Georgia Says Russia Has 7,000 Troops in South Ossetia

Russia has deployed as many as 7,000 soldiers in the separatist region of South Ossetia, leading Georgia to suspect “further provocations following a five-day war in August, a Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Shota Utiashvili said Georgia has been monitoring “suspicious movements” by Russia’s military in South Ossetia, the object of Georgia’s war with Russia. “Up to 2,000 soldiers have entered the region which, added to troops already in the area, make at least 7,000,” he said by telephone today in the capital Tbilisi.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, from Georgia on Aug. 26. Only Nicaragua has followed suit. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sept. 8 that his decision to recognize the regions was “final” and “irrevocable.” Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said the following day that Russia had agreed to deploy about 3,800 soldiers in each region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied Georgia’s claim of a Russian troop buildup. “Russia has already announced that under its agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, about 3,700 soldiers will be deployed on the territory of both republics, he said in comments broadcast on state television.”

via Bloomberg Georgia Says Russia Has 7,000 Troops in South Ossetia


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