Russian Troops Crawl out of Georgia

Kommersant, Russia
Aug 1 2005

Russia troops finally started pulling out from Georgia on Saturday.
Once diplomatic obstacles have been pushed aside, the Russian military
faced new difficulties: technical this time. Russian military hardware
virtually falls to pieces.

The Georgian Foreign and Defense Ministries informed the Russian
Deputy Army Component Commander Valery Evnevich, who is in charge of
the withdrawal, that the Georgian party had eliminated all juridical
obstacles. The first column of wheeled equipment (nine headquarters
and five accompanying motor vehicles) left the gate of the military
base in Batumi at 12 am on Saturday. They were immediately met by a
group of Batumi youth who were throwing flowers and pouring champagne
celebrating the start of Russia~Rs withdrawal from Georgia, which
they had promised to do earlier at a rally by the base.

However, after all the formalities were settled, the military found it
hard to withdraw the equipment. The column stopped 250 meters after
since one of the cars needed to be repaired urgently. After a few
hours of the repairs, the vehicles started crawling again because
the hardware that was being pulled out was heavily depreciated. The
column arrived in Mtskheta late Saturday evening and was to head for
Vladikavkaz by the Military Georgian Road. However, the checks showed
that nearly all the cars after a 400-km trip got out of order and
required repairs. The column is to resume the movement on August 1 to
reach High Lars check-point where it will cross the Russian-Georgian
border. 40 major end items are to due to leave Georgia in August,
under bilateral agreements. 20 tanks and other tracked vehicles will
be moved from Batumi by sea, 20 more tanks will be taken by railroad
from Batumi and Akhalkalaki to the Russian base of Gyurmi in Armenia.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress