Blog Posts

Political campaign disguised as nationalistic and religious values

Ekaterine Janiashvili, Jubo Berdzenishvili

There are a number of anonymous pages on Facebook, mostly spreading nationalistic or religious type of content, but covertly serving the purpose of discrediting Opposition parties, critical media outlets, and campaigning in favor of the ruling party and its authority. The above-mentioned pages share the same tactics of promulgating the posts bearing the views on national values. Such posts are usually published to attract subscribers and gain the trust of users. Beside this, posts of political content most of the time are sponsored.

According to the Facebook Ad Library, sponsored posts are published under the name of Giorgi Beridze, and all of them cover political issues. On September 30, 2020  the ad under the same name was published on the page called “We Love Misha” which is a page of false support to carry out disguised propaganda campaign against one of the main opposition political party – United National Movement (UNM).


Pages from left: 1. Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith. 2. Faith in Lord will save us. 3. I am a Christian 4. Georgian Gene is Eternal.


Four out of the five active pages: "Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith", "Faith in the Lord Will Save Us", "I am a Christian" and "Georgian Gene is Eternal" - were created on the same day, on January 8, 2020. Before the 2020 parliamentary elections, on October 6 of the same year, the page “David Gareji  is Georgia” got also active. 


Pages: 1. Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith. 2. Faith in Lord will save us. 3. I am a Christian 4. Georgian Gene is Eternal. 5. David Gareji is Georgia


The total number of interactions on the studied pages has reached 118,054.80, the total number of subscribers is 5 999,40, and the video views are 872 996,2.

"Georgian Gene is Eternal", mostly spreads nationalistic posts related to culture, religion and Georgian historical figures, although it also periodically publishes the posts containing an anti-opposition messages.

Nationalistic and religious type of posts are also spread via page:  "Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith", which in the meantime publishes pro-government advertisements on Facebook.

Post activity is low on the page- "David Gareji is Georgia". The last post was published on February 25, 2021. The main purpose of the page was to discredit the political party UNM on the topic of David Gareji territory. The discrediting messages were disguised as nationalistic narratives. In the Facebook Ad Library, 3 sponsored posts are available on the topic.

The FB page "Faith in the Lord Will Save Us" attempts to merge religious content with political events. To manipulate religious feelings, the page often uses photographs of the Catholics-Patriarch of Georgia with defamatory overtones targeting oppositional parties and it sponsors posts that usually point to religious posing of leaders of the ruling party – Georgian Dream. The FB page “I am a Christian” uses the same tactics.

Despite the coincidence, common tactics and date/period of creation, the pages do not publish identical posts, which can be considered as part of a disguised action. However, the links among these pages are indicated by the fact that most of the political posts published on these pages have a similar design. In particular, in the discrediting posts of political content, photos or written headlines are presented on a red background.



CASINO KILLS. Share - The “Mtavari Arkhi” and “TV Pirveli” eagerly broadcast advertisements about casinos on their air every day and they do this at a time when many young members of our society terminate themselves by suicide due to the debts incurred as a result of losing the game.

We, as citizens of this country are obliged to demand a strict ban on casino promotion! Future generations are spoiled.

We do ask you to share this post, and, in the near future, we will offer you a petition by virtue of  which we shall demand to ban casino advertising at the legislative level!

  “THEY AUTHORIZED AN UNEXPECTED AERIAL BOMBING OF THE CITY OF TSKHINVALI” - Today we witnessed the greatest victory of the past decade. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in favor of Georgia on the so-called “August War” between Georgian and Russia. The European Court of Human Rights accepted Georgia's claim that Russia violated a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights during the so-called “August War” in 2008. The members of “United National Movement” (UNM) shamelessly tries to attribute this victory to their party, while the Article 5 of the resolution passed by the Council of Europe, which, by the way, was supported by the ruling “United National Movement” (UNM) which, itself, was a ruling party in October 2008, stipulates: „The bombing of Tskhinvali commenced unexpectedly by the Georgian military on August 7 in 2008, led to a new level of escalation, namely, a full-scale war between the two parties.



Messages of Coordinated Pages

Under the name of Giorgi Beridze, the main common tactic used by the Pages to fulfill the purpose of the covert information operation is to portray opposition leaders as “fighters against the church” and the ruling party as a supporter of church.



Caption: The “United National Movement” eagerly attacks even the Catholicos-patriarch on his birthday. Mr. Badri Shubladze, one of the members of this evil party, insulted Ilya II (I can't even repeat what he called His Holiness). It seems that these sectarians give us a fuck and despise the religious feelings of the believers. Share thispost. Let’s congratulate Ilya II on his birthday and we wish him health and fortitude! And, as for these “little people” who are a kind of metaphor for devilry, the proper time will come soon and they will inevitably be treated according to their deserts.


