Monthly Archives: April 2009

09TBILISI827, GEORGIA: PROTESTS STAGNANT – SIGNS OF DESPERATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI827 2009-04-30 13:20 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3273
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0827/01 1201320
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 301320Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1481
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TBILISI 000827 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTESTS STAGNANT - SIGNS OF DESPERATION 
INCREASING 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Protests continued on Wednesday, April 29 
although only about 2000-3000 attended, a number of who 
appeared to be onlookers enjoying a nice day rather than 
dedicated supporters.  Protest leaders have vowed to 
continue, but have not articulated a concrete plan.  GOG 
representatives have privately been in contact with Irakli 
Alasania (Alliance) in an attempt to arrange a meeting to 
negotiate a way to end the protests.  It appears a meeting 
may take place on April 30.  More and more Georgian voices 
are openly questioning the motives of those leading the 
protests.  An ever more confident President Saakashvili 
issued a statement calling the protests a very useful 
political cleansing process allowing Georgians to fully 
understand their choices.  An April 30 meeting between EU 
resident Ambassadors (including the U.S.) and opposition 
members to clarify events did anything but and quickly 
devolved into Salome Zourabichvili and Nino Burjanadze 
chastising the Ambassadors for their ignorance and inability 
to understand their roles.  An Alliance activist admitted 
that he had staged a "beating", and burned his car, in order 
to accuse the government of attacks against the opposition, 
although members of his party argued that he had confessed to 
doing this after being held for 8 hours by the police without 
an attorney present.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  The non-parliamentary opposition continues 
to be on the defensive with both political commentators and 
the general public becoming increasingly critical of their 
actions.  In response to meager crowds and criticisms, the 
non-parliamentary opposition has chosen to heat up its 
rhetoric whereas the GoG appears content to let the 
non-parliamentary opposition further discredit itself.  We 
will continue to push for dialogue and also to caution the 
non-parliamentary leaders to avoid further exacerbating the 
situation.  End Comment. 
 
Protests Stagnant - Saakashvili Confident 
 
3.  (C)  The protests on Wednesday, April 29 attracted 1500 
according to MOIA numbers, although Embassy observers put the 
number closer to 2000-3000.  Central streets remain blocked; 
the Prime Minister convened the weekly government meeting on 
April 29 in the western city of Kutaisi.  Trash and human 
excrement are noticeable around the protest area and further 
damaging to public perceptions; a website myvideo.ge has 
footage showing a number of protesters in the "cells" taking 
narcotics.  edia outlets are beginning to report on drug use 
at the rallies as well.  No coherent strategy has emerged in 
the last few days.  Singer Utsnobi (Giorgi Gachechiladze and 
brother of protest leader Levan Gachechiladze) has indicated 
he might lead a march across the country.  Others have put 
forth the idea of constructing cell cities in provincial 
cities although all indications are the non-parliamentary 
opposition has no clear strategy as to what to do next.  Some 
statements have been made indicating a willingness to listen 
to the GoG's ideas for a way out of the crisis, but in the 
same breath opposition leaders often insist that the only 
solution is Saakashvili's resignation.  Apart from calling 
the protests a useful political cleansing process, 
Saakashvili said that Georgians do not care about the 
personal ambitions of politicians from the "center of 
Tbilisi".  Saakashvili appears confident and in the driver's 
seat.  He departed Tbilisi for Poland the evening of April 29 
to participate in a meeting of the European People's Party. 
Qto participate in a meeting of the European People's Party. 
 
EU Ambassador's Briefing Turns into Incoherent Angry Lecture 
 
4.  (C)  The briefing for EU Ambassadors that was organized 
by the non-parliamentary opposition to "further explain their 
position" and clear up misperceptions did anything but 
convince those in attendance that the non-parliamentary 
opposition has a coherent plan or possibly even a concept of 
objective reality.  (Embassy Note:  The EU Ambassadors 
invited the Ambassador to attend as well, which he did.  End 
Note.)  The group was lead by Nino Burjanadze (Democratic 
Movement - United Georgia), Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia's 
Way), David Usupashvili (Alliance - Republicans), and Kakha 
Kukava (Conservatives) who did not speak at the event. 
Although Irakli Alasania was expected to participate, he did 
not attend.  Nino Burjanadze started the meeting telling the 
Ambassadors that she would educate them on a number of 
misperceptions.  The "education" consisted of a long tirade 
about how immoral, undemocratic, and unjust Saakashvili was. 
Burjanadze said that if Saakashvili is not removed from power 
now, he will become worse than Belarusan President 
Lukashenko.  Burjanadze said that the non-parliamentary 
opposition had engaged in no violence; accused Minister of 
Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili (without citing any 
evidence) of deploying special forces against them; and even 
stated that she was a victim of a provocation because car 
 
TBILISI 00000827  002 OF 003 
 
 &
#x000A;windows were broken after her husband distributed bats to 
protesters (arguing that the MOIA and media inferred a link 
between the two events).  Finally, after Burjanadze told the 
Ambassadors that Merabishvili was surveilling them, she 
stated they should refrain from saying the opposition had no 
plan or expressing the opinion that Saakashvili should not be 
removed from power via protests (she did not say how she knew 
they were discussing in private). 
 
5.  (C)  Zourabichvili gave pointed comments to the group 
saving much of her venom for French Ambassador Eric Fournier 
who was not in attendance (he is currently in Paris at a 
conference).  When asked a question about dialogue, she 
scolded EU Ambassadors for giving the non-parliamentary 
opposition advice, apparently forgetting the Ambassadors did 
not request the meeting.  She went on to the inform the 
Ambassadors that as a former diplomat she was troubled that 
they did not have an understanding as to how to do their jobs 
properly.  The British Ambassador asked about their strategy; 
handing out baseball bats; intimidating the media; and the 
rights of the general citizenry being infringed by the 
protests.  Usupashvili blamed the baseball bats and the 
protests on Saakashvili saying they needed to defend 
themselves and that Saakashvili left them no choice but to 
protest.  All avoided answering the question on whether or 
not they had a plan.  In fact, Usupashvili cited the lack of 
a coherent plan as a tribute to the democratic nature of the 
non-parliamentary opposition.  When the Estonian Ambassador 
followed up about their willingness to negotiate only 
Saakashvili's resignation, Zourabichvili, Usupashvili, and 
Burjanadze took turns calling Saakashvili a liar.  They said 
they would listen to the GoG's position "without 
preconditions," but will only negotiate Saakashvili's 
resignation and ruled out any "real" role for the Georgian 
Patriarch in mediation.  Perhaps sensing the obvious 
irritation of most of the Ambassadors, Usupashvili 
interjected that they were reasonable people and would be 
open to allowing Saakashvili to resign in mid-May, after the 
NATO exercises.  The Dutch Ambassador once again tried to ask 
the "plan" question only to be shouted down by Zourabichvili 
which prompted the Estonian Ambassador to ask aloud what the 
point of the meeting was since they (pointing at the 
non-parliamentary opposition) refused to answer any 
questions.  The EU Ambassadors demurred on Burjanadze's offer 
to meet twice a week to get more "accurate" information. 
 
