Deputy chief of the Russian army general staff Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn told reporters Aug. 20: “The president ordered us to stop where we were. We are not pulling out or pulling back troops behind this administrative border into South Ossetia,” he said.
He pointed out the proposed Russian positions on a map, one just outside the Georgian city of Gori. Moscow planned to establish 18 long-term checkpoints including at least eight in undisputed Georgian territory outside the pro-Russian enclave of South Ossetia, said the general. They will be staffed by hundreds of Russian troops.
The plan appears to flout the terms of the French-brokered ceasefire deal signed last week by the presidents of Russia and Georgia. Moscow says its peacekeeping mandate and the ceasefire terms give it access to a “security zone” along the Georgian-South Ossetian border.
Nogovitsyn said at least 64 Russian soldiers were killed and 323 injured in the fighting sparked by an “unprovoked surprise attack” by Georgia on the South Ossetian capital.