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Bidzina Ivanishvili: Who’s the Putin-linked billionaire behind Georgia unrest? | World Information

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He’s the puppet grasp of Georgian politics – a person of fabulous wealth and extraordinary energy. 

And Georgian oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili is the main focus of intense opposition as unrest sweeping his country reaches boiling point.

From humble origins, he left Georgia to build up immense wealth in Russia by way of shut ties with Putin’s chosen few, the kleptocratic elites who’ve helped themselves to the nation’s riches in return for full loyalty to the Kremlin.

He’s mentioned to be value no less than $5bn (£3.98bn), a 3rd of his nation’s GDP.

After returning to Georgia, he acquired huge affect in his homeland.

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He says he has withdrawn from frontline politics however, as chairman of the Georgian Dream social gathering, Ivanishvili is the ability behind the throne, an eminence grise, say his critics, working from the shadows because the puppet grasp of the nation’s energy struggles.

He chooses the nation’s prime ministers. Three of the final 4 have been former managers of his firms.

Georgia’s inside minister is a former bodyguard of Ivanishvili, its former well being minister was his spouse’s dentist, an training minister one among his kids’s maths tutors. The listing goes on.

To many, Ivanishvili’s life-style would possibly sound extra James Bond villain than tycoon.

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Police ‘stamping’ on Georgia protesters

Within the hills overlooking the capital Tbilisi, he has a futuristic mansion mentioned to have a shark-infested pool.

He collects different unique animals, together with kangaroos and lemurs, and has a penchant for unique timber – uprooting uncommon 135-year-old specimens with big controversy and hauling them off to his tree park.

However it’s his alleged ties with Russia which might be probably the most controversial and murky.

Many Georgians say they’re sceptical of his claims to have bought his companies and ended his investments in Russia years in the past.

Pic: Reuters
Police have been going through off towards protesters in Georgia. Pic: Reuters

Learn extra:
What is the ‘Russian law’ that has Georgians protesting?
Georgian opposition politician beaten by hooded thugs

Ivanishvili and his Georgian Dream social gathering are attempting to push by way of parliament a brand new regulation that has triggered the most important unrest in Georgia in years.

The ‘international agent’ invoice, because it’s identified, would give the federal government extra management over the media and human rights organisations. It’s modelled on legal guidelines Putin has used to tighten his personal authoritarian grip on Russia.

Tens of hundreds of Georgians have demonstrated towards the invoice.

With its remaining studying due this week, the unrest is heading for a crunch level.

Protesters are decided to thwart the person they see as Putin’s puppet. They consider if he prevails he’ll finish their dream of nearer ties with Europe and eventual membership of the European Union.

At stake is each Georgia’s nationwide id and Vladimir Putin’s capability to keep up management and affect on this former Soviet republic.

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