In the interview with Georgian tabloid Asaval-Dasavali on November 27, General Tristan Tsitelashvili, who was accused in Georgia of spying in favor of Russia, underpinned the opinions voiced in the fake documentary on Georgian snipers’ participation in the Maidan Developments. Tsitelashvili blames “western residents” and Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili for the Maidan developments.
The documentary was debunked by Stop Fake, Myth Detector, The Insider and BBC Monitoring.
The evidence provided in the documentary made by an Italian journalist contains factual inaccuracies and manipulations:
- Respondents claim that upon Mamulashvili’s instructions, they opened fire on peaceful protesters. Myth Detector contacted Mamuka Mamulashvili, leader of the Georgian Legion, who presently resides in Ukraine; he denied all accusations against him, saying that he had not crossed the Ukrainian border before April 2014, whereas the Maidan developments took place in February 2014.
- According to the film, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet tells EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton the story of snipers shooting the both sides as claimed by Ukrainian doctor, Olga. According to Ukrainian StopFake, speaking at a news briefing on March 5, 2014, Urmas Paet denied reports as if he told Catherine Ashton that snipers were hired by the Maidan leaders.
- Koba Nergadze, one of the respondents, says in the film that he was a security office under Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency. To prove this, the documentary shows a document in Georgian and English languages containing grammatical errors. The document includes an English wording Security Service of Defend that is incorrect grammatical construction in English. Moreover, the document has a name – Certifikate instead of Certificate.
- Nergadze continues that Mamuka Mamulashvili came to him later and explained that due to the complicated situation, it was necessary to open fire and sow chaos in order not to allow early presidential elections. So, it appears that according to Nergadze’s version, Mamuka Mamulashvili and three snipers acted on the Maidan to maintain Yanukovych’s regime, while the story tries to prove the opposite. As it seems, the author missed the discrepancy between Nergadze’s remarks and the film scenario.
- Koba Nergadze said that he arrived in Ukraine to stage a revolution similar to the Rose Revolution upon the instructions of Mikheil Saakashvili. Mikheil Saakashvili’s second and final term in office expired on November 17, 2013. Thus, he had no powers to give orders to the subordinates in any government agency, for example the security service, as Koba Nergadze claims.
Besides the above mentioned factors, BBC Monitoring focuses on the identity of one of Georgian snipers. To prove that Georgian snipers were shooting at peaceful protesters on the Maidan Square, one of the respondents in the documentary, Giorgi Revazishvili points at old footages of Maidan, claiming that he is among the three persons featuring in the footage.
BBC Monitoring decided to track down the footage. As a result, it turned out to be released by the pro-Kremlin TV channel Life on December 1, 2016, along with an article. The footage does not even mention Revazishvili’s name. Instead, the report identifies the man Revazishvili claims is him as Giorgi Svaridze, a veteran of the war in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia.
Giorgi Revazishvili Giorgi Svaridze
Russian TV channel Life refers just to General Tristan Tsitelashvili when disseminating disinformation about Georgian snipers’ participation in the Maidan developments. In a lengthy story prepared by Life on December 1, 2016, Tsitelashvili claims that he had “authentic” evidence about the identities of Georgian snipers and their leaders.
The fake documentary prepared by Italian journalist and disseminated by media outlets of at least 10 countries that is shown on the following infographics:
About Tristan Tsitelashvili: Tristan Tsitelashvili was arrested on espionage charges. He was accused of spying in favor of Russia and providing secret information to the enemy. In 2013, Georgian Dream released Tsitelashvili with the status of a political prisoner.