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The Moment We've All Been Waiting For?

On the way out?

5:30 p.m. local time (1:30 GMT)

Could this finally be the beginning of the Russian withdrawal? Just minutes ago, two Ural trucks loaded with ammunition and two armored vehicles actually left Poti. Of course, about 16 armored vehicles and as many as 150 soldiers are still here, helicopters are flying overhead, and the three checkpoints are still in place. But the residents will welcome any positive sign whatsoever.

The mood has already changed in anticipation of the start of the withdrawal, and the town seems more hopeful. The authorities are becoming optimistic too. Mayor Saghinadze, for instance, expressed hope that the Russians are indeed beginning to leave.

We can only watch and wait.