In the posts published on the pages there are mentioned politicians who criticized the church or a church representative, attaching photographs of the patriarch or clergymen to the posts and call on parishioners for their support.

The main target of discreditation are the opposition parties: "United National Movement" and "European Georgia". In this pages they are referred to as "sectarians", "evil spirits" and "destroyers of the church" because of statements, made by them, that are often not quoted but used as false interpretations out of context. For example, in one of its defamatory posts the page "Faith in the Lord saves us" states that a member of the "Evil Party" - "United National Movement"- insulted the jubilarian Ilya II and page cannot even repeat how he referred to His Holiness. The post has over 6,000 likes and more than a thousand shares.



Secretly coordinated pages often link their defamatory posts to church holidays and to birthdays of the church and national authorities, and to the church or political events.

The page "Georgian gene is Eternal" when congratulating on the first president’s Zviad Gamsakhurdia's birthday, added that the UNM abuses the name of the national hero and persecutes his family.


Page: Georgian Gene is Eternal Today is the birthday of Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Person who has sacrificed life for Georgia’s independence. Many evil people have confronted freedom fighter, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, trying to offense his name. “How could they torture his family and imprison Tsotne (Zviad’s son).”


When discrediting the “European Georgia” FB page "Faith in the Lord Will Save Us" was publishing different videos of Gigi Ugulava and referring to his  conflicting relations with the Patriarch. As for Tamara Chergoleishvili, the above-mention FB page was trying to discredit her via sponsored posts.

In addition to campaigning to discredit the opposition, the coordinated pages under the name of Giorgi Beridze actively promote pro-government propaganda. If these pages portray the opposition and the church as opposing sides, in this case they are trying to show a positive relationship between the government and the church, characterizing the leaders of the “Georgian Dream” as true believers, faithful to the church.

Among the leaders supported on these pages are Bidzina Ivanishvili (Former PM) and Irakli Garibashvili. When it comes to Mr. Ivanishvili, the main focus is on his philanthropy, and in Garibashvili's case, on his role as a defender of the church from the opposition and the media at large.


Page name: Faith in the Lord Will Save Us

Text on photo: Irakli Garibashvili: “Greatest supporter of the church


For example, the nationalistic pages such as: “Georgian Gene is Eternal” and "Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith"emphasized the importance of financial support by Bidzina Ivanishvili in fight against the Covid-19. The religious page "Faith in the Lord Will Save Us" portrayed Irakli Garibashvili as “a rabid worshiper of the church”.

The coordinated actions of the anonymous pages also indicate that these pages are widely using similar tactics to attack media outlets critical of Government.



We offer charitable projects by Cartu Foundation in Healthcare with a total amount of more than 165 million dollars, which at today’s current exchange rate is almost half a billion Lari (461 million Lari). Bidzina Ivanishvili's charitable projects have been financed by the Cartu Foundation, founded by him, since 2000.

In the healthcare sector there have been implemented the following projects: Refurbishment of the Republican Hospital in Tbilisi, Construction of the hospital in Sachkhere, Creation of Emergency Medical Services Center in the village of Boriti, Construction and technical equipment of the polyclinic in Abastumani, Construction of the Center for medical treatment of the chronic diseases of lung, Insurance program for the residences of Sachkhere Municipality, A comprehensive program for provision of medical services in the Municipalities of Sachkhere, Kharagauli and Ozurgeti; And financial aid for doctors. Also, there has been allocated more than 20 million GEL for citizens to finance their medical treatment services and surgical operations.


Today, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Foundation announced that it is ready to provide financial assistance to the State in its effort to fight against Covid-19. This is a very good decision because the fight against such disease requires quite large financial resources.

After the “Tragedy of June 13” I remember Bidzina Ivanishvili's statement: "I will finance all what the government cannot afford."

The amount of money allocated then hit more than 10 Million Lari.

I would also like to remind 80 million Lari, this money for transferred to the Kakhetian peasants (or farmers) who suffered from the natural disaster. This post is about charity, not politics, and those who don't see this charity are really ungrateful.

It is gratifying that in the event of any disaster or crisis, there will be a person who shall provide financial support to the State.

All of this is, at least, appreciated.



Besides the opposition leaders, journalists and owners of the two main broadcasting companies “Mtavari Arkhi” and “TV Pirveli” are portrayed as fighters against the Religion. These pages often sponsor different Ads as well.


Page Faith in Lord will save us : “Share for support”.


Share to support Father Shalva

After Lasha Talakhadze, the Reverend Shio and many other innocent people, Nika Gvaramia swears at father Shalve Kekelia. The evil leader cut out a small excerpt from father Shalva’s sermon, distorted the the context of video and encouraged the parishioners to scold him.


