Georgia Withdraws

by Nathan Hamm on 8/20/2004

In a follow-up to yesterday’s story, Georgia has turned over the strategic hills overlooking Georgian villages and South Ossetian milita positions to peacekeepers. Additionally, it is withdrawing its extra troops in South Ossetia, leaving behind 500 to protect Georgian villages. All of this is part of a last chance for peace.

In the battle to seize these heights, Georgia claims that it killed 8 Cossack mercenaries from Russia. South Ossetia denies the presence of mercenaries.

As it is pulling out troops, Georgia is warning that they can easily return in the case of attacks on Georgian villages in South Ossetia. Specifically, Interior Minister Irakli Okruashvili reminded South Ossetia that, “It will take us only 15 minutes to get from Gori to Tskhinvali.”

Georgia is calling for the internationalization of the peacekeeping mission, calling it “a vital precondition for the final resolution of the conflict.”

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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