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'Ossetian Battalion' Planned Within Russian Troops in S.Ossetia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Feb.'12 / 17:42

Russian military base in breakaway South Ossetia is creating a new battalion to recruit specifically local residents, the region’s official news agency, RES, reported on February 14.

The Russian military base has announced about launch of recruiting local male residents up to age of 35 for the new unit, dubbed as “Ossetian battalion”. Recruits, who will serve on contract basis, will enjoy with same benefits and salaries as Russian soldiers, a spokesperson for the breakaway region’s defense ministry told RES news agency.

The Ossetian battalion within the Russian military base will become a significant source of filling South Ossetian army with “professional military cadre,” a spokesperson for the breakaway region’s defense ministry said.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on February 15, that the move was part of ongoing “militarization” of Georgia’s occupied territories by Russia.

“Georgia’s occupied territories have actually turned into large military bases and and their inhabitants are either employed in the Russian military bases themselves or are serving with the Russian occupation troops,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

"Additional financial and material resources are being allocated for the strengthening of the Russian occupation troops against a background of daily accidents in military (including nuclear) facilities [in Russia], which poses a real threat to the Russian population as well as to the population of neighbouring countries and indeed to the world as a whole," it added.

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