On March 8, the primetime program of the Georgian pro-Krmelin “Sezoni TV, aired a shot from the protest held on March 8th in Tbilisi, showing two people. The footage shows a white cross symbol on their arms, and a bottle can also be observed lying on the pavement. The guest of the program, Paata Abuladze, said that these people were Ukrainians, the one with a red jacket is a platoon leader, and the one with a red helmet is a squad leader; they were trained by the Americans and took part in “such things” in Kyrgyzstan. The host of the program, Nikoloz Mzhavanadze, noted that “the Molotov cocktail is seen on the pavement.”
The claim that the footage aired during the “Sezoni TV” program shows Ukrainians who were involved in the protests is disinformation. In fact, the photo shows Georgian volunteers of “N(N)LE Extreme Medicine Center,” who provided medical aid to the injured during the rally. Moreover, the shot does not show a Molotov cocktail, but a saline solution, which is used to clean the eyes.
The claim that the photo shown in the program shows the Ukrainian platoon and squad leaders trying to create disturbance during the rally is false. Georgian volunteers of “N(N)LE Extreme Medicine Center” under the “General Giorgi Mazniashvili Youth Legion” can be seen in the shot, who provided medical aid to the injured during the protests held on March 7-8th.
The photo of the volunteers was also published on the Facebook page of “N(N)LE Extreme Medicine Center.” The photo shows people wearing exactly the same clothes that can be seen in the footage from the “Sezoni TV”, and they are cleaning the eyes of one of the citizens with the saline solution that Nikoloz Tshavanadze calls a Molotov cocktail.
“Myth Detector” contacted the Youth Legion named after General Mazniashvili to clarify the information. They noted that the footage shows real Georgian volunteers who helped all the people who were injured during the rally.
The bottle, which according to Nikoloz Mzhavanadze, is a Molotov cocktail, can be seen several times in the program.
The shape of the bottle shown in the footage is identical to the saline solution bottle sold in Georgian pharmacies. Volunteers used saline solution to neutralize the effect of tear gas and to clean the victims’ eyes.
Notably, in one of the shots, it is clearly visible that a bottle is attached to the IV tube, which is held by a volunteer. To ignite a Molotov cocktail, the bottle needs to have a cloth wick.
The initiation of the bill on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” and the adoption of the bill by the Parliament in the first reading was followed by large protests in Tbilisi on March 7-8th, 2023. On March 9th, the ruling “Georgian Dream” party announced that it would withdraw the draft law. At the extraordinary plenary session held on March 10th, the Parliament of Georgia voted for the draft law on “transparency of foreign influence” in the second reading and rejected it.
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