Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Behind The Poti Lines

The Russians Leave Poti -- At Last

A Russian tank leaving for Abkhazia

Noon local time (8 a.m. GMT)


Up to 150 Russian soldiers left Poti this morning -- their entire contingent. At exactly 8 a.m. the Russians vacated the Nabada checkpoint; 15 minutes later the personnel stationed at the Seventh Kilometer checkpoint followed them.


The Russian forces and their military hardware formed a long column. There were eight loaded Ural trucks and 10 armored personnel carriers; Russian flags were flying on the armored vehicles.


The soldiers were not aggressive towards journalists -- they were even waving good-bye to us. But they still declined to make any comments. On their way out of Poti they were taking photographs; some even crossed themselves as they left town. It seemed like they were happy to leave -- needless to say, this mood greatly resonated with how the residents of Poti felt as they watched them leave.


Demining units have started inspecting the areas where the Russian checkpoints were located. Journalists are not allowed to approach those areas, as it is still not known whether it is safe to go there. Presumably, the inspection will be finished by the evening and it will become possible for us to go and see those places then.


This is the first day in a long while that residents of Poti awoke to genuinely good news. A great sense of relief and joy is palpable everywhere.

Tags: poti,blog

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Comment Sorting
by: Richard from: Halifax/Canada
September 13, 2008 21:08
Finally yes, and hopefully for good. I wish you all the best. Now the next major effort will be to remove Russian military ( aka peacekeepers... what a joke) completely from Georgia, that unfortunately will take a lot of political effort from the World. I do hope they are up for the task. What is sad is that the Russian Government thinks they are right to do this and even try to justify it by equating this to Iraq. Well wrong! The US will not be making America's borders bigger now will they, and the conflict was completely different, and Russia was informed prior to the US going in. Russia went in to Georgia to take the land, and also to remove the government and take control of the energy routes, fortunately that last two items didn't work, and I do hope the first item will fail in the end as well.<br /><br />You are in our prayers.