Georgia claims Russia had deployed military troops in Abkhazia
The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Georgia issued a statement on Friday night, in which it was said that Russia had illegally deployed its military men and “armed groups of the Confederation of Caucasian mountain nations” in Abkhazia.
”There is reliable information, which says that Russia has deployed several special military teams in Abkhazia via the Abkhazian part of the border between Russia and Georgia. In addition, armed groups of the Confederation of Caucasian mountain nations are currently being concentrated in Abkhazia's capital Sukhumi. A lot of members of those groups conducted subversive activities in Shamil Basayev's terrorist groups in Abkhazia,” the statement from the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry runs.
The Georgian ministry also set out its protest against the deployment of several hundreds of Russian military men in the republic of Abkhazia. In addition, spokesmen for the ministry called upon the Russian government to take measures to withdraw Russian military men from the republic and to refrain from any actions that could exacerbate the situation in the conflict area, Itar Tass reports.
Abkhazian Prime Minister Nodar Khashba stated that the statement from the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry was nothing but lies. “This is absolutely not true. There is no reason for such information to appear, and there cannot be any comments made on the matter either,” the prime minister told Interfax. “The armed forces of the republic keep the situation in Abkhazia under control, and there is no need to deploy other forces in our country,” said he.
The Russian Defense Ministry also rejected Georgia's statement about the deployment of Russian military men in Abkhazia. The chairman of the press service of the Russian military department, Vyacheslav Sedov, told Interfax that there were Russian peacemakers in the area of the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia. “The peacemakers have been stationed there within the scope of the CIS mandate,” Sedov said. “No other additional units have been deployed in Abkhazia,” the official spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said