qaveri alt-info

Who donates money to the Conservative Movement and from where? 

Authors: Ia Asatiani and Aidan Yusif  

The Conservative Movement, a political party openly expressing admiration for Russia, relies on the financial support of its own members. Among the 101 contributors to the party, 50 hold positions as heads of regional offices, former heads, or are their relatives. They contribute thousands of Georgian Lari (GEL) to the organization, resulting in 590 thousand GEL over two years. 

However, it’s worth noting that these contributors may lack the funds for this, given that most are not actively engaged in business activities. iFact is investigating the individuals providing financial support to the political party aligned with the interests of Russia, as well as examining how unemployed individuals can finance the party. Our comprehensive journalistic investigation into this matter will be presented soon. 

In the meantime, in this article, we provide information on which heads of the regional offices are the most generous in contributing funds to the party. 

What do we know about the Conservative Movement?

Founded by Alt-info leaders in November 2021, this political party has drawn significant attention for its overtly xenophobic, homophobic, pro-Russian, and anti-State statements. The public became particularly aware of its activities during the summer of 2021 when groups associated with the party physically assaulted journalists. Tragically, following the attack, TV Pirveli cameraman Lekso Lashkarava passed away. 

Regrettably, the police response to their violence has been inadequate, and to this day, the organizers of the violence remain unpunished. Moreover, within two months, the group expanded its reach nationwide by establishing a TV channel. Eventually they formed a political party named the Conservative Movement. The opening of regional offices continued in parallel with the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

კონსერვატიული მოძრაობის დაფუძნების ყრილობა
source: Conservative Movement

There is little doubt about the pro-Russian orientation of this group, as their television frequently airs both direct and indirect pro-Russian messages. In March of the last year, the Communications Commission identified signs of war propaganda in their TV program. Notably, in October 2022, the entire party proudly posed in front of the Kremlin on Red Square, declaring their mission to address relations in the occupier country. 

Frequently, the views of the Conservative Movement closely mirror those of the ruling party. They share similar narrative on Russia’s perceived invincibility, skepticism about the effectiveness of sanctions, concerns about Western attempts to draw us into conflicts, and discussions around ‘Russian law.’ 

Ironically, the ‘pro-transparency’ organization seems to be hiding the origins of its income. In June 2022, following an appeal by the State Audit Office, Tbilisi City Court imposed a fine of 217,000 GEL on the party for concealing financial turnover and non-monetary donations. Consequently, the number of their donors in 2023 plummeted by nearly four times. 

How is Morghoshia funding the party?

In 2023, during an interview with us, Konstantine Morgoshia admitted to being the main donor of Alt-Info. However, he no longer openly acknowledges this, and it’s clear that he’s trying to conceal his role. Given that the party’s donors are unemployed, there is doubt about whether Konstantine Morgoshia is the funding source. 

Morgoshia has been observed multiple times attempting to cover up financial traces. In 2016, the Tbilisi City Court imposed a fine of 183,000 GEL on him following an appeal by the State Audit Office for illegally financing the political party Patriot Alliance. Last year, Morgoshia publicly declared that he did not pay the fine and had no intention of doing so in the future. 

The lack of clarity surrounding Alt-info’s funding source is evidenced by the case involving Morgoshia’s retired aunt, Tsiala Morgoshia, who financed Alt-Info TV with 1 million GEL in 2022.

morgoshia kremlshi
Konstantine Morgoshia in front of the Kremlin. Source: Netgazeti.ge

The majority of Konstantine Morgoshia’s businesses are registered under her name. In July of this year, he claimed that the representatives of his aunt were the ones contributing funds to the television. According to evidence obtained by iFact, Tsiala Morgoshia’s trustees are her nephews, Konstantine and Irakli Morgoshia. They register real estate and businesses in the name of their aunt. 

We now know for sure that Morgoshia generates income in Russia as well. Following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, he decided to conduct business in Russia, citing more favorable conditions for himself there. 

What is the income of heads of the regional offices?

We have identified the heads of regional offices within the Conservative Movement who are the top contributors to the party, and Merab Gigani, leading the Rustavi office, stands out. He transferred 22 thousand GEL to the party during the first ten months of 2022, averaging around 2,100 GEL monthly. 

Gigani is a unique case among the donors as he owns a business registered in his name – ‘Technometal’ LLC. This company holds licenses for extracting technogenic waste and cement clay, valid until 2027 and 2035, respectively.

