Russian Military Official Says Pullout Beginning

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Moscow (AP) The Deputy Chief of Staff of Russia's military says the withdrawal of forces from the conflict zone with Georgia has begun.

His statement came amid uncertainty about whether Russia was fulfilling President Dmitry Medvedev's promise to begin the pullout today. Earlier in the day, Russian forces around the strategically key Georgian city of Gori had shown no sign of moving away and even appeared to be solidifying their positions.

But he told a briefing that “today, according to the peace plan, the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers and reinforcements has begun.”

Russia is certain to keep some troops in the breakaway province of South Ossetia. The region's president is reportedly asking Moscow to establish a permanent base there.

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