May 5, 2022
Ukraine’s Presidential Advisor, Georgian Officials Trade Accusations
In a new round of bitter exchanges between Kyiv and Tbilisi, Georgian Dream officials have lambasted Ukraine’s Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak, who previously slammed the Georgian Government’s position over Russia’s war in Ukraine as ambiguous.
In an interview with Voice of America’s Georgian bureau, aired on May 3, Podolyak said the Georgian Dream benefactor, ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili is a “Russian oligarch” holding sway over the Government of Georgia….
Podolyak’s statements drew swift criticism from Tbilisi Mayor and GD General Secretary Kakha Kaladze, among other ruling party figures.
“Podolyak’s statement is embarrassing. We’ve heard more than one embarrassing statement. My request is simple – investigate who Podolyak is. You will find a lot of very interesting information,” Mayor Kaladze responded.
Pointing out at his life and career as a professional footballer in Ukraine, he invited spectators cryptically to inquire about “what kind of life he [Podolyak] lived”.
“Before rising to the position of the communications advisor to President Zelenskyy, Minsk-born Podolyak worked in several opposition-minded newspapers in Belarus, and after his exile, in Ukraine, rose to the position of editor-in-chief of Obozrevatel. Kaladze’s questioning of ‘what life he lived’ seems reminiscent of the formula used in post-Soviet criminal underworld, indicating someone who failed to live by the ‘gangster’s code’.”
Irakli Zarkua, GD lawmaker, criticized Podolyak for interfering in inner Georgian dealings.
“The information war continues….You have a war on your hands, many people are dying, Ukraine is facing many challenges and they’re taking the time to interfere in inner Georgian affairs and they’re saying what people should do.”
“How something shouldn’t be….who’s asking Podolyak? What does he represent? He is a vagrant, who became a part of the government accidentally, like many others,” MP Zarkua added.
Georgia’s ruling party has also drawn ire from local opposition politicians….
Numerous protests have taken place in Tbilisi and across Georgian towns to announce solidarity with Ukraine and push the government to greater action.
Georgian Dream authorities, in turn, accused former United National Movement officials, now serving in the ranks of the Ukrainian government, of staging a hybrid war against Georgia.