Conflict & Justice

Partial Russian withdrawal

(What have you seen of the troops withdrawing and of reaction to the withdrawal?) The troops have gone, there is no buffer zone anymore. Now it's just a flattened area where the Russian troops were stationed and it will soon return to its original use as a playground. The Georgians immediately came in upon the withdrawal and hung the Georgian flag and people are pleased, delighted even. But it will still take some time for things to get back to normal. (Even outside these buffer zones, there will be around 8,000 Russians troops�why and what will they be doing?) I was with some E.U. troops who are deployed to ensure the ceasefire and from where they were stationed they could see the Russians literally digging in and they were laying mines and you could see where there were tanks and gun placements. These new bases seem pretty permanent. One Georgian man started complaining about this as we passed down to the new Russian checkpoints. So it seems there's still some potential for something to flare up again.

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