The former Minister of Defense of Georgia, Juansher Burchuladze, confirmed that Davit Khidasheli, the partner of the sanctioned Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov, was appointed as his advisor. It is possible that Khidasheli had access to classified information.

"Davit Khidasheli was my advisor for some time. You know that we were working on the Davit Gareji case, and Davit was also involved in this issue. Just in relation to this issue, if we needed him for something, we would ask him," said Juansher Burchuladze to Mtavari Arkhi.

When asked whether Khidasheli is still serving as an advisor to the Minister of Defense, Burchuladze said that "probably, he will not be serving today."

According to information from Mtavari Arkhi and a document obtained by them, an administrative contract was signed with Khidasheli, and his monthly salary was 1000 GEL.

The Ministry of Defense explained that Davit Khidasheli is currently not employed by the agency.

Khidasheli told Mtavari Arkhi that he was consulting with the Georgian authorities on the issue of the demarcation of Davit Gareji, although he never received a salary for this.

Davit Khidasheli was the vice president of the Russian corporation Sistema from 2007 to 2014. Sistema is a large conglomerate supporting the annexation of Crimea. It includes the company Kronstadt, which has been producing military drones since 2021 and serves the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

The owner of System is Vladimir Yevtushenkov, who was sanctioned by Great Britain, Australia, Ukraine, and New Zealand after the start of the war in Ukraine. Yevtushenkov is among Putin's closest circle. In November 2023, it became known that System was authorized by the United States of America. In the statement of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury, System is mentioned as one of the largest Russian public diversified holding companies.

Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Vladimir Putin, 2009

Yevtushenkov has a close relationship with former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili. In 2022, according to a hidden audio recording circulated on the Internet, Davit Khidasheli was a "messenger" between Yevtushenkov and Ivanishvili.

Khidasheli is the main figure in the case of the so-called cartographers. Khidasheli provided the map on which the Georgian Prosecutor's Office based the entire accusation regarding the issue of Davit Gareji. For this "merit," he received thanks from Ivanishvili.

The election campaign of "Georgian Dream" #GarejiGeorgia in 2020 was based on the case of Davit Gareji. The government arrested the former members of the State Border Delimitation and Demarcation Commission, Iveri Melashvili and Natalia Ilichova. They argued that, according to the order received from the previous government, the section of the border adjacent to Davit Gareji was agreed to the detriment of the interests of Georgia, due to which part of the Gareji monument and monastery complex ended up on the side of Azerbaijan. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili accused the arrested cartographers of treason and stated that the oppositional National Movement, which transferred territories to others and committed anti-national crimes, should be abolished.

In April 2022, the Georgian government handed over 104,712 hectares of forest in Racha and Kvemo Svaneti, near the Russian border and the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region, to Davit Khidasheli's company for 49 years. In November 2023, the government revoked this decision after whistleblowing, litigation, and prolonged protests.

Georgian News
Georgian News
is an independent socio-political online edition. The website is operated by the Information Resources Network (IRN).