Scenes from a Documentary Used Manipulatively to Discredit Saakashvili

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Scenes from a Documentary Used Manipulatively to Discredit Saakashvili
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On January 13th, the Facebook account “Journalist” posted a video of Mikheil Saakashvili with the following headline: “If the devil had a human face …” In a 34-second video, the third president of Georgia calls the assassination of Sandro Girgvliani a “tragic story” and says a similar story can happen in any country. In the following scene, one can hear the voice of Toma Tchagelishvili, asking the following question: “It must be hard; it has been five years you haven’t been in the country you transformed.” Saakashvili answers with laughter: “It’s fine, some people are six feet under, so compared to them, I am fine.” The video creates the impression that Mikheil Saakashvili talks about Sandro Girgvliani in the second scene.

On January 16th, the online edition Split published the article with an identical headline. The video of the Facebook account ‘Journalist’ is used without the same video editorial comment.

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The video is a combination of two unrelated shots, which misleads the user and gives the impression that Mikheil Saakashvili is joking about Sandro Girgvliani’s death. In fact, the footage is cut from the 2018 documentary, where the above-mentioned scenes are found in different sequences in different parts of the film.

The video published by the Facebook account “journalist” combines two different shots. The footage is cut from Toma Chagelishvili’s documentary “Misha”. The film tells the story of Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency using a series of archival materials, as well as a personal interview. The video published by the “journalist” uses interview footage, both of which are found in different sequences in different parts of the film.

At 16:24, the director asks Saakashvili how difficult it is that he has not been in his own country for 5 years. Saakashvili jokingly replies that his condition does not matter compared to those who “lie six feet under”.

Toma Chagelishvili: It is probably very difficult, you have not been to the country you changed for 5 years?

Mikheil Saakashvili: It is fine, some people lie six feet under and, compared to them, I look better.

After this scene, various archival footage related to the first years of Saakashvili’s presidency and reforms is shown in the movie.

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At 17:18, Saakashvili, while talking on the phone, asks the interlocutor about the money laundering reforms in Georgia, in order to use this information for his lecture in the Netherlands. After the conversation, Saakashvili returns to Chagelishvili and they start watching archival materials on the computer together.

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At 19:42 Saakashvili looks at the photo of Sandro Girgvliani on the screen and says that he assesses the event as tragic.

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Mikheil Saakashvili: ‘Girgvliani’ was a tragic story, but I say it again, this is a story that can happen in any country. That incident, it had nothing to do with politics. Those people went to jail and everything followed that. 

Toma Chagelishvili: You are convicted for this, because you pardoned?

Mikheil Saakashvili: I apologize, these were scum who have simply violated all the norms of law. There was no pardoning. After the super-politicization, after this coup attempt and lots of other things and unfortunately, already that tragedy was used for other purposes, a few years later, when was it, somewhere 5 years or so after these people came out conditionally.

About the sources

The Facebook account “Journalist” was created by a page of the same name. The Facebook page was created on March 8th, 2021, after the publication of secret recordings of Bera Ivanishvili and Anzor Chubinidze, aiming to discredit journalists representing critical media.

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For more, see the article of “Myth Detector:” 

As for the online edition Split, its design is identical to the outlet Spacenews, but it publishes different content. Split.spnews.io is a subdomain of the official Spacenews website spnews.io. There is no “About Us” section on split.spnews.io, although it is stated at the bottom of the site that the copyright belongs to Spacenews.

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The online publication Spacenews is funded from the budget and the outlet often publishes materials of pro-Russian actors, for more details see the material of “Myth Detector”:

Archive – https://archive.is/PKQUj


The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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