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Russian peacekeepers deny Abkhazian military build up

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The commander of the peacekeeping forces in the conflict zone between Georgia and its self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia has denied Georgia's claims that Russia has brought in military hardware and troops.
MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - The commander of the peacekeeping forces in the conflict zone between Georgia and its self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia has denied Georgia's claims that Russia has brought in military hardware and troops.

Georgia's state minister for conflict resolution, David Bakradze, earlier said that Russia had deployed five T-72 tanks, four Grad multiple launch rocket systems, five APCs, seven howitzers and 200 servicemen in Abkhazia.

"No additional armaments have been received by the Collective Peacekeeping Forces," Sergei Chaban told RIA Novosti, adding that Georgia had been engaging in disinformation.

A deputy commander of the Russian Ground Forces, Lt.-Gen. Valery Yevnenich, also flatly denied Bakradze's statement, calling it a "provocation".

Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, sparking a bloody conflict in the region.

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