Mr. Gvaramia Despised the Choir Service

The enemy of the Church, Gvaramia, continues to insult our faith. This time he insulted Christian chanting in his TV program and criticized the Reverend Stephen for no reason. Why do they have the right to ridicule us for their faith? Why don't NGOs react to this? First the patriarch was cursed, then the Reverend Shio and then...


In addition to the church, journalists are portrayed on the pages as fighters against other authoritarian institutions (police) and traditions and morality. For example, TV Pirveli and Main Channel” were both accused of advertising casinos, and journalist Misha Mshvildadze was accused of labeling Ilia Chavchavadze as Pro-Russian.

Journalists - Nodar Meladze and Georgy Gabunia – were labeled as ,,Dark Journalists” by FB pages such as: “Georgian Gene is Eternal” and "Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith".  This indicates that the posts were created by the same person or group of people.



Page: Georgian Gene is Ethernal.

Text: Dark Journalist - Journalists scolding the patriarch continue to scold and insult him on air. There is no difference whethere you are a supporter of the ruling party “Georgian Dream” or the UNM (United National Movement). Truth is truth. Yesterday, Giorgi Gabunia came down to showing the children how the hero of Pier Paolo Pasolini's film eats crap, drawing a parallel with the ruling party – “Georgian Dream”. No matter how outraged you might be for losing the power, all the same, you must not lose you face. Problems in the country can be challenged in other ways. This is not journalism anymore. Giorgi Gabunia is a dark journalist who acts in accordance with the goals of the United National Movement. This all is about our children. Our passivity gives them carte blanche to do such abominations. Share this post in order journalists, who hate Lasha Talakhaz and the Patriarch, to realize that our word can still be heard in this country.


Page: Homeland, Mother Tongue, Faith

Text: Nodar "Gveladze" (journalist’s last name is MELADZE and reference GVELADZE used in inverted commas is a derogatory rhyme meaning SNAKELING) continues to attack the police. The "dark journalist" is trying to discredit people who never sleep and always stand in front of bullets for the safety of us and our children.

It is unacceptable to asperse the entire system because of the single cases. Our request is to share this post and show your support.


The main topic of discrediting the UNM party on the pages from time to time was the territory of David Gareji Monastery Complex. The issue was amplified, especially, both before the 2020 elections and after the release of Melashvili-Ilichova on bail. In light of current political developments pages were spreading sensitive nationalitic posts in order manipulate audience, accusing the UNM of ceding the territory of Georgia to Azerbaijan. Sponsored discredited campaign was also present during the pre-election period.


Davit Gareji was sold by the UNM - The Georgian people were saved by divine love for their land, water and homeland. From the ancient eastern empires to the present day, not a single barbarian conquerer was able to seize the Georgian land and uproot the Georgian ethnos, no one managed to enslave the  Georgian national spiritually, no one could eradicate its genes, culture and the Statehood.   Two people were arrested today for transferring the territory of Georgia to the foreign State. It turned out that the United National Movement sold the territory of the David Gareji Monastery Complex to the foreign State. This heartless party sold out 3500 hectares of the Georgian land to the foreign State, territories which have always been regarded as an expression of independence and sovereignty of our country.

Irakli Garibashvili: ''Every State cares about every inch of its land, every centimetre of its land, What’s wrong with us?''

First of all, I would like to say that, of course, Azerbaijan is our very close friend, a strategic partner country ruled by the wise leader Ilham Aliyev, with whom I have very good relations, and one of my first visits will probably to Azerbaijan, and this will take place depending on how the Covid situation will allow us to do so. We will have a dialogue with Azerbaijan. With our fraternal State. I believe that Ilham Aliyev and our friend from the Azerbaijani side will make a wise decision. We, ourselves, shall also make wise decisions, we will be able to come to an agreement and find common ground with our azerbaijni partners. And, this will not be a difficult task for us to deal with. The false propaganda that is being conducted in connection with this case is, of course, a striking classic example of fabrication of reality. Then, the criminals themselves admitted that this territory never was a part of our country, which is a clear betrayal. So, what is it called, if not treason? What State or self-respecting nation would allow such attitude? So, my fellow citizens, this cannot be continued and must come to an end! - Irakli Garibashvili.


It should be noted that this topic was used not only to discredit the United National Movement, but also to portray the ruling party and, especially, the then Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili, in a good light.

These data confirm that the pages advertised under the name of Giorgi Beridze are closely related to each other and might be operated by one person or group. This covert operation indicates that in order to influence public opinion, certain figures are trying to manipulate the national and religious feelings of citizens, which contributes to political polarization and leads to an unhealthy environment for conducting the political discourse.

Social Media Monitoring Program of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy is made possible by the support from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and within the ACCESS project of the East West Management Institute (EWMI). Views expressed in this article are solely those of ISFED and they do not necessarily reflect the views of the donor.