DRI’s report on far-right openly pro-Russian groups and media outlets

The report published by DRI is the result of continuous social media monitoring in the scope of which the main messages and trends of far-right leaders and media outlets were analyzed, along with the directions of their disinformative discourse in the period of May-June 2022.
During the reporting period, the Democracy Research Institute analyzed 463 cases of propaganda content spread by the far-right on social and online media platforms. The analysis identified three main directions in the discourse of the far-right forces:

  1. Homophobic rhetoric became particularly active after the announcement of the "Tbilisi Pride"
  2. The anti-Western campaign, which became active after the critical resolution[1] by the European Parliament
  3. Pro-Kremlin rhetoric against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Similar to past reporting periods, far-right leaders continue to actively use social and online media platforms to spread misconceptions to form misguided public sentiments and mobilize supporters.

On one side, far-right groups like "Georgian Idea", "Society for the Protection of Children's Rights", and "Zneoba" tried to discredit the West by inciting homophobic sentiments. On the other, the "Conservative Movement" and "Alt-Info" were actively demonizing Euro-Atlantic institutions, voicing openly pro-Kremlin narratives. Emphasizing the incompatibility of Georgian and Western identities and values was one of the central lines of their narratives. At the same time, Orthodox Russia was presented as a counterweight to the West, which, according to the far-right groups, created the need for dialogue due to cultural and religious similarities, and the need to receive security guarantees.

"Alt-Info", which actively engages in anti-Western and homophobic propaganda, remains the leading platform for pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns. During the reporting period, "Georgian Dream" and "Alt-Info" had noticeably similar messaging when evaluating the European Parliament’s critical resolution. Both tried to present the West as a party demanding the opening of a "second front in Georgia" parallel to the Russia-Ukraine war and drag the country into a war.

Both the "Conservative Movement/Alt-Info" and the representatives of the Georgian Government claimed that the European Parliament’s resolution against Bidzina Ivanishvili was unfair and linked its critical tone to the attempt to open a second war front in Georgia.

The leader of the "Conservative Movement" Konstantine Morgoshia on TV "Alt-Info" program "Comment of the Day": "The part of the resolution we heard, in my opinion, is completely unfair, both from about the media and also in the address of Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is being sanctioned, because he does not want to confront the Georgian people and open a second war front in Georgia".

Similar messaging was used in the joint statement spread by the members of the Parliament of Georgia Sozar Subari, Mikheil Kavelashvili, and Dimitri Khundadze, who claimed that "On the one hand, the government is being pressured with the candidate status, and on the other hand with informal sanctions against Bidzina Ivanishvili. Despite this, we’re sure that Bidzina Ivanishvili will never let Georgia be dragged into the war".

The rhetoric of "Alt-Info" leaders about opening a second front in Georgia is eerily similar to the messages of the “Georgian Dream” party chairman Irakli Kobakhidze, who has mentioned multiple times that "Georgia's "well-wishers" may not like the fact that Georgia did not get involved in a completely destructive and fatal war and didn’t let the country be destroyed".

During the reporting period, far-right groups like "Georgian Idea", "Children's Rights Protection Society", and the Conservative Movement - Alt-Info also targeted "Tbilisi Pride" with aggressive rhetoric. The far-right groups announced a total mobilization of their forces to "halt" the "propaganda of depravity" in Georgia.

The activation of political forces known for their openly pro-Russian and far-right sentiments in Georgia was again noticeable against the Russian-Ukrain war backdrop with the calls to "deepen" cooperation with Russia.

You can read more about the main disinformative messages from the leaders of far-right radical groups and the media during the months of May and June in the full report from the Democracy Research Institute.

[1]The European Parliament is critical towardsthe Georgian government and emphasizes that "Georgian Dream" must carry out a number of reforms in order to grant Georgia the status of a candidate country of the European Union.

Preventing Far-Right Extremism in Georgia
Far-Right Rhetoric and Trends in Social Media (May-June)