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As both houses of the Russian parliament call upon President Medvedev to support Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s right to self determination, Russian military commanders would appear to be consolidating a so-called ‘buffer zone’ within Georgia proper. According to Moscow, a battalion of 272 Russian troops will occupy eight ‘forward’ positions up to 15km within Georgia proper along its borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A further 250 Russian troops are set to be deployed to the rear of these positions to perform ‘logistics, engineering and support’ functions. As Russia consolidates its foothold in Georgia, serious questions arise as to the future role of an apparently resurgent Russian military in Kremlin foreign policy. Recent developments in the Russian military establishment – pioneered by Vladimir Putin in particular – give some clues as the future role and status of the Russian military in world affairs.
Clonan, T., 2008: Russia Fires Shot Across Bows of EU, US And NATO, Dublin: The Irish Times.