The far-right forces in Georgia have traditionally used social networks and online media platforms to create false public sentiments, incite irrational fears in society, and mobilize supporters. In order to analyze the action agenda, rhetoric and main narratives of the far-right forces, the Democracy Research Institute summarized the results of a year of monitoring carried out from September 2021 to August 2022. During the reporting period, the Democracy Research Institute analyzed 2,163 cases of the spread of propaganda content via social networks and online media.
The observation showed that the discourse of the far-right groups in Georgia is characterized by transformation over time, and their rhetoric also changes according to specific political and social events. For example, the self-government elections, anti-Western messages and attempts to discredit the National Movement were relevant at the initial stage of the reporting period, but in November-December 2021, following the introduction of regulations relating to the pandemic, anti-vaccination sentiments intensified. Since February 2022, against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war, anti-Western and even sharply pro-Russian rhetoric has gained new life.
On February 24, 2022, after the start of the full-scale war against Ukraine by Russia, the openly pro-Russian far-right political players unleashed a full-scale information war, the target audience of which was the Georgian society. Due to the relevance of the topic, the report pays special attention to the propaganda assessments of the war ongoing in Ukraine by the far-right groups of Georgia and their leaders, which were spread through social networks and media outlets openly associated with the Kremlin's politics. The information war in Georgia was characterized by constant attempts to emphasze the threat of war and incite irrational fears in society, as well as Euroscepticism and efforts to discredit the collective West amidst the openly pro-Kremlin propaganda.
A kind of trend observed in the reporting period was identical messages of the Georgian Dream and the far-right group leaders around issues such as - the threat of war and Euroscepticism, which was mainly manifested in discrediting the opposition forces and presenting the West and Western values in a negative context. This trend became particularly noticeable against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine war.