The journalist notes that the issue of Russia’s occupation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has been “put out of brackets”: “The society will never recognize this occupation, but it cannot end it in the foreseeable historical perspective. At the same time, Moscow remains the main buyer of Georgian wine, while Russian companies are investing millions in the Georgian economy. All this makes relations with the aggressor country rather complicated, and therefore the pro-Russian or anti-Russian position of this or that politician is often not a determining factor for voters. “
But what definitely has a great effect on the voter is compromising evidence. Georgian journalists and commentators have little doubt that the publication of videos taken in one of the country’s prisons became one of the main reasons for the defeat of the UNM in the 2012 parliamentary elections and for Mikhail Saakashvili’s loss of support from some of his former supporters. These videos captured beatings and rapes of prisoners, and their demonstration on one of the TV channels was accompanied by comments from the prison authorities that the torture was carried out on the direct order of ministers from the government of Mikhail Saakashvili. Supporters of the ex-president believe that the ministers could have acted without the knowledge of the head of state, while opponents are sure that the bullying of prisoners was initiated directly by Mikhail Saakashvili, who promised to eradicate organized crime in the country at any cost.
Be that as it may, now Saakashvili himself is behind bars, where he went on a hunger strike, demanding his immediate release, and writes letters to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he calls himself a prisoner of Putin and thanks for the intention of official Kiev to seek his transfer to Ukraine, a citizen of which he is an.
True, the Georgian government does its best to make it clear that Mikheil Saakashvili’s extradition should not be counted on. Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the Georgian Dream, praises the law enforcement officers who arrested Saakashvili for what he calls a “coup attempt” frustrated. The head of the country’s government, Irakli Garibashvili, also believes that the ex-president arrived in Georgia for an illegal seizure of power and promises that Saakashvili will serve the entire term allotted to him by the court.
But, despite these statements, the prisoner’s associates are demonstrating their determination to get him out of the cell in the near future.
“He is happy to be in Georgia, next to the Georgian people. And most importantly, there is the belief that very soon we will all together push aside the Ivanishvili regime, ”said his colleague Khatia Dekanoidze, who worked in Georgia as the Minister of Education and Science, after visiting Mikheil Saakashvili in prison. President to Kiev, for a little over a year she headed the National Police of Ukraine.