On October 7, Facebook account Art Na posted a video in a group “#Beautiful_Javakhk (#Ըռունդ_Ջավախք)” with a caption “We are not Georgia, we are Javakhk.” As of October 16, the post has 785 shares. The original video belongs to Tbilisi-based Armenian media organization Aliq Media. Instead of its original voiceover, Art Na’s video has background music. It also contains a caption “Javakhk” with Armenian and Georgian flags.
The Facebook account spreads the video in a manipulative manner, its caption is misleading and may foment an ethnic strife; moreover, a voiceover narration accompanying the original video is covered with music to prevent viewers from understanding a real reason of gathering, In fact, the video features a peaceful rally of Samtskhe-Javakheti population in support of Nagorno-Karabakh. The protesters expressed solidarity and support to Nagorno-Karabakh and honored the memories of deceased soldiers, especially as five of them were residents of Samtskhe-Javakheti region.
The video features a protest rally of Javakheti population in support of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to local media outlets, a peaceful rally with a slogan “Javakheti stands beside Artsakh” was held on a central stadium of Akhalkalaki on October 6. Its goal was to express solidarity and support to Nagorno-Karabakh.
According to Radio Liberty, several protesters noted that most Armenians living in Samtskhe-Javakheti region have relatives and friends in Nagorno-Karabakh and therefore, “the resumption of hostilities is extremely painful for them.” The protesters honored the memories of soldiers who died during the hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh five of whom were from the villages of Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Radio Liberty also notes that during the rally, most young protesters were calling for peace.
Local media outlet Samkhretis Karibche (Southern Gateway) from Samtskhe-Javakheti region quoted one of the protesters as saying that “we will not do anything to harm Georgia. Both Azerbaijanis and Armenians live in this country.”
Protesters started chanting “Javakhk, Javakhk” after a cleric said: “Our brothers from Borjomi, Adigeni, Aspindza, Tsalka have joined us. Let us chant “Javakhk” together. I am praying, we are praying, the Armenian nation is praying for all of us. May the Lord bless us.” Then, the protesters were asked to move to the church yard to pray together for soldiers fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as for peace.
According to Aliq Media, Javakheti Armenians reiterated their support for Armenians and Armenia. The same media outlet quoted the protesters as saying that “it is our fate to have two homelands one of which faces a threat today and needs our help.”
It is worth noting that ethnic Armenian citizens of Georgia have already collected humanitarian freight, including foodstuffs, money and warm cloths for their ethnic kin in Nagorno-Karabakh.