Georgia conducted another anti-Russian provocative act on March 13. The nation and its President Mikhail Saakashvili were portrayed as victims of the Russian aggression.
The story began to unfold on March 12. Georgian online media published news messages claiming that Russia was conducting military drills and dispatching troops to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in order to launch a military campaign against Georgia. News reports also said that spokespeople for the Georgian opposition, who regularly appear in Moscow, were working for their future positions in a new pro-Russian government of Georgia.
The authors of the hoax forgot to mention that neither the former speaker of the Georgian parliament Nino Burjanadze, nor the former Prime Minister Zurab Nogandeli could be referred to as pro-Russian politicians. It did not matter, though, for it was not the goal for which the hoax was made.
The subject moved from the Internet to television on March 13, when Imedi, a Georgian pro-governmental TV channel, aired a report about Russia’s supposed intention to attack Georgia. The viewers were warned that the report, which the channel was going to broadcast in its news program, would be a prediction to a “possible development of the situation which would occur if the Georgian society was not going to consolidate against the Russian plan.”
Imedi’s news host reported of a terrorist act, which was supposedly committed in South Ossetia against its President Eduard Kokoity. Russian troops entered Georgia, President Saakashvili was killed, people were fleeing from the capital and other cities of the country. The report showed crowds of refugees.
No one paid any attention to the fact that the entire report was just a screen version of events, which could happen in Georgia, as journalists of the TV channel said.
Many people started calling each other saying that Georgia was under attack. The report spread havoc in the whole country.
The press secretary of Georgia’s “killed” president urgently arrived in the TV studio to pacify the citizens. She said that Saakashvili was alive, and there was no danger of a possible incursion.
“Provocations are possible, although the danger, which was staged in the news program, is impossible,” Manana Manjgaladze said.
“I think that the TV channel should have placed a warning saying that it was only a screen version of possible events. The warning should have been displayed during the entire report,” the official said.
The administration of the TV company also confirmed later that the whole report was staged.
“It was an imitation, it was not true to fact. We apologize for the concerns, which the repot raised in the country,” a spokesperson for Imedi said.
The people of Georgia ignored the official apologies. A crowd of people gathered near the building of the TV companion on Sunday night. Opposition activists said that Saakashvili wanted to brainwash the Georgian society. They said that those people who made the report dream their staged events to become true.
Nino Burjanadze, a former speaker of the parliament of Georgia, said that the report was “an act of psychological aggression against the population.” She believes that it was Saakashvili, who authorized the provocation. Saakashvili is trying to use the “Russian threat” to conceal the collapse of his political course. She promised to file a lawsuit against the TV company for slander.
As a result, the report produced an international scandal. Russian, Abkhazian and South Ossetian politicians had to release official comments in connection with the hoax. They said that the Georgian administration was trying to slander Russia and South Ossetia, like it was two years ago before Georgia launched a military attack against S.Ossetia.
The story about Russia’s intention to attack Georgia can bring good to only one politician – Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. The whole world ignores him. He can only make himself look like a victim of the mythical Russian aggression to attract attention.
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Russia Today: Georgia invaded, Saakashvili dead? False TV report causes panic