On April 30, news agency Sakinform released an article titled “Georgian Legion fighter takes the side of Donetsk People’s Republic.” According to the article, Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the Armed Forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, claimed that a Georgian citizen was arrested near the dividing line, who was recruited by the Georgian Legion and who was ready to take the side of separatists. Basurin also said that the arrested man cited the persecution of those Georgian fighters who took part in the 2014 Maidan developments as the reason behind his decision. The article ends with the comments of Mamuka Mamulashvili, head of the Georgian Legion, who slams Basurin’s remarks as absurd.
The story was disseminated by Russian media outlets Риа Новости, Военное Обозрение, News.rambler.ru, naspravdi.info on April 26-27. Eduard Basurin refers to the Georgian fighter, who took the side of separatists, as Temur K.
According to Mamuka Mamulashvili, head of the Georgian Legion the information about Georgian Legion fighter allegedly taking the side of de facto Donetsk People’s Republic is false. He noted that the Georgian Legion had never had a fighter named Temur. The article released by Sakinform provides Mamulashvili’s position by the end of the text, after Basurin’s quotes, while the title claims that Georgian Legion fighter took the side of Donetsk People’s Republic. Such formulation of a title is manipulative and aims at misleading the readers.
The Myth Detector contacted Mamuka Mamulashvili, head of the Georgian Legion in Ukraine, who said that Basurin’s remarks were false. He explained that the Georgian Legion had never recruited a fighter named Temur. Mamulashvili supposes that Basurin’s statement is part of a series of provocations launched by Tristan Tsitelashvili and continued with a film created in Italy with the participation of Georgians. Mamulashvili also said that Russian special services were behind the provocations.
Fake: Hired Georgian snipers were shooting at peaceful protesters during the Maidan developments.
In his remarks, Eduard Basurin talks about the participation of Georgian fighters in the Maidan developments that starts with the disinformation campaign unleashed in November 2017.
Italian TV channel Matrix released documentary where three Georgian respondents – Koba Nergadze, Zalogi Kvaratskhelia and Alexander Revazishvili, claim that in February 2014, Mamuka Mamulashvili paid them USD 1000 each and brought them to Kiev with fake documents for participation in the Maidan developments. According to the film, snipers backed by opposition leaders and the European Union, rather than by pro-Russian Ukrainian government forces, opened fire on protesters rallying on the Maidan square of Kiev in February 2014. The documentary was debunked by Stop Fake, Myth Detector, The Insider and BBC Monitoring.
Respondents’ remarks contained factual inaccuracies and went against official reports. In particular, According to the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, Nergadze, Revazishvili and Zalogi Kvaratskhelia did not cross the Ukrainian border and did not stay in Ukraine during the February 2014 developments. Mamuka Mamulashvili also told the Myth Detector that he firstly crossed the Ukrainian border in April 2014, two months after Maidan’s February developments.The statements made by the so called “snipers” contradicted the results of forensic, medical or ballistic examination, as well as the interviews conducted with the wounded on February 20. “The documents” proving the evidence provided in the film contained grammatical errors in English.
“The findings” of the documentary were disseminated by Russian media outlets in November 2017. In the interview with Georgian tabloid Asaval-Dasavali on January 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.
Ad nauseum approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. This may be a simple idea or a simple slogan that is repeated so often that people begin to take it as the truth.
Prepared by Elmeddin Memmedov
Myth Detector Laboratory