Interesting events are taking place now in Georgia, one of those countries where, along with Ukraine and Moldova, the interests of the West and Russia collide. The local public did not appreciate the speeches of the Russian parliamentarian in the framework of the Inter-Parliamentary Orthodox Assembly and organized a multi-thousand rally in the center of the capital. It would seem that everything is simple, but in this situation there are several pitfalls.
Before delving into political meanings, it is necessary to evaluate the external side of events. Last year, the chairman of the Inter-Parliamentary Orthodox Assembly, which is cultural and religious rather than political, was headed by Sergey Gavrilov, the same Russian parliamentarian. Like representatives of other countries, he was invited to Tbilisi, and given that he was leading the meeting, the organizers gave him an appropriate place at the table, which is usually occupied by the speaker of the Georgian parliament.
And so, the most interesting started here, because it was the armchair, no matter how strange it sounded, that became the official reason for the start of the demonstration. People gathered outside the parliament building began demanding the resignation of the legislator Irakli Kokhabidze. He was accused of betraying his own country for giving up his place to Russian politician. And all this was accompanied by pogroms, attempts to seize the building, the mobilization of the security forces, who generously poured the protesters with tear gas and fired rubber bullets. There are hundreds of casualties. Among them are both protesters and policemen.
Now about the meanings. Based on the logic of the protesters, it would be right to do with the Russian delegate, as Donald Trump did with Andrzej Duda. The photo, where the Polish leader stands in an extremely dubious position next to the head of the White House who sat down in the presidential chair, became viral on the Internet and is still an example of how foreign visitors cannot be received. Those who are at least familiar with politics know about the existence of a diplomatic protocol. It’s a moveton to break it. Moreover, it concerns both sides of the event. Simply put, the protocol obliged the receiving party to give Gavrilov the chair of the speaker, and Gavrilov himself was obliged to follow the instructions of the receiving party.
The verdict is obvious — there is no valid reason for the protests in this situation, and nevertheless, the protesters do not even think about stopping the demonstrations. In this whole situation, it is striking how quickly the only Russian who has sat down in the chair of the speaker has turned into a crowd of many thousands. You do not need to be a mystifier and lover of conspiracies to notice this strange moment. It’s one thing if a modest picket was held in Tbilisi, but the number of people protesting on Thursday only says that the rally was prepared in advance.
Now we have to answer three questions. Who is behind this? What’s the purpose? Where it leads to?
Let’s start with the first one, and immediately give a comment from Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili. “Russia is our enemy and occupier. The split of the country and society, the internal confrontation does not benefit anyone except Russia,” she said. In the first part, the head of state completely divided the position of the protesters, and this is not surprising, given her frankly anti-Russian position. As for the second, it is doubtful for several reasons.
What is the point of Moscow promoting anti-Russian ideas in Georgia? In order not to attract attention, you assume. Maybe it’s so. Suppose that Moscow really was able to divert suspicion from itself. But what is the price? As we said at the beginning, Georgia is one of those countries where the interests of the West and Russia collide, which means, based on the logic of Zurabishvili, Moscow spoiled its own positions only for the sake of a demonstration protest. And all this despite the fact that for the first time in a while the dialogue between the countries has been revived. It should be noted that the thaw in bilateral relations between Moscow and Tbilisi would not have happened without Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling party “Georgian Dream”.
Here we come to the second question. What for? The protesters demanded the resignation of the Speaker of Parliament and, in fact, achieved the desired. The day after the demonstration, Kokhabidze really left the post, and this concession is in itself a blow to the Ivanishvili’s party. Thus, it becomes obvious that the internal political struggle is boiling in Georgia, and there is another person involved in it — ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who fled the country, accused of abuse of power. Now he settled in Ukraine, where he promotes his own party to the parliament. However, in the midst of the protest, he noted the appeal to the protesters and even called on the police to side with the rebels. Moreover, among the instigators of the protest, Saakashvili’s comrades from the time of his presidency were seen — the United National Movement party, which he founded.
It should be noted here that the cursory president had and probably still has beneficial contacts with the US administration. He even studied at George Washington University. And now back to the fact that both Georgia and Ukraine are in the sphere of conflict of interests between the two superpowers and imagine what dividends the politician will receive from the United States, having political weight in two countries at once. Of course, in one of them, Saakashvili will be able to promote ideas only through a representative, but, given his level of adventurism, the reserve site will also be useful to him.
It turns out that now three forces are opposing the territory of Georgia at once, and two of them — the former President Saakashvili and the current President Zurabishvili — adhere to the pro-Western course. The problem with the latter is that she does not have the resource that Saakashvili can acquire, and moreover, there is more revolutionary experience. Oddly enough, it was he who was the instigator of the local Rose Revolution in 2003. Not for nothing, Zurabishvili so hastily returned from Minsk, and the law enforcement authorities under her control ruthlessly suppressed the protest.
What will be the consequences of the events unfolding in Tbilisi? The first is already evident: Georgia has seriously set itself on, showing that it is not able to ensure the normal and safe conduct of major events of the international level. Only now it is the lesser of problems. The campaigns continued on Friday, which means that this is a full-fledged revolution, not the first in the case of Georgia. Obviously, anti-Russian rhetoric will be key in this operation. The dialogue between Tbilisi and Moscow is waiting for a new freeze, with all that it implies. Considering that Russian tourists are an important factor for the Georgian economy, the crisis could also hit the country’s budget. Finally, local experts do not rule out that Turkey can take advantage of destabilization by taking control of Georgian autonomy Ajaria. Ankara has already attended to the construction of dozens of mosques in the border region and even allowed local youth to receive education in Turkey. With such a layout, the revolution of dignity in Ukraine involuntarily comes to mind, which cost it the Crimean peninsula. It seems that the Georgians have not learned to learn from mistakes, both strangers and their own. Therefore, in the words of George Orwell, revolutions never arise according to the will of the people.