads.

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

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