Misha Winning 
 
6.  (C)  MP Peter Mamradze (officially unaffiliated, but a 
supporter of former PM Noghaideli) and former chief of 
Administration to ex-PM Zurab Zhvania and Noghaideli said the 
only thing the protests have done is make Saakashvili 
stronger.  Mamradze said from the start the tactics used by 
the non-parliamentary opposition have only served to anger 
the public and discredit them as leaders.  He said that a 
stronger Saakashvili is an unfortunate, though foreseeable 
outcome and that every day the protests continue, the 
stronger Saakashvili's position is.  Mamradze (who took part 
in the first day's protest) said that right before and right 
after the April 9 protest, serious concessions could have 
been achieved, but the non-parliamentary opposition's sole 
focus on Saakashvili's resignation squandered its political 
leverage.  Mamradze said he feared that an increasingly 
radical Burjanadze would lead her "clan" to take the Georgian 
Public Broadcaster building, saying he has been hearing that 
QBurjanadze was considering this as a last gasp move. 
Mamradze likened the current opposition logic to a protest 
lead by former President Gamsakhurdia in 1991 against the 
Soviets.  Gamsakhurdia organized Georgians to lie across rail 
tracks to block shipments from the Russian S.S.R. into the 
Georgian S.S.R.  which would "bring the Kremlin to its 
knees".  The result was that after two weeks, the Kremlin 
diverted the cargo for which the Georgians had already paid 
into North Ossetia where it was resold - the Georgians ended 
up with nothing and the Kremlin got double profits.  Mamradze 
wryly noted that the non-parliamentary opposition was 
incapable of learning and that the protests meant to bring 
down Saakashvili have only served to strengthen him. 
 
Signs of Movement from the Alasania Camp 
 
7.  (C)  Mamradze said that Burjanadze views Alasania as her 
only potential rival in the non-parliamentary camp for the 
post of President.  Mamradze indicated that Burjanadze was 
doing everything in her power to undermine him and had been 
fairly successful in lowering Alasania's standing both 
publicly and among the non-parliamentary opposition.  The 
handshake with Saakashvili was a public indication that 
Alasania was considering making a move apart from the 
non-parliamentary group.  Alasania confidante, and former 
Georgian Ambassador to Turkmenistan Alex Petriashvili told 
PolChief that they (Alasania's inner circle which does not 
 
TBILISI 00000827  003 OF 003 
 
 
include either David Usupashvili or David Gamkrelidze) were 
considering gains that could be achieved short of 
Saakashvili's resignation.  Petriashvili said that one 
condition would be that any deal would have to include some 
element of negotiation with Saakashvili and some sort of 
joint announcement with Saakashvili.  (Embassy Comment: 
Alasania might still have the leverage to negotiate directly 
with Saakashvili.  At this point, only Alasania appears to be 
thinking about a negotiated solution out of the impasse.  End 
Comment.)  Petriashvili noted his own personal difficulties 
in working with David Gamkrelidze (Alliance - New Rights), 
and Alasania, who has always privately appeared lukewarm to 
both Gamkrelidze and Usupashvili, may be willing to break if 
he senses that the "Alliance" no longer suits his political 
purposes.  Petriashivli said that any negotiated settlement 
would have to include protections for protesters from GoG 
reprisals. 
 
Who is Provoking - Who Knows? 
 
8.  (C)  Post has been following up on all publicized 
allegations of political intimidation.  The recent allegation 
that an Alliance activist had been attacked and his car 
burned might have been untrue.  He admitted to staging a 
beating and burning his car, although his political 
colleagues argue that he was interrogated for eight hours by 
police without an attorney present before he made his 
confession.  This follows a previous report that the Alliance 
had approached a citizen involved in a normal traffic stop 
and offered to compensate him if he claimed the stop was a 
MOIA provocation and political repression.  Post does not 
rule out that certain groups or individuals have been using 
intimidation to suppress opposition voices; however, a number 
of other beatings have occurred with non-parliamentary 
leaders arriving almost immediately on the scene drawing 
suspicion as to the veracity of the claims.  This could be an 
indication that the opposition is prepared to use &#x00
0A;increasingly desperate measures to draw the GoG into violence 
in order to rekindle public support. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI821, GEORGIA: GREEK AMBASSADOR SEEKS HELP ON OSCE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI821 2009-04-29 14:34 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2109
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0821 1191434
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 291434Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1477
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0212
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 2267
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4828
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 000821 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL OSCE GR RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: GREEK AMBASSADOR SEEKS HELP ON OSCE 
AGENDA ITEM 
 
REF: 4/28/09 OSCE DAILY DIGEST 
 
1. (U) This is an action message.  Please see paragraph 4. 
 
2. (SBU) Greek Ambassador Georgios Chatzimichelakis, as a 
representative of the sitting OSCE Chairman-in-Office, came 
to see the Ambassador April 29 to relay a request for 
assistance.  He explained that the Greek government is in the 
process of finalizing the agenda for the OSCE's Annual 
Security Review Conference (ASRC) in June, and after 
considerable negotiations, all OSCE member states but one, 
Georgia, have agreed to language for one potentially 
contentious agenda item on the August 2008 war.  The Greek 
government asked for U.S. assistance to convince the Georgian 
side to accept the compromise language.  According to 
Chatzimichelakis, the Georgians agree that there is not a 
great deal of substantive difference between their favored 
language and the Greek-proposed compromise text, and that in 
fact the latter would allow a discussion of the war to take 
place.  Nevertheless, he said, the Georgians are concerned 
that omitting a specific reference to the war could set a 
precedent for sessions of the ASRC in 2010 and beyond and 
give Russia sufficient ambiguity to block discussion of the 
war in the future. 
 
3. (SBU)  At first the Georgians proposed a text that 
includes something along the lines of "the conflict that took 
place last August between Georgia and Russia," or at least 
"the conflict in the Caucasus," both of which 
Chatzimichelakis described as non-starters for the Russians. 
The compromise language the Greeks have most recently 
proposed, and that he claimed 55 of 56 OSCE members have 
accepted, is as follows: "It will review the OSCE activities 
related to past and recent conflicts in the OSCE area with 
special focus on serious developments that led to the 
deterioration of the security situation since the 2008 ASRC." 
 In response, the Georgians proposed, ". . . with special 
focus . . . on the one conflict that led to the deterioration 
. . ."  It is this last formulation that Chatzimichelakis 
described as having virtually no substantive difference with 
the Greek text, but still being too controversial to achieve 
full consensus. 
 
4. (SBU) Action Request.  The Ambassador is prepared to 
informally raise this issue with the Georgians at the next 
opportunity, but Post seeks Department guidance in responding 
to the Greek Ambassador and before formally approaching the 
Georgians.  Please advise whether the U.S. Mission to the 
OSCE in Vienna will also coordinate directly with the Greek 
Mission there. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI819, The Roma in Georgia

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI819 2009-04-29 14:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2097
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0819 1191425
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291425Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1476
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 000819 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, EEB 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM KPAO GG
SUBJECT:  The Roma in Georgia 
 
REF: A) STATE 30437, B) 08 Tbilisi 0589 
 
1. (SBU)  Summary:  In response to reftel marking International Roma 
Day, the Embassy posted the Secretary's message on its website and 
took the opportunity to meet with the Executive Director of the 
Human Rights Center in Georgia and a representative of the Civil 
Registry of the Ministry of Justice to follow-up on last year's 
report on the situation of the Roma in Georgia (Ref B). In sum, the 
Roma remain isolated from the rest of Georgian society and the 
public services available to registered residents including 
education and health services. 
 
2. (SBU)  The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities reports 
approximately 2,250 Roma reside in Georgia, about 0.05 percent of 
the total Georgian population (from "Recent Migration of Roma in 
Europe, December 10, 2008"). Ucha Nanuashvili, Executive Director of 
the Human Rights Center in Georgia, agrees with the figure. The 
majority of Georgian Roma live in two locations in Tbilsi: Lotkin 
Hill and Navtlugi Bazar in the Samgori district.  Lotkin Hill 
residents came to Georgia between 1920-1930 and identify themselves 
as Moldovans, perhaps because that is how they were registered by 
the Soviets. A large portion of the Roma living in the Navtlugi 
neighborhood may be IDPs from Abkhazia, but lack documentation to 
verify this. Navtlugi is also home to a group of 100-200 Muslim Roma 
who came to Georgia in the 1980's as refugees from 
Nagorno-Karabakh. 
 
