A " reportage " titled "Russian defectors loitering around Georgia idle and depressed" was released on the propaganda Russian state channel "Russia-1". In it, an employee of the TV channel - "special correspondent" Alexander Buzaladze - talks to Russian expats, allegedly about how hard life is for them and how they regret that they left Russia.
At the same time, he does not give direct quotes from people, their words in the “reportage” almost do not sound - a maximum of two sentences. Throughout the story, only the voiceover of the author is heard. He tells that expats eat frozen khinkali and suffer from depression.
It turned out that in reality the characters said something completely different, and their words were taken out of context. One of those with whom the propagandist spoke was blogger Katyusha Vesna, who runs a Telegram channel about life in Batumi and relocation from Russia. She said that during the interview she talked about how, on the contrary, life is good in Georgia. Despite this, she was presented as almost a beggar, while living in a hotel room, however, without a sea view. Of the entire interview, in the voice of Katyusha Vesna herself, only words were said that she misses her relatives and would like to see them.
“A week ago, a man approached me, introduced himself as a journalist from the Georgian TV channel Alt-info TV. He asked me to participate in a story about the life of Russian emigrants in Georgia. We discussed the idea and theme of the plot in advance. The main message was: yes, there are difficulties, but we, the Russians who left, are coping, successfully building our lives, uniting with the Georgians, and everything is fine with us. The mood of the video is positive, the vibe of hope and a bright future.
What was my surprise when this Sunday a friend from Russia sent me photos of his TV: he captured how on the screen under the logo of the TV channel "Russia-1" I am walking in front of my house in Batumi and telling a sad story about frozen khinkali for breakfast and a hotel no sea view.
Those who have been reading me for a long time and regularly - more than 4,000 people - were shocked by this turn, because they know that I am an evangelist of humanistic values and an ambassador of all the best in Batumi. But the propaganda distorted and turned my words by 180°. There is not a word of truth in the video. I live very well in Batumi: an apartment with a mountain view, cleaning once a week, delivery and purchase of food instead of cooking, massage twice a month and a legalized IT business in Georgia is more beautiful and more abundant than before.”
Of all the heroes of the video, the floor was actually given only to the chairman of the political party "Conservative Movement" Giorgi Kardava. He tells how important Russia is for Georgia and that the Soviet Union "left a lot of positive things for our people."
The political party “Conservative Movement” appeared in 2021, created by representatives of the ultra-conservative nationalist Internet platform Alt-Info (Alt-Info), which is the name Buzaladze used for the fictional TV channel, deceiving expats.
Alt-Info representatives are primarily known as the organizers of the riots in Tbilisi in the summer of 2021, when many of the far right, incited by them, came out to violently protest against pride week. The main target of the attackers were journalists, at the same time the cameraman of the local Pirveli TV channel Lekso Lashkarava was beaten, he did not survive.
The organization is associated with the pro-Russian businessman Levan Vasadze, the former vice president of AFK Sistema, the oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov (he left the company after the imposition of British sanctions). Vasadze himself has lived in Russia for a long time and speaks on the Tsargrad TV channel of the “Orthodox oligarch” Konstantin Malofeev, who is one of the sponsors of the Donbass separatists. Representatives of Alt-Info themselves admitted to having connections with Vasadze in a conversation with The Insider.
Officially, representatives of the party say that their main goal is to establish friendship with the Kremlin, where "the fate of the territorial integrity" of the country is being decided. According to far-right leaders, their goal is to establish in Georgia not a liberal, but a "Christian" democracy. Under the guise of an "alternative source of information," the Alt-Info media group is engaged in anti-liberal, anti-immigration, anti-LGBT and anti-Western propaganda, according to Georgian NGOs.