Conservative Movement/Alt-Info continues preparations for the 2024 parliamentary elections
The violent policy of the openly pro-Russian far-right Conservative Movement/Alt-Info had been nourished by the loyal attitude of Georgian Dream for years. The Democracy Research Institute has previously written about the aligned or even identical anti-liberal rhetoric of the leaders of Alt-Info and Georgian Dream, emphasizing loyalty to each other, violence incited by inaction, and the authorities’ demonstrative refusal to investigate the cases of mass violence organized by openly pro-Russian groups, which, ultimately, gave Alt-Info visibility and legitimacy.

The rhetoric of the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info and Georgian Dream diverged from each other in November 2023, after Georgia was granted the EU candidate status, although the far-right group started openly criticizing the authorities only after several hours of interrogation of one of the leaders of the radical group, Beka Vardosanidze. Despite the sharp change in rhetoric, at this stage it is premature or even impossible to claim that Georgian Dream has made a decision to stop direct or indirect support of the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info, especially since the latter is preparing for the 2024 elections without any hindrance.

Regional meetings  

According to the information available to the Democracy Research Institute, the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info was one of the first to start preparing for the 2024 parliamentary elections, a year earlier, in October 2023, with visits to the regions. During 2023, Alt-Info held meetings in seven cities - Telavi, Gori, Kutaisi, Rustavi, Mtskheta, Batumi and Zugdidi. The first meeting was held at the Vazha Pshavela Telavi State Professional Drama Theater on October 1, 2023. The theater is a legal entity under public law and is financed from the state budget. The Democracy Research Institute has already written about the above.

In 2024, the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info actively continues regional visits and meetings with population. From February 18 to February 24, 2024, for six days, the group held regional meetings in eight regional centers of Kakheti: Sagarejo, Tsnori, Telavi, Akhmeta, Gurjaani, Kvareli, Dedoplistskaro and Lagodekhi.

Daily meetings in the Tbilisi central office

According to the information posted on the official Facebook page of the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info on January 22, the radical group started daily meetings with its associates in the central office of Tbilisi. As they state, the meetings will be held on weekends as well.

Based on the photo and video materials posted on the official Facebook page, from January 22 to February 22, the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info held at least six meetings at the central office. According to one of the leaders of the group, Shota Martinenko, there is great involvement and interest from people: "There is such a great interest that our goal, which was to mobilize 10,000 people in Tbilisi, is being fulfilled ahead of schedule."

The financial situation of the radical group

At first glance, the pro-Russian Conservative Movement/Alt-Info has a financial crisis. In the video uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the movement, Zurab Makharadze calls on people to help the party and television. Nevertheless, the group continues intensive regional visits and meetings at the central office in Tbilisi. Therefore, the income of the radical and openly pro-Russian group Conservative Movement/Alt-Info may be much higher than it is seen in open sources.