Aleksandr Dugin, the ideologist of the Russian Government, in the video, dated 2019 says that the conservative and patriotic feelings in Georgia are strengthening and Russia must support it. In 2012, Dugin hoped that conservative-nationalist political groups in Georgia would become more active and therefore participate in the settlement of Russian-Georgian relations.
Dugin’s expectations were fulfilled. Numerous pro-Russian forces appeared in Georgia. The Alliance of Patriots even entered the Parliament and defends the Russian interests from a political platform.
As Dossier – Russian Investigating Media reports, the party receives its pre-election funds from Russia and agrees on plans with the Russian government. Dossier published documentary materials on these relations a month ago.
So how did the “Alliance of Patriots” originate?
In September of 2012, TV channel “OBIEQTIVI” broadcasted “prison footage”, inducing mass of the protests against the National Movement, in their pre-election period. Giorgi Lomia, leader of the Alliance of Patriots in 2019 said that the “prison footage” was made by the Alliance of Patriots and without it, Bidzina Ivanishvili would have failed to come to the power with the majority.
In an interview with Netgazeti, Irma Inashvili said that the disclosure of the footage was connected to the fulfillment of many conditions, requiring massive expenses, and that they fulfilled all the conditions honestly, ethically, and with overachievement.
A properly fulfilled condition was not left without attention by Bidzina Ivanishvili. “Alliance of Patriots” as a political party was founded exactly when Bidzina Ivanishvili came to power. Moreover, in April 2013, Ivanishvili declared at a press conference that he wishes to see the third power in the country and welcomes the strengthening of the Alliance of Patriots. “We are not in the opposition of Ivanishvili” – said David Tarkhan-Mouravi, in 2013, in an interview with Netgazeti. Recently, they announced that after the election of 2020, they even think about the coalition activities with the Georgian Dream, if there are people in the Parliament acceptable for them.
Prior to founding the party, in December 2012, the political union the Alliance of Patriots was formed. On January 22, 2013, this organization was registered as a party. The chairman of the party is Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, and the general secretary is Irma Inashvili. They believe that this is a right-centrist political union, aiming to introduce conservative ideas, democratic values in the society and spread the national spirit, culture, and traditions.
As their actions show so, the introduction of the national spirit and democratic values was understood by this party as suitable for the Russian geopolitical intentions. Starting from the very beginning, the Alliance of Patriots has led 28 protest rallies throughout Georgia. Apart from demanding to punish the members of the “Saakashvili-Bokeria” regime, they are continually calling on that Georgia does not need to join NATO and appealing for military neutrality; they fire up anti-Turkish feelings in Atchara, manipulate with David Gareji issue and try to tense the relations of Georgia with Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The Alliance of Patriots is the only party that pays an official visit to Russia at least once a year. Finding a common language, dialogue with the politicians of the occupier country, restoring diplomatic relations with the enemy, and talks via an unusual format – “NATO-Georgia-Russia” – this is how they explain the importance of their visits.
In the last 3 years, the Alliance of Patriots visited the Duma 4 times. On July 11, 2017, the “Patriots” met with Russian MPs. Irma Inashvili, the leader of the Party, said that the purpose of the visit to the Duma was to restore territorial integrity through dialogue: “completely different moves are taken in the world, USA, Tramp talks to Russia, NATO, and the Secretary General talk to Russia”. So, are we saying that we should restore the territorial integrity of the country, and thereby, we are insisting that no one should talk to anyone? Are we ceding Tskhinvali and Sokhumi to?”
During this visit, the Alliance of Patriots met with Leonid Kalashnikov. He is the chair of the Committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots, Duma. It is his duty to settle relations with the countries of the post-Soviet space.
In 2018, on the tenth anniversary of the declaration of independence of Abkhazia by Russia, Kalashnikov, during a meeting with the de facto president of Abkhazia was saying that the Republic of Abkhazia was an example of how to defend independence. In 2019, Kalashnikov also attended the inauguration of Khajimba.
In October 2017, the “Alliance of Patriots” for the second time visited Moscow. The meetings were held by the same delegation. The pro-Russian opposition figures stated that the goal of the visit was the launching of a Georgian-Nato-Russian format. For NATO, that idea is absurd. Special Representative James Appathurai said that NATO was not going to talk to anyone about Georgia’s future, including Russia:
“If this is an idea that Russia and NATO are to discuss the future of Georgia in some way, then it is impossible, it is not on the agenda. NATO has no plans to negotiate the Georgian future with either Russia or any other third party. No one can interfere in our partnership.”
