Was Gakharia in Moscow?

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Was Gakharia in Moscow?
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Update: After the publication of the material, Shota Apkhaidze addressed the Myth Detector, stating that he had never been the editor of NewsFront, despite the fact that he was mentioned as the editor of this publication in February 2020. Apkhaidze also denies his current association with the Eurasian Institute, saying he only worked for the organization in 2013-2014 and currently runs the Center for Combating Islamic Terrorism.

On February 26, 13:48 PM, representative of the “Eurasian Institute” and editor of the Georgian edition of News Front Shota Apkhaidze published a Facebook post about Giorgi Gakharia’s visit to Moscow. The post noted that “The supporter of pro-western Euro-Atlantic integration, the protector of democracy, former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia is visiting Moscow!”. According to Apkhaidze, beside Gakharia stood the Minister of Internal Affairs of France, Christophe Castaner, a close person to Moscow’s political elites. Photo attached to the photo left the impression that it depicted Castaner and Gakharia’s visit to Moscow. At 22:16 on February 26 Apkhaidze in his second post on this topic, described Giorgi Gakharia’s schedule in detail. The information about Giorgi Gakharia’s visit to Moscow published by Apkhaidze was shared by the digital edition “Alia” and webpage taonews.ge.
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A photo disseminated by TV Pirveli confirms former Prime Minister’s whereabouts in Tbilisi on February 26. The photo attached to Apkhaidze’s post was actually taken in 2019. Giorgi Gakharia’s visit to Moscow was denied by the former head of the Public Relations Service, Sopio Mdinaradze.

The photo that Shota Apkhaidze attached to the first post was not taken in 2021 in Moscow, but in 2019 in Georgia during then French Minister of Internal Affairs Christophe Castaner’s visit.

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TV Pirveli published Giorgi Gakharia’s photos at 21:04, February 26. According to the media, the photos were taken on February 26 at Kostava street. In response to these photos, Shota Apkhaidze shared his second post. The author insisted that Gakharia made it back to Tbilisi around 9 o’clock in the evening.

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“Myth Detector” contacted the former head of the Public Relations Service Sopio Mdinaradze. Mdinaradze left her post after the resignation of Giorgi Gakharia. Sopio Mdinaradze denied the reports about Gakharia’s visit to Moscow and noted, that the information is not true.

About the sources

Taonews.ge website was created on February 21, its “About Us” section is empty at the moment, but as we found out from TV Obiektivi’s former host Nikoloz Mzhavanadze’s Facebook account, taonews.ge belongs to Mzhavanadze himself.

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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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Topic: Politics
Violation: Disinformation
Country: Russia
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Shota Apkhaidze
Shota Apkhaidze

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Mzhavanadze Nikoloz
Mzhavanadze Nikoloz

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Alia Holding
Alia Holding
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