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Old 05-05-2009, 09:56 AM   #1
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Default Attempted mutiny at Georgia military base

May 5th, 2009

Posted: 05:24 AM ET
(CNN) — Authorities foiled an attempted army mutiny in Georgia that they believe was designed to disrupt NATO exercises that are to begin Wednesday in the former Soviet republic, the country’s interior ministry said.

About 500 troops at a military base outside the capital Tbilisi were involved in the rebellion Tuesday that was quickly brought under control, said Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili.

The rebelling soldiers said they were “unhappy with the political situation in the country,” Utiashvili said. The government thinks the mutiny was intended to disrupt the NATO exercises.

NATO said it had no comment on the incident because it did not independently confirm the event. On Monday, NATO’s secretary general said the exercises would begin on schedule.

One person was arrested and authorities are looking for another in connection with the attempted mutiny. Both were high-ranking members of the defense ministry in the 1990s, Utiashvili said.

Georgian security forces have surrounded the base and are in talks with the mutineers to stand down.

Officials did not have “direct evidence” pointing to outside involvement in the attempted rebellion, Utiashvili said.

NATO is expected to launch month-long military exercises this week in Georgia. The move has angered Russia, Georgia’s neighbor to the north, which accused the alliance of “muscle-flexing.”

“Certainly the mutiny was not on a scale” to disrupt the exercises, Utiashvili said.

The countries fought a five-day war in August in the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia.

In April, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili vowed to remain in office until his term ends, defying calls by anti-government protesters that he step down.

Up to 60,000 demonstrators took to the streets, blaming the president for leading the country with Russia, and plunging it into a political crisis. They also were angry about rising poverty in the country.

– CNN’s Matthew Chance contributed to this report.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Attempted mutiny at Georgia military base

That was a very interesting report. People are just itching for a change. Thanks for the news.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Attempted mutiny at Georgia military base


Georgia accuses Russia over foiled rebellion

By Niko MchedlishviliPosted 2009/05/05 at 3:00 pm EDT

MUKHROVANI, Georgia, May 5, 2009 (Reuters) — Georgia said it put down a mutiny at a military base on Tuesday and accused Moscow of trying to foment a wider rebellion on the eve of NATO war games in the former Soviet republic...


A spokesman for the U.S. Pentagon said the mutiny appeared to be "a fairly isolated incident at this point."

Saakashvili accused the plotters of links to Moscow and demanded Russia "refrain from provocations."

Georgia's opposition accused the government of staging "a show" to deflect attention from their protests over his record on democracy and last year's war.

Russia said Saakashvili's accusations were "insane."

"Instead of dialogue inside the country, the Georgian leadership is trying to accuse Russia of totally insane things," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told reporters.

Military experts in Tbilisi suggested the rebellion could be linked with plans to use troops to end opposition road blocks paralyzing Tbilisi, with some officers refusing to participate.

"This chimes with what we are hearing from military sources," a senior Western diplomat said.

Georgia lost a brief war against neighboring Russia last August when Russia crushed in days a Georgian assault on the rebel pro-Moscow region of South Ossetia. Conflict over South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, destabilized Georgia in the early 1990s.

The August war slammed the brakes on Georgia's bid for membership of NATO, which the Kremlin fiercely opposes as an encroachment on its traditional sphere of influence. It has also increased pressure on Saakashvili.

Ties between Russia and NATO came under new strain on Tuesday when Moscow said it would order out two Canadian NATO envoys on Wednesday in response to the alliance's expulsion last week of two Brussels-based Russian diplomats, Interfax reported, quoting an unnamed Foreign Ministry official.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dropped plans to attend a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this month in protest at the expulsion of Russians. NATO said it regretted Moscow's decision and hoped a new date would be agreed.

Fitch ratings agency said it would likely cut Georgia's B+ debt rating if political instability continued.

Russia's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said NATO would be better off holding its exercises in a "madhouse," since "Georgia's military cannot properly receive their colleagues because they are rioting against their own president."

The NATO exercises involving some 1,000 soldiers from member states and partner nations are intended as a gesture of solidarity for Georgia, which sits at the heart of a region crucial for energy transit from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

They are due to take place around 70 km (44 miles) from the nearest Russian troop positions in breakaway South Ossetia.

The rebel region's leader Eduard Kokoity told Interfax it had assembled several military units at its border with Georgia following Tuesday's mutiny and had put the region on alert.

Russian ally Armenia said on Tuesday it had decided against participating, citing "the current situation." Kazakhstan and Serbia have also pulled out.
Peace and Good Will!
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Attempted mutiny at Georgia military base

Smacks of covert U.S involvement somewhere, since the U.S government still backs the Georgians against Russia.
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