Unwillingness to Register Yields Hurdles 
 
3. (SBU) Nanuashvili of the Human Rights Center in Georgia pointed 
out that there is little official support for the Roma in Georgia as 
they are not registered with the government and, without 
documentation, they cannot access health care and education.  His 
office has documented this problem for the Ministry of Justice and 
the Civil Registry but, in a country currently supporting 54,000 
internally displaced people from the 2008 conflict (UNHRC Briefing 
Notes 12/09/08), the small Roma population falls further down on the 
list of immediate government priorities. 
 
4. (SBU) According to Nanuashvili, in Georgia the main occupations 
of the Roma are selling and reselling small items at markets, 
begging and petty crime.  Tbilisi Roma society is closed and is 
subordinated to a community leader, whose identity is usually kept 
secret. Most Roma children do not go to school and start earning 
money for their families at an early age.  Directly related to the 
lack of education and relevant vocational skills, the main problem 
for the Roma population in Georgia is its lack of official 
documentation.  Most Roma do not have documentation including birth 
certificates, as children are usually not born at hospitals. 
Nanuashvili believed that  the Roma community does not aspire to get 
documents.  The lack of proper documents also makes social services 
including, primarily health care, education, and vulnerability 
allowances unavailable to the Roma community. 
 
Ministry of Justice Seeks to Document 
 
5. (SBU) A Representative of the Civil Registry of the Ministry of 
Justice told poloff that the Ministry is working to register 
undocumented residents from a variety of ethnic minorities 
populations of entire mountain villages that have never previously 
been documented. Registering the Roma presents unique challenges due 
to their unique language, frequent geographic movement - some more 
nomadic than stable, and quality of information that can be used to 
verify a person's place and year of birth.  Giorgi Vashadze, Head of 
the Civil Registry explained that the registration of the Roma 
requires deep and sensitive discussion on a case by case basis until 
Qrequires deep and sensitive discussion on a case by case basis until 
some kind of determination can be made for registration of each 
individual.  It is possible but requires interest on the part of the 
Roma as well.  Until they are registered they do not 
bureaucratically exist "- they are not even stateless."  He 
encouraged the Embassy to support a local NGO's efforts with UNHCR 
to register isolated populations in Georgia as a way of increasing 
political will on both sides. 
 
6. (SBU) For the Roma, the vicious cycle of isolation is hard to 
break, but can still be overcome with sufficient will on the part of 
the civil society, the government and the Roma themselves. Post has 
encouraged grant proposals for the Julia Taft Grant, which addresses 
refugees, vulnerable populations and returns, as welcome.  We will 
work to identify NGOs which could utilize this important resource. 
 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI816, GEORGIA: PROTESTS TO CONTINUE DESPITE HANDSHAKE –

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI816 2009-04-29 11:04 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1839
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0816/01 1191104
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 291104Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1473
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000816 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/28/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTESTS TO CONTINUE DESPITE HANDSHAKE - 
MEETING WITH PATRIARCH 
 
REF: TBILISI 809 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary:  Protests were largely abandoned on 
Tuesday, April 28 as non-parliamentary leaders attended 
church services for the day of reconciliation.  Crowds in 
front of Parliament were estimated at 500 or less.  At a 
church service led by the Patriarch, that only Irakli Alasani 
(Alliance) from the non-parliamentary opposition attended; 
President Saakashvili and Alasania shook hands prompting much 
speculation as to its significance.  Saakashvili reiterated 
his willingness to engage in dialogue.  Other 
non-parliamentary leaders attended church services at another 
location and then held a hastily arranged audience with the 
Patriarch, also attended by Alasania.  After that meeting, 
they again stated publicly that they would continue the 
protests and rejected dialogue.  Comments critical of the 
non-parliamentary opposition by Council of Europe Secretary 
General Terry Davis received a harsh response by many 
non-parliamentary leaders.  With the Prime Minister's office 
at the Chancellery surrounded by "cells," the Government is 
holding its weekly Wednesday meeting in Kutaisi.  The 
Ambassador will attend a meeting arranged by the EU 
Ambassadors with non-parliamentary opposition leaders on 
April 30.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  Alasania's presence at the service seems 
to have caught other non-parliamentary leaders off guard. 
The ultimate significance of the handshake between President 
Saakashvili and Alasania, if any, is still unknown; however, 
the symbolic nature of the event was obvious to all.  The 
question now is whether the hard-line faction, led by Nino 
Burjanadze (Democratic Movement - United Georgia), is losing 
control over events.  Lashing out at Terry Davis, rejecting 
dialogue after a meeting with the Patriarch who has been 
publicly encouraging it, and comparing Saakashvili to Hitler 
are all troubling signs that at least certain members of the 
non-parliamentary opposition are becoming more radicalized in 
response to an increasingly grim outlook for their political 
fortunes.  End Comment. 
 
As Always - Protests Continue 
 
3.  (C)  A scheduled April 28 concert was canceled with 
non-parliamentary opposition leaders saying that they would 
suspend the protests until April 29 to attend church services 
as requested by the Patriarch.  A group of roughly five 
hundred gathered in front of Parliament.  A small number of 
protesters remained in front of the Public Broadcasters 
Building in cells as well as the Presidential Administration 
and State Chancery blocking traffic.  Another "meeting" was 
called for Wednesday at 5pm to announce the plan for the day. 
 Some leaders suggested creating cell cities in the regions, 
some have suggested widening protests in Tbilisi, others have 
said little other than expressing confidence that Saakashvili 
is feeling the pressure and soon will resign.  It is clear 
that the non-parliamentary opposition has not come to any 
consensus on its next step and has been in a status quo 
holding pattern for the better part of a week. 
 
4. (SBU)  With regard to the reports of a Republican party 
activist being beaten in Kakheti, non-parliamentary 
opposition activists continued to call for an investigation, 
demanding that the regional governor be interviewed about the 
case.  The Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a statement 
noting that they were looking into the case, but raised 
questions about the report noting that the alleged victim had 
been observed earlier in the day purchasing gasoline in a 
Qbeen observed earlier in the day purchasing gasoline in a 
bottle which was suspicious given the fact that his car had 
been burned.  The bottle was apparently found in the vicinity 
of the burned car. 
 
The Handshake - Alasania Calls for Dialogue - Patriarch 
Providing Cover? 
 
5.  (C)  The Patriarch had called on all political forces to 
attend a day of reconciliation service at Holy Trinity 
Cathedral.  Previously, non-parliamentary leaders announced 
their intention to boycott the service.  Eka Beselia (United 
Georgia) said non-parliamentary leaders would not allow "the 
authorities to use these great religious events for their 
political PR campaigns."  Leaders were apparently unaware 
that Irakli Alasania (Alliance) had decided to attend the 
service without them.  (Embassy Note:  Alasania attended the 
service without fellow Alliance members David Gamkrelidze 
(New Rights) and David Usupashvili (Republicans).  End Note.) 
 After calling for political reconciliation, President 
Saakashvili shook Alasania's hand and then proceeded to shake 
hands of many other politicians in attendance including 
parliamentary opposition members.  Afterwards, Saakashvili 
said he was willing to engage in dialogue.  Notably, AlasanQ 
 
TBILISI 00000816  002 OF 002 
 
 
indicated that he was ready for dialogue and did not mention 
any demand for Saakashvili's resignation. 
 
