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Conflicting Claims as Tskhinvali Drone Goes Down Near Tsnelisi

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The KGB of the Moscow-backed Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia reported on Sunday, September 1, that at around 10am, its “unmanned aerial vehicle”  – a quadcopter carrying out video surveillance “along the state border” – was taken down by the machine gun fire from the Georgian forces.

Tskhinvali KGB said, that earlier similar “Georgian aircraft have repeatedly, around the clock” carried out surveillance along the occupation line, including that of the civilian objects, which are protected by the units of the Tskhinvali KGB and the border guards of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).

Accusing Tbilisi of a “deliberate provocation”, Tskhinvali KGB said Tbilisi wants another conflict.

Later the same day, Tskhinvali released another statement, specifying that the quadcopter belonged to their “prosecutor general’s office” and carried out “investigative actions foreseen by law” in the frames of a criminal case on “illegally crossing the state border.”

Tbilisi response

The State Security Service of Georgia (SSSG) denied the state responsibility saying that the Tskhinvali quadcopter crashed into another, similar, civilian craft and that both crafts crashed.

Davit Katsarava, leader of the “Strength in Unity” activist movement, posted on his Facebook page that “the Russo-Ossetian drone crossed the occupation line” to Tbilisi-controlled airspace today. He said his team “managed to neutralize this drone,” by performing the aerial maneuver which cased the craft to crash and fall on Tbilisi-controlled territory. According to Katsarava, soon after the “Russo-Ossetians started to panic,” the Georgian police came and took the Tskhinvali drone away., supposedly to hand over to the South Ossetian side.

“Police representatives were close to us and they saw what was going on quite well,” Katsarava stated.

Both Georgian security service as well as Tskhinvali KGB said the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) has been informed of the incident and a hotline has been activated. According to the SSSG, the Government of Georgia “is constructive” and places considerable importance on ensuring “stability on the ground.”

Read also: 

01/09/2019 – Chorchana Checkpoint Escalation: an Incident or a Trend?

31/08/2019 – U.S. Calls on Russia ‘to Prevent Further Escalation’ Near Occupation Line

31/08/2019 – Russia Concerned by ‘Escalation of Tension’ near Occupation Line

30/08/2019 – Security Officials Meet Over Disputed Police Checkpoint

30/08/2019 – Foreign Ministry Concerned by ‘Mobilization of Military Equipment, Personnel’ near Occupation Line

30/08/2019 – Georgian Officials Say Situation around Disputed Police Checkpoint ‘Stable’

30/08/2019 – IPRM Meeting ‘Disrupted’ as Tskhinvali Demands Removal of Georgia Police From Chorchana/Tsnelisi Area

29/08/2019 – GID Co-Chairs Speak ‘Borderization’ ahead of IPRM

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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