Aug 16, 2010

Russian occupation forces conducting military exercise in Abkhazia and Spouth Osetia

At the second anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, the Russian occupational troops are conducting planned military exercises at the so-called fourth military base in Tskhinvali. Several units of heavy machinery have been involved in the exercises. Soldiers are being trained in laying out and setting up arms as well.

Four thousand Russian soldiers and about 900 border guards are deployed at the administrative borderline of the occupied territory now.

International Crisis Group NGO reports that the Russian armament at the scene includes T72 and T90 tanks, artillery machines, air defence systems and military aviation. Read More..

Colonel General Alexander Zelin, commander of the Russian air forces, said on August 11.

"We have deployed S-300 system on the territory of Abkhazia, which in coordination with the air defense systems of the land forces is tasked with air defense of the territory," Zelin was quoted by the Itar-Tass, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies.

He said that S-300 missile system "will cover only facilities located on the territory of Abkhazia". Air defense of South Ossetia is provided with other systems, Zelin said.

The task of these air defense systems, he said, "is also to prevent violation of Abkhaz and South Ossetian airspace and to destroy any aircraft intruding into thier airspace no matter what their purpose might be."

Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said on August 11: "It stresses once again that Russia does not care about the fates of Abkhazians and South Ossetians. They need territories to demonstrate their force in this region and first of all, it is NATO that should be concerned about it," Iakobashvili added.