6.  (C)  Apparently, after lear
ning that Saakashvili and 
Alasania shook hands, the non-parliamentary opposition 
leaders requested an immediate audience with the Patriarch. 
(Embassy Comment:  The handshake with Saakashvili at a church 
service in which the Patriarch presided is a powerful 
political image.  The Patriarch is by far the most respected 
public figure in Georgia.  The request for a meeting seems to 
be an attempt to somehow neutralize the political fallout 
from the handshake "blessed" by the Patriarch.  End Comment.) 
 The non-parliamentary opposition's agenda for its meeting 
with the Patriarch is unclear.  Public statements by Nino 
Burjanadze, Levan Gachechiladze, and others did not 
characterize the meeting.  Each issued statements saying the 
non-parliamentary opposition would continue to protest and 
not soften their demands which appeared to fly in the face of 
the Patriarch's public call for dialogue and unity. 
Non-parliamentary leaders have given no public reaction to 
Alasania's statement saying that he supported dialogue, nor 
any comment on the handshake. 
 
Another Diplomat Needs "Reeducation" 
 
7. (C)  Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis spoke 
at a news conference in Strasbourg and roundly condemned the 
non-parliamentary opposition when asked to comment on 
Georgia.  Davis said that "it's much better to discuss and 
settle disagreements in the Parliament not in the street." 
He criticized the non-parliamentary opposition saying that he 
did not understand why the non-parliamentary opposition did 
not take their seats in Parliament.  Nino Burjanadze 
responded that Davis needed "to look deeper into the 
situation".  Burjanadze then cited instances of an MOIA 
official throwing a water balloon (in what appears to have 
been a dumb joke aimed at MOIA personnel) and a protester 
being hit by a BB gun (no evidence of MOIA involvement) 
asking rhetorically if Terry Davis and the citizens of Great 
Britain would have ever tolerated such oppressive actions. 
Not to be outdone, Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia's Way) said 
she did not think Terry Davis or other Englishmen would have 
"offered to anyone a dialogue with Hitler" apparently unaware 
of the Munich Agreement.  Koba Davitashvili (Party of the 
People) called the GoG a gang of criminals that could not be 
dealt with in normal fashion.  Other non-parliamentary 
leaders condemned Davis' remarks. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI809, GEORGIA: PROTEST UPDATE – NO IDEAS, NO PROTESTERS,

WikiLeaks Link

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI809 2009-04-28 13:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0956
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0809/01 1181357
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 281357Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1462
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000809 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTEST UPDATE - NO IDEAS, NO PROTESTERS, 
STILL NO COMPROMISE 
 
REF: TBILISI 800 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Protests on Monday, April 27 which were 
supposed to include announcement of a new action plan 
consisted of no more than 1000 protesters in front of 
Parliament and a few more scattered at the Presidential 
Residence, Public Broadcasters Building, State Chancellery, 
and Freedom Square.  A concert is scheduled for Tuesday, 
April 28, but a meeting with Levan Gachechildze revealed that 
the non-parliamentary opposition has not come to any 
decisions as to how to move forward.  Gachechildze hinted at 
a willingness to talk, but only with President Saakashvili. 
The Patriarch called on both Government and opposition 
leaders to attend a penance service on April 28 at 6 pm.  End 
Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  Once again, the non-parliamentary 
opposition could only turn out a minimal crowd on a sunny 
afternoon.  In private, some non-parliamentary opposition 
leaders sem to be signaling a willingness to end the 
protests, but they seem en masse unable to realistically 
assess their relative bargaining power and popularity. 
Questions of a lack of support are routinely explained away 
by relying on their "gut instincts" as to what the people of 
Georgia want and conspiracy theories as to why turnout has 
been so small.  Though seemingly aware in some sense that 
they are losing leverage by the day, the non-parliamentary 
opposition continues to draw the wrong conclusions. 
Preferring to ignore the possibility that the Georgian public 
does not support them or their goals, non-parliamentary 
leaders are focusing on "educating" diplomats and blaming the 
media - again highlighting the small echo chamber in which 
many of the non-parliamentary leaders operate.  End Comment. 
 
Protest's New Action Plan .... We'll Get Back to You 
 
3.  (C)  A small crowd of about 1000 protesters appeared on 
Monday, April 27.  No substantial change occurred since late 
last week with a small number of protesters staying in cells 
outside of Parliament, the Presidential Residence, Public 
Broadcasters Building, State Chancellery, and Freedom Square. 
 The roads in front of MOIA, Public Broadcasters Building, 
and Rustaveli Avenue to Freedom Square remained blocked. 
Former Presidential Candidate Levan Gachechiladze told the 
DCM that they were considering blocking Chavchavadze Avenue 
(a major thoroughfare in the Vake District) in front of 
Tbilisi State University with cells on the recommendation of 
a "couple" of students.  Other well-trafficked areas around 
Tbilisi are being considered for "cell cities" according to 
Gachechiladze.  Gachechiladze dismissed questions about 
whether roadblocks simply alienate people and serve to 
further marginalize the non-parliamentary opposition.  He 
said that nothing has been agreed upon as far as new tactics. 
 One notable moment on April 27 was when an elderly lady took 
to the stage and started to deliver a speech apparently 
complaining about the protest organizers and the protests 
(her speech was inaudible on TV and to Embassy observers). 
Her microphone was then cut off and she was escorted away. 
 
Willingness to Talk or Deja Vu All Over Again 
 
4.  (C)  Gachechiladze said the non-parliamentary opposition 
was willing to talk, but only with President Saakashvili at a 
publicized event.  Gachechiladze said the meeting needed to 
be without an agenda and could be private (except for the 
fact the meeting had taken place).  He said it was up to 
Qfact the meeting had taken place).  He said it was up to 
Saakashvili to provide a concrete time and place. 
Gachechiladze indicated that the non-parliamentary opposition 
would pick a few leaders to represent the group.  He said 
that Nino Burjanadze has pushed the idea of a meeting with 
Saakashvili saying negotiations with anybody else are 
worthless.  Gachechiladze dismissed concerns that the 
non-parliamentary opposition was too divergent in its aims 
and personalities to provide a coherent group with which to 
negotiate.  He noted that Saakashvili could name the number 
of opposition leaders to meet and the opposition would choose 
its spokesmen.  (Embassy Comment:  Gachechiladze seemed open 
to negotiations but again apart from Saakashvili's 
resignation, had no clear fallback position.  Gachechiladze, 
along with Burjanadze, appears to have taken on somewhat of a 
"first among equals" leadership role so his comments might 
signify a greater willingness of the group as a whole to 
negotiate.  However, Tbilisi based diplomats and other 
interlocutors have been given private messages of moderation 
before from non-parliamentary leaders only to be followed by 
more radical public statements the next day.  End Comment.) 
 
Don't Bother Us With the Facts 
 
TBILISI 00000809  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
5.  (C)  Gachechiladze argued that the public overwhelmingly 
supports the opposition cause and claimed that 1000 
protesters were sleeping i
n front of Parliament and 300 at 
the Public Broadcasters Building.  (Embassy Note:  These 
figures are wildly exaggerated with only perhaps 25-50 in 
front of Parliament and 5-10 at the Public Broadcasters.  The 
cage infrastructure, if full, could only hold a fraction of 
what Gachechiladze claimed.  End Note.)  He stated that every 
family in Tbilisi was sending one representative a day to the 
protests on a rotating basis to explain their support was 
much greater than it appeared.  Then, in a strange non 
sequitur to a question that was never asked, Gachechiladze 
said that "(y)ou know, we're not paying them!". 
Gachechiladze claimed that the non-parliamentary opposition 
was having no financial trouble in spite of the public 
requests for donations.  Gachechildze went to complain about 
the unfairness of the media and that polling data was not 
objective, but rather, controlled by Minister of Interior 
Vano Merabishvili and was not an accurate gauge of public 
sentiment.  In response to French Ambassador Fournier's 
pointed remarks (reftel) about the non-parliamentary 
opposition, a new task force has been established to ensure 
that diplomats are getting access to "correct information" 
about what is actually happening in Georgia.  The group will 
consist of Nino Burjanadze (Democratic Movement - United 
Georgia), Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia's Way), Irakli 
Alasania (Alliance for Georgia), and Kakha Kukava 
(Conservatives).  Gachechiladze said that the opposition 
hoped to brief diplomats on next steps on April 30. 
 
