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VEDANTA MASS MEDIARussia sends reinforcements to Abkhazia
 


            

 

  


             Russia sends reinforcements to Abkhazia

             Vladimir Radyuhin


           Georgian troops serving in Iraq have rushed back, says Moscow

 

 

     MOSCOW: Three days after sending in troops to South Ossetia, Russia has deployed more forces in Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, effectively opening a second front in its military operation in the former Soviet republic.

 

     The force consists of more than 9,000 troops and more than 350 armoured vehicles, said a spokesman for Russias peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia. He described the deployment as strengthening of the peacekeeping contingent in the region. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in Abkhazia since 1994 following a conflict where the coastal region broke away from Tbilisis control.

 

     Peacekeepers commander in Abkhazia, General Sergei Chaban, said he had issued an ultimatum on Monday to Georgian forces in the Upper Kodori Gorge, a demilitarised part of Abkhazia, to disarm or face an attack. Georgia had moved in troops and artillery in the region two years ago in violation of the 1994 ceasefire agreement with Abkhazia.

 

     If the ultimatum is rejected all necessary enforcement measures will be used, said the Russian commander. Russia has continued to build up military pressure on Georgia even as its President Mikheil Saakashvili reportedly pleaded for peace. The Russian Air Force has established full superiority in the Georgian airspace, Russias deputy chief of General Staff General, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said at a Moscow news briefing on Monday. Russian warplanes carried out more strikes against Georgian targets, including an aircraft factory where Georgias Su-25 warplanes were assembled. Russian warships deployed off Georgias Black Sea coast have sunk a Georgian gunboat, when four gunboats entered the zone of blockade, said General Notovitsyn.

 

     French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who is leading a mediation mission to Georgia, said he had obtained Mr. Saakashvilis agreement to sign a peace plan and would now take it to Moscow. However, later on Monday, Georgian forces resumed bombardment of South Ossetias capital, Tskhinvali, and Russian positions in the region, killing three Russian peacekeepers.

 

 

     Casualties rise

 

 

     Russian military losses in South Ossetia have risen to 18 men killed, 14 missing and about 50 wounded, said General Nogovitsyn. Russia has also admitted losing four warplanes. The Deputy Chief of Staff said that contrary to Tbilisis claims some Georgian forces remained in South Ossetia, even as they suffered considerable losses.

 

     

     U.S. military aircraft on Sunday transported 800 Georgian troops serving in Iraq, along with about 11 tonnes of cargo, back to Georgia, said General Nogovitsyn, adding that Russia would deploy additional forces to offset these Georgian reinforcements.

 

     Russias President Dmitry Medvedev vowed never to relinquish Russias strategic hold on the Caucasus and that Russia had to intervene militarily to stop Georgias disgusting aggression against South Ossetia.

 

     Russia has historically been a guarantor of security in the Caucasus, said Mr. Medvedev at the Kremlin. We have never been and will never be passive onlookers in the region, he added. At a meeting with Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov on Monday, Mr. Medvedev said a major part of operations in South Ossetia had been completed. Russias Prime Minister Vladimir Putin slammed the West for supporting Georgia its aggression against South Ossetia.

 

     Meanwhile, a row has broken out between Russia and Ukraine over the latters support for Georgia in the current crisis. Ukraine said it may not allow Russian warships patrolling in the Black Sea to return to their base in Sevastopol.

 

     

     The Hindu

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 


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