Arno Khidirbegishvili, editor-in-chief of the news agency Sakinform, told the newspaper Asaval-Dasavali in an interview for their issue of the week of September 4-10 that the United States and NATO had only 500 pairs of cheap shoes to donate for the campaign against the wildfire raging in Borjomi Gorge, which are used for the burial rituals of the homeless in the U.S. According to Arno Khidirbegishvili this is why, instead of accusing Russia, who was ready to put down the fire with lightning speed, of all the disasters in Georgia, it would be more logical to doubt the involvement of the US and NATO in spreading the fire.
Arno Khidirbegishvili, Sakinform: "As for accusing Russia of all the disasters that befall Georgia, who must be said was prepared to combat the inferno with swift action, this is a common PR tactic known as "Attack is the best defense." As for the members of the United National Movement , they know perfectly well that sooner or later they will be attributed blame. If so, it is much more reasonable to suspect the US and NATO, because they have done nothing to aid Georgia in fighting the blaze except for 500 pairs of cheap shoes, which Americans use to bury their dead in... "
Arna Khidirbegishvili's statement, that the Americans bury the remains of their outcasts with similar fire-proof boots that were gifted to Georgia is false. The 500 pairs of boots donated by the U.S. Government were specifically requested by Georgia's Emergency Management Agency. In addition, the shoes were designed in Georgia by the former member of the Georgian Special Forces and they are based on combat specifications. These Leather footgear are resistant up to 300 degrees Celsius and protect the foot from sharp debris penetration.
On August 26, the US Government donated 500 pairs of fire-rescue footwear worth 65,000 GEL, free of charge, to the firefighter squadron of the Agency for Emergency Management in response to their request. These boots were specially designed in Georgia by a former member of the Georgian special forces and they are based on combat specifications. The boots are leather with a rubber sole heat resistant up to 300 degrees Celsius and include a Kevlar insole, which protects the feet from penetration of sharp debris (such as glass and nails).
PHOTO: MIA OF GEORGIA
In addition, on September 15, 2017, US Forest Services team arrived in Georgia, to work on the restoration of the soil damaged as a result of Borjomi Gorge forest fires. The team will assess the damage and plan the rehabilitation effort to prevent soil erosion, landslide, mud and forest rearing. Such teams (BAER teams) are created in order to assess and rehabilitate damage caused by large scale fires in the United States to prevent further loss of life and property and reduce damage inflicted to natural resources.
PHOTO: U.S. Forest Service Agency Team
The United States Government has repeatedly helped Georgia in wildfire management operations:
- In June 2017, The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency Humanitarian Assistance Program also donated $127,000 worth of firefighting equipment to the Emergency Management Agency. This included generators, tents, firefighting tools, and fireman's gloves, helmets, trousers, and coats.
- In 2015, the U.S. Government sponsored a workshop for Government Agencies in Georgia to discuss fire management and disaster response.
Prepared by Dali Kurdadze