Bakradze Leaks Private Radical Opposition Meeting 
 
6. (C)  Speaker David Bakradze's public announcement that he 
had met with a number of radical members of the 
non-parliamentary opposition was publicly met with opposition 
derision.  Nino Burjanadze said she was unaware of any 
meetings and called the statement an attempt to sow discord 
among the non-parliamentary oppoition.  Tina Khidasheli 
(Republican Party) called the Speaker's statement 
irresponsible and demanded that he name the people with whom 
he met.  We know that Bakradze met fringe presidential 
candidates Konstantine Gamsakhurdia (Freedom Party), Giorgi 
Maisashvili (Party of the Future), and may also have met 
former MP Guguli Magradze on Saturday, April 25.  PolChief 
met with the three at their request in the Sheraton Hotel 
following a briefing to the diplomatic corps.  When they 
realized Bakradze was also at the Sheraton, they requested a 
meeting which Bakradze accepted, according to his chief of 
staff.  The meeting is evidence of the Speaker's willingness 
to talk -- although it is unlikely that results would emerge 
from this channel.  Irakli Alasania told PolOff that these 
three opposition leaders were "nuts" and were only 
begrudgingly allowed to be involved in the protests after 
much discussion.  Bakradze's leak appears to be a tactical 
move to sow doubt and uncertainly among the non-parliamentary 
opposition.  Other sources have told Post that although the 
public face was to dismiss the meeting, the news has 
heightened the already widespread distrust among various 
non-parliamentary figures. 
 
Counter Accusations of Violence Continue 
 
7.  (C)  An activist for the Alliance for Georgia was 
allegedly beaten on Monday night in Kakheti.  The activist 
was assigned to bring protest participants from the region to 
Qwas assigned to bring protest participants from the region to 
Tbilisi.  Two other protesters were claimed to have been 
beaten Monday evening about a mile from Parliament.  Post has 
inquired with MOIA about both incidents.  A Rustavi 2 
journalist and cameraman were allegedly assaulted by three 
protesters outside of Parliament.  TV footage showed the 
cameraman being punched in the face by a protester and the 
journalist being shouted at while reporting on the protests. 
The group opposition youth group Ratom ("Why") got into a 
brief scuffle with security guards outside the Mayor's office 
when they were not allowed to spray paint and put signs on 
the government building.  They left without further incident. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI808, GEORGIA: FIRST MEETING OF INCIDENT PREVENTION

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI808.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI808 2009-04-28 13:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0875
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0808/01 1181300
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 281300Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1458
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0208
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 TBILISI 000808 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/28/2019 
TAGS: PGOV MOPS RS GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: FIRST MEETING OF INCIDENT PREVENTION 
MECHANISM 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 0674 
     B. GENEVA 0183 
     C. MOSCOW 1082 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary and comment.  The first meeting of the Joint 
Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (JIPRM) was held 
on April 23 on the South Ossetian administrative boundary 
line at Ergneti.  The fact the meeting occurred was a minor 
victory itself, and the parties agreed to hold a subsequent 
meeting the first week of May.  No actual incidents were 
discussed, however, and only marginal progress was made on 
procedural issues.  The South Ossetian and Russian 
participants sought to undermine the OSCE's role in the 
process, suggesting that the EU and Russia should be 
co-chairs.  Both the EUMM and the OSCE believe that the next 
meeting is unlikely to be useful unless the chairmanship 
issue is resolved beforehand.  Although the fact of the 
meeting is indeed positive, the mechanism will only be useful 
it can be structured in a practical way, to enable the 
consideration of concrete concerns without the introduction 
of intractable political issues.  Initial signals from the 
South Ossetians and Russians suggest the latter might be 
their intention.  End summary and comment. 
 
THE FORMAT 
 
2. (SBU) On April 24, EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) Chief of 
Mission Hansjoerg Haber offered his diplomatic colleagues a 
readout of the meeting (most of the following account is 
based on his comments).  The parties involved included the 
EUMM, OSCE, Georgia, Russia, and South Ossetian de facto 
authorities, with several delegations sending fairly senior 
representatives (see paragraph 13 for a list of 
participants).  The meeting started a few minutes after 1300 
in a tent on the administrative boundary near Ergneti and 
lasted nearly four hours; much of the time was spent on 
interpretation.  The day was cold, with temperatures hovering 
around the freezing point and bits of snow drifting into the 
venue.  Haber and Deputy Head of the OSCE Conflict Prevention 
Center Pascal Heyman co-chaired the meeting.  (The issue of 
the chairmanship came up several times, however, with the 
South Ossetians and Russians objecting to the OSCE's 
involvement.)  The formal agenda focused on the logistics and 
format of the JIPRM itself and included eight items, although 
not all items were discussed: 1) Location; 2) Working 
language; 3) Meeting agendas; 4) Official minutes of the 
meetings; 5) Chairmanship; 6) Calendar of meetings; 7) 
Hotline; and 8) Joint visits.  Afterwards the various parties 
made statements to journalists on the scene, who represented 
mostly Georgian outlets, but also included at least one 
Russian reporter. 
 
THE DISCUSSION 
 
3. (C) The chairmanship issue came up the most often and 
raised the most contention.  Haber took the position that the 
JIPRM derived from the Geneva process, which is co-chaired by 
the EU, OSCE and UN, so the South Ossetia version of the 
Mechanism should be chaired by the two Geneva chairs that 
work in the area (i.e., EUMM and OSCE).  South Ossetia's 
primary representative, Merab Chigoev, first objected to the 
EUMM's role as chair; Haber offered to work as a 
"facilitator" instead, which Chigoev seemed to accept. 
Chigoev then rejected the OSCE outright, arguing that the 
organization has no mandate to operate.  He proposed that 
Russia and the EUMM should co-chair the meetings, and the 
Russian participants expressed their willingness to accept 
QRussian participants expressed their willingness to accept 
the nomination.  A Russian representative even suggested that 
he Geneva talks themselves derived from, as he referred to 
it, the Sarkozy-Medvedev agreement, so the EU and Russia 
should therefore serve as chairs.  Haber, OSCE's Pascal 
Heyman, and Georgia's Shota Utiashvili (Ministry of Internal 
Affairs) all pushed back, and the issue was left unresolved. 
In his briefing for diplomats, Haber characterized the South 
Ossetian and Russian maneuver as an obvious setup, designed 
to undermine the OSCE's position; in a later conversation, an 
OSCE monitor described it to PolOff the same way. 
 
4. (SBU) On the question of location, the South Ossetians had 
originally indicated they would only accept meetings right on 
the administrative boundary line (where the April 23 meeting 
took place), but the physical difficulties of meeting in a 
tent apparently convinced them to be more flexible.  All 
agreed to hold the next meeting south of the administrative 
boundary line, in Georgian-controlled territory, although the 
specific venue (likely to be some kind of a public building, 
such as a school) was not identified.  The location of 
 
TBILISI 00000808  002 OF 004 
 
 
subsequent meetings was not determined. 
 