The third meeting of the ” Alliance of Patriots ” and Russian MPs took place in June 2018, and the fourth – in July 2019. Within a month after the June 20 events, Giorgi Lomia, in a speech in front of the Russian Duma, said that “Gavrilov’s Night” was a provocation planned by the Saakashvili-associated party.
Who finances the Alliance of Patriots?
How they managed to survive until 2014, there is no evidence of it, but it is not difficult to guess. If we believe to the words of David Tarkhan-Mouravi, in April of 2013, the Party was being financed by its members. And the number of these members only in Tbilisi reach five thousand.” “We didn’t yet have massive expenses. I don’t have business, but I am not a poor man. My brother also helps me,” explained Mr. Tarkhan-Mouravi then.
Since 2014, the “Alliance of Patriots ” has received more than 4 million GEL contributions from legal and natural entities. Of this, they received 1.9 million GEL in 2020. The number of contributions/donations increases during the election period.
Among the contributors of the “Alliance of Patriots” are the former Georgian Dream contributors. For example, Gia Nutsubidze, Ekaterine Kashia, Pridon Kvaratskhelia.
16 entities from the contributors of the Party participate in state procurements. They received 9.8 mln GEL in total from the state budget.
There are individuals in the list of the Party contributors, which do not lead any business, though contribute with pretty large amount of money.
- Khatuna Leshkasheli – 60,000 GEL
- Malkhaz Topuria – 60,000 GEL
- Tamaz Inadze – 60,000 GEL
- Gela Burjanadze – 40,000 GEL
- Besiki Begiashvili – 35,000 GEL
- Giorgi Begiashvili – 30,000 GEL
According to the State Audit Report, from September 1 to October 12, 2020, the Alliance of Patriots received 2 million GEL, of which 148,001 GEL – from the budget and 1.9 million GEL – from donations. The Party ranks fifth in terms of revenue and is outpacing the European Georgia.
Apart from the private donations, the Alliance of Patriots also receives funds from the state budget, as its representatives sit in the Parliament.
In 2014-2019, the Party received more than 9 million GEL from the Budget. The key portion of the money is spent on the salaries of the Patriots, advertising, provision of offices, real estate, and car rental.
In 2020, the Alliance of Patriots spent 46 percent of its annual budget on various advertisements, up to GEL 1 million in total. Since 2014, the Alliance of Patriots has spent GEL 4.7 million on billboard advertising, newspaper printing, TV, social media, and public transport advertising.
Entourage of the Alliance of Patriots in Georgia
Pro-Russian wing of the Patriarchate of Georgia
The Party has friendly relations with the pro-Russian wing of the Patriarchate of Georgia. Irma Inashvili was taken out of a critical situation by Ioane Gamrekeli, Metropolitan of Kutaisi-Gaenati, known for his pro-Russian statements, when he allowed the icon of St. George of Ilori returned from Abkhazia to be placed in Bagrati Cathedral.
Inashvili thinks that despite the open loyal attitude of some members of the Synod towards Russia, we should not call them pro-Russian.
“Sorting in a way that some bishops are pro-Russian or pro-Western, it does not happen in the church; everyone unites there to become a part of the body of Christ and let’s get rid of such nonsense, such sorting,” Inashvili was saying.
The opinion of the “Alliance of Patriots” and the Patriarchate also coincided regarding the autocephaly in Ukraine. In 2016, Inashvili and Tarkhan-Mouravi wrote a letter to the Holy Synod, in which, in fact, they called on the Patriarch to neglect the decision of the World Patriarch to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Georgian Patriarchate did not declare the autocephaly of Ukraine.
The “Alliance of Patriots” pays back to the Patriarchate by submitting an idea of increasing the funding of the Patriarchate, to the Parliament.
In 2017, Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi suggested allocating 20 GEL from each taxpayer’s budget share to the Orthodox Church. “If we are financing the Public Broadcaster for 45 million, which we have to do, then we have to finance the Church with 50-60 million,” Tarkhan-Mouravi thinks.
Pro-Russian Movement “Alternative for Georgia”
The Martinenko brothers, presently heading one more pro-Russian organization – Alternative for Georgia, are the relatives of Irma Inashvili, the leader of the Patriots Alliance. The Martinenkos are actively involved in spreading pro-Russian messages. Recently, Facebook deleted the accounts associated to this organization because of misinformation and spreading false news.
