Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili offered his condolences to the families and friends of the 5 Georgian fighters killed near Bakhmut on 3 December in an address that focused largely on lambasting the government’s opponents.
Offering his condolences, the Prime Minister emphasized, “I want to mention once again that this is a [source] of great pain for us… already 33 of our fellow citizens have died in this war in Ukraine, which is a tragedy for us so once again I offer my condolences to their families…”
The PM noted that in accordance with the government’s decision, the government has been involved in and covered all of the costs associated with the repatriation of those who were killed while fighting in Ukraine. He also stated that these individuals, “most of [whom] were ex-military, policemen, officers,” were buried with military honors.
Notably, Prime Minister Garibashvili took the opportunity to lambast the “hypocritical, fake politicians” trying to take advantage of the “sensitive issue” by creating an uproar in society to score “political dividends…”
In that context, he claimed that the “party of war” has been trying to “arrange certain provocations” since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
“It is through their organization now too, unfortunately, that these fellow citizens of ours are being taken to Ukraine by representatives of the party of war,” the PM argued while adding that “many of their provocations were initially avoided by our government.”
Rehashing a familiar line, the Prime Minister also remarked, “Everyone remembers well their real leader and their rule during the August War – how they left the bodies of our heroic soldiers on the battlefield…”
“[So] what are they even talking about, how dare they, how do they even [dare to] mention the name of the military?” the PM questioned.
“We know all too well how they abandoned the corpses of soldiers on the battlefield and ran away themselves,” he reiterated. “[These people] today are coming out and trying to mislead the public about such sensitive issues…”
“Conducting a PR [campaign] on everything and […] [such] immoral populism is just disturbing, it’s something un-Georgian, one might say,” the PM said. “What the politicians are doing is simply immoral hypocrisy and nothing else…”
The PM also chose to draw attention to the narrative of a second front, asserting that “despite many attempts to bring the second front to Georgia, as a result of our reasonable policy, all this was avoided…”
“Imagine that in Georgia these people were in power, they are in the opposition, and from there they are trying to start a war and open up a second front,” he claimed.
Building on his point, PM Garibashvili asserted that if these people were in power today, “they would have turned Georgia into a shooting range…” “By their own will, they surrendered 20% of our territory, the Kodori valley, and hundred of villages… and hundreds of our heroic soldiers were sacrificed for these wars and their incalculable steps,” he said.
The PM also stated that currently there is a “very difficult situation” in both Ukraine and the world, adding that “I want to remind everyone that European leaders appealed and appeal to their own citizens to not take part in the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine and to express their solidarity in another way.”
“We, as a responsible government, of course, are obliged to take care of each citizen, and each of our steps should be well thought out, weighed, evaluated, so that we do not create problems for our country,” he reiterated.
“Our main commitment is to maintain peace and stability in the country,” the PM stressed while adding, “We have fought three times since we regained our independence, enough is enough, we want to unite our country through peaceful means…”
On that note, the PM regurgitated, “I want to remind these populist hypocrites once again – which politician have you seen or has anyone seen die in war? As they talk a lot, sitting on Facebook, as they distinguish themselves through supposedly brave and courageous posts, why don’t they go and fight…”