Attempts by far-right groups to influence the political agenda are becoming obvious in Georgia. Given that these groups, most of which are openly pro-Russian, directly declare their ambition to come to power, it is important to analyze their action agenda, rhetoric and main narratives in light of the upcoming 2024 parliamentary elections.
DRI's interim report on far-right groups, which summarizes the three-month observation period, reviews the disinformation, discrediting and hateful messages spread via the official and supporter pages of the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info and Georgian Idea, as well as the neo-fascist organization Georgian National Unity and the openly far-right groups - Organization for the Protection of Children's Rights, Georgia First and Georgian Mission. Media platforms with openly pro-Kremlin and anti-Western sentiments - Alt-Info and Sezoni TV - were also the objects of our monitoring.
In the reporting period, it was revealed that the Georgian Dream leaders and openly pro-Russian far-right groups have identical messages regarding Euroscepticism and homophobia - representatives of both political forces, while making pro-Russian sentiments, are trying to stir up Euroscepticism and use homophobia as a political tool.
As a result of monitoring social networks and online media, two main directions were identified in the discourse of far-right groups:
- Homophobic rhetoric, which became active shortly before May 17 and reached its climax on July 8, with the disruption of the festival announced by Tbilisi Pride. The observation revealed the government's loyal policy towards far-right violent groups. As in previous years, the homophobic rhetoric of far-right groups was mixed with anti-Western discourse and was saturated with national and religious sentiments.
- Pro-Kremlin rhetoric, which became especially noticeable as the Russian Federation canceled the visa regime for Georgian citizens and resumed direct air traffic. The far-right groups, together with Georgian Dream, tried to emphasize the importance of close communication with Russia, focusing on economic benefits. It should be noted that the openly pro-Russian, violent political group Conservative Movement/Alt-Info portrayed the Russian President's decree to cancel the visa regime and restore direct flights with Georgia as its own achievements.
In addition, during the reporting period, other groups with far-right ideology also became active in the political field. In particular, in 2023, it became known that neo-fascist Giorgi Chelidze founded a group - National Unity of Georgia and announced participation in the 2024 elections.