5. (C) On the working language, Haber insisted the JIPRM 
follow the format of the Geneva talks and be conducted in 
English an
d Russian.  The Russians suggested that Russian 
would be more practical, since most participants spoke 
Russian, but Haber insisted on English.  Although the 
Russians portrayed their suggestion as a purely pragmatic 
one, Haber suggested to his diplomatic colleagues that over 
the course of the meeting it became clear that the Russians 
saw the use of Russian as more than simply a practical 
choice; they seemed to want to make the format of the 
meetings as close to that of the old Joint Control Commission 
(JCC) as possible.  In a separate conversation, OSCE delegate 
Steve Young noted to PolOff that at least one of the Russian 
participants spoke no English.  He also pointed out that 
conducting the meetings in Russian would give the Russian 
participants much greater control over the nuances of the 
discussion and any statements or documents that were produced. 
 
6. (SBU) Haber told the diplomatic corps he had proposed a 
generic agenda, to be used in all meetings, consisting of 
four points: 1) Assessment of the situation; 2) Exchange of 
information on incidents; 3) Discussion of the freedom of 
movement; and 4) Other business.  Parties could provide 
information before the meeting, to be able to discuss it at 
the meeting, or could provide the information at the meeting 
and then discuss it at the following session.  On the 
discussion of incidents, parties would take turns raising 
individual occurrences, so that the parties themselves could 
determine their priorities for discussion.  Haber did not 
receive a reaction to this proposal. 
 
7. (C) Regarding the schedule of the JIPRM's meetings, the 
Russian participants proposed biweekly sessions (which, as 
Haber pointed out to his diplomatic colleagues, was not in 
accordance with the original Geneva proposal for weekly 
meetings, although he did not raise an objection).  They said 
they would next be available between May 3 and May 7.  Haber 
interpreted this to mean that the Russian side again wanted 
to send a relatively high-level delegation from Moscow.  The 
sides agreed to this timeframe.  On the hotline, everyone 
agreed such a structure should function, but at this point 
the EUMM only has a phone number for Colonel Anatoliy 
Tarasov, Commander of the Russian Forces in Tskhinvali (who 
also participated in this meeting).  The meeting did not take 
up the issue of joint visits, but the Russian side said it 
considered them important, which surprised Haber. 
 
8. (SBU) At the conclusion of the meeting, Haber noted that 
the group had not reached much agreement.  Major General 
Vyacheslav Proshkin, of the Russian Ministry of Defense 
(MOD), who is the Chief of the CIS Military Cooperation 
Department, however, portrayed it as a success, because the 
fact that the JIPRM met at all was important.  He made a 
similar statement to the press.  In his public statement, 
Haber also expressed some optimism, but injected a bit more 
caution into his tone than Proshkin. 
 
ANALYSIS 
 
9. (C) In summary, Haber told the assembled diplomats that an 
optimist would conclude that the fact that the meeting took 
place at all was positive; that optimist would likewise 
explain that all sides felt the need to take a tough initial 
position in order to position themselves for future 
compromises.  He did not seem to be quite this optimistic, 
Qcompromises.  He did not seem to be quite this optimistic, 
however (as other European counterparts reported to Embassy 
Moscow, ref C).  He said that the chairmanship issue was a 
serious one, and that if it was not worked out before the 
next meeting, the next discussion would be chaotic, and the 
meeting would not be worth holding.  He suggested that EU 
Special Representative Pierre Morel would have to get 
involved in the meantime to work something out.  In a 
separate conversation, OSCE's Young agreed, saying that 
starting another meeting without consensus on the 
chairmanship would prevent the mechanism from accomplishing 
anything. 
 
10. (C) Haber saw the South Ossetian and Russian proposal for 
a joint EU-Russia chairmanship as a clear attack on the OSCE; 
Young agreed with this assessment.  Another OSCE monitor told 
PolOff that the meeting has had a very negative impact on the 
OSCE monitors' morale, which was already low; they 
interpreted the Russian position as a clear signal of their 
intention to shut the OSCE mission down.  The monitor pointed 
out that one of the Russian delegates played a key role in 
the closing of the OSCE's former Border Monitoring Mission 
along Georgia's border with Russia; he wondered if his 
 
TBILISI 00000808  003 OF 004 
 
 
involvement was intended to send a signal that the OSCE 
mission was likewise on the chopping block. 
 
11. (C) The OSCE monitor added that his colleagues felt that, 
during the meeting, Haber and the EUMM also slighted the OSCE 
mission, if only through petty, perhaps even unintentional 
snubs.  He worried that such unspoken signals might be 
interpreted by the Russians as a tacit willingness by the EU 
eventually to sacrifice the OSCE's involvement.  For example, 
EUMM staff did not share its planned agenda for the meeting 
with the OSCE until the morning of April 23, a couple of 
hours before the meeting.  Upon arriving at the site, the 
OSCE representatives found that the road to the tent was 
blocked by an EUMM vehicle, so that they had to approach on 
foot, while the EUMM had parked right by the tent.  The OSCE 
representatives found EU flags erected at the site, but had 
not been asked to bring an OSCE one; they had to scrounge a 
flag from an OSCE vehicle and hastily hoist it.  Upon 
entering the meeting, the EUMM officials did not formally 
greet the OSCE representatives (who had arrived first), 
although they did greet the other parties.  In his 
presentation to the diplomats, however, Haber made clear that 
he considered the role of the EUMM and OSCE as co-chairs to 
be non-negotiable. 
 
COMMENT: NOT THE JCC! 
 
12. (C) The OSCE monitor told PolOff he thought the South 
Ossetians and Russians are seeking to turn the JIPRM into a 
new JCC -- i.e., a forum for consideration of political 
issues, not practical incidents.  He noted that the mechanism 
conceived in Geneva should consist of working-level 
counterparts who know the real situation on the ground and 
can work together pragmatically to resolve concrete concerns. 
 The high-level Russian delegation could signal a different 
intent, and if -- as Haber believes -- the Russians continue 
to send generals (who do not spend much time in South Ossetia 
and presumably are not that familiar with day-to-day issues), 
practical discussions will indeed be difficult to arrange. 
It could be, of course, that the Russians are very serious 
about the mechanism and only intend to signal their respect 
for the process.  If Haber and Young are right, however, and 
a major Russian goal is to marginalize the OSCE, then a 
follow-on goal might be to establish a second
venue for 
political discussions as a rival to Geneva, where the OSCE 
also has a seat.  Not only would such a goal undermine the 
Geneva process, but it would undermine the still-urgent 
objective of reducing the likelihood of violence and its 
potential for escalation. 
 
PARTICIPANTS 
 
13. (U) The EUMM provided the following list of participants. 
 
EUMM: Hansjoerg Haber, Head of Mission; Gilles Janvier, 
Deputy Head of Mission; Gerard Fischer, Head of Operations; 
Rosaria Puglisi, Political Advisor.  Acting as interpreters: 
Rinas Bendzius, Liaison Officer at Georgian Ministry of 
Internal Affairs (MOIA); Per Enerud, Chief Reporting Officer. 
 
OSCE: Pascal Heyman, Deputy Director of the Conflict 
Prevention Center; Gottfried Hanne, Deputy Head of Mission; 
Steve Young, Chief Military Officer; Laszlo Belagyi, Chief 
Security Officer. 
 
Russian Federation: General Antonov, Deputy Chief of Staff of 
the Russian Ground Forces; Major General Vyacheslav Proshkin, 
Ministry of Defense (MOD), Chief of CIS Military Cooperation 
Department; Aleksey Dvinyanin, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 
Chief of Division, Fourth Department on CIS Countries; 
QChief of Division, Fourth Department on CIS Countries; 
Colonel Ruslan Boyarski, MOD; Colonel Anatoliy Tarasov, 
Commander of the Russian Forces in Tskhinvali; Lieutenant 
Colonel Andrey Lyatichevsk, Assistant to Commander of the 
Military Base in Military-Civilian Cooperation, Tskhinvali. 
 
