Russia deploys S-300 missiles in Georgia’s Abkhazia

S-300 surface-to-air missile systems

From Reuters:  Russia has deployed S-300 air defense missile systems in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region to protect the separatist authorities there, the commander of Russia’s air force said on Wednesday.

General Alexander Zelin also said that air defenses of other types had been deployed in Georgia’s other Russian-backed rebel region, South Ossetia. His remarks were reported by state news agencies.

"The task of these air defenses is not only to cover the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but also to avert violations of their state borders in the air and destroy any vehicle illegally penetrating their air space, whatever the goal of its mission," Zelin said.

Georgia reacted promptly, accusing Moscow of "strengthening its image and role as an occupying country."

"It shows … not only that Russia does not intend to withdraw its troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but that it is actually strengthening its military control over these territories," Eka Tkeshelashvili, Georgia’s National Security Council secretary, told Reuters.  (photo: Ivan Rudnev/RIA Novosti)

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