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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Russian peacekeepers in Georgia's conflict zone with Abkhazia said on Tuesday they released a group of five Georgian policemen after the Georgian president arrived in the area to intervene
Russian peacekeepers in Georgia's conflict zone with Abkhazia said on Tuesday they released a group of five Georgian policemen after the Georgian president arrived in the area to intervene. The Russian peacekeepers detained the officers earlier in the day in the village of Ganmukhuri, saying the Georgians had threatened to open fire on them. Georgia said Russian peacekeepers attacked the policemen and beat them up. "We have waited for over two hours for the Georgians to decide who is going to take the [released] policemen," Major General Sergei Chaban, commander of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in the conflict zone, said. Georgia's Interior Ministry officials earlier claimed that Russian peacekeepers surrounded the Patriot youth camp in the village of Ganmukhuri and took Georgian policemen hostage. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who arrived briefly at the site of the incident, demanded that the commander of the Russian peacekeepers leave the country. "Tell your general, Mr. Chaban, that I am declaring him a persona non-grata, and I want him to leave the country in the next few days," Saakashvili told a Russian peacekeeper in Ganmukhuri before leaving the site. General Chaban said Russian peacekeepers would soon leave the village and return to their base in the region. Georgia has repeatedly voiced its goal of regaining control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which declared their independence in the early 1990s. It has also accused the CIS peacekeeping force, mainly represented by Russians, of backing separatists. Commenting on the incident, Lt. Gen. Valery Yevnevich, deputy commander of Russia's Ground Forces, said that it was not the first time Georgia had attempted to interfere with the activities of Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone. "Law enforcement bodies of the conflicting sides must assist peacekeepers at their tasks set out in their mandate," Yevnevich said. "However, Georgia is constantly trying to interfere with their activities and hampers their work in the conflict zone." He said that in the latest incident, Georgian police briefly arrested and threatened Russian peacekeepers when a civilian van rammed into their car. "I hope the irresponsible behavior of these 'war dogs' will be met with an appropriate response from Georgian senior police officials," the Russian general said.
Print Russian peacekeepers in Georgia's conflict zone with Abkhazia said on Tuesday they released a group of five Georgian policemen after the Georgian president arrived in the area to intervene Bookmark Russian peacekeepers in Georgia's conflict zone with Abkhazia said on Tuesday they released a group of five Georgian policemen after the Georgian president arrived in the area to intervene

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