The relevant agreement was approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 14. The agreement allows enlisting South Ossetian citizens in the Russian Armed Forces on the contract basis. According to the paper, while signing a contract on military service in the Russian Armed Forces, a citizen should be discharged from military service in South Ossetia. The further military service of those citizens would be carried out in accordance with the Russian legislation.
"More than 2,000 servicemen and more than 1,000 pieces of weapons and military equipment of the Russian military base in the Southern Military District deployed in South Ossetia were put on alert at SMD Commander Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov's command as part of a combat readiness check," Astafyev said.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia, as well as of Abkhazia, following a five-day war that broke out due to Georgia's military operation against the breakaway republics in 2008.