OSTAP BENDER’S NEW-VASYUKI AND LAZIKA
15 December, 2011
OSTAP BENDER’S NEW-VASYUKI AND LAZIKA

Interview with Soso Tsiskarishvili, political scientist

Current events in Moscow once again proved that the anamnesis of undemocratic authorities can be identical. If in Putin’s and Medvedev’s speeches we substitute the word ‘America’ with ‘Russia’ the result will be Mikheil Saakashvili’s speech regarding the protest rallies. We are discussing interesting political events of the week with Soso Tsiskarishvili, political scientist:

 

Q. – According to the unofficial version of IRI social studies Saakashvili and ‘National Movement’ are leading in Georgia. But according to

the official version of the Institute of Social Studies and Analysis, ‘National Movement’ and Saakashvili collected about half of the votes recorded in IRI studies. How would you assess the new picture of correlation of political forces presented to people in different versions?

S.T. – At the presentation of studies carried out by the Institute of Research and Analysis, Mr. Iago Kachkachishvili officially and publicly presented to the audience the results of studies. We got used to the reality when somebody is carrying out confidential studies, then some unidentified source hands it over to media and discussions ensue about the studies, whose original version was not seen by anybody. The most important thing is that the organization that orders the study keeps mum; the same is done by the organization that carries out the study and as a result people start guessing whether the data correspond the facts, would anybody confirm them or not. For me the results of the study presented by professor Kachkachishvili was a pleasant exception. The presentation was extremely interesting because the author was rather self-critical, he more than once pointed at the deviation in the study and probable degree of trustworthiness. This in its turn assures us that he isn’t striving to present his own data as truth but is trying to come as close to it as possible. It carries a huge amount of information only part of which was voiced at the presentation.

Q. – According to the ratings published last week, what tendencies are revealed in the balance of existing forces?

S.T. – For me the most significant is that not-yet-established party, a person not yet having citizenship are considered to be one of the main political hope of the country and the people don’t care according to whose whim he was deprived of  citizenship and whether his citizenship will be restored. Ivanishvili is supported and it’s a reality, not a myth. The rest, as it’s said, is a technical matter.

Q. – The President’s declaration about construction of Lazika, a new city, probably was an unexpected joy for Georgian people. According to him in ten years there will be at least half a million inhabitants there.

S.T. – Ostap Bender, Ilf and Petrov’s hero had identical idea – he was throwing dust in peoples’ eyes promising to construct New-Vasyuki. I’m sure our President has much more resources than primitive swindler Bender but when the first person of the country first voices the idea and afterwards others beat their brains out trying to implement it, regardless the fact whether the idea is healthy or doomed, it’s a precondition of failure of its realization.

It’s OK, let him build and beautify Georgia but maybe they’ll first notify us based on what budgetary sums is construction of such a city feasible? It will take at least nine months, right? Suppose we believe that half a million people will turn up in Georgia because of Lazika. Yes, but whose incomes will decrease? What projects will face cutting in the country with seven billion of state debt? Maybe Mr. Zurab Adeishvili tells us what sums he is fancying to attract from procedural agreements for the construction of Lazika? How many people should become unhappy or get arrested, or be unlawfully fined so that the sums collected in this way, be more or less sufficient for building of Lazika? There are no other sources in the country, are there? And what do we need it for? To bring one more city close to Abkhazs in order to blind their eyes? Isn’t Batumi enough to this end? I can’t share this idea either from strategic, economic, demographic or even political point of view.

Q. – Last week the situation in ‘Maestro’ TV was still tense. The sides are still accusing each other of destructive actions. It’s a pity that in our media space such TV Company as ‘Maestro’ can’t manage full airing of its programs.

S.T. – I remember your appearance on ‘Kavkasia’ TV’s air when ‘Maestro’ was having ‘hot days’. You said that ‘Maestro’ reminds you of a little Mishiko, a character of ‘Caucasian Chalk Circle’ and that its real ‘father’ would  be revealed according to who’d let him go first. Soon the answer to your question became evident; we were convinced that Mamuka Glonti was the real ‘father’ because he saved ‘Maestro’ from ripping into two parts by letting it go, i.e. he left ‘Maestro’ building.

Q. – Let’s say a few words about the conflict regions: as Alla Jioeva, President-elect of so called South Ossetia says she’ll try to ensure fair elections in which she won’t participate. How will the events unfold in Tskhinvali region?

S.T. – Kokoity will have to leave his post before the March elections. At the same time Jioeva refuses to hold the planned inauguration. What else can this tortured and unhappy people living on the territory of South Ossetia do? War, violence, surviving under occupation… They may insist that they are free but these processes have demonstrated where and by whom the decisions are actually made. These events once more underline mediocrity of Russian authorities, the simplicity of the idea they build their policy upon: ’force needs no brains’

Q. – In your opinion what is the situation in Russia today and is there any probability of unfolding of events according to Kyrgyzstan or Egypt scenario?

S.T. – Putin is attempting to imitate Saakashvili. I’m afraid, sometimes it happens that way. For us it isn’t alien at all that Putin, Medvedev and Russian propaganda declare foreign forces as instigators of current processes inside their own country. It’s obvious that Putin’s agents are getting on Saakashvili’s nerves and those of Obama’s – on Putin’s nerves. We are facing the reality according to which in the last count Russian Communists and American Administration agree on one issue and share one idea. Both of them think that the Kremlin has rigged the parliamentary elections. It was hard to imagine that Zuganov would hold the same views as Obama rather than his own administration. By the way, it’s true of Obama too.

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