21:18 GMT +316 February 2019
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    Georgian revolution turns anti-Russian

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    MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina)

    The new Georgian revolution does not yet have an official name, but unofficially it is called the "Revolution of Thorns" (a reference to the previous "Rose Revolution"), the "Revolution of Nails" (the authorities allegedly ordered nails to be thrown on the roads into Tbilisi to stop "anti-government elements") and the "White Revolution" (the demonstrators are wearing white wrist bands and scarves).

    The revolution, which began on the fourth anniversary of the "Rose Revolution," has found a new enemy - Russia. This is the only thing on which the opponents, who have been rallying on Rustaveli Avenue against Mikhail Saakashvili for more than four days, agree on with their president.

    On Tuesday, the opposition leaders unexpectedly sent part of the protesters to the Russian embassy. They bore slogans saying, "Moscow, you can have Saakashvili," which is confusing because the opposition knows that Moscow has no need for the Georgian leader.

    Likewise, it is not clear what changed the protesters' mood, as before the demonstration the opposition had done its best to reconcile with Moscow, promising it "improved relations" if it wins the elections.

    Have they been influenced by the speech of Irakli Okruashvili, a former Georgian Defense Minister facing several charges in Georgia, who fled to Munich? He unexpectedly appeared on air on the TV channel Imedi, which was broadcasted live on a large screen in the square, and said that he intended to rejoin the opposition.

    He denounced Saakashvili for the umpteenth time, calling him "a modern-day Hitler," but he did not as much as mention Russia, although he had criticized it regularly when he was Defense Minister. Was it his appearance on the screen that provoked the inexplicable behavior of Moscow haters in Georgia?

    The protesters also want Moscow to take back Kakha Bendukidze, the State Minister Coordinator for Economic Reforms. They have accused him of being a Kremlin agent because he "sold Georgia to [RAO UES CEO Anatoly] Chubais."

    The march to the Russian embassy, which included no more than 20 people, was merely a side event for the opposition. But for Saakashvili, Moscow is an enemy comparable to the opposition. He blames everything that takes place in Georgia on Russia, claiming that it supports the opposition and its oligarchs finance it.

    Saakhashvili talked about Russia for nearly a half of his interview, broadcast by all Georgian media (including the opposition TV company Imedi, which did it at the request of the presidential press service).

    "A lie factory is working to full capacity in Georgia. Those who built it had a similar factory in Russia during the weak regime of Boris Yeltsin," Saakashvili said. "And now these people, the Russian oligarchs, are building this factory in Georgia. They want to spread the Russian disease to our country."

    It is clear that the Georgian president meant Badri Patarkatsishvili. He forgot, though, that Russia has put Patarkatsishvili, a close friend of Boris Berezovsky and the man who financed the opposition demonstration, on the international wanted list.

    "You know why Russian TV channels broadcast the Georgian demonstrations live?" the president asked. "They know that Georgians have mustered the courage to stand up against Russia's aggressive policy."

    What about Western companies then, which begin their news shows with broadcasts from Georgia?

    "To suppress us, they [Russia] introduced the embargo and closed the border," Saakashvili went on to say, but did not bother to explain that the embargo was introduced over the detaining of Russian officers on trumped-up charges of espionage. "They want to show the CIS countries what can happen to those who do not want to toe the Russian line."

    He also said, "There is an oligarchic force in Russia which coordinates its actions with [the authorities of] a given country and political forces... so as to destabilize the situation in Georgia ahead of the elections in Russia."

    Saakashvili did not explain how events in Georgia could influence the outcome of the parliamentary elections in Russia, which is apparent to everyone.

    When two people, or forces, cannot agree on something, they try to shift the blame to a third party. This is the logic of the current confrontation in Georgia, the fail-safe logic of the "external enemy."

    The Russian authorities have so far reacted only to the speeches made by one of the two warring sides in Georgia.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "We are concerned over the developments in Georgia. I would not like to comment on the speeches by that politician [Saakashvili]; the farce of his actions is obvious to everyone."

    Let's hope that the actions of the Georgian opposition will not deteriorate into a farce.

    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.