Tuesday, October 4, 2008
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili replaced the country’s military leader on Tuesday, saying “shortcomings” during a war with Russia need addressing.
“We must not forget that the enemy still stands at our door,” said Saakashvili, who had not previously criticised the military’s performance despite Russia driving the Georgian army from breakaway South Ossetia in just a few days in August’s war.
“I want to thank the previous chief of the general staff, but I also want to say that the shortcomings we uncovered must be eliminated,” he said.
Russian troops pulled back from buffer zones last month to within South Ossetia and the second breakaway region of Abkhazia, having repelled a Georgian bid to retake South Ossetia from pro-Moscow separatists.
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Several thousand Russian troops remain in both regions, which the Kremlin has recognised as independent states.
Tens of thousands of Georgian villagers displaced by the fighting remain homeless.
Pro-Western Saakashvili, under fire from opponents over his handling of the crisis, told a meeting of Defence Ministry officials he had replaced Chief of Staff Zaza Gogava.
This article was posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm