Russian Military Say Georgia ‘Restoring Combat Capabilities’

Georgia is planning "a military attack" on Abkhazia with the aim of capturing the breakaway region’s capital, Sokhumi, Anatoly Nogovitsin, the deputy chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, said.

"We possess serious intelligence data about it," Nogovitsin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying at a news conference in Moscow on August 25.

He, however, declined to elaborate further into details, saying that he would do so at a news conference on August 26.

Nogovitsin, who has held daily press conferences since the armed conflict with Georgia began, said that Georgian forces were continuing efforts "to restore combat capabilities."

"They are restoring communication systems and are planning to bring soldiers back to their military barracks in Gori and Senaki," Nogovitsin said.

Georgian television stations reported on August 25 that a Georgian military unit usually deployed in Senaki was returning to barracks in the town. Georgian TV aired brief comments by officials in Senaki, in which they said the military barracks and infrastructure there had been totally destroyed by Russian troops.

Nogovitsin also insisted at the news conference that Senaki was within "the zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping forces." Russian troops are maintaining a checkpoint in the village of Teklati, just outside Senaki. Russia also has a checkpoint at the entrance to the port town of Poti.

[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 25Aug08]

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