On April 21st, 2022, the Facebook account “Александр Ладной” published a video, allegedly showing how the local population in Georgia violently dispersed a rally in support of Ukraine. The video itself is accompanied by a caption, according to which “the Conservatives dispersed a rally in support of Ukraine.”
Identical video was disseminated in the Russian-language Facebook groups РУССКИЙ МИР, Russian Canada-Русская Канада and “Вагончик тронется, вагончик тронется…перрон останется…”. The descriptions create the impression that Georgians are sick of Ukrainians and decided to disperse the rally in support of them.
The claim that the local population in Georgia violently dispersed a pro-Ukrainian rally is false. While the information that the Conservatives dispersed a rally in support of Ukraine is manipulative. In fact, protesters in Kobuleti on March 22 rallied against the opening of an office of the pro-Kremlin party, the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info. Supporters of Alt-Info attacked the protesters, as a result of which the police arrested several people, they did not disperse the rally.
The disseminated video shows footage of the March 22nd rally in Kobuleti, Georgia. The protesters rallied against the opening of the office of the pro-Kremlin Conservative Movement/Alt-Info, and also expressed solidarity to Ukraine. Anthems of Georgia, Ukraine and the European Union were played at the rally. The protesters held Georgian and Ukrainian flags.
According to one of the protesters, Lasha Komakhia, a member of the Kobuleti City Council, shortly after the start of the rally, people from the Conservative Movement / Alt-Info’s office attacked the protesters, injuring some of them. According to Radio Liberty, police detained eight people at the rally, including seven supporters of the Conservative Movement and one protester. On March 29th, the Prosecutor’s Office charged 5 persons with assault on two or more persons under Article 126, Part 1, Subparagraphs B and C of the Criminal Code of Georgia.
The disseminated footage is cropped out of the story from the American Media Vice New. The story cites the March 22nd rally as an example of violent actions by the Conservative Movement/Alt-Info.
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