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Georgia accuses Russia of backing military coup

Georgia accuses Russia of backing military coup

Georgia yesterday accused Russia of backing an armed coup in the Caucasus state and said troops at a military base outside Tbilisi had rebelled.
defense Minister David Sikharulidze said troops of a tank battalion at the Mukhrovani base had launched a "rebellion," just as Georgia is due to host NATO exercises starting this week.
It is aimed at "disrupting NATO exercises and overturning the authorities militarily," Sikharulidze told Rustavi-2 television.
"The rebellion continues. Law enforcement agents are on the scene," he said.
The interior ministry said it had uncovered a plot for an "armed uprising" among some defense ministry units and that Russia was involved.
"The plan was coordinated with Russia, at a minimum to disrupt NATO military exercises and at a maximum to organize a large-scale military rebellion in Georgia," interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said, adding that one person had been arrested.
"We have information that the rebels were in direct contact with Russians, that they were receiving orders from them, that they were receiving money from them," he said.
Georgia has been experiencing political instability in recent weeks with opposition groups attempting to force President Mikheil Saakashvili's resignation.
A source in the Russian security services dismissed the allegations as absurd.
"This is delirium and the death-throes of the Saakashvili regime. There is nothing else to call it," the unidentified source told Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency.
Georgia is preparing to host NATO exercises from today that have been condemned as provocative by Russia, which last year fought a brief war with Georgia over the rebel South Ossetia region.


Updated : 2021-05-15 23:47 GMT+08:00