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Russians Even Taking The (Protected) Logs

A Russian soldier at a checkpoint in today's driving rain

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

Preparations for withdrawal are continuing at all three Russian checkpoints.

A group of soldiers and several trucks left Poti late last night. Despite the fact that it's been raining heavily, Russian soldiers are continuing to dismantle sections of the checkpoints.

At this moment, military hardware is being removed from the trenches and Ural trucks are being loaded. Apart from equipment and arms removed from Georgian military bases, the Russians are also taking away wooden logs that were, presumably, cut and prepared on the spot.

One of the three checkpoints is located on the territory of a national park, which is a protected zone. Georgia's minister for environmental protection, Irakli Gvaladze, has spoken about this already, calling the logging of rare tree species by the Russians a "catastrophic fact."

A short time ago, I spoke to Poti's mayor, Vano Saghinadze, who told me that from what he knows, the pullout of the Russian forces should be completed on Saturday.