A member of the Power of the People public movement, Zurab Kadagidze, published a photograph of Lelo Chairperson, Mamuka Khazaradze, in social networks. The caption of the photograph is as follows: “What was happening on the Moscow-Tbilisi flight? I will wait for your answer, but please do not start that marvellously anti-Putinist Russians had arrived and you were meeting them. So, I’m all ears.”

Zurab Kadagidze’s photograph, which was taken in the airport, was published on 21 August 2023 and soon went viral (1,2,3,4,5) in social networks. The authors of the publication claim that Mamuka Khazaradze flew to Moscow. In fact, Mr Khazaradze had nothing to do with the Tbilisi-Moscow flight. The photographs show that he took a flight from Batumi to Tbilisi on 20 August and then afterwards continued to Germany.

TV Imedi also made a publication about the story.

Mamuka Khazaradze responded to TV Imedi on his official Facebook page where he also posted photographs of his plane tickets. The publication reads: “Yesterday evening, I flew from Batumi to Tbilisi and this morning I took a flight to Germany. How do you see Moscow everywhere? These are tickets from Batumi. If you would like, I can post a selfie with nice views of Germany. Maybe you can differentiate it from Moscow. Good luck with geography.” After Mr Khazaradze’s publication, Zurab Kadagidze himself also posted where he indicated the possibility that Mamuka Khazaradze flew from Batumi and not from Moscow.

According to the data of Tbilisi International Airport, the aircraft that flew from Batumi to Tbilisi landed at the airport on 20 August 2023 at 22:00. At the same time, the Vnukovo-Tbilisi flight also landed at 22:00 with a 35-minute delay. Therefore, passengers from both the Moscow and the Batumi flights would have ended up together in the same arrivals hall. Therefore, this could be the reason that gave rise to disinformation that Mamuka Khazaradze was in Moscow. Of note is that the number of the Batumi-Tbilisi flight (D40304) is in line with the number on the flight tickets that Mr Khazaradze published.

Therefore, the claim that Mamuka Khazaradze flew to Moscow lacks evidence. According to the information given by Mr Khazaradze himself, he arrived in Tbilisi on the Batumi-Tbilisi flight.


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