Georgia’s Post-Soviet Journey

Georgia’s Post-Soviet Journey


Growing up, I actually— listening to some
of the TV shows and then the Soviet propaganda, what we realized was then, I actually thought, “How lucky I am to be born in the Soviet Union.” I didn’t realize that there was
any other way. It started with movies, and it started with chewing gum, then we started realizing: “There could be another way that can bring more welfare and more interesting life than what I’m having.” In 1991, 1992, this was the toughest time
for Georgia because it was a war in Abkhazia, the recent government has collapsed, there was no gas, no electricity, people were just begging in the streets, and another part was running with the machine guns in the streets. Nobody thought that this country has any potential at that time. Let me first say that I don’t think that
immediately the shift was to democracy, it was rather a shift to anarchy. Like, the first feeling was that everything is allowed now. Because a lot of things collapsed and we were cold, and we were very often hungry, we started thinking: “What needs to be done for this to change?” It’s about creating the open society in
the country, fostering the rule of law in the country, and advancing human rights in the country. During the transition, in the ’90s, George
Soros understood the very unique features of institutional development in the post-Soviet space, that institutions were not going to be created de novo, overnight, but rather they are creatures of culture and they take a long time to develop and change. I see a role for the foundation as it is: we
provide a support for a better understanding of reality, irrespective of power relations. We have been out there, helping every startup in Georgia, almost every organization that came to us with new ideas. The young people who were experimenting, disability rights, LGBT rights, women rights—we always gave them this opportunity to start something new, to experiment, to try the ideas. Mr. Soros supported this a lot, with his investment in education, higher education, supporting arts and culture, supporting legal aid. There were 16,000 projects supported by the foundation. We need to help those individuals that really think of taking the country into the direction of liberal democracy, and that’s an everyday work. I’m director of Civitas Georgica. We are
focused on local democracy and development of rural territories. Open Society Foundations has contributed very much to strengthening our organization. From the very beginning, the support was showing trust in us that was, beside the financial, also the moral support. And it is very difficult to work for human
rights, and trying to promote human rights. It was difficult and it continues to be difficult. However it’s part of the life. It’s all about believing in your ideals, bright future of living in open society. Georgian independence, and the capacity for Georgia to retain an open society will always be challenged by the existence of imperial
mentality in Russia. The risk of Russia is very credible, and nothing saves us if they decide to come. The only chance for us is to develop our society and to develop our institutions in a way that’s— if people decide to fight, they really believe in what they fight for. The issue that we have been working a lot
on—it’s something that I think is very key for Georgia—is Georgia’s European integration. The overall majority of Georgian population support European integration of this country. Going to the European court of human rights is very important. We select strategic cases, cases that have the potential to change the law, policy, or practice, and if the court rules in favor of us, then we have the tool
to advocate for changes. The society here has developed tremendously. So much that I’ve felt proud. I think and I will stay optimist: we are moving forward, with difficulties, but we are. Democratic values are part of our life and understanding that, we need to fight for it. We are trying to reform ourself from inside, but not closing our society, and this is a difficult path we are going through. And we are going, we are moving.

14 Comments on "Georgia’s Post-Soviet Journey"


  1. Sorros is Pure Demon and satanic person.
    Sorros should leave georgia Alone,
    all Georgians who do receive money from Soros are true betrayers .

    Reply

  2. Georgia between 1990 and 2003 was ruled by a corrupt austerity regime, then a right-wing nationalist took over and ruled form 2004 until 2013. Now Georgia is left with the mess of that nationalist and all the inequality that capitalism creates.

    Reply

  3. Wow the propaganda of the open society is of such low quality. You would think George sores would have paid more propaganda don't work when your target can see the propaganda your pushing.

    Reply

  4. Dont trust pro russian communistic comments and bots.Georgia has undergone magnificent metamorphoses from corrupt-soviet state to being democratic and technological hub in caucasus,with its capital being center of trans-caucasia

    Reply

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