Parliament Speaker alleges Deputy Head of Ukrainian military intelligence “exposed again” in “organising unrest” in Georgia

  • Speaker Papuashvili alleged Ukraine had “become a shelter for Georgian criminals in high positions”. Photo: Shalva Papuashvili’s Facebook, 18 Sep 2023 - 14:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Shalva Papuashvili, the Georgian Parliament Speaker, on Monday said Giorgi Lortkipanidze, the country’s former Deputy Interior Minister under the United National Movement Government who currently serves as the Deputy Head of the Ukrainian military intelligence, had been “exposed for the second time” in “organising an unrest” in Georgia. 

The official’s comment came following a statement by the Georgian State Security Service earlier during the day, which said it had uncovered a plan by former officials of the UNM authorities to cause “civil unrest” and overthrow the country’s Government using a “Euromaidan scenario” this fall.

Along with Lortkipanidze, who in 2021 was charged in Tbilisi for helping former President Mikheil Saakashvili illegally cross the border from Ukraine to Georgia, the body said it had identified Mikheil Baturin, a former member of the security detail of Saakashvili and Mamuka Mamulashvili, the commander of the Georgian Legion fighting in the ongoing Ukraine war, behind the alleged scheme. 

Lortkipanidze, who is Georgian by origin, but non-Georgian in his soul and heart, is trying to change the situation in the country. He has been exposed for the second time in organising conspiracies against Georgia”, Papuashvili said, and alleged Ukraine had “become a shelter for Georgian criminals in high positions”. 

Papuashvili also slammed unspecified representatives of the domestic opposition for questioning the Security Service’s investigation while “trusting and cooperating” with intelligence agencies “of a foreign state”. 

He claimed it was “obvious” even without the latest investigation that a part of the domestic opposition and non-governmental organisations were “engaged in anti-state actions targeted against Georgia’s European integration” and were “staging confrontations” to “overthrow the current Government”. 

Citing the Service on its plans to communicate with counterparts of partner states over the issue, Papuashvili noted “of course, we expect help from our partner countries so that such destructive ideas and revolutionary plans are not implemented here”. 

In its comments on Monday, the Security Service claimed the group planned to stage their plans between October and December of this year, through use of public fallout of the potentially negative decision by the European Union bodies on granting Georgia the bloc’s membership candidate status, with the ultimate goal of changing the Government by “violent means”.