We are deeply concerned with information recently distributed by the well-respected authoritative source Center “Dossier.” According to “Dossier,” the Kremlin is using Russian political expert Sergey Mikheev and consulting company “Politsecrets” to manipulate Georgian society, distribute disinformation and anti-democratic narratives, undermine Georgia’s Western aspirations, and interfere in free and fair elections in Georgia scheduled for October 2020.
For many years we’ve been observing the techniques of the Kremlin’s malign influence in many countries. What we see in Georgia is typical behavior of the Kremlin’s influence operators in Russia as well as in Georgia. We call on the expert community, diplomats and Georgian authorities to take a closer look at the reports distributed by “Dossier” in order to protect Georgia from further Kremlin interference in Georgian politics and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
We are also concerned that Mr. Egor Kuroptev, director of the Tbilisi office of the Free Russia Foundation who posted the “Dossier” information on his Facebook page, has become the target of a campaign to discredit him from the same sources mentioned in the “Dossier” reports. Other individuals known for their anti-Western and anti-American sentiments have chimed in on social media attacks against Mr. Kuroptev, who represents the foundation in the South Caucasus and is a well-respected expert. Such actions are unacceptable and undermine freedom of speech and the values of a democratic country.
We emphasize that information about the Kremlin’s possible interference in the upcoming Parliamentary Election of Georgia is a question of national security, and Georgian State Security Services must take all necessary actions to protect the country, its democracy, and the people living there.
All Georgians should work together to prevent Kremlin attempts to interfere in the upcoming elections, Georgian politics more broadly, as well as the country’s democratic development and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.