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Russian Troops Entering Abkhazia's Gali Region

TBILISI, April 8, 2009 (RFE/RL) -- Russian troops have been entering Abkhazia's Gali region since April 7, RFE/RL's Georgia Service reports.

Government sources in Georgia's Zugdidi region told RFE/RL that additional Russian troops moved to the breakaway republic of Abkhazia's Gali region on April 7, which borders Georgia proper.

Abkhaz presidential spokesman Ruslan Kishmaria confirmed the information to RFE/RL and said the Russian troops are just rotating and there is no increased activity.

But Georgian parliamentary Defense and Security Committee chairman Givi Targamadze says Russia is intentionally increasing its military presence in Abkhazia near Georgian positions on the eve of a mass protest planned by the Georgian opposition on April 9.

He said Russia will try to "destabilize the situation in Georgia using the protests on Thursday."