“Alternative for Georgia” was founded by Konstantine Morgoshia. Morgoshia was also a member of the Alliance of Patriots, then he joined the Georgian March. Later, he left the March and became the follower of Levan Vasadze. Today, Vasadze is the key ideologist of the Alternative for Georgia. He is the businessman, who gained his fortune in Russia and is considered as the spiritual son of Dugin.
Zviad Tomaradze is the entourage of Levan Vasadze, also cooperating with the Alliance of Patriots. Legislative activities and initiatives of this Party mostly are on exactly Tomaradze. While being a member of the Alliance of patriots, Emzar Kvitsiani applied the parliament for changes in applicable legislation, for five times. In all five cases, the author of the prepared amendments was Zviad Tomaradze.
Social Networking of the Party
The Alliance of Patriots has 27 Facebook pages and five Facebook groups.
Apart from the openly supporting groups, media outlets and groups, other secret pages and groups are also working in support of the Alliance of Patriots.
Recently, Myth Detector revealed 14 fake accounts supporting the Alliance of Patriots and dissemination the fake information. Today, most of these accounts cannot be found on Facebook.
The Facebook administration also deleted the page tinp.ge and two associated groups, which promoted the “Alliance of Patriots” and were observed in orchestrated activities. Since August 2020, Tinp.ge has spent $ 3,947 on Facebook ads. 2,960 USD was spent on the advertising activity of the official website of the “Alliance of Patriots” (patriots.ge). In total, more than $ 6,900 was spent on the party’s Facebook ads in August-September.
Apart from these fake accounts, Bakur Svanidze and the pages administered by him are also promoting the Patriots. Bakur Svanidze manages 13 pages today, the total number of followers exceeds 40 thousand. Activity is more than hundreds of thousands. In addition to the pages, Svanidze manages six FB groups. The total number of users is 11,270.
The name of one of the pages of Bakur Svanidze is BS info. It mainly unites former “Info 9” employees and former KVN members (Club of the Funny and Inventive People). It seems that the former KVN members are people mastered in black humor and PR. Some of them are now employed by PosTV, some by Bakur Svanidze, and some by the advertising company Panda. We kindly remind you that Facebook noticed Panda Ltd. in coordinated government propaganda and actions against the opposition and deleted its pages.
Svanidze’s pages are mocking and caricaturing other political parties. Whereas, the “Alliance of Patriots ” is presented as a genuine, unique “pure” political force. They especially support Irma Inashvili. Inashvili is also caricatured but in a positive way. Here she defeats everyone, she is to clean Georgia from the “National Movement”, “European Georgia” and “Georgian Dream for the autumn period.
For spreading his material, Svanidze uses both real and fake accounts. We found 19 fake accounts associated with Svanidze and the network of the Alliance of Patriots. These accounts steal other people’s names, pictures, or hide their identities at all. Then, they share materials humiliating the opposition parties and supporting the Alliance of Patriots in large FB groups. In addition to sharing posts, these accounts try to be more active so that no one can understand that they are fake and at the same time create public opinion in their favor. If we compare the comments of different posts of “United Opposition”, we will see that all the comments on posts are written by the same authors.
Materials supporting the Alliance of Patriots are also disseminated in pro-government and anti-opposition groups: Kakha Kaladze, Tbilisi Mayor; “Citizen” – non-governmental organization; Bidzina Ivanishvili’s friends on Facebook; Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia; No to cohabitation! UNM in jail!!! Let’s finish the National Movement; Call off the Parliament; Put the National Movement on trial.
Today, fake account of the former admin of the famous group Kakha Kaladze, Tbilisi Mayor – giorgi arveladze – admires the Alliance of Patriots together with the Georgian Dream. He openly calls the group members to vote for the Alliance of Patriots.
One of such examples is Madi Madia (Madlena Balanchivadze). She is the supporter of “Alliance of Patriots” and admin to their official group “Supporters of the Alliance of Patriots”. Apart from the posts supporting the “Patriots”, she also openly supports the current government.
The allyship of the Alliance of Patriots and the Georgian Dream does not end on the social network. The Patriots are taking the side of the government in every critical moment. The same happened during the June 20 raid. At that time, supporters of the nationalist groups and “Patriots” were sharing posts in support of Gakharia. During the 2018 presidential election, pro-Russian forces such as the Alliance of Patriots, the Georgian March, and Nino Burjanadze’s party did not nominate their presidential candidate. “Alliance of Patriots” supported Salome Zurabishvili.
Moreover, prior to the second round of the Presidential Election, the Alliance of Patriots printed promoting brochures in favor of Salome Zurabishvili. For this action, the Audit Service fined the Party with 30,590 GEL.