THE RUSSIAN MILITARY LEAVE GEORGIA IN AN ENGLISH WAY
by Vladimir Novikov, Andrei Ivanov

Source: Kommersant, May 4, 2006, p. 10
Agency WPS
DEFENSE and SECURITY (Russia)
May 10, 2006 Wednesday

Military hardware was withdrawn from Akhalkalaki at night

THE RUSSIAN MILITARY WITHDREW MILITARY HARDWARE FROM THE AKHALKALAKI
BASE (GEORGIA); Nongovernmental organizations stated that they will
not give up attempts to prevent the withdrawal of the Russian base
from Akhalkalaki.

The Russian military and the Georgian authorities prepared for
the withdrawal of military hardware from the 62nd military base in
Akhalkalaki as a military operation. Local residents held actions
of protest against the withdrawal of the Russian military base last
week. The protesters stated that many locals will lose jobs. The
leaders of the Virk movement fear that the threat of the Turkish
expansion will increase after the withdrawal of the base.

Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili reproached the Russian
special services of plotting provocations aimed at hindering the
withdrawal of the bases. Major-General Andrei Popov called these
accusations unfounded. He stated that Russia is prepared to withdraw
part of military hardware until May 15.

The Georgian Interior Ministry sent the Task Force to Akhalkalaki
on Wednesday night. Policemen had to stop people who could try
to blockade the base. However, only a dozen of people protested
against the withdrawal. It turned out that the military hardware
left the base on May 3. The protesters stopped their action when they
learnt this. Organizers of the picket stated that it's inadmissible
to organize such actions when the Armenian people grieve over the
crash of a jetliner over the Black Sea. Nevertheless, nongovernmental
organizations stated that they will not give up attempts to prevent
the withdrawal of the Russian base.