Russian military units have started military trainings in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, the State Security Service of Georgia has confirmed in a statement.
The State Security Service says there was a small fire during the trainings which will be put out by the rescue services of the Russian military forces. The State Security Service says the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is informed.
“According to the information received via the hotline, there are military trainings being held by Russian occupation forces on the occupied territories of Georgia. Also, according to the information received via the hotline, a small fire occurred on the occupied territory, which will be put out shortly by the so called rescuing services of Russian occupation forces,” reads the statement issued by the State Security Service.
Information about the planned military trainings was released in late July 2017. It was known that 16,000 soldiers would be involved in the trainings with more than 4,000 units of military weaponry. Reportedly there are new technical units involved. The fire was reportedly caused by shootings going on near a forest.
In June 2017, Russia held large-scale military trainings in Georgia’s region of Abkhazia, Abkhaz media reported, based on information released by the Russian military’s 7th Southern Base in Abkhazia. The main aim of the trainings are to train soldiers for military readiness.
The Government of Georgia issued an official statement condemning Russia’s actions, stating it is a rough violation of the 2008 ceasefire agreement.
“Such maneuvers serve as a danger not just to Georgia, and are a challenge not just to the security of Georgia, but to the entire region and Europe as a whole,” stated State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.
On May 7, the U.S. House of Representatives published an act that the U.S. administration will not financially support any countries which recognize the independence of the de facto republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. U.S. President Donald Trump signed the act on May 6.
Read about Russia’s creeping occupation here.