If someone tells you that you cannot tread the same water twice, the people of Georgia with a sad and full disappointment will show you the opposite with the example of their long-suffering country.
Sixteen years have passed since the Rose Revolution shook the streets of Tbilisi. The triumph of democracy, the promise of a bright future and joining NATO — that was what a large-scale popular protest seemed to have ensured the victory in the election to Mikhail Saakashvili. No one knew then that this adventurer would be the biggest mistake for the country. They did not know this in the West either, therefore they actively cooperated with the future leader of the revolution.
On the eve of the 2003 parliamentary elections, the famous billionaire George Soros financed the creation of the Georgian youth organization “Enough”, whose members traveled to Belgrade, where a similar revolution had already passed. Visited the Balkans and Mikhail Saakashvili himself. To date, it is reliably known that the Soros Foundation paid for all the trips, and the participants in the coming Rose Revolution actually gained experience.
When elections to the legislative body of Georgia took place and the results were announced, popular indignation in a single wave struck Georgia 20 days later. Then a coup d’état occurred in the country. Who would not say, but it is he who hides behind the «democratic» wrapper. And Eduard Shevardnadze, who was overthrown from the presidency, subsequently published a document from which it followed that the organization “Enough” cost Soros 300,000 dollars modest for him.
A few years later, Soros himself declared: “I am proud to have made my foundation to prepare Georgia for the Rose Revolution, but the role of the organization and myself personally is too exaggerated.”
Nevertheless, one should not forget that the government of Saakashvili, which was formed in February 2004, included four ministers who had previously worked for George Soros. We are talking about the Minister of Economy Irakli Rekhviashvili, who worked at the foundation’s office in Budapest, Kakha Lomaia, the Minister of Education, the former head of the Soros Foundation in Georgia, and George Gabashvili, the Minister of Culture and Sports, and George Papuashvili, the Minister of Justice, who led various foundation programs. Against this background, it is not surprising that a month later Soros allocated Georgia $ 5 million to form a state apparatus.
At the same time, Georgia was generously endowed with financial assistance and the United States. It cost Washington nothing, but in return it got an ally in the region to form an anti-Russian front, after all, Saakashvili was promoting a foreign policy toward rapprochement with the States. True, there was another item on his list: he was thinking about returning the lost lands. And all the same American assistance, aimed primarily at the military sphere, only contributed to the realization of Saakashvili’s ambitious plans.
Only ten years after the war in South Ossetia, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted that Saakashvili had «been pulled off the leash», although the American side had warned him about the consequences of the assault on the Ossetian capital Tskhinval. Unfortunately for Georgia, the plan failed, Russia prevented the seizure of the city, and the five-day war was the beginning of the Saakashvili government.
A revolutionary leader and a supporter of democratic values left the presidency as a corrupt official and war criminal. So were buried and the US dreams of turning Georgia into a full-fledged ally in a large geo-strategic confrontation. The fervor of even the most ardent supporters of Saakashvili diminished, and in Tbilisi, understanding the importance of relations with Moscow, they chose at least not to aggravate them.
Perhaps the reader may find this introduction unduly lengthy, but it was necessary to fully experience the absurdity of further developments.
Years passed, Georgia recovered from the Saakashvili era with great difficulty. The country, choosing perhaps a pragmatic approach, tried not to spoil relations with the West, participated in NATO exercises and carefully supported US policy. On the other hand, the country was going to normalize relations with Russia. In the future, even a relaxation of the visa regime was planned. And besides, the Russians were the main source of income for the tourism sector in Georgia. Wines and mineral water were supplied to the Russian Federation — not much else the country can boast.
But in a flash the situation has changed. This happened last month and for an incredibly ridiculous reason. The participation of the Russian delegates in the completely apolitical Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy suddenly turned into protests. Crowds of protesters, opposition, including the party of Saakashvili, who had long escaped from the country, the storming of parliament and clashes with the police, — the entire revolutionary kit overnight struck Tbilisi, and its main message was a frank anti-Russian attack. Russia was accused of occupation, Russians were urged to get out of the country. Unfortunately for Georgia, Moscow listened to this voice of the people and stopped the air traffic between the countries. At the height of the tourist season, Georgia was faced with a real economic blow. According to local experts, the damage from the loss of Russian tourists goes to hundreds of millions of dollars, and although the country’s economy can survive this, the weak link is already beginning to crumble. Of course, ordinary citizens, owners of mini-hotels, cafes and restaurants in the deserted resort towns, became extreme. It was they who didn’t count their money and, as a result, those who worked in these institutions would not receive wages either. It may seem like a trifle to some, but one should not forget that tourism is one of the strategically important areas for Georgia.
The irony of this situation lies in the fact that behind the new revolutionary wave are the same people who organized the Rose Revolution. For example, on the eve of the protests, the Georgian branch of the Open Society Foundation accused the country’s authorities of violating the law, since Russian parliamentarians who did not recognize the territorial integrity of Georgia were invited to Tbilisi. The statement appeared on the fund’s website on June 20.
However, what is even more amusing, people from the United National Movement party, whose leader remains Mikhail Saakashvili, became the “hands” of the new revolution. Yes, and he managed to be noted provocative comments, although it is still from Ukraine.
Saakashvili is counting on revenge, hoping to overthrow the power that once pressed him. True, without allies the campaign would hardly have taken place. Therefore, the key topic was Russia. The quick ex-president hopes to once again earn the trust of the West, taking advantage of global confrontation.
A fair question is brewing: why did the people again support the opposition? Why did they support the anti-Russian movement, although Russia is an important economic partner for Georgia?
George Orwell once wrote that revolutions do not appear because of the oppressed people. Moreover, people do not even realize that they are depressed until they are given the opportunity to compare. This is perhaps the main answer that has to be learned. Alas, but most of the country’s inhabitants, who remember what the Rose Revolution turned out to, did not participate in new protests. We are talking about the vast majority, which, with bated breath, waited, when and how it all ended. But there are young people in whose memory the era of Saakashvili was imprinted not so expressively. The energy of the young generation and youthful maximalism again became an instrument for a coup attempt. Well, as it so happened that thousands of people from different parts of the country suddenly found themselves at the parliament building, it is not difficult to guess.