Latest Issue

Saakashvili’s gambit

Why did the Georgian president crack down on the Tbilisi protests? And what does this tell us about the leader of the "rose revolution"?

By Daria Vaisman   January 2008

A few Fridays ago, some of us were at a Tbilisi restaurant on the fourth anniversary of Georgia’s “rose revolution.” When the fireworks started, we crowded into the restaurant’s small back room to watch. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, the man who had ushered in the revolution, would be stepping down that Monday, after brutally dispersing a peaceful demonstration and closing down the main independent news station in town. One of the women looked at her friend with a smirk. “So this is where our money went,” she said.

We smirked along, then wondered: how did it go so wrong? When…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect