Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated Sunday that Russia would begin to withdraw its troops from Georgia on August 18. Peacemakers and units of the 58th army, which participated in the peace-enforcement operation after Georgia’s aggression in South Ossetia, will thus leave the territory of Georgia. The decision marked Moscow’s initiative in the implementation of the document originally signed by Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
It seems that Georgia does not intend to abide by its obligations. Nothing has been reported about Georgia’s plans to pull out its troops from the conflict zone. Moreover, Russian defense officials said that Georgia was conducting subversive military activities in the Caucasus. To crown it all it was said that Georgia was developing a massive provocation against Russia in the town of Gori.
“An armed group consisting of Georgian and Ukrainian nationalists and Georgia-based Chechen terrorists is being urgently formed on the outskirts of Gori. They plan to make their way to Gori and wear Russian military informs to pillage and torment the local population,” an official of the Russian Defense Ministry said. He added that the information had been received through intelligence and radio intercept.
All the actions will be filmed on video tape and then presented to the world as “the proof of Russia’s military atrocities in Georgia.”
Russia ’s peacemaking headquarters informed the population of Gori of the imminent provocation.
“Russian peacemakers remain on their positions. None of them has entered Gori. We officially proclaim that the Georgian authorities will be wholly responsibly for the provocation in case it becomes impossible to avoid it,” a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Needless to say that Georgia’s Foreign Ministry rebutted the information.
It is worthy of note that Russia has already suppressed an act of sabotage on Georgia’s part. In addition, a group of people wearing Russian military uniforms was spotted in the area of Zugdidi.
Zaur Alborov, an independent military observer told Utro.ru that a group of Ukrainian and Baltic mercenaries had been formed in Kutaisi.
“They were seen wearing the uniform of the Russian army and wielding Russian weapons. Several people carrying photo and video equipment were seen with them too,” the observer said.
Russian military men found a map of Abkhazia’s invasion and other documents in a Georgian military unit.
“Georgian troops were supposed to conduct land and air attacks in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia to enter its capital, Sukhumi. Other documents that we have testify to the fact that the information, which Georgia obtained with the help of unmanned aerial aircraft, was distributed among all commanders of Georgian units,” a Russian defense official said.
In the meantime, President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity signed a decree to dismiss the government of the unrecognized republic and declare a state of emergency in his nation. The S. Ossetian leader said that the new government was not going to appear in his country soon.
Kokoity also set up an emergency committee to restore the capital of Tskhinvali and its outskirts.
The S. Ossetian president criticized the members of the S. Ossetian government for inadequate execution of instructions in the distribution of the humanitarian aid in the republic.
“I am thoroughly dissatisfied with the work of the government, of practically all services,” Kokoity stated.
I want to set up the government without intrigues. I want to set up the government that will work and fully satisfy the needs of the people of South Ossetia. Officials must work for the people, but not use their position for their personal well-being,” the head of the unrecognized republic said.
Nearly 599 tons of humanitarian cargo had been delivered to Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia ruined as a result of Georgia’s aggression by August 16.
In the meantime, the exchange of prisoners of war between Georgia and Russia, which was supposed to take place Monday, has failed.
“In accordance with norms of international law, the exchange of prisoners between Georgia and Russia based on the principle ‘all to all’ was supposed to take place Monday at 12:00 p.m, “Andrei Bobrun, a senior defense official in the Northern Caucasus said.
Russia originally intended to deliver eleven prisoners to Georgia and subsequently added three other men on its list. Russia’s Defense Ministry hoped to receive five prisoners from Georgia in return. However, Georgia unexpectedly set forth defense and political requirements during the talks.
“Georgia’s requirements were in no way connected with the exchange of prisoner,” the official added.
Russia reportedly has about 200 Georgian prisoners of war. According to Bobrun, Russia is willing to exchange all the Georgians to Russian military men, who found themselves in Georgia’s captivity or citizens of South Ossetia, whom Georgian servicemen kidnapped during the military operation in Tskhinvali and other settlements of South Ossetia.