Thursday, Oct 23, 2008
Georgia said Thursday Russia had deployed 2,000 additional troops into South Ossetia in the past week and was preparing “provocations” in the breakaway territory.
“In the past week, Russia increased the number of troops by 2,000 to 7,000 staff,” Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili told a news conference.
“We fear Russia is preparing provocations in South Ossetia,” he said.
There was no immediate response from Russian authorities.
Utiashvili said dozens of Russian armoured vehicles had been positioned in the disputed Akhalgori region, the southeastern corner of South Ossetia which Georgia insists should be returned to Tbilisi’s control under a French-brokered cease-fire deal.
Russia sent troops and tanks into Georgia in August to repel an offensive by the Georgian military to retake pro-Russian South Ossetia, which threw off Tbilisi’s rule in 1991-92.