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President Saakashvili appointed Bacho Akhalaia on the post of Defense Minister replacing Davit Sikharulidze on August 27.
Akhalaia, who will turn 29 in October, has served as deputy defense minister since December, 2008.
Speaking at a session of National Security Council, President Saakashvili said: “Much more needs to be done and much stricter hand is needed in this agency [Defense Ministry].”
Saakashvili also said that Georgia remained committed to its pledge to send troops to Afghanistan and to “deepen NATO integration”.
Secret services of Georgia are involved in the explosion, according to chairman of the South Ossetian KGB Boris Attoyev. He told Regnum that the explosion was "continuation of terrorist activity of the Georgian secret services in territory of South Ossetia". "We have informed that acts of terrorism have been prepared in the territory of South Ossetia.
The explosion took place near to musical school in central Tskhinval.
Heavy shelling, explosions, and subversion were a prelude to the Georgian invasion on August 8, 2008.
Davit Usupashvili, leader of Republican Party, part of Alliance for Georgia, described this change in the cabinet as “the most dangerous appointment ever made by Saakashvili” during his presidency.
“It creates new threats of reoccurrence of [military] adventures, which is also a dangerous message to all of our international partners, as well as to those people serving in the military,” Usupashvili told Civil.Ge on August 28.
Conservative Party, led by Kakha Kukava and Zviad Dzidziguri, said in a statement that Akhalaia’s appointment “is a step towards army’s criminalization and destruction”. It said that Akhalaia “represents the most criminal group within the authorities.”
“By this decision Saakashvili has made a choice – he needs the army for protecting his regime, instead of protecting the state,” Conservative Party said.
“Look there – turn you cameras there,” Saakashvili told television cameramen accompanying him and pointing finger in direction of the Georgian side of Black Sea coast, “there is illuminated Georgia, this is where people decide their faith on their own and now turn your cameras there [pointing finger towards Abkhaz side], there is a new ‘Berlin wall’ beyond which people are not able to decide and where Russians, who have hundred-fold more territories and thousand-fold more money, do not let us to live normally.”
“Putin’s wall in Berlin collapsed and now he built a new one here,” he said.
"I have issued an order to our navy to destroy Georgian ships illegally crossing the Abkhaz marine border. This step has been prompted by unending piracy on Georgia's part," Bagapsh was quoted as saying.
"I would like to emphasize that the matter involves exclusively the Abkhaz Navy. No Russian naval forces have been employed or will be employed to resolve this issue," he added.
The rebel region's foreign minister, Sergei Shamba, also said Abkhazia was ready to use force after Bagapsh had given the order, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
MOSCOW, Aug 13 2009 (PRIME-TASS) --
The construction of a gas pipeline linking Russia with Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia has almost been completed, Alexander Bart, head of MRK Engineering's construction and contracting department, said Wednesday at a meeting with representatives of Russian gas giant Gazprom and South Ossetia's government, ITAR-TASS reported.
Aug 27 2009
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity cut the ribbon for the new natural gas pipeline between Russia and South Ossetia.
“Today we signed a 20-year agreement with our South Ossetian colleagues for gas cooperation. It calls for implementing a large-scale programme for connecting consumers to the gas supply network, which is why we will begin work today,” said Alexei Miller explaining the Gazprom’s plans to start supplying gas to the low-pressure distribution networks.
Venezuela today recognised the independence of Georgia's two breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in an unexpected move that delighted Russia but provoked a vituperative response from Georgia.
President Hugo Chávez announced during a visit to Moscow that "from today" Venezuela regarded both republics as independent. He said Caracas would swiftly move to establish diplomatic relations.
His decision is a rare triumph for Russian diplomatic efforts to drum up support for the two republics, so far only recognised by Russia. It comes after Chávez arrived in Moscow seeking to buy more military hardware from Russia, but seemingly without the funds to pay for it.
TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia said on Thursday that Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez's recognition of two Moscow-backed rebel regions was made under Russian pressure and would not provide the "puppet regimes" in the enclaves with legitimacy.
"Russia has been trying for a year to provide these puppet regimes with legitimacy," Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov told Reuters. "These attempts have been in vain."
"It should be clear to the Russian side that such actions won't add legitimacy to these puppet regimes," he added.
* Games to be held 20 km (12 miles) from rebel Abkhazia
* Georgia recalls 1980 protest over Soviet Afghan invasion
* Abkhazia hopes to provide building materials, housing
TBILISI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Defeated by Russia in war, Georgia says it wants to force a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi near the Moscow-backed rebel region of Abkhazia.
The ex-Soviet republic, its military routed in five August days last year, hopes to emulate the U.S.-led partial boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, which saw dozens of countries refuse participation.
MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Nicaragua and the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia have signed an agreement on establishing diplomatic relations, Nicaraguan media reported.
The Central American country recognized the independence of Abkhazia, along with Georgia's other breakaway republic, South Ossetia, following Russia's example after its conflict with Georgia in August 2008.
On Thursday, Venezuela joined Russia and Nicaragua in recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as sovereign states, a move condemned by Georgia, which considers the republics part of its territory.
On September 9 the United Nations General Assembly condemned the "forced displacement" of the population from Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia territories, strongly upheld the displaced populations' right to return there, and defined these territories as parts of Georgia.
MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian border guards will detain all vessels that violate Abkhazia's maritime border, a senior border guards official said on Tuesday.
Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba said in early September that Abkhazia was ready to resort to force as President Sergei Bagapsh had given the order "to open fire on Georgian ships if they continue their acts of piracy."
The European monitoring mission in Georgia will step up patrols ahead of the publication of a probe into the origins of the 2008 war as a "prophylactic" measure against the risk of fresh conflict.
According to diplomatic sources quoted by Spiegel Online, the Swiss diplomat intends to brief UN chief Ban Ki Moon in New York this week and then release the study to Georgian, Russian and EU diplomats simultaneously.
The report could prove explosive.
The independent commission appointed by the European Union to investigate the war between Georgia and Russia last summer has concluded that Tbilisi is responsible for causing the five-day conflict, SPIEGEL has learned.
The international commission, which is headed by Heidi Tagliavini, wants to keep its findings under wraps until next week because the Swiss diplomat first wants to present the controversial results to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.
The conflict broke out on Aug. 7, 2008 when Georgia attacked the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russian forces quickly repelled the Georgian attack and advanced into Georgia.
An independent report into who started last year's conflict between Russia and Georgia has been seized on by both sides as vindication of their position.
Russia said the EU-sponsored report recognised that Georgia had started the war. Georgian officials said it blamed Russia for escalating tensions.
The report has been given to both countries' ambassadors but will not be released publicly till later.
Originally posted by Hellmutt
Russia and Georgia both claim that the report blames the other part for starting the war. The report will not be released publicly till later.