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Russian propaganda keeps spreading in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 2
According to a report of the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), pro-Russian propaganda continues to spread in Georgia. The report was presented to the public by the non-governmental (NGO) organization on September 1.

According to the IDFI’s estimations, since 2013 Russian propaganda has increased both in the media and politics.

The IDFI underlines that the government should develop a state position against Russian propaganda.

As the non-governmental organization report reads, the strengthening of pro-Russian propaganda in society could cause problems for the country`s Euro-Atlantic integration processes.

The head of the Research Group at the IDFI, Giorgi Lomtadze, said that pro-Russian propaganda is growing every single day.

The majority members do not share the IDFI’s views on the strengthening of the pro-Russian propaganda.

According to the Vice Speaker of Parliament Manana Kobakhidze, Georgia`s European choice has no alternative and it is not in danger.

"Propagandistic statements will not change the choice of residents of Georgia," stated Kobakhidze.

Another Vice Speaker of Parliament, Zviad Dzidziguri, said that there are no signs of Russian propaganda in Georgia.

“Everything that is going on in the country is part of pre-election campaigning. I don’t think that anyone is carrying out any kind of Russian propaganda,” stated Dzidziguri.

However, the opposition believes that the government of Georgia really promotes pro-Russian sentiments and believes it is dangerous for the country.

Member of the United National Movement (UNM) Sergi Kapanadze predicted the failure of the Georgian Dream (GD) government.

"I think that the GD government, which has done its best to strengthen the pro-Russian forces, will end up with complete failure. Not only do they make the pro-Russian statements, but the government finances pro-Russian TV channels and newspapers," stressed Kapanadze.

Political experts also share the opinion of the IDFI. The head of the Media Development Foundation of Georgia, Tamar Kintsurashvili, said that the government supports and encourages Russian propaganda in the country.

“We see elements of Russian propaganda everywhere, in the media, NGOs and social movements as well. In most cases the actions are promoted by the Georgian Government,” stated Kintsurashvili.

The experts believe that the government should elaborate a more active policy against Russian propaganda.