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Mired In Poti

3 p.m. local time (11 a.m. GMT)

It's still raining in Poti. One of the three Russian checkpoints is located close to a swamp, and Poti's majoritarian MP, Temur Tsurtsumia, was joking today that the Russians will now have to withdraw -- if only to avoid sinking into the mire.

Several helicopters flew over Poti today. The authorities have no information on the purpose of these flights, because, as I wrote yesterday, there is no contact between the Russian forces and the local government.

Today I also learned that Georgian military sites that have been damaged by the Russian forces -- a marine base, coast guard facilities, and so on -- are open only until 2 p.m., and even during operating hours, the sites are only open to technical personnel who clean things up. The military is apparently being extremely cautious and trying to avoid any potential misunderstandings by restaffing their bases.