კონსერვატიული მოძრაობა - რუსთავის ოფისის გახსნა
Office opening in Rustavi, January of 2022.
Source: Conservative Movement

Merab Gigani gained attention for his ‘heroic deeds’ during the violent events of July 5, 2021, and in 2023, for an incident involving the assault on Ato (Anton) Tamliani, a former member of the Conservative Movement. According to ‘Formula’ TV, Gigani was allegedly the one who attacked Tamliani on the orders of Morgoshia due to his dissenting position within the party regarding the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

The head of the Kutaisi office for the Conservative Movement, Giorgi Sulakadze, is also a leading donor. He contributed 19 thousand GEL to the party in the last ten months. Given that Sulakadze doesn’t officially own any businesses, there is particular interest in determining the source of the 1,900 GEL he allocates monthly to support the Conservative Movement.

Davit Dvalishvili, heading the Poti office for the Conservative Movement, contributed 16,200 GEL to the party last year. The amounts deposited at one time ranged between 1000 and 1900 GEL. Dvalishvili has no property under his name, doesn’t own any business, and holds no individual entrepreneur status. 

Two noteworthy coincidences deserve attention. In August, neither Gigani nor Sulakadze made any donations to the party. Five of their ten transactions, along with Dvalishvili’s, occurred on the same day. 

კონსერვატიული მოძრაობა - გურჯაანის ოფისი
source: facebook, march of 2022

The Conservative Movement is also trying to gather like-minded people and foster sympathy towards Russia in Gurjaani. Nodar Chakvetadze heads the office there. Last year, Nodar Chakvetadze financed the party with 15,000 GEL. From March to July, he donated 2250 GEL monthly; from August to December, he donated 625 GEL monthly. Notably, five of these transactions coincided with the transactions of the heads of the Poti and Kutaisi offices. Chakvetadze owns ‘Chakvetadze’ LLC. However, according to the Revenue Service, the company is inactive, indicating that no funds have been deposited into its accounts in the last two years. 

Tengiz Veshaguri, the head of the Mtskheta office, is also not engaged in business activities and stands out as a generous donor. Veshaguri initiated money transfers to the party three months after opening the office in his region. From June 2022 to January this year, he donated 10,800 GEL to the Conservative Movement, contributing 1,500 GEL monthly. Veshaguri is not currently involved in business activities. According to the public register, he was previously an entrepreneur in poultry farming. However, in 2011, he canceled his status as an individual entrepreneur. 

Ultimately, it was revealed that the organization is financially supported by its members. However, the source of their funds remains unclear. We specifically aimed to inquire with the heads of the regional offices how they managed to contribute substantial funds to the party despite not being involved in any businesses. 

When we called Davit Dvalishvili, we were informed that we had the wrong number despite it being listed on the Conservative Movement’s website. We made a second attempt to call, but he did not answer.

The contact information for the leaders of the Kutaisi and Mtskheta offices is not available on the Conservative Movement’s website or other open sources. We attempted to reach out to them through social media, but as of now, they have not responded. 

Nodar Chakvetadze, the head of the Gurjaani office, informed us that he is a farmer with vineyards and plum orchards, which is how he financed the party. Additionally, we learned from the conversation that he does not get paid for his position. 

The founder of the Conservative Movement, Konstantine Morgoshia, has also said that the leaders save the party through their selfless work. If this is the case, it raises even more doubts about how unpaid individuals find the funds to contribute to the party. 

The fact that everything is not in order and the party is involved in financial manipulations was further highlighted by an article from “Mtis Ambebi”. Last year, the heads of the Poti and Gurjaani offices accidentally revealed that the donated money did not directly come from their own pockets. 

  • “It seems that your deposited amount in the party’s account was not fully recorded. Could you please confirm how much you were given to transfer? 
  • 1,950. 
  • And when will you make the payment next month? 
  • I don’t know, I can’t tell you. You’re supposed to tell me that, how would I know?” – replied Davit Dvalishvili, the head of Poti’s office, who mistakenly believed he was being contacted by the financial department of the party, not the media.

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N(N)LPs – Necessity for the Country or the Municipal Employment Source
ქვეყნის საჭიროება

N(N)LPs – Necessity for the Country or the Municipal Employment Source

more than 10 percent of Tsageri population is employed at government

თვალი მიადევნეთ სხვა ამბებსაც