On 10 August 2023, Facebook user Nino Kvaratskhelia disseminated a fabricated quote under Gubaz Sanikidze’s name in social networks. According to the claim in the publication, Mr Sanikidze made the following statement: “Saakashvili’s arrest unsettled the world. The Russians are getting bold here and China is starting to show claws there.”

Of note is that Facebook user Nino Kvaratskhelia has disseminated disinformation before (link 1,2).

To verify the information, FactCheck reached out to Gubaz Sanikidze who confirmed in a telephone interview that the aforementioned phrase does not belong to him. Of additional note is that the quote cannot be found in internet sources.

Further, the photograph which featured the fake quote was taken from TV Pirveli’s Dghis Ambebi programme of 29 September 2021. The programme discussed Mikheil Saakashvili’s possible return to Georgia.

For information, Mikheil Saakashvili announced his arrival to Georgia on 1 October 2021 when he published videos from Batumi. Mr Saakashvili was arrested on 1 October 2021. Therefore, Gubaz Sanikidze would not have been able to talk about Mikheil Saakashvili’s arrest as something that had already happened on a programme which aired on 29 September nor could he have discussed its consequences.

Of note is that a comment of a similar content is not found in other programmes where Gubaz Sanikidze was speaking about China or Mikheil Saakashvili. It is worth noting that when talking about Gubaz Sanikidze's imprisonment in China or Mikheil Saakashvili's imprisonment, similar comments are not found on other programmes. On 6 July 2023, Mr Sanikidze stated the following in regard to Mikheil Saakashvili’s imprisonment on air on TV Pirveli: "It would be right to release Saakashvili for treatment and release him to Ukraine. There are many arguments why the Georgian Dream keeps him in prison - for their nuclear electorate; that is, for Putin. The Georgian Dream does not hide that if Misha Saakashvili is released, the Russians may start a war. We can conclude from here that they are slaves of the Russians and they should do whatever Russians tell them to do.”

On 31 July 2023 on air on TV Formula, Gubaz Sanikidze also talked Georgia-China relations within the context of general discussions about China. The aforementioned statement can also not be found in that programme.

Therefore, the quote in social networks is fake and falsely attributed to Gubaz Sanikidze.

Of note is that disinformation about Gubaz Sanikidze is frequently disseminated in the social network. See FactCheck’s articles: 1,2,3,4,5,6.


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