The 2022 activity report of the State Security Service does not deal with the country's security challenges
Today, the State Security Service is presenting its 2022 activity report to the Parliament of Georgia. Similar to the practice of previous years, the report is being presented to the Parliament by the Deputy Head of the State Security Service, whereas, on the initiative of the Democracy Research Institute, the record relating to the submission of the report was edited in the Rules of Regulations as the following: "Once a year, no later than April 15, the Head of the State Security Service of Georgia shall present a public report to the Parliament on the activities performed by the Service in the previous year ". The presentation of the report by the Deputy Head of the State Security Service is a violation of the Rules of Regulations of the Parliament of Georgia.

The 2022 activity report does not differ significantly from the 2021 report, although the war ongoing in Ukraine has significantly increased and, to some extent, changed the security challenges for Georgia.

The report names the Russian occupation and the Russian military bases illegally located in the occupied territories of the country among the main security problems. The "intelligence activities of the special services of foreign countries" using the tools of hybrid warfare is identified as a challenge. It should be noted that the Russian special services are not mentioned in this context.

According to the observation of the Democracy Research Institute, no part of the report, except for the chapter related to the occupied territories, mentions the illegal actions of the Russian Federation in the territory controlled by the central authorities of Georgia. It is significant that there is no mention of threats coming from Russia in the sub-chapters such as: "Disinformation and other threats of the hybrid war", "Disinformation and propaganda", "The so-called soft power and covert operations and 'Cyber security'. Against the background that international organizations, especially in the context of the war against Ukraine, name Russia as the main actor spreading disinformation,[1] the report's silence on Russia's role in the ongoing information manipulation operations in Georgia raises questions.

Much of the report is again saturated with phrases of general content without proper specificity. If, for example, when describing the activities carried out in the direction of the fight against terrorism, the report is relatively detailed - the name of the person arrested on charges of terrorism is indicated, specific facts and statistical data are given - the part of the report that concerns the hybrid war is extremely vague and ambiguous. The report generally refers to the actions aimed at deepening polarization in society, attempts to damage state institutions, and public opinion polls conducted by non-governmental organizations funded by foreign countries, without naming the relevant organizations or states. All of this raises a question - if the State Security Service has information about the participation of any organization in the actions damaging state institutions by financing or supporting them in any other way, why these organizations are not named, whereas in another chapter of the report, for example, the identity of a person accused of terrorism is made public.

Despite the extremely intensified efforts of openly pro-Russian far-right groups to have a significant negative impact on the political agenda, the agency responsible for the country's security leaves this issue out of the spotlight. Due to the vague wording of the text, it is not clear whether the reference to "organizations" is mere speculation or it has any real basis. It is unclear whether the State Security Service considers only political organizations funded by the Russian Federation as a threat, or whether it sees a risk to state security in the protests of the opposition (including parliamentary ones). It is important for the State Security Service to ensure that its report does not leave room for ambiguity on this issue, especially since the context related to the adoption of the draft law on "agents of foreign influence" makes it even more unclear who is considered a threat by the authorities.

[1], “Disinformation and Russia's war of Aggression against Ukraine”, available at: ukraine-37186bde?fbclid=IwAR3uLvdRsWC_NBNTDV-vjTxMkB0DjPvmANRAiKpPj-uxhNxnZMOk_0IYBtM