All the 8 peacemakers (seven junior sergeants and 1 private) who went AWOL from the disposition of their unit in South Ossetia (an unrecognized republic on Georgian territory) are returning to their unit, journalists were told on Wednesday by Major-General Vasily Prizemlin, commander of the Russian peacekeeping force on the territory of South Ossetia.
On the previous day six of the eight peacekeepers who left without permission the disposition of the Tskhinvali cantonment with three submachine guns were detained in the village of Ditsi, Gori district, Georgia.
The search operation was headed by colonel-general Valery Yevnevich, deputy commander of the Russian land troops, and Major-General Vasily Prizemlin, commander of the peacemaking forces on the territory of South Ossetia.
RIA Novosti learned from the RES South-Ossetian news agency with reference to Vasily Prizemlin, that when detained the fugitives did not offer any resistance, explaining their actions by the fact that they had lost their way when returning to the disposition of the battalion.
According to Prizemlin, the servicemen " did not conceal their joy when they saw their own people." As for the other two contract soldiers, their fellow-soldiers said that they had gone to the nearest settlement for products. A car had been sent for them, said the general.
The leaders of the search operation are inclined to believe that the detained men were telling the truth, for they did not hide and asked the local people how to find their way back to the disposition of the Russian peacemaking force.
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