The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said yesterday Russia had brought around 2,000 troops from Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia to fight against Ukraine.
It asserted three battalion tactical groups of up to 1,200 Russian and South Ossetian servicemen were formed from Russia’s Tskhinvali-based 4th military base and transferred to Ukraine.
Further, the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces said two battalion tactical groups, with about 800 soldiers, were formed from the 7th military base units in Abkhazia to fight against Ukraine.
Reports emerged on March 16 that units of Russia’s 4th military base in Tskhinvali Region, including local S. Ossetian contractors, had departed to join the war against Ukraine. On March 26, reports came on another group of servicemen leaving from the occupied region to Ukraine.
Tskhinvali leader Anatoly Bibilov defended the participation of S. Ossetians in the war against Ukraine, claiming “there is no other way and no other solution for an Ossete man!”
As per the military deal with Moscow, signed in 2017, parts of the Tskhinvali forces are joined with Russia’s 4th military base in the region, while the number of its remaining forces is agreed with the Kremlin.
While no confirmation has come from Sokhumi on the Abkhaz participation in the war, Abkhazia’s defense chief Vladimir Anua recently pledged to provide “military assistance” for Moscow in achieving the goals set by Vladimir Putin for the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.