Mikhail Saakashvili gives a televised address during Georgia's war with Russia in 2008
Courtesy Reuters


Natalia Antelava

In his recent article “So Long, Saakashvili,” Thomas de Waal sums up the presidency of Georgia’s Mikhail Saakashvili as a “rebranding exercise” for a country with such a mixed political legacy that it is hard to disentangle myth from reality. As a Georgian, I find such a definition of my country’s last decade both grossly inaccurate and degrading.

I was born and raised in Georgia. In 1998, at the age of 19, I won a scholarship to study in the United States. It was an incredible opportunity, but the Georgian government stood in the

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