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According to Georgian intelligence officers25.03.2009 | 10:21
The authorities have used the head of the foreign intelligence service, Gele Bezhuashvili, who has spoken about the "Kremlin's treacherous plans" for regime change, as "heavy artillery". The opposition was not slow to respond. The head of the state security service from the early 1990s, Irakli Batiashvili, told the public about the authorities' no less treacherous plans to use force against demonstrators.
Moods proffering change have been hovering around Georgia for a long time now. As we are approaching April, which going by the opposition's plans should be an epoch-making month, there is the impression that, accompanied by fanfares announcing democratic reforms, the country is sliding into a past, which it has so vociferously disavowed. At least, the principles behind previous years are becoming the most popular form of political self-expression. First the regime, appealing to the majority, rewrote the Constitution and granted the president dictatorial powers. Now the opposition leaders, once again referring to the will of the people, are demanding an immediate change of regime. Not long before again dividing this very people into "reds" and "whites".
Although, as is the case with coloured revolutions, the palette can be altered. But, April is still to come. And for the moment, as we follow age-old traditions, it is representatives of the intelligence services who are having their say.
Hence, the head of the foreign intelligence service, Gele Bezhuashvili, has told his fellow-citizens that Russia's goal is regime change in Georgia (This may have appeared to be an extremely secret organization, but no, they have also started "to go to the people" - I.P.). To be slightly more accurate, it was the media that disclosed this, while Bezhuashvili himself addressed parliament in private.
As Civil.ge reports, Bezhuashvili presented his service's report on the Russian threat at the request of the parliamentary defence and security committee. If the servants of the people ask you, there's nothing you wouldn't do for them. We have to suppose that Mr. Bezhaushvili was following this principle when he reported that Russia's government agencies "are now thinking" that today, pressure needs to be applied to Georgia in a different way - through domestic unrest.
Admittedly, Bezhuashvili didn't say anything new that representatives of the leadership haven't circulated before. "An analysis of the material currently at our disposal does not give us any reason to suspect that large-scale aggression from Russia is to be expected soon," Civil.ge quotes Bezhuashvili. Saakashvili has already said something similar before, as has Merabishvili: that we need to be on our guard, but that there's not going to be another war. And first it was Mikheil Nikolaevich himself who said that the "generous hand of our northern neighbour" has allegedly been fattening up the Georgian opposition, but then subsequently the parliamentary opposition started bellowing on the same theme.
The rest of Bezhuashvili's address followed the usual scenario for Georgian TV: he said that the question of establishing control over Georgia was the most important one for Russia, but that the North Caucasus remained its "Achilles heel". According to Gele Bezhuashvili, "we cannot rule out the possibility that problems in Chechnya have again returned to the fore, where there are already certain signs of an escalation of the situation". Meanwhile, the chief intelligence officer made his audience happy by emphasizing that a high level of activity by armed units has been observed in Ingushetia, as well as the situation being tense in Dagestan.
Admittedly, Bezhuashvili did not mention anything about where the foreign intelligence was just before August, and why his service did not warn the excessively hot-headed president against carrying out the adventurist actions. Although, that is a whole other issue.
The statement from another intelligence officer, who has left his post, can be regarded as a distinct response to Georgia's chief intelligence officer. But, as we know, in their circle nobody ever actually leaves. So Irakli Batiashvili, who was head of the state security service during the early 1990s and is now one of the leaders of the Republican Party, answered the current head of the foreign intelligence service.
In turn, he told journalists that he has reliable information suggesting that, in the run-up to April's opposition rallies, Georgia's Interior Ministry has bought up large amounts of special technology and tear gas. As the REGNUM news agency reports, Batiashvili remarked that the country's special forces have been actively undergoing preparation for the planned actions.