President Saakashvili said on January 21, that “Russian leaders are still planning to destroy us” and are still promoting “so called regime change policy in Georgia.”
Saakashvili, who is paying a working visit to Estonia, told an audience at the Foreign Policy Institute in Tallinn that Georgia needed help in spreading “the truth” in order to deter Russia’s attempts to create a pretext for repeating what it had done in August, 2008.
In his introduction remarks, which were aired live by the Tbilisi-based Imedi TV, Saakashvili focused on Russia’s tactic of, as he put it, “mirror propaganda” applied against Georgia.
“I was shocked how much the Russian invaders managed to shape this surrealistic perception that Georgia – the country that they invaded - was provoking the Russian leadership,” Saakashvili said.
He said Russia was actively using “mirror propaganda” by blaming Georgia for committing the very crimes, which Russia itself was about to commit or had already committed.
Nazis were the first ones to turn this tactic of “mirror propaganda” into “a sophisticated system,” Saakashvili said.
“They accused Jews of preparing the World War; they [Nazis] were in fact actively preparing it… They [Nazis] accused Poles of organizing provocations; they [Nazis] were organizing [provocations] at the border and so on,” Saakashvili said and added that the same approach of “mirror propaganda” was applied by Hutu extremists against the Tutsi minority in Rwanda.
He said Russia was using this tactic, “transforming reality through the lens of Gazprom-paid media and sometimes [the Russian authorities] bribe public figures as well unfortunately.”
“We do not ask our friends to send us troops or weapons; we are asking them to help us telling the truth to the world,” Saakashvili said. “We need you my friends to fight this mirror propaganda.”
He said the fact that “the Georgian government is still in charge” sends a message throughout the region that “Russian leadership was bad enough to invade the sovereign country, but not strong enough to remove its government.”
“All over the region this message is heard and [Russia’s PM] Vladimir Putin can not stand it; so they will plan and do something again. But in order to wage the new war, they need to discredit us by the process of accusation in a mirror and we need you to oppose this strategy… The truth you might spread about our sufferings and our right cause will defend us more than tanks and bullets,” Saakashvili said.
“In order to prevent another crime from happening, please help us in enlightening the world consciousness; do not allow the night to cover Georgia again,” he added.
He said Russia remains “an occupying power” in Georgia and complained that “unfortunately nobody really dares to call it [occupation] loudly except some parliaments.”
“What else do you call it; is it a military tourism what Russians are doing in Georgia?” Saakashvili said.
He also said in his remarks that Estonia was Georgia’s “best friend” and it was “a huge pleasure and a great relief to meet, to discuss, to debate with people who understand” Georgia’s security challenges.
“The Estonian experience was and still is the ultimate model of what we try to achieve since the Rose Revolution,” Saakashvili said.