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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…

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