Russian officials beg to differ with Western critics who claim that Russia’s ongoing presence in the Georgian port town of Poti violates the terms of the cease-fire agreement between the neighboring nations, insisting that the remaining Russian forces are of the peacekeeping, not the combative, variety.


Gen Nogovitsyn, who said Russia was not the Soviet Union or the Evil Empire, accused Georgia of preparing acts of sabotage in South Ossetia and preparing troops for “further actions”.

He also warned that should the US start rearming the Georgian army, Russia might enlarge its peacekeeping force.

Moscow intends to maintain what it describes as a peacekeeping presence of 2,600 troops in “buffer zones” around Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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