General Anatoly Khrulev, the former commander of Russia’s 58th Army of the Southern Military District, has been appointed as Chief of the General Staff of the armed forces in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.
The announcement about the appointment was made by Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba’s office on May 18.
During the August 2008 war, Gen. Khrulev, the commander of the 58th Army at the time, was wounded when a Russian military column he was traveling with was attacked by the Georgian forces in breakaway South Ossetia.
“Our army is not large, but during difficult wartime, it showed itself to be combat-capable. Times are now different and we have new tasks, including development of military cooperation with Russia. We count on your knowledge and experience,” Abkhaz leader Khajimba told Gen. Khrulev.
Gen. Khrulev was the commander of the 58th Army from 2006 till May, 2010 before his retirement.
The appointment was preceded by a meeting between Khajimba and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on May 15.
In November, 2014 Moscow and Sokhumi signed a treaty on “alliance and strategic partnership”, which envisages the further integration of Abkhazia to the Russian Federation. Among other issues, the treaty also entails collective defense and setting up of a Combined Group of Forces.