The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
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'Theater of the absurd': what happens in Georgia after the obscene language against Putin

Against the background of almost three weeks of protests that broke out after emergence in the Georgian parliament of the Russian MP Sergei Gavrilov, a new scandal broke out in Georgia.

Photo: Twitter screenshot

This time, one of the largest Georgian TV companies, Rustavi 2, was at the epicenter. Its presenter, Georgy Gabunia, began the Sunday release of his program with obscene language addressed to the Russian president.

Representatives of the authorities one after another accused the channel of provocation, and a protest rally gathered outside the television station that night.

The protesters dispersed only towards morning, demanding that the authorities begin an investigation into the use of the lead mat. The demonstrators demanded not only his departure, but also the resignation of the general director of the television station Nika Gvaramiya.

Gvaramiya apologized for the mate on the air, but he called what was happening around the critical of the TV company a direct attempt to capture it.

Gabunia on Monday afternoon was suspended for two months. As reported in the television, the restrictions imposed on the host relate to all programs that he prepares or leads.

Photo: Screenshot: IVAN KOTOVV / YouTube

Interrupted Broadcast

Those gathered outside the building of the TV company accused the TV company of provocation and creating a threat to the country's security. The demonstrators chanted: “Long live Georgia without Rustavi 2”.

On Monday night, Rustavi 2 suspended broadcasting for several hours. The director general of the TV company called on the authorities to ensure the safety of the channel's employees, noting that he would stop broadcasting until this condition is met.

“What we see is not a spontaneous action. This is an action organized by the authorities, ”Gvaramia said on the air of the TV company.

“We believe that the only positive side of the very unpleasant incident and the grave mistake of Gabunia is the absolute lustration in society. We received even better lustration than during Gavrilov's visit, ”he said.

According to him, the Georgian authorities did not tolerate the obscene mention of Putin and, with slavish obedience, began to apologize to the Russian president.

At the same time, Gvaramia said that no one would resign, and the TV channel would not give the head of the “honored pro-Western journalist” to the “pro-Putin crowd”.

The television company issued an official statement apologizing for the presenter's words.

“We believe that Giorgi Gabunia's form of expression does not meet the high standards set by our channel. This issue will be considered by the self-governing body of the TV channel, ”Rustavi 2 said in a statement.

At the same time, the TV companies consider the restrictions on freedom of expression, interference with the freedom of the media and the legalization of censorship statements made by the authorities on this matter.

The television company resumed broadcasting in the morning, after the protesters at the television building dispersed.

Condemnation by the authorities

After Gabunia's scandalous monologue, representatives of the Georgian authorities made statements one after another, condemning the host and accusing the TV company of provocation, which they called the mouthpiece of the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party founded by Mikheil Saakashvili.

"This is a war of provocateurs against their own country, a dirty and disgusting game with the security of the state and citizens", - said Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, commenting on the words of Gabunia.

The mayor of Tbilisi and the secretary general of the ruling party, Kakha Kaladze, said that it was unacceptable to leave a provocation of such magnitude unpunished.

Photo: facebook /Kakha kaladze

“All this has a simple name - enmity towards one's own country. Once we have already seen a country that has been brought to a difficult position by such enmity on the part of the same political force. The second time this should not be allowed. And we will not allow this! ”, - wrote Kaladze on Facebook.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili also condemned provocative, in her opinion, insults against the Russian president.

“The protection of the interests of the state is not achieved through aggression, destabilization and unrest. Our path is peaceful, our perspective is Europe, and our strength is stability ”, - wrote Zourabichvili on Facebook.

The words of the leader in the foreign policy department of Georgia were not ignored.

In its official statement, the Georgian Foreign Ministry She urged the international community to properly assess the actions of the TV company and its presenter, calling Gabunia's words "pure provocation" aimed at further aggravating the already difficult situation in Russian-Georgian relations.

The ruling party said that behind the words of Gabunia was actually another attempted coup.

Gabunia's statements are not an excesses of a private TV company or a journalist, but part of a long-term war of ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili and his United National Movement party against the Georgian people, Georgian parliamentary vice-speaker Georgy Volsky said at a briefing on Monday.

“The dirtiest political provocation, which the Georgian society saw on the air of Rustavi 2, represents a new coup attempt that was prevented by Georgian law enforcement officers,” Volsky said.

"Theater of the absurd"

The Georgian opposition also condemned the statement of Giorgi Gabunia on the air of “Rustavi 2”.

Former President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili said that the Georgian media should not become like "hysterical Russian media."

“The truth is on our side, and the truth must be conveyed in a civilized form! Outrageousness and hysteria will only harm our business ”, - wrote Saakashvili on Facebook.

But, according to a representative of the opposition party European Georgia, which has broken away from the UNM, the authorities' response is also unacceptable.

“This is the first time I see that the Georgian Foreign Ministry calls on the international community and international organizations to evaluate the statement of a journalist on the author's program of an independent TV channel. This is a theater of absurdity, ”said Sergi Kapanadze, a representative of European Georgia and former Deputy Foreign Minister, in an interview with the TV channel.

Mat already was

While the monologue of the leading TV channel addressed to the Russian president caused a wide resonance and caused the dismissal of the leader, the obscene vocabulary on the television channel sounds not the first time.

For example, last year the general director of the television company Nika Gvaramia, on the Sunday Accents program, swore at the photographer Yuri Mechitov for his comments on the events of April 9, 1989.

Gvaramia also used obscene language against the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Supporters of the authorities have repeatedly criticized the channel for obscene language, but users of social networks noticed that the abuse against the Russian president was heard not only on the air of Rustavi 2, and Gabunia is not the first presenter to use obscene language.

Before him, the hosts Otar Tatishvili and Vasiko Odishvili spoke obscenely about Putin. True, the unsigned appeals to Putin were much shorter than Gabunia’s monologue and sounded in humorous and satirical shows.

Moscow reaction and protests in Georgia

In Moscow, the reaction of the Georgian authorities to the statement of the presenter was satisfied.

“We note that this time - unlike the attack on June 20 on members of the Russian parliamentary delegation - the Georgian authorities did not justify the radicals, but found the strength to dissociate themselves from the provocateurs and condemn their behavior. We also see the just indignation with which the incident was perceived in Georgian society, ”the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

For almost three weeks now, protests in Tbilisi have erupted after the appearance of the Russian deputy Sergei Gavrilov in the chair of the Georgian parliament.

The protesters, and predominantly young among them, have been demanding the resignation of Georgian Interior Minister Georgy Gakharia for the third week, believing him responsible for dispersing demonstrators on the night of 20 on June 21.

20 June, thousands of people came to the parliament building to protest the appearance of a Russian deputy in the chair of the country's main legislative body.

The police used tear gas and rubber bullets against the protesters, some of whom attempted to rush into the courtyard of the parliament. Since then, protests have been held at the parliament in the center of Tbilisi every evening.

On Monday, protesters came to the parliament building to hold a gay parade in Georgia.

The protesters promise to stay with parliament, demanding the abolition of Georgia's anti-discrimination law and a ban on "propaganda of debauchery."

Those who took to the protests after 20 on June claim that the authorities mobilized Kremlin-led groups against peaceful protest.

Despite this, they nevertheless urged the participants to come out in the evening to the action, which has already become traditional in the last few weeks.

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