The Marika Mari Facebook account has disseminated fabricated quotes attributed to the Chairperson of the Georgian Dream and the Tbilisi Mayor in the Victorious Irakli Gharibashvili 41 Facebook group(1,2,3,4,5). In fact, neither Irakli Kobakhidze nor Kakha Kaladze have made such statements in regard to the Shovi tragedy. The aforementioned Facebook account seeks to discredit the authorities in light of the Shovi tragedy.

Below is a collection of posts made by the Facebook account which contain fabricated quotes attributed to Irakli Kobakhidze:

Publication 1: “Wild boar meat does not spoil in the bag for three days. It is the same in the case of human meat. This is proven by forensics. Therefore, the quick arrival of the rescue helicopter there was not necessary. Some people said that corpses in bags would decompose. This is a provocation.”

Publication 2: “It is good that we do not have even more corpses. We acted quickly and saved people. For us, the lives of people are very important.”

Publication 3: “I do not know anything. I was in a Jacuzzi on the disaster day and observed the events by internet. It was said that on that day, two people died and I do not anything more. Thank God that more people were not killed.”

Publication 4: “This is a sacrifice to God.”

Publication 5: “Presumably, two or three people died as a result of the landslide, not more. Journalists are reporting false information that 30 people died. I was in a Jacuzzi when this happened. It was reported then that two people died.”

Publication 6: “Reportedly, 18 people died. It is good that this figure did not increase to 20. Thank God that a big tragedy did not happen.”

The same Facebook account attributed the following quotes to the Mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze:

Publication 1: “I took my children from the disaster zone and ran away. I do not know the date of the others. I do not know the situation, I’m the Mayor of Tbilisi and I have my own job. I do not interfere in such cases, please contact the relevant professionals.”

Publication 2: “When we ran away and I was on the run, I noticed an 18-year-old girl on the road, her hands were in the air and she was asking for help. I saw myself how she was swallowed up by the landslide but what could I have done? I could not get close to her. I was running and the landslide was chasing me.”

Publication 3: “Kaladze pledged that new cottages and hotels will be built at the site of the landslide in summer 2024. We will not be frightened by landslides. Life goes on.”

Publication 4: “Thanks to Bidzina for saving my children.”

Publication 5: “On the one hand, I enjoyed it. I love extreme situations. The land is chasing you as you are running away. It was a great pleasure.”

Publication 6: “When the rescue helicopter was called, me and my children jumped in there in the first place and took a flight to Tbilisi. My wife was flying to Milan for shopping and I was in a hurry. The others were dirty with mud and they could not have boarded the helicopter anyway.”

On 3 August 2023, a landslide engulfed Shovi. As of 7 August 2023, the landslide killed 18 people and 17 are still missing. To commemorate the victims of the disaster, the Georgian Prime Minister declared 7 August as a day of mourning.

Irakli Kobakhidze and Kakha Kaladze made several statements in regard to the tragedy. The Chairperson of the Georgian Dream stated:

“It is very important that no one should rush to conclusions. Understandably, there are strong emotions right now and this is absolutely understandable but ultimately, light will be shed on everything. Therefore, it is desirable that no one rushes to conclusions. I would like to reiterate that there are competent structures, organisations and people who are capable of making detailed conclusions about everything.”

The Mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze made the following publication about Shovi tragedy on his official Facebook page:

“The tragedy in Shovi has shaken Georgia. It is impossible to describe with words this devastating reality which this disaster brought us. I would like to send my most heartfelt condolences to the family members and relatives of victims of the Shovi tragedy. I would like to send condolences to the whole Georgia! I would like to thank all who are involved in uninterrupted work together with our heroic rescuers. In these difficult moments, the whole of Georgia prays for those that are missing.”

The Georgian Dream’s chairperson visited Shovi on 5 August 2023. Irakli Kobakhidze stated: “I would like to thank the rescuers, police officers and soldiers who are working day and night to save as many lives as possible. The situation is not easy and let’s hope that as many people will be saved as possible.”

On 6 August 2023, the Mayor of Tbilisi also visited the disaster area. Kakha Kaladze stated: “We remember the disaster that happened. Rescue work is ongoing and each person has the possibility to receive all information about what is going on. All bodies are involved and mobilised and the government is doing its best in this difficult situation.”

Therefore, the quotes that were attributed to the leaders of the ruling party and posted in the Facebook group are fake. The aim of the author of those fabricated quotes is to discredit Irakli Kobakhidze and Kakha Kaladze.


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