Georgia: Shota Utiashvili, Ministry of Internal Affairs 
(MOIA), Head of the Information and Analytical Department; 
Vladimer Jugeli, MOIA, Head of the Shida Kartli Regional Main 
Division; Giorgi Lomidze, MOIA, Head of Administration of 
Shida Kartli Regional Main Division. 
 
South Ossetia de facto authorities: Merab Ilyich Chigoev, 
deputy head of the de facto "plenipotentiary representative 
of the president of the republic of South Ossetia for 
post-conflict settlement issues"; Vitaly Georgievich Gassiev, 
de facto "first deputy minister of the interior"; Gennady 
Nikolaevich Yemelyanenko, de facto "deputy head of the border 
guards service"; Vadim Otarovich Syukayev, de facto "deputy 
chief of staff of the ministry of defense"; Guram 
 
TBILISI 00000808  004 OF 004 
 
 
Grigorievich Sobayev, advisor to the de facto 
"plenipotentiary representative of the president of the 
republic of South Ossetia for post-conflict settlement 
issues." 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI807, GEORGIA: UPDATING INFORMATION FOR TERRORISM

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI807.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI807 2009-04-28 12:57 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #0807 1181257
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281257Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1457

UNCLAS TBILISI 000807 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KTFN EFIN ETTC PTER GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: UPDATING INFORMATION FOR TERRORISM 
FINANCE COORDINATION OFFICERS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 37316 
 
(U) In response to reftel, post provides the following 
contact information for its Terrorism Finance Coordination 
Officer (TFCO) and Deputy TFCO.  The TFCO is Political 
Officer John Anthony, phone number (995 32) 27 76 20; email: 
anthonyjs@state.gov, anthonyjs@state.sgov.gov.  Post's Deputy 
TFCO is Political Officer Nicole O'Brien, phone number (995 
32) 27 71 73; email: o'briennl@state.gov, 
obriennl@state.sgov.gov. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks

09TBILISI800, GEORGIA: PROTESTS TO CONTINUE BUT STRAINS ARE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI800 2009-04-27 12:40 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9773
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0800/01 1171240
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 271240Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1449
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000800 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/27/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTESTS TO CONTINUE BUT STRAINS ARE 
SHOWING 
 
Classified By: DCM KENT D. LOGSDON  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  Modest numbers of protesters turned out 
both on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 with crowds 
numbering around 2-3000 and 500-1000 respectively.  "Cells" 
continued to block traffic in front of the Georgia Public 
Broadcaster (GPB) Building, Freedom Square, the Ministry of 
Internal Affairs (MOIA), the Chancellery (where the PM's 
office is located), and Rustaveli Avenue.  A concert was 
canceled on Sunday due to the unexpected death of former 
Georgian Ambassador to the United States and Switzerland (and 
Alasania supporter) Levan Mikeladze.  In a meeting with the 
diplomatic corps on April 25, Speaker of Parliament David 
Bakradze said the government continues to offer dialogue on a 
range of issues, but the opposition continues to rebuff 
offers.  Protests organizers will announce again on April 27 
another "action plan".  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  Comment:  Despite modest crowds and increasing 
public irritation with the protests, the non-parliamentary 
opposition presses forward.  The makeup of recent crowds 
suggests a "rent-a-crowd" with a sizable percentage, if not 
the vast majority, of the protesters believed to be receiving 
payment to keep the protests ongoing.  The financial strains 
are showing with non-parliamentary opposition leaders calling 
for donations from the public.  Despite their public claims 
of confidence, offering free concerts and busing protesters 
in from the regions may be moves of desperation rather than 
signs of impending success.  End Comment. 
 
Protest Numbers Dwindle - Still No Sign of a Plan 
 
3.  (C)  Like a broken record, the non-parliamentary 
opposition promises a "new action plan" to be unveiled April 
27 although all signs indicate that they have no plan other 
than to give more speeches and call for more protests.  The 
MOIA put Saturday's numbers at roughly 2300 protesters which 
one Embassy observer described as a "rent-a-crowd".  Roughly 
500-1000 protesters with the same "rent-a-crowd" look showed 
up in front of Parliament on a beautiful sunny Sunday 
afternoon.  Freedom Square, the road in front of the GPB, the 
State Chancellery, and MOIA buildings remained blocked with 
only a handful of protesters (5-15) manning the "cells," 
though buildings can be accessed on foot.  Sunday's protest 
might have drawn a larger crowd because of a planned concert; 
however, the death of Alasania ally and former diplomat Levan 
Mikeladze led the organizers to cancel the event.  (Embassy 
Note:  Mikeladze died of an apparent heart attack or stroke 
at home on Sunday morning.  Most of the non-parliamentary 
opposition did not appear at the protest on Sunday, instead 
paying their respects to Mikeladze's family.  End Note.) 
 
4.  (C)  On the margins of a government-hosted reception 
celebrating Georgia's tenth anniversary as a member of the 
Council of Europe, Deputy Ombudsman Giorgi Chkheidze told the 
DCM that he worried that both sides were stuck in a dead-end 
game.  He thought that it was important at this stage for the 
Government to make a concession up front, and that offering a 
dialogue at this point was not enough.  Chkheidze said that 
the concession would have to come in an important area like 
judicial reform or law enforcement, but he did not have a 
concrete idea.  When asked whether the opposition would 
respond positively to a Government concession, Chkheidze said 
that he frankly did not know. 
 
Protests Proving to Be Expensive 
QProtests Proving to Be Expensive 
 
5.  (C)  Koba Davitashvili (Party of the People) informed 
protesters that the non-parliamentary opposition would put 
boxes out at the rallies and he publicized a bank account 
number for donations.  Estimates vary, but most put the cost 
of constructing the mock "cells" in the range of 
200,000-300,000 USD.  Reports of protesters receiving 35 USD 
plus lunch a day means that the non-parliamentary opposition 
is spending a substantial sum of money every day to continue 
the protests.  (Embassy Comment:  Assuming only 500 
protesters are being paid, the cost would be nearly 20,000 
USD a day not counting paying for flags, banners, sound 
systems, electricity, transportation from the regions etc. 
End Comment.)  It has been widely rumored though not 
confirmed that Nino Burjanadze has been footing a large 
portion of the costs of the protests from her personal wealth. 
 
6.  (C)  The French Ambassador told the DCM that he met with 
Kakha Kukava (Conservatives) on April 26 at Kukava's request. 
 Kukava asked the French Ambassador to arrange a meeting for 
opposition leaders (unclear which ones) to meet with EU 
Ambassadors, indicating that the opposition was ready to talk 
about finding a way out of the deadlock with the Government. 
The EU planned to meet April 27 to discuss whether or not to 
 
TBILISI 00000800  002 OF 002 
 
 
take up Kukava's offer.  In other EU news, EUSR Semneby and 
EU Ambas
sadors issued a joint statement on April 24 (emailed 
to EUR/CARC) commending all sides for the peaceful exercise 
of the right of free assembly and calling on all sides to 
abide by the law. In a separate statement, French Ambassador 
Fournier charged that blockage of roads and government 
buildings by protesters was not legal and lamented that the 
government was forced to hold official meetings in hotels. 
 
