August 23, 2008
Georgia’s independence-leaning republics are to come under Georgian onslaught, high-ranking Russian military official has revealed.
Russia’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said “We have registered an increase in [Georgia’s] reconnaissance activities and preparations for armed actions in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone,” Ria Novosti reported Friday.
Georgia’s attempt at beefing up its firepower over the past few years, which Nogovitsyn referred to, will fast-track the pending move. The Russian official produced statistics that showed the number of Georgian tanks, armored vehicles and artillery weapons had almost doubled since 2005.
Russia, however, has remained committed to its promises of retreating from Georgia into the neutral area it has been allowed to establish near South Ossetia by the six-point cessation agreement the two sides inked earlier.
Moscow will constitute a minority of one in recognizing the two republics’ independence, should the parliament approve the move during its convention on the matter due on Monday.
On Thursday, the South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity joined the thousands of the province’s public in the capital Tskhinvali chanting pro-autonomy slogans. A similar rally was staged in Abkhazia where the local assembly had earlier urged Moscow to support its quest for independence.
Georgia is estimated to have caused damages of USD 4.1 billion in South Ossetia which sustained an all-out Georgian attack on August 8. Russian forces, then, barreled towards the area defending the province’s civilians, 80 percent of whom have Russian citizenship.
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