Democracy Research Institute (DRI) continues monitoring of the far-right group ideological propaganda and political discourse. In total, during the reporting period of September-December 2021, DRI uncovered 865 manipulative and misinformative narratives spread on various online platforms.
Local elections were the main focus of the far-right leaders during this period. Their rhetoric, aimed to discredit the “National Movement”, revealed messages of support for the ruling party both in covert and direct ways. For example, despite the demonstrated negative attitude towards the government, Levan Vasadze referred to Bidzina Ivanishvili as a great philanthropist taken hostage by the liberal West.
Against the background of local elections and the pandemic, the process of transformation of far-right groups into political parties continued in Georgia. On October 30, 2021, Zviad Tomaradze introduced a new political entity “Nation and State
” " to the public. On December 7, 2021, a new far-right political party “Conservative Movement” formed on the foundation of the far-right, xenophobic and homophobic media platform Alt-Info was officially registered. The leaders are open about actively considering alliances and strengthening partnerships with the Kremlin in the future.
Far-right forces reorganizing and consolidating emerged as another important trend. The leader of “Georgian March” Sandro Bregadze
announced the full relaunch of the party, the Chairman of “Georgian Idea” Levan Chachua
raised the issue of uniting the national-conservative wing in the wake of the elections.
Anti-Vaccination Campaign of Far-Right Groups
Far-right leaders and activists Zviad
Tomaradze and Beka
Vardosanidze are actively campaigning against Covid-vaccination on various online platforms. They organized multiple rallies against the “Green Passports” and Covid regulations during the reporting period. Their anti-vaccination campaign is taking place against the backdrop of the spread of manipulative material and outright disinformation. The leader of “Georgian Idea”, Levan
Chachua made a call to the public to renounce the political elite, that is trying to legalize compulsory vaccination.
Zviad Tomaradze alleged the decision
of the Interagency Coordination Council obliging the students to wear masks in the classroom as “Covidterrorism". According to him, wearing a mask has no benefits and weakens the immune system.
In reality, according to WHO
, the mask is the only efficient defense against the virus. Tomaradze’s misinformative messaging was picked up and spread by other far-right media platforms „Alt-Info
“ and „ObiekTV
“.Anti-West Campaign of Far-Right Groups
Anti-Western and anti-liberal discourses was particularly strong in the far-right groups during the reporting period. The US Ambassador Kelly Degnan, the EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel and the Public Defender Nino Lomjaria were targeted by especially aggressive rhetoric.
On December 24, 2021, the leaders of the Conservative Movement held a protest rally demanding the release of their associates accused of violently attacking journalists on July 5. Party leaders Zura
Makharadze and Konstantine
Morgoshia used social media to mobilize supporters and released videos on December 20, urging the public to participate in the rally held in front of the Ombudsman's office.
On December 21, a Facebook page associated with “Alt-Info” called "Traditionalist Platform" started spreading a video
called “Liberalism is dead” that went viral. In the video, supporters of the Conservative Movement are urging their supporters to take part in the rally as well as burning EU and US flags and photos of Vakho Sanaia, Inga Grigolia, Nika Gvaramia, and Giorgi Tabagari. According to the supporters of the Conservative Movement, they’re the ones behind July 5 violence.
The video went viral on the Facebook pages “Georgian Conservatives” and “Levan Vasadze Supporters”. Anti-Western and anti-liberal rhetoric was maintained during the day of the rally as well. The leaders of the “Conservative Movement” kept putting the direct blame for the July 5 violence on the US and EU embassies.