Bakradze Leaves the Door Open 
 
7.  (C)  In a diplomatic corps briefing held at the Sheraton 
due to access issues at Parliament, Speaker of Parliament 
David Bakradze said the government still was seeking a 
dialogue with the protest leaders.  Bakradze outlined three 
baskets of areas for discussion: internal political reform, 
economic, and security issues.  Bakradze said that he has 
approached a number of academics and other opinion makers and 
experts regarding participation in reform groups.  Bakradze 
said the GoG had proposed a "no-agenda" meeting with the 
non-parliamentary opposition through EUSR Peter Semneby in 
order to create the opportunity for a frank and open 
discussion.  Bakradze said the format would have allowed the 
non-parliamentary opposition to save face by claiming the 
discussion was to center around Saakashvili's resignation. 
He lamented the response to the meeting was to have relative 
moderate David Usupashvili (Republicans - Alliance for 
Georgia) read a terse statement rejecting any dialogue and 
denouncing the GoG.  Ambassadors at the briefing applauded 
the government's efforts in handling the protests and openly 
questioned whether Tbilisi should be held hostage to the 
demands of a radical few.  Bakradze said the GoG was not 
going to wait forever for the non-parliamentary opposition to 
agree to dialogue but, he noted, the door would remain open 
for them. 
LOGSDON

Wikileaks

09TBILISI799, GEORGIA SUPPORTS US CANDIDACY ON UN HUMAN RIGHTS

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If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI799.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI799 2009-04-27 11:52 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9767
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0799 1171152
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 271152Z APR 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1448
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4827

UNCLAS TBILISI 000799 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA SUPPORTS US CANDIDACY ON UN HUMAN RIGHTS 
COUNCIL 
 
REF: TBILISI 00749 
 
(SBU) The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs passed to the 
embassy a diplomatic note dated 23 April 2009 in response to 
reftel.  The note confirms Georgia's support for the 
candidacy of the United States in the UN Human Rights 
Council, and its intent to vote in favor of our candidacy for 
the 2009-2011 term.  Additionally, the Georgian government 
wishes to inform the USG of its intention to run for a seat 
for the 2011-2014 term, and requests American support in this 
effort. 
LOGSDON

Wikileaks

09TBILISI795, GEORGIA: OPPOSITION ERECTS MORE “CELLS,” PROTESTS’

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Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09TBILISI795.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI795 2009-04-24 13:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8333
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0795/01 1141300
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 241300Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1437
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000795 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: OPPOSITION ERECTS MORE "CELLS," PROTESTS' 
IMPACT WIDENS 
 
REF: TBILISI 0786 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
1. (SBU) Summary: Radical opposition protests continued on 
April 23 and leaders called upon their dwindling supporters 
to maintain their presence throughout the weekend.  Despite 
cold rain and meager numbers, the opposition continued to 
erect more "cells" in the areas surrounding Parliament, the 
State Chancellery, and the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), 
choking off more streets.  In addition to blocking traffic, 
the impact of the protests widened further as nearby 
businesses reported significant losses and three GPB Board 
members resigned.  Mayor Ugulava announced April 24 that the 
city would clean the streets where the protesters are 
staying.  A late night scuffle with police occurred when 
protesters rallied outside a cafe where the President was 
allegedly eating dinner.  One policeman was injured.  As 
Parliament is officially closed due to the protests, some 
committees have held recent meetings in the regions.  End 
Summary. 
 
OBSERVATIONS FROM THE STREET 
 
2. (SBU) During the 23 April protest, which began later in 
the afternoon than usual, Embassy observers noticed a 
distinct majority of the crowd as middle-aged, poor, male 
Georgians from the regions outside of Tbilisi.  The areas 
surrounding the ostensible "base" for the protests, Rustaveli 
Avenue directly in front of Parliament, are increasingly 
covered in trash, with the side alleys now serving as 
receptacles for human waste.  There does appear to be some 
attempt to control the trash buildup, with older provincial 
women sweeping the large quantities of trash into more 
distinct piles, but each the day the situation worsens as 
those protesters currently living on the streets or in the 
"cells" continue to remain there. When protesters walked 
from Parliament to the Georgian Public Broadcaster's office 
on Kostava Street April 23, the procession was met with cold 
stares and overt displays of annoyance from Tbilisi residents 
coming home from work or seeking their way through the 
downtown area.  We estimate that fewer than 2,000 protesters 
converged during the day. 
 
STREETS BLOCKED, BUSINESSES CLOSED 
 
3. (U) The opposition erected more "cells" on April 23, and 
have now blocked off significant portions of Rustaveli 
Avenue, the State Chancellery, and the significant arterial 
route Kostava Street that runs in front of the GPB.  With 
only a few protesters manning some of the "cells," the 
opposition has increased the chokehold on traffic in the city 
with the metal frames.  In response, schools remain open with 
few students (reftel) and increasing numbers of businesses 
along Rustaveli are closed.  Embassy observers noted about 
half of the regular shops along Rustaveli near the protests 
were closed on April 24, and the lack of people conducting 
business in the area was easily noticeable.  Georgia Today 
reported that Rustaveli Cinema has been closed since the 
April 19 Orthodox Easter due to the protests.  According to 
the press, the cinema has canceled 140 screenings and 
incurred 50,000 GEL (30,000 USD) in losses to date. 
 
BUSINESSMEN UPSET 
 
4. (C) Emboff spoke with the Vice President of GMT Group on 
April 24.  GMT owns and operates the two Marriott hotels in 
Tbilisi; both are blocked off by the protesters' "cells" and 
experiencing significant slowdowns.  He told us that most of 
the shops are closed due to fears of vandalism and reduced 
sales.  The vice president, who has privately expressed his 
Qsales.  The vice president, who has privately expressed his 
dissatisfaction with Saakashvili, expressed great frustration 
with the opposition and said he is ready "for the government 
to come in with batons and tear gas and get these people out 
of here."  He added that currently his employees are washing 
the sidewalks at the Marriott Courtyard daily with bleach in 
order to cleanse them after the protesters use them as 
toilets.  Both Marriott hotels are adding additional security 
lights.  The businessman estimated the opposition has spent 
100,000 USD for the iron and materials used in the "cells," 
and wondered who was paying for them. 
 
GPB BOARD MEMBERS RESIGN, KHAINDRAVA BLASTS REPORTER 
 
5. (U) On April 23, three members of the GPB Board of 
Trustees resigned from the nine member board.  In a 
vaguely-worded statement the three said their efforts to 
serve the board and the public were "fruitless under present 
 
TBILISI 00000795  002 OF 002 
 
 
conditions."  However, they said this "did not mean they were 
joining the oppositions' protests."  GPB Chairman Levan 
Gakheladze said he regretted the decision by the three, 
because the board had accomplished much in the past year. 
Meanwhile, early in the morning on April 24, Goga Khaindrava 
led a few protesters at the GPB to call for GPB's director 
general to resign.  When a GPB journalist
covering the event 
asked Khaindrava if he wanted the position for himself, he 
angrily called her a "provocateur." 
 
LATE NIGHT SCUFFLES 
 
6. (U) At approximately 2 am on April 24, several protesters 
approached a Tbilisi cafe where President Saakashvili was 
dining.  When police blocked their approach, the noisy 
protest that ensued led to a brief scuffle with police.  The 
police then cordoned off the area, and a police spokesman 
said that one officer was injured and taken from the scene, 
and one protester was arrested.  Deputy Public Defender 
Giorgi Chkheidze observed the events.  He refused to 
speculate on what happened, saying the incident must be 
investigated. In another incident, the MOIA has placed a 
video on its website which appears to show opposition leader 
Nino Burjanadze's husband Badri Bitsadze and her son Anzor 
Bitsadze, with a small group of activists near the GPB 
handing out large wooden sticks and bats from the back of an 
SUV.  The MOIA claims the video was taped around 2 am. (Note: 
the video is available at police.ge. End note) 
 
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES AT WORK IN THE REGIONS 
 
7. (U) Due to the official closure of Parliament, several 
committees have met recently in the regions.  This is 
currently on an ad-hoc basis, depending on the chairmen's 
decisions, according to a contact at Parliament.  Such work 
arounds and outreach are likely to continue. 
TEFFT

Wikileaks