Georgian Citizen Detained Near Tskhinvali Occupation Line
Georgia’s State Security Service reported late on March 31 that “representatives of Russia’s occupation forces” had detained illegally a Georgian citizen near occupied Zemo Artsevi village of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
The SSG said the EUMM managed hotline was activated and that Co-Chairs of Geneva International Discussions were informed over the incident.
The State Security Service dismissed reports that the detained citizen is a Georgian serviceman.
Earlier in the day, Russian-controlled KGB of Tskhinvali/South Ossetia reported that Georgian citizen Levan Machabeli was detained for violating “the state border” on March 26.
“Despite the steps taken by official Tbilisi to prevent the escalation of tension and armed conflict on the South Ossetian-Georgian border, certain Georgian citizens and socio-political organizations, holding radical nationalist and extremist positions, continue to consider the possibility of carrying out provocations against law enforcement officers and servicemen” of S. Ossetia and Russia, claimed Tskhinvali KGB.
Importantly, the KGB reported that Machabeli served in the Georgian Armed Forces in 2005-2009 and took part in Russo-Georgian War over South Ossetia in August 2008.
The Tskhinvali KGB further said Machabeli had tried to join fight against Russia in Ukraine. “When due to health problems he was refused, Machabeli decided to illegally enter the South Ossetian territory and commit a provocation against the Russian military contingent” stationed there, it claimed.
The statement by the S. Ossetian KGB also claimed that Georgian policemen patrolling across the dividing line near Tbilisi-controlled village Kere took did not prevent him from crossing the dividing line.
It warned what it called “the Georgian radical, pro-Western and extremist forces” against influencing the Russian and South Ossetian soldiers. This will be viewed as a terrorist activity, Kremlin-backed region’s KGB said.
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