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Three Russians detained by Georgian military police in western Georgia
Three Russians detained by Georgian military police in western Georgia are not peacekeepers, the commander of the CIS peacekeeping force in the Georgian -Abkhazian conflict zone said on Sunday.

The Georgian defense ministry said earlier on Sunday that three Russian peacekeepers from the contingent of collective peacekeeping forces in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone were detained on the night of December 22-23 in the town of Poti for breaching the 12-km (7.5-mile) security zone along the Inguri River where UN blue helmets are stationed.

"These citizens were discharged [from Russian Armed Forces] on December 21 for failure to comply with the terms of their contracts and were to have been on the territory of Russian on December 22," Sergei Chaban said.

According to the commander, a check is under way to establish why they stayed on the territory of Georgia and how they found themselves in Poti.

The Georgian defense ministry also claimed that the peacekeepers wore civilian clothes and were drunk at the moment of their detainment.

Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following a bloody conflict that left hundreds dead in 1991-1992, and the CIS peacekeeping forces entered the conflict area in June 1994 under a ceasefire agreement signed in Moscow on May 14, 1994.

More than 100 Russian peacekeepers have been killed in the conflict zone since then.

There have been frequent and mutual accusations of ceasefire violations from both Abkhazia and Georgia. Peace talks broke off when Tbilisi sent troops into Kodori Gorge in July last year and established an alternative Abkhaz administration there.


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