Russia Launches Large-Scale Military Exercises in Breakaway Regions

After a wave of “borderization” activities, which Russian troops have intensified this July along the administrative boundary line (ABL) between Georgia and its breakaway Tskhinvali region(South Ossetia), placing the so-called “state border” signposts deep into Georgia’s controlled territory, now the Kremlin has launched large-scale military exercises on Georgian land.

In particular, Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that on August 17, the Russian Federation started large-scale military exercises at the military base of the Southern Military District, including in Georgia's occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.

Based on the official website of the Russian Defence Ministry, the MFA statement further adds that the exercises involve the use of modern weapons such as Grad-M, Uragan and Smerch multiple launch rocket systems; 152-mm and 122-mm towed howitzer pieces; Msta-С and D-30; towed artillery pieces; Nona and other military systems. The exercises will continue until September 18.

Yesterday the Russian army of the Southern Military District was also deployed in the North Caucasus and in the occupied Tskhinvali region, which started field exercises using new generation communications systems. The field exercises currently involve more than 2000 troops and over 500 pieces of special communications equipment.

The MFA notes that in parallel to military exercises, Russia continues to violate Georgia-controlled airspace. In particular, yesterday at 10:57am, a Russian military MI-8 helicopter entered Georgian-controlled airspace from the occupied Khelchua village and flew over the Zardiaantkari village in Gori. After violating Georgian airspace, the helicopter continued moving towards occupied Akhalgori.

“Such actions of the Russian Federation are of provocative character posing threat to maintaining peace and stability in the region. The Georgian Foreign Ministry demands from the Russian Federation to comply with the fundamental principles of international law, as well as with the international commitments undertaken by Russia, including under the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008, and to de-occupy the Georgian territories,” the MFA statement reads.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry thereby calls upon the international community, in particular, the EU Monitoring Mission and the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions to duly assess Russia’s activities directed against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

20 August 2015 17:35