State Security Service dismisses reports on presence of Russian hired militants in Georgia

The Georgian State Security Service has dismissed reports on the presence of a member of the Russian private paramilitary Wagner Group on Georgian territory. Photo: Tass., 30 Aug 2021 - 17:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian State Security Service (SSS) has dismissed reports by opposition-minded Mtavari Arkhi TV that individuals linked with the Russian private military company, the Wagner Group, are in Georgia. 

The Wagner Group is one of the most well-known paramilitary companies founded in Russia in the last decade.

It is believed to be controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was once Putin's cook. 

According to foreign media outlets, Wagner contractors are ‘Putin’s shadow warriors’ who have been involved in various conflicts including in Syria and Ukraine. 

No Russian citizens connected with the Wagner Group are in Georgia. This is false information,” said the State Security Service. 

The agency says that individuals linked with the Russian paramilitary group ‘have not been detected at Georgian borders over the past several years.’

The State Security Service says that spreading the false information like this is against the state interests. Photo: reginfo.

We are confident in saying as well that there are no organisations in Georgia which could be connected with the Wagner Group and could pose a threat to the country’s security,” SSS said. 

The agency also dismissed reports of the same media outlet that there are several Georgian citizens affiliated with the Wagner Group on Tbilisi-controlled territory. 

The individuals named (by Mtavari Arkhi) are connected with the Abkhaz de facto regime and are not on Tbilisi-controlled territory. If any of the individuals (who have not been detected on the Tbilisi-controlled territory over the past 10 years) will try to cross into the Tbilisi-controlled territory, we will immediately take actions,” said SSS. 

The agency said that spreading ‘disinformation’ like this serves the goal of discrediting the State Security Service. 

Mtavari Arkhi stated last week that the country’s State Security Service ‘was taking no steps’ against the Russian citizen connected with Wagner who was in Georgia as well as against the Georgian members of the Wagner group Guram Bagatelia, Gia Jogerdishvili, Temur Uchava and Skavik Bagatelia.