On 14 September 2022, on air on Alt-Info’s programme Dghis Komentari at 13:00, former MP, Temur Maisuradze, and programme anchor, Marika Kublashvili, discussed excerpts of Evelyn Farkas’s interview with Radio Freedom. According to Temur Maisuradze’s assessment, Evelyn Farkas calls on Georgia to start a war: “She says war needs to be started, asserting that if it (Russia) wins there (in Ukraine), we will be screwed.” According to Mr Maisuradze’s claim, if Russia wants to win fight against Georgia, it will need at most 19 guided missiles to fully paralyse the country.” Anchor Marika Kublashvili also manipulated Evelyn Farkas’s words and claimed that according to Ms Farkas’s statement, the West made a mistake in 2008 that the war was not prolonged in Georgia and they were not going to repeat that in Ukraine. The words of Evelyn Farkas were reported manipulatively in the broadcast with a distorted context.
Manipulatively linking Evelin Farkas’s words with calls for Georgia to a start war against Russia is a part of the disinformation campaign which serves to frighten the Georgian public within the context of the war in Ukraine and convince it that the West wants to open second front against Russia in Georgia.
Evelyn Farkas is the Executive Director of the McCain Institute and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence in Barack Obama’s administration for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. In September 2022, Ms Farkas took part in a two-day international conference, entitled Glory to Ukraine, held in Tbilisi. As part of the conference, Evelyn Farkas had an interview with Radio Liberty where she talked about the historical moment which Georgia currently has to join the EU and the risks that the country may squander such a moment.
During her interview, Ms Farkas did not voice either directly or indirectly that Georgia should start a war against Russia. The emphasis was made more about Georgia becoming more politically active, more vocal in its support for Ukraine and spending more efforts to make the Euro-integration process more trustworthy. She expressed concerns that Georgia only got the EU membership perspective as opposed to Ukraine and Moldova: “[In the case of Georgia,] for one, it seems that enough energy was not spent to move Georgia in a forward line. For two, perhaps not everything was done to make sure that the Euro-integration process looked more trustworthy. What concerns me is the moment that Georgia and the Georgian people let this slip out of their hands. Ukraine and Moldova will rather soon be admitted to the EU and what will happen to Georgia?!”
As a part of her interview, Evelyn Farkas unambiguously stated that in moving Georgia in a forward line and becoming more active she implied the “more active involvement of the Government of Georgia in sanctions against Russia since there is no other way in which the Government of Georgia and the US would like to get involved.” According to her statement: “The war that we wage against Russia is an economic war and it would be very beneficial if all democratic countries, which aspire to membership in the EU and the transatlantic community, contributed more to the sanctions because it is what can affect Vladimir Putin’s decisions and eventually may force Russia out of Georgia’s occupied territories.”
In regard to the rhetoric that the Georgian authorities are perhaps afraid of Russia and that is why they do not take tangible steps, Evelyn Farkas stated that when Russia is currently waging a full-scale war against Ukraine, Moscow is unable to open a new front and opening it would be a very costly option for the Kremlin. As she said: “However, if Russia wins in Ukraine, the next morning it will come here and try to control Georgia and Moldova.”
The anchor’s assessment, that Evelyn Farkas ostensibly believes that by stopping the war in Georgia in 2008, the West made a mistake and it is not going to repeat it, is in fact a falsification of her words. In reality, she stated in her interview that the US should have provided more support to Georgia during the war in 2008, although it learned its lessons from the events of 2008 and 2014 which is why it is helping Ukraine now.
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