She has become the symbol of Georgians’ anger. In a video shot on March 7, 2023, during a demonstration in Tbilisi, Nana Malachkhia persists in waving the European flag. This 47-year-old official was however hit by a powerful jet of water held by the police. If she staggers, Nana Malachkhia holds firm, helped by other demonstrators. Since then, this video widely relayed on social networks has become the symbol of the population’s aspiration to join the European Union and their anger at the ambiguity of their government with Russia.
Because attacks on this objective of joining Europe, which is nevertheless enshrined in the country’s Constitution, are increasing. A few hours before this demonstration of March 7, the vote of a law in first instance in Parliament set fire to the powder. Directly inspired by a Russian law, it would have had the effect of muzzling the independent media and the opposition, while the next elections will take place in 2024. Faced with the scale of the popular revolt, the government withdrew the text, while not closing the door to a future return of the bill to Parliament.
Should we fear a new Russian interference in Georgia, already invaded by Russia in 2008? In this episode of the “L’Heure du Monde” podcast, Faustine Vincent, journalist with the international service, explains the particular situation of this former Soviet republic torn between its European aspirations and its history with Russia.
Thanks to Irma Inaridze for her help with the translation.
An episode of Marion Bothorel. Directed by: Florentin Baume. Presentation and editor-in-chief: Jean-Guillaume Santi. In this episode: testimony of Nana Malachkhia, protester against the so-called “foreign agents” bill. Excerpts from a video in the Georgian Parliament on March 6, 2023, from a video by the Formula News and Batumelebi media broadcast on March 7, 2023, from an INA archive of “12-13 hours” from the national edition of France 3 on August 9, 2008, from the interview on France Inter at 8:20 a.m. with Salomé Zourabichvili on February 28, 2022.
“The Hour of the World”
“L’Heure du Monde” is the daily news podcast of the World. Listen every day, from 6 a.m., to a new episode, on Lemonde.fr or on Spotify. Find all the episodes here.