Russia | Accusation regarding attempted coup in Georgia
Defence Redefined
Published on 13/03/2023 at 14:35

Moscow has portrayed mass protests in Georgia as a Western-orchestrated coup attempt, which forced the country’s government to withdraw a draft law, which its critics compared to the repressive legislation implemented in Russia.

The Russian presidency said that it sees the “hand” of the USA behind the demonstrations in the country, trying to provoke anti-Russian sentiment.

After three days of mobilizations with the participation of tens of thousands of people, marred in several cases by violent incidents, the Georgian parliament finally withdrew the controversial text on Friday, as the government had promised a day earlier.

Authorities also announced the release of people who had been detained on Tuesday and Wednesday. The developments were a continuation of the deep political crisis of recent years in Georgia, a Caucasian country candidate for EU membership, where part of the population fears an authoritarian deviation in the image of Russia.

Protesters and the opposition also compared the withdrawn draft law to a text in force in Russia on foreign agents used to shut down opponents of the Kremlin. The text provided that non-governmental organizations and media would be designated as foreign agents.

Also read: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary sign strategic partnership agreement

For Moscow, the mobilization was a pretext to launch an attempt to change the regime by force, the head of the Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, said yesterday. He compared the protests to the 2014 Maidan revolution in Ukraine, which Russia describes as a Western-instigated coup.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had previously launched an attack on Salome Zourabivili, the Georgian President, a political friend close to the EU yet with limited powers, because she called the withdrawal of the bill a “victory”, not in Georgia, but by America.

For more than two centuries, Russians have been attacking and occupying territories of sovereign countries, and what is important is what the Georgian people wanted to say when they took to the streets once again, Mrs. Zurabishvili said Friday from New York.

Georgia, a former Soviet republic that was defeated in a blitzkrieg with Russia in 2008, formally aspires to join the European Union and NATO.

However, the jailing of former President Mikheil Saakashvili in late 2021 and the controversial measures pushed by the ruling party have raised doubts about the country’s ambitions to join the West.

Mr. Saakashvili praised the protestors’ “resistance” to the barbaric violence against them and was indirectly but clearly directed at former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire founder of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on whom he blamed the controversial bill, saying that neither Russia nor any barbarian oligarch can defeat the Georgian protesters.

Also read: Georgia | Referendum on second front against Russia




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